No pictures yet. When I was heading home from work yesterday, I thought about what was in the fridge and freezer at home, and none of it sounded as good as a plate of nachos from the Sporty, so I stopped off there for dinner. While I didn’t tear the place up by any means, I didn’t figure playing with the computer was the best plan when I got home, so the new hard drive still sits in its box, which means no pictures yet. Maybe tonight.
|Sunrise on downtown|
Okay. One picture. I took this one a week ago today on the way to work. It’s downtown Minneapolis with the sunrise reflecting off it. It’s handheld, and a bit fuzzy as a result, since I was using a 200mm (300mm equivalent) lens and pretty long exposures (this was the shortest at 1⁄100 sec). Of the lot, I think this was the best, and it still took some tweaking in ACR and some pretty harsh cropping in Photoshop. Doing the math, something like a 500mm lens would have allowed me to fill the frame about the way I wanted from up on County C and Hwy 88 where I took this picture. I’m not ecstatic about it, but I guess I could have done a lot worse. And I really like the color of the sunrise reflecting off all that glass downtown. I may have to play with this one some more one of these days when I learn the tools better (and have the space on my drive to play with multiple versions).
- We ended up not going to the annual Schell’s Bock Fest and then it was rated #1 of the Ten Best Beer Experiences around the Twin Cities. The Star Tribune also says Something new is Brewing in the Twin Cities, and it’s all about Surly Brewing. [jim]
- Here are 9 tips for running more productive meetings that sound pretty darned useful. I may have to forward this to a few folks I know… [kottke]
- There’s a bit of good news in the case of United States v. Michael G. New. Mike finally (ten years after his discharge) got his hearing before the US Court of Appeals. It’ll be two to six months before the Court rules. At issue? Mike refused an order to wear an unlawful uniform (a UN blue beret) while serving in Germany in 1995.
- Here’s An act of civil obedience by four (plus) college students who set out trying to get themselves killed by obeying the law. Aside from annoying sound levels (tip: “background” music shouldn’t drown out people), it’s a pretty amusing five minutes. [steveo]
That’s the theme for this morning, both in the blogging and in real life. I’ll start with the easier part. Thanks to Margaret again for suggesting the photowalk on Saturday, and thanks to everyone else for being a generally fun gang of folks to wander around with. I had a ton of fun, and it was just the kind of thing I need to do more often. My pictures are still sitting in the camera though, since I got home and realized that having nearly a full gig of pictures in the camera, and less than 2 gigs available on my hard drive would make things uncomfortably tight. Combine that with weary feet from spending a few hours walking around downtown, and Saturday evening saw very little in the way of productivity.
Which brings me to Sunday. I woke up and hung in the 24 hours of TV chatroom for a while, then headed out to MicroCenter to buy a new hard drive for the computer. It’s still sitting on the dining room table, since rather than plopping it right into the computer when I got home, I logged back into the chat room to cheer the guys on to the end. When that was done, I felt as though I’d had enough computer, and plopped down in front of the TV for the remainder of the day.
All of which means that this morning I need to spend time sorting and paying the bills I was going to pay over the weekend and didn’t. Then it’s off to work for the day, and hopefully take some time this evening to get the new hard drive installed so I can start pulling in the pictures from Saturday. Plus all the pictures from earlier in the month.
- Midwest Oil got fined because some Left-thinking silliness tries to set a floor on the price of gasoline in Minnesota. People gripe about high gas prices, and yet when a company is trying to sell gasoline
too cheaply, they get fined.
- Latest to hop on the surveillance bandwagon: St. Paul police want you to Say cheese now. Sigh. [press-patch]
- On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council Reject[ed a] Publicly Owned Wi-Fi System, plowing ahead with the privately owned and operated system. I’m still upset that they never even looked at a system run by the city, and I have the sinking feeling this is going to end up being another case where the vendor will start out all nice and friendly and will be screwing consumers city-wide within a couple years.
- By the time you read this, 24 Hours of TV will be done. But the transcripts survive, and you can go back and view all the gory details. There was no late-night car-wreck, just a solid chunk of TV. And as they said about eightteen hours in
You’re not doing this for the money? What the hell are you doing this for?is a pretty good motto. I hung out in the chat-room starting about about hour seventeen, and the guys were less loopy than I expected. [scottk]
- Was the Washington Post Caught in Metadata Gaffe? Sure sounds like it. [photoshop news]
- Huh! Pluto has more moons. Two more, even if they are little. Neat, I guess. [scottk]
So far this year, it seems Fridays have been split about evenly between looking forward to some weekend plan and being glad to be done with the work-week and ready to just spend the weekend sleeping. Today is both. A snarky comment yesterday led to tension in the workplace, and I find myself thinking that I’m happiest when I can just sit back and program, without having to deal with other people. On the other hand, I’m looking forward both to meeting some friends for dinner this evening and to meeting some new folks on the spontaneous walkabout tomorrow, and really hope the weather will be decent.
The one other thing that’s been rattling around in my skull is that I want to take a vacation soon. Not necessarily some grand trip overseas, but a week or so of getting out of town and away from everyday life. I wonder if I can put together some sort of spring-training trip, perhaps. Sounds like a good thing to investigate on Sunday.
- There’s just a little more than 24 hours until 24 Hours of TV begins. Are you all a-twitter with excitement? I’ll be checking in at some point.
- Will talks about The Phantom Menace that has the movie companies suing DVD player manufacturers. He figures it’s a warning shot for the next generation of players. [vodkapundit]
- Turns out Congress is Making a Meth of the PATRIOT Act and
mission creep will turn runny noses and lobster fishing into terrorist acts.Will I end up being a terrist for wanting my sudafed come allergy season? [instapundit]
- A new service, Flyspy Brings The New Web To Airline Ticketing. The description makes it sound pretty damned cool, and I wish it was live now. Kottke has more, including some alternate ideas. [kottke]
- Dori says February Ain’t Short Enough, and while there haven’t been any deaths or even close calls around here, I have to agree. I’m ready for February to be done. [backup brain]
- It’s not all that often that I’m happy with things I wrote six years ago, but as I deal with the various headaches in trying to turn my current contract into a full-time job, I really like the Feedback on Programmer Compensation I gave to Joel Spolsky back in 2000.
I was sure today was going to be one of those
I’m lame and have no links for you days, but it turns out there’s a few things to point to out there after all.
Yesterday was one of those ball-crushing kind of days at work. Wednesdays usually are, since I generally have four hours of meetings scheduled on Wednesdays. And even though two of them were cancelled, I still felt like a vise was being applied to parts of me that don’t appreciate that sort of treatment. The worst part was that much of it was self-inflicted. I thought I’d had a pretty good morning, but one of my changes started crashing the application. And the debugger. Ugh. At least this will be one of seven-hundred-thousand google hits for crash and debugger, so I’m not exactly alone in my pain.
Anyway, it turns out I didn’t understand the ownership policies on one of the objects I was working with and was deleting it. When the OS helpfully deleted it again for me, things went south in a hurry. All the memory-protection in the world doesn’t help when you’re a complete idiot. Found the problem and band-aided it just before the day-ending meeting, and I know how to fix it correctly after letting my subconscious chew on the problem overnight (and screw up my dreams), but I still have the feeling that it all would have been a lot simpler if I’d just stayed in bed yesterday.
- I often feel We’re losing in the government game, but Jim Bovard says it better than I do. The key is being skeptical. A politician is offering you some great new handout? What’s the price going to be? [claire]
- I’m with Warren on this one. My biggest Olympics Question is why the hell they’re giving out CD-ROMs instead of medals this year. Is it because AOL quit sending out a dozen every month? [coyote blog]
- The New York Institute of Photography has correspondence courses in photography (but a website that hurts to look at) and dg28.com has a bunch of information online.
- Check out Open Usability, which aims to connect usability experts who want to help with open source software projects. Got the link from esr’s The Luxury of Ignorance and its followup, which are pretty darned good essays.
- Bruce Schneier has Proof that Employees Don’t Care About Security, but the bigger problem is that none of the desktop OSes out there make it easy to keep security in mind. Hey, isn’t that a usability problem? Maybe we need to put Jakob Nielsen on the job. [schneier]
I hadn’t realized until this morning that I had such a backlog of links built up, but then I found there was a story about something that happend a full week ago waiting for me in the queue. Oops. So the plan is to blow out the cobwebs today. More links than I normally would have posted, and probably tomorrow I’ll have nothing, but at least we’re now all up to date again, right?
Got a new computer at work yesterday. It was a
pre-configured system that the IT guys had set up for me. So I guess I should be grateful that it only took until 5pm to get it up and running correctly, right? Have I mentioned that I really don’t like Windows®? Oh well, at least it’s good to go this morning before I have to start the four hours of meetings that have been scheduled for me today.
- An article which argues that The Myth Of The Rule Of Law is both powerful and dangerous, and those who believe in the myth are engaged in double-think. I’m not sure I agree with the conclusion that
The time has come for those committed to individual liberty to realize that the establishment of a truly free society requires the abandonment of the myth of the rule of law.But it’s worth pondering. [flutterby]
- It appears the Patriot Act [is] headed for permanent renewal.
The outcome here is absolutely predetermined,Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said late [last] Wednesday.
It’s going to pass with overwhelming support.Only Russ Feingold is saying no (again), and he’s got no support from anyone else in the Senate. I’d say it’s time to write your senators, but it appears they’re all already bought and paid for. [endwar]
- The Press-Patch has rules for their peeps dioramas contest, and note that the deadline is midnight, April 3. Is it time to start planning already? [press-patch]
- Discount Video, a Mecca for movie fans [is] fading from the scene. If you’re looking for a hard-to-find video, they might well be the place to check. They even have listings of all their movies on their website so you can check without leaving the comfort of your home. They haven’t announced their going-out-of-business sale yet, but apparently it’ll be soon. [press-patch]
- Apparently this past weekend, The Weekend that Time Forgot was a training session for 24 hours of TV. Cool. Pitchers, catchers and couch-potatoes reported. [scottk]
- Instead of watching TV next weekend, I’m planning to walk around downtown while Margaret tries out her new baby. Of course it’s entirely dependent on the weather, and the TV forecasts are making predicting dire predictions of below-zero nights, and highs only in the teens. I dunno. I guess I’ll decide sometime Saturday morning.
- Scott’s got an interesting story: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit vs. Al Michaels. Which is more valuable, an 80-year old cartoon, or a sports-caster? Well, if you’re Disney, apparently the cartoon wins. [scottk]
It was two weeks ago today I did a set of links all about photography. Well, it appears that I’ve piled up a bunch more for today. It’s interesting. I’ve been reading and thinking about taking pictures a lot lately, but I haven’t been much with the doing. I think the problem is that I don’t take good pictures unless I have time to wander around and slow my brain down, and that time has been in short supply lately. Plus the weather hasn’t been especially conducive to long walks around outside.
So anyway, here’s a raft of links. And if the weather coöperates this weekend, I’ll probably be out and about and have some pictures to show y’all. Which might also prompt me to update the software on my server that serves up the pictures. Or at least get it back on the to-do list.
- Looking for a Nude Calendar? There’s a lot of folks out there making ’em, apparently. [kottke]
- Many people online are effectively saying: Here I Am Taking My Own Picture. The NYT takes a look at how the younger crowd is much more likely to have more pictures of themselves online. [photoshop news]
- Rob over at Cockeyed is putting together a Height / Weight chart with Photographs. If you feel like contributing a photo, especially if you’re an outlier, I’m sure he’d appreciate it. [kottke]
- I’ve learned an interesting photography term recently: Bokeh. I’ve also talked with people at work, and have some ideas about how to fix pictures taken with a lens with bad bokeh. [holy schmoly]
- I find myself interested in HDTR: High Dynamic Time Range Images, too. But I realize that I’ll never find the time to experiment with them. But maybe I’ll get a chance to play with High Dynamic Range.
- The Flickr: Foodography Dairy group and the older Foodography 1: Oranges aren’t the only fruit groups have some interesting pictures of food. No need to wander around in the cold for those.
- Finally, here’s a toy I was pointed to: the Face transformer image upload theoretically lets you morph faces around. Haven’t had time to play with it, but maybe a reader will clue me in?
Some people have a holiday today. Like my bank. And the Post Office. Guess that means there’s little point it trying to pay the bills this morning, since they’d just sit here stampless until tomorrow anyhow. Other than that, it’s a pretty normal Monday following a pretty normal weekend.
The recap? Well, the blizzard threatened last week never hit here. The weekend weather was cold, and staying home seemed preferable to going out in the cold. Had a decent time taking mom out shopping and to the bar on Saturday, but I’m starting to see signs of the end of such outings. Plans to go down to the antique show fell through, which meant I didn’t stop by the gun show that was also at the convention center. On Sunday, Elliott Sadler finished highest in the NASCAR pool at work, which puts me in first place, but I’m kicking myself over not picking Jimmie Johnson. Pitchers and catchers reported, which excites me less than I think it should. And late Sunday evening, a canvasser for Sister’s Camelot stopped by. I’d almost forgotten about them, so it was good they had someone out. And that’s pretty much the weekend.
At work, it looks like this could be a productive week. I’ve gotten everything I need from others on the team, and now I can just plow on ahead with the stuff I’m supposed to be doing. That should keep me busy for the next few weeks, which is good.
- Are Minneapolis bars Ignoring [the] Smoking Ban? Well, apparently at least some of them are. [jim]
- The Minneapolis and St. Paul mayors say they are going to fight any attempt to repeal St. Paul’s tougher smoking ban. [press-patch]
- A Minneapolis City Council Panel Approves ‘A’ Mill Project, almost clearing the way. There’s only a few more hurdles for the project to clear.
- The weblog is up: 24 Hours of TV now has an official home. They’re still working on sponsorship, but the plan is definitely on for this coming weekend. [scottk]
- A Chinese theme-park made from a Soviet-era carrier goes under the hammer and sickle. Bidding is expected to start around $16 million. Hmmm, I wonder how my credit-rating is doing… [fark!]
- Have you ever wondered How do I whistle with my fingers in my mouth really loudly (or at all)? Well, there’s an answer for you now. [fark!]
- Well, there’s a tiny bit of justice: Sony BMG Names New CEO to Replace Lack, who got demoted to chairman of the board for his role in deploying millions of copies of malware on what were supposed to be music CDs. [boing boing]
- I didn’t know about Apple’s ode to hackers, but that’s pretty cool. [endwar]
Overslept this morning, so there’s no time to do the surfing needed to gather the links for the day. Perhaps this evening.
There were fearful forecasts of a blizzard. I don’t know. Nothing out there when I woke up. Supposedly it’s going to hit about 10am, but depending on which forecast you look at, it might peter out in the southern ’burbs. I wouldn’t mind some snow, but it’s far enough into winter that I’m not very excited about it, either.
Had dinner last night at Masa with the reconstituted dinner club. It was a pretty good experience. The food was good but not great (I had the Pollo con Mole, and while it was tasty, the dark meat portion of the chicken was slightly undercooked). But our waitress (Andy) was attentive and cute and that never hurts.
Our group of ten spent about $400, so it wasn’t a cheap night (even though I suspect we under-tipped as a table). The company was interesting, since there were a lot of new faces, and it was a darned good evening. One of the interesting things was that I was the only one of the gang to pay with cash. Everyone else used checks or credit cards. Huh! I guess I’m a weirdo. Yeah, that’s a complete shock, I know.
- Balko takes a look at The Latest Trend in Policing. In the 80s, SWAT teams were called out about 3000 times per year in the whole US. Now, it’s over 40,000 times per year, and many callouts are to serve warrants on non-violent offenders (gamblers are the latest target). What’s the difference between a militarized police force and a standing army? [police state]
- Dan said: National Security: The Attack on the Constitution was a must-read. I have to agree. [flutterby]
- The FBI promised in 1994 not to track you through your cell phone. Turns out they lied. But hey, it’ll protect us from the terrists, right? [fark!]
- Hmm. Now the RIAA Says Ripping CDs to Your iPod is NOT Fair Use. Ditto for making a backup copy. And why would I want to buy new music if those are the rules? [boing boing]
Life continues. Yesterday was a mixed bag. Got a call in the morning about more insurance stuff for mom. There wasn’t going to be time for the forms to travel in the mail, so we had to play some fax-tag with them. But everything’s in the right hands now, and theoretically the problem is solved. I think I’ve figured out where it all went wrong, too. The plan mom was in is the one that was the default, and sometime last year, I got a letter saying
If you don’t do anything, you’ll end up in this plan. Since it was the plan we wanted, I went with my strength and did nothing. But then the county had no paperwork in hand, so things got confused… Anyway, enough about that.
The rest of the day was ups and downs. I was pretty productive again, but I’ve got a number of tasks in which I need feedback from someone else on my team. Unfortunately after they were out at the conference all last week, they’re getting sick this week and I still haven’t gotten the responses I need. So I’m rapidly running out of things I can do without risking heading off in a wrong direction. I left from work a little early as a result. Today I have four meetings scheduled, and I’m torn. Normally I wouldn’t want to spend half the working day in meetings, but I need some answers, so I’m actually hoping for none of the meetings to be cancelled. Wish me luck?
- Scientists are making ball lightning in the lab. Cool. I think they should have taken the picture with white lab-coats, though. [boing boing]
- Here’s a cool little idea: LED Throwies. Colorful nighttime art! Anyone local want to go in on a batch of supplies? [boing boing]
- This movie: Supersize Me! (with Whiskey!) looks like just a plain bad idea. Thirty days of nothing but whiskey? Heck, you’ve gotta mix in some Guinness to balance out the diet. I’m not surprised he had trouble carrying the experiment to completion. [jim]
- Scott’s going to watch 24 Hours of TV with Mark the Red on Saturday February 25th and Sunday the 26th. The catch? They’re going to switch channels every fifteen minutes. It’ll be live-blogged, and they’ll be telling their channel selections via AIM. Sounds like an interesting experiment. Update: They have an official website now. [scottk]
- Over on Flickr, The HDR Pool has pictures “developed” with the High Dynamic Range feature in Photoshop CS2. There are some pretty cool pictures and also some very obviously “fake” ones. [boing boing]
- Finally, I think you need to listen to this “the Indigo” cover that Steveo’s graciously posted. It took me a while to recognize it, at which point I just sat there with a grin for the remaining couple minutes of the song. More about the Indigo on WikiPedia or from their official site. I’ve already requested the albums in the iTunes Store. [steveo]
Yesterday was not the day I was hoping for when I woke up. Got to work about the usual time, and started trying to work. But I had to deal with multiple government offices once they opened for the day to deal with mom’s Medicare Part D coverage, which had been helpfully cancelled by someone (it’s still not clear exactly what happened) after we’d gotten it set up back in December. The phone calls rapidly turned up the frustration level to the point that I gave up on getting any work done and took personal time for the rest of the day. I came home and spent all afternoon playing phone-tag, and finally got things resolved about 4pm. Well, kinda resolved. At least the right forms are supposed to be in the mail to me, and it should all be sorted out for March. Ugh. And even that wouldn’t have happened without the great gal at the Senior LinkAge Line® who guided me through the process and spent almost two hours on the phone with me, making something like eight different three-way calls.
As I mentioned yesterday, I don’t have any plans for today. I’m probably going to try and work an extra hour or two to make up for being out all yesterday afternoon. Pretty romantic, eh?
And in a bit of followup, multiple readers pointed out to me that DFL stands for “Dead F***in’ Last”. Thanks for the help. I had a mental block because I kept thinking of Minnesota’s Democrat-Farmer-Labor party, and couldn’t figure out what in the world they had to do with the Olympics.
- iMockery has a new crop of Valentine’s Day cards for your loved ones! for 2006. Enjoy! [fark!]
- Nobody to help drown your sorrows tonight, and you don’t feel like drinking alone? Pop in the Drinking with Steve DVD, and you’ve got an instant drinking buddy. A little light on the interaction, but what the hell, you’ve got booze.
- Just remember that there are new fines for parties in Minneapolis. Don’t get too loud. [daily]
- The Song Tapper lets you
Search for music by tapping the rhythm of the song’s melody.Handy? I dunno. I haven’t actually tried it, so it might even be a scam. [kottke]
- And speaking of music, the ELP Laser Turntable plays vinyl records without a needle. Awfully cool, and I remember when Popular Science told me sometime in the mid-70s that this sort of thing was coming. They weren’t predicting a $15,000 purchase-price, though. Still, if you’ve got a huge collection of vinyl, and too much money… [boing boing]
St. Valentine’s Day Eve. Strikes fear into the heart of many guys:
Oh Crap! Is it that time of year already? Me? No worries this year. Nobody to make plans with, and no real urge to make any plans. I could go out and hang out with the bitter singles somewhere, but I suspect that since tomorrow’s a “school night,” I’ll just stay home. Oh, and get my hair cut. For some reason it was pretty easy to come by an appointment tomorrow evening.
The weekend? Pretty quiet. I didn’t leave the house, and liked it. Felt a little bad that I’d missed the flickr meetup on Saturday and the Paintings on a Sunday gathering on (surprisingly enough) Sunday, but not so bad that it got me out of the house. The only excitement, if you want to call it that, was a set of three phone calls to my cell-phone at 1:30 AM on Sunday morning. Since the phone was in the charger, it was close enough to my sleeping body to wake me up. Grr. I wish there was a way to flag numbers (or calls with no caller ID) so the phone wouldn’t ring at all. Let it blink lights or whatever, but I don’t want to hear the rings from the people who are calling for Hussein any more. Heck, I’d even be happy with the phone being smart enough to shut off the ringer during certain hours. That’s just not the kind of thing I think of when plopping it in the charger before going to bed.
- A website called DFL (no, I don’t know what the acronym means) is covering the last place finisher in all the Olympic games this year. I like the idea. [scripting]
- Here’s a neat idea on the web: stuff and me is a Minneapolis guy who takes pictures of himself with stuff. Cheap advertising. [vowe]
- Think you might be homeless soon? Or going on a camping trip? This website that tells you how to Construct a Cardboard Geodesic Dome That Will Survive Burning Man and the Black Rock Desert might prove useful. They say 3-4 hours to put one up, but there’s actually a lot of construction to do ahead of time. Still, it’s pretty darned cool. [boing boing]
- Harpers has an excellent article on The Great American Pork Barrel and how we got to the point where there are no restraints on spending at all in DC. [instapundit]
- Tom Coburn’s got an article in the Wall Street Journal in which he asks other lawmakers to Just Say No to Earmarks. [instapundit]
- Who would take a Bad Neighborhood approach to the problem of pork in Congress? Yes, a “broken windows” approach would work, and the Executive Branch is in charge of policing, but do they have the political will to do anything about the problem? The best quote:
It’s like housebreaking a puppy: If you don’t discipline him the second he does something wrong, it doesn’t work.Here’s hoping someone will take a rolled-up newspaper to some noses. [instapundit]
One of the things I’ve noticed about having the office virtually to myself this week is that it’s tough to stick around if I’m not actively working on something. I’ve stalled twice during the week, waiting on an email from someone else, and both afternoons that happened, I finally gave up and headed home early. It didn’t hurt that the snow yesterday was looking like it would completely snarl rush-hour, either. So now that leaves me with a Friday where I’m still waiting on one email (maybe it’ll be there this morning, but I’m not hopeful) and I’m a couple hours short of my allotment. And there’s supposed to be more snow today, which means shovelling a bit before going to work, and again when I get home. Somehow I suspect I’m going to come up short on the forty hours for this week.
- A good profile of a Riverboat captain has the Mississippi in his soul. Bill Powell is the guy behind the Padelford excursion boats that run in the Twin Cities. If I get any out-of-town visitors in the summer, I try to find a way to get ’em onto one of the boats. It’s a cool way to see the Twin Cities. [press-patch]
- In a reversal, FCC now sees a la carte pay TV cutting prices. Apparently there were flaws in the 2004 study. [fark!]
- They’ve just started filming, but I’m already sure I’ll see They Call Me Bruce when it comes out.
B Movie Legend Bruce Campbell is mistaken for his character Ash from the Evil Dead trilogy and forced to fight real monsters in a small town in Orgeon.How could it go wrong? [fark!]
- Remember BattleChess? Lovechess, the adult Chess Game & Art of Love erotic art is similar, but with more um, grappling. Windows-only, sadly. [flutterby]
- Yesterday morning, I spent the drive to work thinking about sunrises. They can be awfully pretty if you stop to enjoy ’em.
- This week’s Photo Friday challenge is blur. Not sure if I’ll participate, but I’ll probably think about it a bit before I go looking at the other entries sometime this weekend.
Of the week. Of one project I’m working on. Of my “reader’s block” in finding new links for you. Whatever. It’s Thursday, and I can see the weekend, complete with much lounging about on the couch and perhaps a session of percussive therapy from here. Sure there’s still today and tomorrow to be gotten through at work, but today is the last day of the all-company conference I wasn’t invited to in California, so everyone will pretty much continue leaving me alone, and tomorrow they’ll all be in airplanes or whatever, and again, I’ll have a quiet day.
Unfortunately, at least one of the projects I’m working on there has stalled. I need some answers from a guy who was supposed to make fifteen minutes for me this week, but couldn’t even do that, so a full week of delay has been put into that pipeline. I’m not bitter or anything, but it does make it a little harder to get excited about that particular project.
- According to Porkbusters, there are Appropriations Leaks, AP Listens and will have a story soon. [instapundit]
- If only there were such a thing as The Politicians’ Rulebook. Oh wait … isn’t that what the Constitution is for? [claire]
- I wrote a mini-rant yesterday: IMHO, TLAs are a PITA.
- Some new contact lenses from Nike and Bausch & Lomb promise Sharper Image, Better Performance. The only downside, if you want to call it that (and I wouldn’t), is that they make your eyes look spooky. [jwz]
- The New York’s attorney general’s Payola probe targets radio giants. Apparently it’s been going on since the mid-90s. Well, that would certainly explain the suckitude that assaults my ears on the rare times I turn on the radio. [press-patch]
- A friend pointed me to a story about the Campaign to seize US judge’s home, but sadly, N.H. Town Rejects Plan to Evict Souter, so it’s already over. I never figured the Lost Liberty Hotel would have much of a chance, but it was a fun side-show while it lasted. [claire]
I continue to find nothing of note in the morning, so I’m about out of links. I’m also running late this morning. Sometimes more sleep is a very good thing.
- There’s new beer in town. Surly Brewing, a brand spanking new micro-brewery has shipped their first kegs. You can find “Bender” at Solera downtown and “Furious” at Cafe Twenty Eight in Linden Hills. More bars soon including the Half Time Rec last weekend. [jim]
- Wow. This Cook Industries outdoor kitchen is about the ultimate tailgating setup. Only $3995.00, complete with the kitchen sink. [boing boing]
Maybe I’m not in such good shape for the week after all. This morning’s reading produced exactly nothing I wanted to link to, so I guess it’s a good thing I had stocked up over the weekend. This set of links is all about photography.
Work is odd this week. From our office of 40-some people, all but five are out in California for a conference. It’s pretty odd having things that quiet, especially since one of the guys is on the late schedule, and we only overlap by about an hour. On the other hand, the remaining population is two gals and three guys, so it doesn’t feel like the usual sausage-fest around the office. Plus because there’s none of the usual lunch-crowd around, I’m taking quick lunches and getting home earlier. Gotta like that.
- Did you know you can get your digital camera converted so you can do Infrared with a DSLR? I didn’t know there was a company that specialized in that, but there is. Now I just need another $1200 for a second camera body and the conversion. [PhotoshopNews]
- Here’s a spiffy toy: PhotoVu Announces World’s Most Powerful Wireless Digital Picture Frame. About a grand for a 19″ diagonal frame.
- Or is your toy budget even larger? Got a spare 30k? get a Hasselblad H2D-39 39 Megapixel Camera.
- Here are Kodak’s Top 10 Tips for Great Pictures are generally useful. These Adventures In Travel Photography include tips for taking pictures when you travel and these Tips for Portrait Photography help with taking pictures of people. [holy schmoly]
- Here are some Recipes for Channel Mixer to convert color pictures to black and white emulating the look provided by various different black and white films. I even got to refer to this in an email thread at work yesterday.
The weekend was one that felt both long and short at the same time. I cut out of work a bit early on Friday, having wrapped up most of the tasks I was working on, and not wanting to dive into anything substantial with only a few hours left in the week. Plus I was feeling a bit run-down, and figured that a quiet evening at home wouldn’t hurt at all, so that’s exactly what I had.
Saturday saw some errands and then the monthly poker gathering. We managed to get a quorum, but found out that the game conflicts with Surf Night at the Hexagon, which meant a few arrivals were late and drunk. I ended up talking and drinking with one of the attendees until after sunrise, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t the best plan in the world. Slept until mid-afternoon on Sunday, and watched some more TV before getting back onto the normal schedule again for the work-week.
I still feel as though I’m living on the edge of having a cold. I’m not exactly sick, but I’m not feeling 100%, either. At this point, I almost wish I would get sick so I could get healthy again, but that doesn’t appear to be in the cards.
And I think that’s going to do it for today. I hear there was some football game over the weekend, but hadn’t heard the result until I read Dave Winer this morning. It feels odd to get my sports news from Dave. I’ve got a fair number of links piled up from the time spent on the couch surfing the web Friday evening and yesterday, so the week’s blogging looks like it should go well. Heck, I may even find time to do some other work on the site, but I’m not going to promise anything, since that would probably doom any such project. Have a good week!
- Three more calls from the 255 country code on Friday. I wonder if maybe they’re using Spoofcom to fake the caller ID information. No calls over the weekend, though. [police state]
- Maybe only a few of my readers will enjoy My Name Is Yu Ming, but it’s a pretty damned funny film. See, this Chinese guy wants to move to Ireland, so he spends six months studying Irish…
Who knew old Paddy could speak Chinese?And don’t worry about not understanding — the Irish (and Chinese) is subtitled with English. [holy schmoly]
- A “conservative” Group airs ad during ‘24,’ hoping to influence Patriot Act debate, trying to scare people about what might happen if USA-PATRIOT is weakened. What, maybe Jack Bauer will come over and threaten to cut my eyes out? [fark!]
- If you go out drinking in the evening, are you driving to work with a Breakfast Buzz? I remember the time during my brief career driving schoolbuses when one of the guys got tagged with a DWI after his morning routes (about 10am or so). The only really surprising thing about it was that he was stupid enough to do something to cause the cops to pull him over. He wasn’t the only one showing up to work at 5:30 in the morning after having left the bars at 1:15. [fark!]
- This cartoon captioned Okay, we get it. You win. made me laugh. It’s not the normal Alien Loves Predator fare, but I’m pretty sure it was a good departure. [accordionguy]
- Covered in Oil reviewed the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. I guess it’s just as well I didn’t visit it when I was up in Accordion City. [colby cosh]
I knew I should have saved more stuff for today. Ah well, it’s the end of the week, and I’m not only running out of links, I’m running out of steam, and think I’m coming down with yet another cold. It’s nice having people around to talk to at work, but most of them have kids, and are continually hauling in one infection after another. In previous winters, my strategy was to hibernate at home when people were spreading illness, but I don’t have that luxury this year.
Yesterday felt super-productive at work until about 4pm, when the network completely shit the bed. Since I was in the middle of trying to write an email in Outlook (if I don’t use that, I don’t get information about meetings I’m supposed to be at), which kept trying to check the network and giving me the hourglass. After about a half-hour of frustration, I gave up and called it a day. This morning, I’m wishing I’d stuck around work a little longer, since I was also building a “private build” for a tester, and need to go in today to post it to the server. If I’d gotten that done before leaving yesterday, I think I might just stay home and in bed today. But instead, I’m going to head in, and keep telling myself that when it comes to germs, ’tis better to give than receive.
- Balko’s got a Cory Maye Document Dump. I haven’t had time to track the case as closely as I’d like, but it’s sounding as though there was an awful lot fishy about the first trial. [instapundit]
- The Wired feature I Spy tells the story of Ted Molczan and others who track spy satellites on Heavens Above. They’re not political, just geeks who like to watch things that are normally “hidden”, and do a pretty darned good job keeping track of new birds. The NRO, naturally isn’t especially happy about this, and keeps improving the stealth capability of their birds, but the large network of amateurs has found all but a couple. [instapundit]
- Concerned about all the spying? Wonder What Can The NSA Do? The article helps explain what their capabilities are, and it’s kinda spooky. The Militant Libertarian has his own take. [schneier and endwar]
Time to dump some of the funnier and lighter links. Usually I do this on Fridays, but I guess this week Friday comes early.
- I’ve had some weird calls on my cellphone lately. They’re all calling for Hussein, and coming from 255-743-XXXXXX or 952-217-XXXX or an UNKNOWN and finally a BLOCKED number. The 952 number is local, but the one starting with 255 has a country code for Tanzania with way more digits than I would expect. The most recent round of calls were at 5am yesterday morning. The thing that bugs me the most is that these people don’t seem to understand the concept of
wrong numberand call back a half-dozen times each. Not sure what I can do about it, but I calling Sprint yesterday morning was completely unsatisfying. Maybe I need to learn Arabic for
Wrong fargin number, camel-breath.It’s not that I bear these people any particular ill-will, but I sure would like Hussein to quit giving out my number.
- I forgot to mention that Monday night’s dinner with the boss was at Barley John’s Brew Pub. Good food, and good beer. Not cheap, and the decor was nothing special, but if it were a little closer to home, there’s a good chance it would become a regular stopping point.
- Simon Gerber takes a look at Switching to Windows: Not as easy as you think. That would be the understatement of the year from my perspective. It appears that Petzold’s book is the one I need to learn the programming side of the equation. As for the user-interface… I don’t think I’ll ever be comfortable there.
- A neat little article on Smoking out photo hoaxes with software. This sort of thing is more interesting to me lately and gets discussed around the workplace every now and again.
- I’m not exactly sure why, but when I heard that Western Union Stops Sending Telegrams, it made me a little sad. [kottke]
- It’s not often that Steveo agrees with President Bush, but they both seem to be in favor of Fursecution. But when Bush was talking about the sanctity of human life, I was reminded of the plight of the rippers in Tank Girl, and suddenly I’m not so sure I agree with either of them. [steveo]
- Cory talks about Black sf writers and white sf, but completely fails to mention Steven Barnes, who’s written a book or two and blogs about a bunch of things, including writing about race. [boing boing]
In spite of the title, I have very little to say about the State of the Union speech last night. It was about what I expected, and my expectations were pretty low. I got pretty tired of Bush’s smirk by the end of the speech, but self-medicating with a bit of bourbon helped.
- Arlen Spector is pushing a New Patriot Act Provision [which] Creates Tighter Barrier to Officials at Public Events. Basically it means that instead of the Secret Service protecting a human at some event, they’ll be allowed to
protect the event, so they can arrest protesters even after the big-wig has left. Hmm. Let me see ….
Congress shall make no law respecting … the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.[fark!]
- Warren’s been busy. Regulation and Choice talks about the regulation state and why toilets are regulated. Speaking of the regulation state, he says Not to Know it is to Love it which makes a lot of sense. Hey, more regulations are no big deal until you have to deal with them personally. [coyote blog]
- Next, Warren cuts loose on Progressive Hypocracy. While there are cases where progressives and libertarians are natural allies, there are a lot of progressives who project that
we are smarter than you are and sometimes will tell you what to do because it is for your own goodvibe. I immediately thought of Larry Pogemiller and Phyllis Kahn, my state legislators, who are holding a
town meetingfrom 1 to 3 this coming Saturday at Van Cleve Park. I’ve been trying to decide whether I’m going to go or not, but I worry that if I do, it will be too easy to get sidetracked by specifics (such as the Sudafed ban), rather than dealing with their certainty that they’re smart enough to decide how I should live. [coyote blog]
- Steve Green takes a look at that
natural alliancebetween the Democrats and libertarians and asks What Do You Do With a Broken Party? and has some Late Night Rambling about what’s wrong with the Democrats. [vodkapundit]
- Will our 2006 gubernatorial election be an interesting one? Well, perhaps a bit less so than people thought: ‘Vampyre’ candidate is jailed on warrants from Indiana. And a while back his wife got fired from her job (probably illegally) because of the publicity he’s attracted. Seems to me he was a guy who might have been better off keeping his head down. [press-patch]
- Matt Welch’s cup runneth over with annoyance over having
folded like a cheap tentwhen faced with a piss-test on his new job at the LA Times. Claire thinks he showed some spine by writing about it, but I’m not convinced. And I’ll miss him at the helm of Reason. [claire]
- Don’t read The Libertarian’s Legitimate Litmus Lessons if you’re easily offended. But damn, it’s funny if you get all the in-jokes. [endwar]
- Finally, the article Whose Land Is It? takes a look at eminent domain in St. Paul. [press-patch]