- I probably won’t be Drinkin’ in the new year–and then some in Wisconsin. I wasn’t aware that bars there are open from 6am today until 2am Monday morning, and that’s been the case on New Year’s Eve for nearly twenty years. Might have tried that when I was younger if I’d known. [press-patch]
- A new Critical Flaw Detected in Windows Metafile images. And since they’re loaded up automagically when you view a page in your browser, if you’re running windows, you should pretty much stay off the interweb until a security patch is available. Or use this fix VoWe points out. [fark!]
- In the case of the woman arrested for having flour in condoms in her luggage, Dan asks, what about the 4th amendment? Good question. As the first commenter said, these searches can only be done to assure the safety of the plane, which doesn’t cover suspected drugs. [flutterby]
- Are Bush and Patriot Act repeating history? This letter to the editor compares Bush to Hitler. [endwar]
- I needed to write a little bit about today’s lunch to get it out of my system before the new year. Best to let that sort of thing go as quickly as possible.
Not really a whole lot to say. Tuesday saw me getting new trike tires and setting up the trainer. I plan to try and ride for at least a half-hour a day once the new year starts, which hopefully will see me in decent shape come springtime. Then I went out to celebrate my achievement, which led to a non-productive day yesterday. Figured I’d update y’all on that, not because it’s especially interesting, but because today’s a day of messing with websites anyhow, and I might as well start on my own.
The rest of the holiday break is already booked up, and if I have half-decent luck on my to-do list, I’ll get everything done I expected to. I won’t have tackled the extra things I threw in just in case, but setting my expectations low seems to be working. Goes to show something or other, I guess.
And that’s going to do it for today. And quite possibly for 2005. Have a swell new year.
I haven’t had much to say lately. Spent yesterday watching Old Movies and enjoying the heck out of them, and wrote a little update about that. But mostly I’m just being lazy this week. The schedule has filled up from tomorrow onwards, and I think I’ll probably be a slacker again today. My realistic planning helped somewhat, but I’m already triaging the list. Some things I won’t have time for, and others I just don’t want to do badly enough to bother.
But I guess that’s okay. The work things that are critical will get done. The rest will or won’t, and I’m not going to worry too much about it.
- Is E-tracking coming to a DMV near you? Some seem to think so. I’m thinking that if the proposals to put trackers in every car, bill by usage, and disable the vehicle if the tracker is shut off ever come into play, I won’t be the only one trying to tuck a brilliant red barchetta away at my uncle’s farm, if only to go for A Nice Morning Drive every once in a while. [endwar]
- Hmm. I’m pretty sure the web applications I’ve written are secure against SQL Injection Attacks like these, but I’m not positive. Guess that’s another thing to add to the to-do list. [holy schmoly]
- Here’s an analysis of Blogging styles and traffic stats that I didn’t link to until I had time to read it more carefully. Looking at it, I suspect the category that fits me most closely is the “long-tail blogger”. I don’t play the trackback game, or indulge in carnivals. I have a small, but respectable readership (5k page-views per day), and it was interesting to read this article and think about things a little. I noticed, for example, that the ratio is now 3-1 for the RSS feed over people looking at the front page. I need to keep that in mind as I transition the blogging software. I also noticed someone using one of my images in a post on myspace, so I changed it to point to this one instead, which changes the meaning of their post completely. And it saves about 40k of bandwidth for each of the roughly 500 times that image is getting loaded each day. [instapundit]
Not a whole lot of links today, but that’s okay. It’s been a time of rest. Yesterday I got through another of the tasks I’d assigned myself for the time off from work, and this slow and steady progress is making me feel pretty good. Again, the task was only a couple hours, but was one of the few I was pretty unsure about getting done. It required ventilation because it was working with solvents and good ventilation is generally tough to come by in Minnesota in the winter, but it was very warm yesterday (42 according to the national weather service, and nearly 50 according to the thermometer in my truck - warm enough that I was working in just a T-shirt for a while), so I set up the workmate bench in the garage and got to work. Then when I was done, I talked with a neighbor I haven’t met before while the fumes dissipated. A darned good afternoon.
Thursday saw a successful trip to the bank and a trip to St. Boni to get my truck fixed. And while I was at the dealership, the mother of the guys I know there decided that they needed to add to the horse-trailer portion of their website. One project down, another added.
Today begins the list of real obligations. Don’t get me wrong, most of them are fun, but my time is not my own today and tomorrow. The schedules are set by other people, and that’s just the kind of thing that will make a control-freak like me a mite twitchy. I’m sure I’ll enjoy hanging out with the various folks over the next few days, but when I got the call last night telling me that today’s festivities had been moved a few hours early, my eyelid started jumping around like Doctor Strangelove’s arm.
But hey, it’s the time of the year for good cheer and presents that make people scratch their heads. And I realized yesterday that I still need to buy one last present. I need to get something from mom for me. Not sure what it’ll be, but at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if it came from a gas-station. Then again, maybe I can find a local source for a memory-card for my camera to help with the picture taking that will accompany the events this weekend.
- No real surprise here: NY Attorney General Threatens Op-Ed Writer. Give the cops (and AGs) more power, and at least a few of them are going to abuse it. That’s the problem with government power, especially since once given, it can never be taken back without resorting to revolution. [police state]
- Speaking government not relinquishing power, Senate Passes Patriot Act Extension. Only for six-months, but they did it on a voice-vote late on Wednesday, perhaps hoping nobody would notice. [fark!]
- How about all the people who pick a Political Party as Fashion Statement? Warren points out many of the inconsistancies I’m sometimes too polite to mention. [coyote blog]
- The student who ordered Mao’s Little Red Book and reported Federal agents’ visit was a hoax, as many suspected. [tcf]
I posted an essay about my attempted realistic planning for the holidays. That’s it for today.
First, a reminder to myself. Always remember to adjust the temperature of the toaster oven down from “broil” before trying to bake one of those self-rising pizzas. They don’t turn out very well when broiled.
That out of the way, I did finish up the work for the year before lunch yesterday, so I headed home. Spent my afternoon of freedom taking a nap, and felt much better for it. But now I’ve got a list of eight different things to do around home before I go back to work in January, most of which are a significant chunk of a day when you figure in the procrastinating and trips to the hardware store because I forgot that one bit I need to do the job. I’m going to try and get through one each day (and no more than that), during the time off. Seems like a pretty good plan, and realistically I expect I’ll manage at least half of them. The rest? Well, maybe they’re not such important tasks after all.
Also found out last night that my neighbors are throwing a party next week. It’s a pot-luck dinner sort of thing, and I need to figure out what I’m going to contribute. Plenty of time remaining, but they’re doing the main courses, so I’ll be cooking somewhat outside my normal comfort zone. Should prove interesting.
It’s the shortest day of the year today. Looking like it’s going to shape up to be a cloudy one too, but at least the temperature is climbing. Yes, the cold weather still remains, and will for months, but simply having sunlight on either the drive to or from work will probably help my mental state a fair bit.
Not sure what my blogging schedule is going to be, but don’t panic if I miss a day. I’ve got some spare time this next week and a half, but I’m also going to try and rest some more. That may mean a morning or two away from the computer.
- D’Ohh! I completely forgot that Serenity came out yesterday. Might be part of a shopping trip today when I need to go out for stamps for the Christmas cards that still haven’t gone out.
- I also almost forgot about the Kari Tauring Yuletide 2005 Celebration tomorrow evening. Thanks to How Was The Show for reminding me.
- Not getting enough saccharine in your life? Go get your Cute Overload! [shelley]
- A Ramsey County District Judge throws out cigarette fee, saying it
violates terms of a multibillion-dollar court settlement the state and three tobacco companies struck in 1998.The Pawlenty administration is appealing the decision, and the price of cigarettes won’t be changing anytime soon. [press-patch]
- Claire recommends getting BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters and watching it regularly. [claire]
- Schneier has columns on the NSA and Bush’s Illegal Eavesdropping, and a followup on The Security Threat of Unchecked Presidential Power. Both are long, and both are worth reading, especially if you think, like some do, that everything’s hunky-dory with having the NSA spy on us. [schneier]
Well, I’ve officially given up on the idea of getting Christmas cards to people by Christmas. I was hoping to write up a bunch of them last night, but after getting home, eating, and responding to a few pressing emails, I was done for the day. Went to bed around 8 and didn’t wake up until six this morning.
That leads me to think I’ve got a cold. Nothing too serious, since I’m not sure, but just enough to leave me a little worn-down and lethargic. Which is okay. I’ve got a little bit of work to do today, and if it goes at all well, I’ll be done for the year. Already talked to the bosses, and they concur. So there’s a very real possibility I’ll be heading home early today, and not going back to the office until January 2nd. And that’s sounding like a pretty darned good plan this morning, even if it means unpaid time off. At this point, I’d rather have the time than the money.
- Homeland Security Agents’ visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior who was just trying to get a copy of Mao’s Little Red Book for class. Thoughtcrime! But over at Boing Boing, there’s a debate going on whether this is a hoax or not. Update: It’s a hoax. [jwz]
- In Today In Treason News, jwz takes a look at recent behavior of President Bush (authorizing the NSA to spy on Americans), decides it’s probably an impeachable offense, and then ponders whether we’d be better off keeping him. Sounds like time for a quote:
Hanging one scoundrel, it appears, does not deter the next. Well, what of it? The first one is at least disposed of.–H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) [jwz]
- They lobbied very hard until Cogress gave them exactly what they wanted, but now the new Bankruptcy law backfires on credit card issuers. The word “Schadenfreude” comes to mind. [fark!]
- A UCLA Political Scientist Finds Media Bias Is Real.
Overall, the major media outlets are quite moderate compared to members of Congress, but even so, there is a quantifiable and significant bias in that nearly all of them lean to the left.That’s about what I’ve figured for a while. Yes, they’re biased, but a lot less so than many Congress-Critters. [instapundit]
- As I figured it would, the Tide shifts in meth fight. See the state passed a law banning meth (and making cold medicine harder to get), but
Does that mean we are dealing with less methamphetamine? No, the methamphetamine is up.And even while they’re declaring victory, they’re talking about passing more laws, which I’m sure will help even more. [press-patch]
- An encouraging note: Democrats recast gun control image. It’ll be nice if they really mean it, but I’m gonna wait a bit before breaking out the champagne. [claire]
Well, the big plan for the weekend was to get the bills paid and the Christmas cards in the mail. Neither has happened yet, and about all I really accomplished was dragging Jim to the MOB gathering at Keegan’s. Just as we were about ready to leave, I noticed a message on my cellphone from one of the former bartenders from the Sporty who was in town for the weekend, so we trooped down there to see her. After consuming what the booze-o-meter tells me was a full week’s worth of booze (for a normal person), I headed home to sleep.
Sunday, more sleep. Generally low-energy kind of day. Again with the not getting things done. Got a call from a friend in the evening who was trying to convince me to join the sunday-night gang but begged off. The best email of the weekend was from the friend for whom I’d bought a cool present, but wasn’t sure if she’d like it or not. She loved it, so that made me happy. And now, it’s time for me to sit down and write a bunch of checks so the bills can go in the mail, then clean myself up and get to work only mildly late. I’m starting to think the Christmas cards will be New Year’s cards this year, but I guess we’ll see. Not sure why, but I just haven’t been very excited about writing them this year.
The linkage today is all music-oriented, which I find somewhat odd. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but that’s what I found interesting while surfing yesterday and this morning.
- Wish this had been around a couple years back: GramoFile automates recording LPs to separate ready-to-burn tracks, removing clicks and pops as it goes. [flutterby]
- The story of InSoc vs. TV is pretty interesting. I figured the producers of reality TV shows were scummy, but this gives you a good idea of the special sort of scum they are. [jwz]
- David Dodd has spent A [long] strange trip, annotating Grateful Dead lyrics. Ten years, but he finished the book and has published it. His website has more, and the book has even more. [fark!]
- How very odd. The Fender® Hello Kitty® guitar comes in pink or black. The Badtz-Maru bass in just black. This literally made me scratch my head wondering wtf Fender is thinking, and then pondering whether it might be a good idea. [steveo]
Instead of getting to the ton of errands I need to do around the house today, I find myself sitting in front of the computer and writing. Well, I guess that’s not all bad, since there’s more for you to read, but I need to get moving soon if I’m going to have a chance of getting to the post office before they close so I can mail the bills and Christmas cards, and have time to swing by the MOB gathering this evening.
Yesterday’s pot-luck was fun. My jambalaya came out well, with a couple additions. I’ve updated the recipe. The guy who has the office next to me made some chili that made my mouth feel like my ears do at an Alice Cooper concert, which was a good thing. But I ate too much, and combined with the too-warm temperature in my office, that led to me cutting out early from work. I was nodding off there, but seemed to be fine again once I got myself into cooler climes, which is just about anywhere else in the state. I think I’m going to have to buy a thermometer for the office so I can convince the building people there’s actually something wrong, but there are times when it feels like a sauna in there, and I don’t know about you, but I’m just not super productive when I’m stewing in my own (abundant) juices.
- Pajamas Media has the Senate Roll Call to end filibuster against Patriot Act reauthorization. 52-47 for ending the filibuster, which wasn’t the sixty votes needed to end it. Minnesota’s senators split along party lines, as I expected. And the vote won’t change my support (or lack thereof) for either. Dayton voted for the Patriot Act before he voted against it, and I haven’t especially liked Norm Coleman since I met him when he was running (as a big-government democrat, before he “switched” to being a big-government republican) for Mayor of St. Paul and couldn’t shut up and watch the Saints game, choosing instead to gab through the first few innings and then leave early, as though he was a Dodgers fan. A pox on both their houses. [instapundit]
- And a pox on Hugh Hewitt and Orin Kerr, too. There’s more than just 3% of USA PATRIOT that’s offensive. Nearly the whole damned thing is, whether you look at it as
actual legislationor a
symbol of the Bush Administration and the War on Terror. Doesn’t matter. It’s bad and wrong, and of the 10% that I might concede is Constitutional, maybe 3% is worthwhile, but I’d be prefectly happy throwing out this misbegotten baby with the murky Potomac bathwater. [instapundit]
- And the ACLU Opposes Patriot Act Provision that gives the Secret Service (who are fast morphing into a more sinister SS) power to charge protesters. Doesn’t it say somewhere that
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances? Sounds to me like Congress is trying to prevent prople from peaceably assembling and petitioning the Government for a redress of grievances, and I find myself wondering who voted for these treasonous bastards (okay, that’s probably over the line — I’m sure at least one or two of them know who their fathers are). [police state]
- But then I don’t find someone saying that Martial Law Is Already Here surprising. I thought Article IV of the Constitution guaranteed a freedom of movement, and the Fourth Amendment prohibited unreasonable searches, so obviously I’m completely confused. [police state]
Actually, it didn’t seem like a long week until yesterday evening, when it all caught up to me after the second straight day of shovelling snow both morning and evening, followed by a bunch of cooking. I’m just plain tired this morning, so this is going to be brief.
- Claire’s Christmas (and other holiday) message is O Little Town of Hardyville. Nice writing. [claire]
- Last night I put together the recipe for the Jambalaya I’m serving at the company pot-luck today. I’ll tell you how it came out later.
- How many of these ten Outrageous Firsts in Television History did you see live? Only a couple for me. [WVSR]
- Can’t remember the words to your favorite Cthulhu Carols? That’s okay. The lyrics are online. [fark!]
- Here’s how to Make Your Own Copy-Protected CD with Passive Protection. Unlike Sony’s active protection, this is just annoying, not damaging. Just yesterday a friend on a mailing list made a comment about malware-laden CDs that prompted me to respond
Is that like going to a prostitute? You’re paying to get screwed, and maybe catch something icky?I’m kind of proud of that one. So anyway, I guess it’s a good thing the feds are now fighting a War on Prostitution, right? When do they go after Sony? [boing boing and claire]
- Oh, and don’t forget that tomorrow is the MOB (Minnesota Organization of Bloggers) thing at Keegan’s. Don’t know if I’ll make it or not, since there are a lot of other things to do tomorrow, but I’m gonna try. [mitch]
Last week, it was the middle of the week when I missed a day. Nearly did so this week, but woke up early this morning and found a few things before I head off for what looks like it’ll be a long day. Got a meeting scheduled to begin after I’m usually home from work, plus there’s the prep-cook for tomorrow’s pot-luck to be done this evening.
Last night, when I got home, besides the shovelling to be done, I discovered that the fargin’ squirrels had chewed the top completely off one of the bird-feeders. I refilled the other feeder, but the one the tree-rats destroyed will sit empty for another day or two. I’ll try to remember to grab a picture of it before I throw it away. It’s not that I mind the squirrels eating the food I’m putting out for the birds, but I think I might pop for the expensive squirrel-proof feeder when I buy a replacement just to be spiteful.
But a quiet evening, coupled with a friend stopping by and hanging out for about an hour improved my mood last night, so I think I’m ready to face today. And if I get to work a bit later than usual this morning because I was up late (though not much later than usual, I just cut short the before-sleep reading), that’s a pretty easy price to pay.
- Stephen Green has A Short Rant on the war on meth. He’s pissed because they’ve ruined Nyquil, too. And while Minnesota’s law may have shut down meth manufacturing here, that just means more is coming in from Mexico. Another example of government intervention costing Americans good-paying jobs and moving those jobs to a country where labor is cheaper and the laws laxer. Or am I confusing the point? [vodkapundit]
- Is it paranoid to ask Is the Pentagon spying on Americans? Apparently not so much if you’re a Quaker. You know they’re such threats to society that they simply must be watched. What’s next? Blackmailing the Amish? Oh wait. That’s happened, too. [boing boing and flutterby]
- Because the Susan B. and Sacajawea dollars were so popular, the US Mint has decided New dollar coins to feature dead presidents might spur people into using dollar coins. [fark!]
- Here’s a story saying Females have advanced sexual software superior to males basic version. No idea of the source of that one, but maybe it explains why women are arounsed by animal sex, but men only by human-on-human action. [fark! and kottke]
- Looking for some campus humor? Or just a very cool web-design? The Minnesota Daily Finals Edition is out. And the presentation is something special this year. Very disturbing, but cool web design. Check it out before they get the take-down order. [daily]
Not much tonight. I’m tired from shovelling snow (twice today, and probably at least once tomorrow!) and have a long day booked tomorrow, plus I need to do some prep-work for Friday’s pot-luck grub.
One of the things I’m doing in my new job is working with some open source software. It all seemed to be going pretty well, until today. Today I started digging deeper, and found that the software doesn’t compile right with my current compiler (there’s obviously some magickal flag I don’t know to set), and when I try to use it, I get a structure that’s misaligned so my code can’t read the data it needs to get. It’s part of OS X, and I need to use it, but because it’s open source, there’s no nice installer, or system API provided, and I managed to burn almost the entire afternoon just trying to get one of the many function calls supplied to work correctly. I’m just a mite frustrated with it at the moment.
But otherwise things are going well. I mostly like the job, even when I’m being frustrated by shitty software (and besides, if all the software out there was perfect, I wouldn’t have a job). In all, it’s not a bad holiday season, even if I wish I could just get to Christmas so I could spend that week between the holidays sleeping. Meanwhile, I’ll keep plugging along, and maybe even get the cards sent out one of these days.
And on the way home today, I finished the shopping for the Christmas pot-luck at work this Friday. Got a couple pounds of shrimp, a couple pounds of andouille, some tomato sauce, and it’s pretty easy to figure out what I’m going to be cooking. Recipe to follow once I’ve figured out little details like whether I’m just making a crock-pot’s worth, or hauling in the 5 gallon pot. Got enough fixin’s to go either way. And that, plus a few links, is going to do it for today.
- Asking the imoportant questions, Engadget wonders Is it “iPod shuffles” or “iPods shuffle”? Good question. [kottke]
- Over in St. Paul, Bars may fight more limits on smoking, saying that if the ban is expanded, they’re preparing to launch a referendum on the issue. And the Hennepin County Board voted today to amend the smoking ban so places that sell more booze than food can allow smoking. No help in Minneapolis, but there’s a bar in St. Anthony going up where the Stone House used to be… [press-patch]
- Here’s a list of Surprising Expiration Dates Dan pointed to. I am surprised. Mostly by how short many of them are. Bar of soap, only three years? Heck, I still have some of mom’s Avon samples that I’m pretty sure I got from her in the 80s. They still lather up just fine, and the scents I didn’t like have mostly gone away. For white rice, they say it’s only good for two years. Pshaw. Still cooks up fine after more than five. [flutterby]
- Bob Barr Says Totalitarian Regime a Danger if USA-PATRIOT is renewed. He’s been wrong about plenty of things, but I sure do like his views in this case. [police state]
- And finally, there’s more updates in the Cory Maye case. Check ’em out over at The Agitator, where among other things, Balko has a good summary, and quotes Churchill (
One of the most important signs of the existence of a democracy is that when there is a knock at the door at 5 in the morning, one is completely certain that it is the milkman.) and Strummer and Jones. I like both of the quotations.
Yep. Both morning and evening posts. Morning below.
- Claire takes a look at the latest uses of the Social Security Number (not to be used for identification, it said on my card), and points out that this is How A Resistance Movement Grows. She doesn’t give very good odds for any resistance actually improving things, though. Sigh. [claire]
- In the Cory Maye case, Balko has More from Prosecutor Buddy McDonald, description and some comments On Announcement of warrants like the one served on Maye, and The Search Warrants. Maye is never listed, but is there was a warrant for
persons unknownat his part of the duplex.
- Meanwhile, Glenn says Haley Barbour, call your office. [instapundit]
- And Kim says Don’t Bother to Knock and proposes some penalties for police who abuse their powers with no-knock raids.
- Researchers are Fighting Beer’s Fouler Flavors and continuing to tease out the chemistry behind unpleasant flavors. Recent work has provided more details about light-induced flavor and revealed an additional age-related flavor. Such work may someday lead to a brew that’s more chemically stable and thus has a stabler flavor, too. [boing boing]
Quick morning update. Perhaps more this evening, too. Guess we’ll see.
- In an experiment this morning, I wrote a quick essay on why I don’t especially like Living in a Valley and how it cuts into the precious hours of daylight. I’ve been playing with TextPattern a bit, but this is the first article published using it. And it’s got comments. Check it out.
That’s what the weekend was. Friday, went out for happy hour and dinner and didn’t get home until well after I should have. Made up for the fun, frivolity and expense (there was plenty of each) by not leaving the house on either Saturday or Sunday. Just hung at home, watched some tube, and slept a lot. The big excitement was Steph stopping by on Saturday morning to pick up some of the food she’s keeping in my freezer while her kitchen’s torn up. Well, unless you count the time spent looking through over a thousand spams that had come in during the week, just to make sure there wasn’t a legitimate email in there (not this week). That’s pretty darned exciting too, right?
Tomorrow, it’s back to the regular grind. My attitude was a lot better by the time I left on Friday, and I just hope it’ll last. I also have a little bit of work to do for my business one of these evenings (plus year-end is coming, and I need to get the books in order for the accountant). Two more weeks to get to the holiday break, and then I’ll have a week off (with plenty of holiday stuff to fill the time). I’m looking forward to it already.
- Update: Cory Maye’s Prosecutor Responds, saying Balko didn’t have all the facts in the case. Well, he’s digging into the records, and we’ll see what happens. He also has some follow-up Questions for Prosecutor McDonald, Prosecutor McDonald’s Answers to My Questions, some comments on Maye’s Representation and some observations on Maye, Self-Defense, and Paramilitary Drug Raids. One thing that’s abundantly clear is that the police will not be sanctioned for taking part in one of these high-risk raids, and are granted every bit of leeway possible, while the homeowner who’s raided is supposed to remain calm through the disorienting explosions of flash-bang grenades, the screaming of ninja-clad maniacs storming into his castle, and somehow discern that these are police officers and not some barbarian horde. [instapundit]
- There’s also an update on John Gilmore’s Appeals Court hearing on airline ID requirement. The good news is that the judges seemed inclined to rule on this case (probably in couple months). But
And a bit I wasn’t aware of:
The bad news is that it seems that the judges just don’t get it on two points that are key to the case: First, the judges seemed to have no recognition of air travel or travel in general as an act of assembly, an activity protected under the First Amendment, or a right protected by Federal law… Second, none of the judges seemed to recognize the distinction between ‘asking for ID’ and ‘requiring the showing of ID’
So Gilmore v. Gonzales actually turns on an illegal search, rather than any sort of privacy right. I did not know that, and I think it makes Gilmore’s case stronger than I had thought before. Cool. [kirsten]
The issue in this case is specifically about the legality of the search embodied in the demand for tangible evidence of identity, and the lack of due process embodied in the secrecy of the ‘rule’ requiring production of ID credentials (whose existence, even today, government counsel would ‘neither confirm nor deny’) and the lack of any publicly-disclosed criteria as to what evidence of identity is sufficient, or how its sufficiency is to be determined.
- Dan has a fine Windows rant. At my new job, I find myself using Windows on a daily basis, and it’s not much fun. Not as many problems as Dan sees, but I’d much rather I didn’t have to deal with Windows. [flutterby]
- Growing demand for biodiesel, fostered in part by misguided people who think it helps the environment, and in part by government policies in the EU is encouraging the most destructive crop on earth. [flutterby]
Getting a late start today, but not for any of the usual reasons. Instead, I know I’ve got a phone-conference that begins late in the afternoon here (though earlier in California), plus when I got home last night, my mailbox was standing open with no mail. I think I’m going to stick around home until the mailman arrives just to see if he knows what’s up with that. There’s one package that’s still supposed to be arriving from amazon.com, and it’s nearly a month overdue at this point (it was supposed to ship on November 16th). I find myself wondering if yesterday was the day it arrived, but suspect it might just have been a no-mail day. But that means I have time to blog while I’m waiting for the mailman to arrive.
As for work, my enthusiasm wanes. I’m engaged in a technical debate with the guy who’s supposed to be handing off information about the project I’m taking over, and we don’t see eye to eye. It’s preventing me from getting moving as fast as I’d like on the project, and frustrating me quite a bit. At this point, I’m just looking to get through today with no major snags, and figuring that maybe I can start with a fresh attitude next week. Wish me well.
- Heard of Cory Maye? Neither had I. Maye is a black man in Mississippi, who was sleeping soundly in his half of a duplex when the police served a no-knock warrant on the next-door neighbor. When the police chief’s son bashed in Maye’s door and charged in, Maye shot and killed him. In spite of no criminal record, and a pretty damned good excuse for fearing for his life, Maye was convicted of murder by a white jury and is sitting on death row. Maye’s name was nowhere on the original warrant, and the police pretty obviously screwed the pooch on this one. There’s more information, including excerpts from the Mississippi State Constitution. Maye’s lawyers seem to have pretty well botched their case, too. It just gets more and more depressing the more I read about it. Welcome to Police State USA. [instapundit]
- Meanwhile, even though Congress is not in Washington, and we should be safe from new, bad laws for a little while, apparently a deal has been reached to extend Patriot Act. Ugh. [kirsten]
- But it’s not all bad news. Deborah Davis goes free: No Charges For Woman Refusing To Show ID To Feds. Woot! The rally this morning will go on as planned. Meanwhile, the hearing in Gilmore v. Gonzales was yesterday. No news yet, and it’ll probably be a while before there is. [endwar]
- And an outspoken Palestinian activist, Ex-Professor Acquitted in Patriot Act Test Case. It’s a setback for the government, who failed to actually prove that he did anytying to support terrorism. [claire]
- In Saints news, long-time second baseman Justin Hall retires. He’ll be missed.
- Hey, here’s a good theory. The Other I.D., where the I stands for
- Finally, today’s Day By Day has me in lust with a cartoon woman. But she bought her guy an assault rifle for Christmas! How cool is that?
Stopped off for buck burgers and a few beers last night, and don’t have much time this morning, so this is definitely sub-standard. Sorry. But I’m into the downhill section of the course here, and I can see the weekend from where I’m at.
- Forbes offers the top Ten reasons to drink during the holidays. Works for me! [fark!]
- In the continuing saga of Sony screwing customers: MediaMax Bug Found; Patch Issued; Patch Suffers from Same Bug. So not only can you not really uninstall their rootkit, the uninstaller actually makes things worse. [boing boing]
- Dan says trackback is dead. Huh. Never even implemented it here in the first case. Is this one of those cases where being behind the curve has put me ahead of the game? [flutterby]
Fresh out of fahrenheits this morning. Overdrawn, even. It was darned chilly out there this morning. This evening, still chilly, and I realize that I’ve gotta tweak the times on the programmable thermostat a little bit. Need a bit of time for the house to warm back up before I get home from work.
Work continues. I finally received my new Mac at work today, and spent most of the day getting it set up. Luckily, I’ve gathered enough information that while I was waiting for the various installers to run, I could put together emails to various folks either asking for more information, or summarizing what I’ve learned so far, and asking for a sanity check. But that doesn’t actually get the work done that I need to get finished by this Friday. I’ve got a good chunk left to do this week, and if blogging is light the rest of the week, that’s why.
- Ooh! Just in time for Christmas, you can Target your co-workers with USB air darts. Under $40 before shipping. Cool toy! [some guy]
- Here’s another one of those lists. But MAKE’s Mostly Under $100 Gift Guide for 2005 has a couple things I’d like to get, especially the High-speed flash photography kit. [instapundit]
- Hey. Sony finally got around to releasing a rootkit uninstaller. Still won’t buy any music from them, but… [boing boing]
- VoWe says Nikon is calling back more EN-EL3 batteries and has the numbers so you don’t have to wade through the gunk on Nikon’s site. [vowe]
- Claire starts by looking at the Montgomery bus boycott, and wonders if she’s going to give in to the ID goons so she can ride in humiliation or start walking in dignity. Interesting question. This is one of the reasons that Gilmore v. Gonzales is important. [claire]
- Had lunch today at Cheng Hang Restaurant 448 University Ave Saint Paul. They’ve got curry chicken that’s nearly identical to what used to be served at the Bayon, except it’s got mushrooms instead of potatoes. Yummarific! And the mid-afternoon curry burps were just as exciting as ever. They also have cheesy foofoos, but I didn’t think to order them. D’Ohh!
Well. Two updates in pretty quick succession. I was all set to head in to work early today, but remembered just as I was about to head out the door that I need to swing by the bank this morning, and they don’t open until 8 am, so I’ve got some time to do an update.
- The Grateful Dead Resurrect Free Downloads after taped live shows were yoinked from archive.org last week. Apparently Bobby and the drummers were behind the takedown. Initially I’d heard it was one of Jerry’s wives. Either way, the band is once again officially okay with having fan-taped music online. So there it is, then. [fark!]
- The Boston Red Sox are suing Doug Mientkiewicz over the ownership rights to the baseball he caught to end the 2004 world series. Sheesh. Yeah, I know the ball’s worth a lot, but that just makes me shake my head over the amount of money some fans have to throw around. Stick the thing in the Hall of Fame and be done with it. [scottk]
- Remember Gator? The spyware company that everyone hated a few years back? They’re now Claria, and Don’t Call It Spyware or they’ll sue you. Now they’re hawking adware and making a on of money at it. Sunday’s UserFriendly has a pretty good summary. [fark!]
- Way back on Tuesday last week, I stopped by Lightworks to pick up my now-repaired lamps. Turns out one of ’em is a Miller Library Lamp, and might actually be worth the money I’m putting into it. Or more. That’s kinda cool. Saturday, I picked up the new glass for the shade, and very soon the third shop involved should be done repairing the metalwork of the shade, and I’ll be able to actually set it up.
- The Pulse has a longish article on Chris Shillock: An Anarchist in Action. Pretty good profile of Tim’s pop. Chris’ website is shillock.com.
- Davezilla has a handy tutorial on How to photograph a cat. I know a couple folks who might find it useful. Or you can just take the Cats in Sinks approach. [davezilla and papascott]
- USA Today says the Dating game changes after 40:
women over 40 aren’t necessarily secure in the dating realm and might not even be sure what they want.I find it interesting that women not being sure what they want is news. [fark!]
I obviously don’t have the new schedule worked out, but it seems like a good time to do another update. It’s Sunday evening, and I’ve finished watching a bunch of things that my TiVo caught for me over the weekend. If I start anything else now, I’ll end up getting to bed late, so it’s time to shut off the tube for the night, and typing this up will get me about to the point where I’m ready to sleep.
I guess it was a pretty good weekend. Friday, I wrapped up the last item on the to-do list my manager had given me for the week, and cut out a little early. Saturday morning, I ran a bunch of errands, swung by the gun show in Stillwater, and drove state highway 95 most of the way up to mom’s. That’s a road which parallels the St. Croix River most up to Taylors Falls before heading inland, and even though it was snowing lightly, the views over the river were pretty cool. I visited with mom for a while, and headed home. Got everything cleaned up for the semi-regular poker game, but we never did get a quorum, so those of us who did show up just hung out and talked and had some beers.
Sunday? A slow day. Aside from installing a bunch of software and losing the pictures I’d taken on Saturday, I didn’t do much at all. Apparently I need to spend some more time to figure out everything about working with Camera Raw. The pictures I lost were probably culls anyhow, but I guess I’ve got a few things left to figure out about the camera. As for the rest of the day, there were a few things I should have done that I just didn’t, but I felt like I needed a day off, so I took it easy. I’ll worry about the list during the week. And that about does it for the weekend.
- A Ruling limits police searches of cars. Last Thursday’s decision says that if you’re pulled over, and a cop smells alcohol on the breath of someone in the car, that’s not cause for a search of the vehicle. So basically, it’s safe to try and be a designated driver again. [press-patch]
- I’m not the only one pissed about sudafed bans. John Varley’s got a good rant about the whole war on drugs. [jwz]
- Dean Barkley is in Search for a sequel in Texas, where he’s working on Kinky Friedman’s 2006 campaign for governor. Interesting politics down there this year, perhaps. [press-patch]
- This Thursday, there will finally be a hearing in the Gilmore v. Gonzales case.
At stake is nothing less than the right for all Americans to travel freely in their own country without ‘papers’.[boing boing]
- Vin asks If a black man is armed, is he a criminal? in the wake of several shootings of off-duty black police officers by fellow officers.
…the problem is not that Providence cops had trouble recognizing an off-duty fellow officer. The problem is that their first instinct when they saw a black man with a gun who was not obviously a police officer, was to shoot him.[endwar]
- A Federal Judge OKs bag searches on NYC subway, saying the imposition is minimal. But the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits searches without probable cause. It doesn’t say anything about how much of an imposition the searches are. It prohibits them. Seems to me that U.S. District Judge Richard Berman committed an impeachable offense. [police state]
Yesterday (thursday) morning on the way to work, I saw a nice photo opportunity from Tony Schmidt Park, on Lake Johanna, so I stopped at the parking lot, trudged through the snow, and you see the result there to the right. I’m reasonably happy with it, though it too a few tries to get the exposure right (this was the best of seven attempts).
It was a pretty good day, too. One of the things I like about having a job out of the house is the fact that I now have a reason to get out around (or before) sunrise. It’s one of my favorite times of the day, even when I have to shovel snow, like I have too many times this week.
On the other hand, heading to work before sunrise, then working a full day (plus a bit to make up for leaving early on Tuesday), driving in the dark to go shopping for an air-cleaner for mom’s bedroom, eating dinner, and then writing this used up pretty much all of my Thursday. It would have been nice to have a little time to watch TV or read a book or just relax. I’m starting to think I might want to switch back to the monday and friday blogging schedule I kept last time I had a job away from home.
- Sometimes Warren gets on a roll. His newest: Statism Not So Fun When You Aren’t In Control. He continues to point out that a bigger government that regulates more may be pretty spiffy while it’s regulating things your way but when the other side takes control, it’s a lot less fun. Remember that any government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it all away. [coyote blog]
- Did you know Congress Nixed Costly Terror Training of a whole new crop of federal Air Marshalls? I didn’t. But hey, it makes me feel much safer! Oh wait. Is that what they intended? [instapundit]
- Jim tells me that there’s unionizing going on in some Starbucks Organizing Campaigns. Yeah, it’s mostly in faraway lands so far, and they are a pretty shitty coffee chain, but it’s interesting that the workers are actually gaining some traction. [jim]
- Glenn wonders if there’s a DVD Second Season for Firefly in the works. Hey Joss, I’d drop $40 to buy a set of DVDs of a second season. [instapundit]
- Some in the media are talking about The Danger of Wikipedia,
when people are allowed to post anything they want anonymously.I just wonder why the guy who was libelled didn’t create an account and fix the page himself. That’s how wikipedia works, dumbass. [fark!]
- This Microsoft Security Advisory basically says that if you’re using IE on Windows, you shouldn’t click any links. Useful! [vowe]
- Do you ever worry about Google’s Empire, Privacy, and Government Access to Personal Data? You know, google keeps track of all the searches that are made. And if you’ve got a static IP address, or a google cookie, they know who you are and can link those searches to you. [schneier]
Well, I’m more than halfway done with my first week on the new job. Still don’t have my computer, but hey, it’s not like they’re an integral part of the work, right? Erm.
But seriously, things aren’t going too badly. I’m still in a bit of shock from not being able to take my usual mid-afternoon nap, and I’m not exactly hip to driving to and from work in the snow before people have figured out that it might be slippery, but overall, I think it’s going pretty well. Yes, there are frustrations, but if it was supposed to be fun, I’d be paying them instead of the other way around, right?
Plus there’s the fact that after work today I decided I needed to swing by the local watering hole for a couple buck burgers and a bit of the old barley-pop. There are very few times when that won’t help my mood.
And that’s going to do it for the update today, kiddies. It’s time for me to finish this up and get some sleep so I can wake up bright and early and shovel the snow that’s falling while I’m typing this off of my sidewalk before heading out to deal with idiots on the road and the computer that still isn’t there. Bonus points if you parsed that sentence on the first try. I blame John Barleycorn.
- A Wisconsin law stops holiday deals . Remember this story whenever some legislator talks about enacting a new law to prevent “anti-competitive pricing”. And also note that it goes both ways. Here in MN, gas stations aren’t allowed to sell gas for less than eight cents (IIRC) per-gallon more than they paid for it. [some guy]
- My friend Eric has a collection of Silly Road Signs that you can buy on postcards or mouse-pads. Neat pictures. Of course I wish he had more of them, but I’m kind of a dick that way. [some guy]
- Wow. The FCC does about-face on à la carte cable, and maybe now the cable companies (and DirecTV and Dish network?) will let me get just the channels I want. Hell, I’d pay an extra $5/month just so I wouldn’t have to skip past the 23 shopping networks that come as part of the
packagethey’re thrusting upon me. [jr]
- I’m not hip to the whole podcasting thing (since it would require connecting my iPod to the computer on a regular basis which seems to require more organization than I can usually muster), but Reed says:
Trucker Tom’s Podcast is a strangely appealing audio diary of an over-the-road trucker, produced while driving in the cab of his 2003 Freightliner. Tom will talk on tech with a depth that may surprise you, but the best parts are when he relates his experiences on the road. Be warned that he’ll occasionally ramble.Sounds like it might be worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing. [reed]
- I don’t know how new it is, but I wish I’d known about roadtrips.com back when I was trying to take a fall vacation. They put together weekend packages to visit sporting events, and seem to have pretty darned good packages for NASCAR races. Maybe next spring… [press-patch]