Another page on the calendar flips, as we put November into the history books. Pretty good month around here, I guess. Yeah, just about everyone I know was sick at some point in the month, including me. But the weather was warmer than normal, which makes me feel as though we got to skip a month of winter. Plus I had a pretty darned good weekend, and got a bunch of things done around the house.
On the construction front, all the materials needed are now in town except for the granite vanity top, which should be ready in a week (I hope), and it looks like we’re in good shape so far. But then today is when things really get moving, so any unpleasant surprises will likely pop up this week. Wish me luck!
- When I heard that Google teams up with TiVo to give advertisers a clearer picture my initial reaction was that I’d be dumping my TiVo. After a little more thought, I’m going to take more of a wait and see approach, but Google’s move into TV advertising still gives me pause. Google, in spite of the
Don’t Be Evilslogan, is getting big enough that if there is any inclination to evil, it will be a very big bad. [boing boing]
- A look at The Economics of Pinball explains why pinball died. Which is sad, really. I liked Black Knight and High Speed both, but my favorite was, and still is, Eight Ball Deluxe, followed closely by Nine Ball. [boing boing]
- Very good: Bohemian Rhapsody as done by the Muppets.
- Late last week, while wanting to tackle nothing new at work, I stumbled into a fun tech blog Proper Fixation, especially Extreme Programming Explained
As if the holiday season wasn’t busy enough, I’ve decided to remodel the bathroom at my house between now and Christmas. All the fixtures have been purchased, and today I’m going to look at some tile. Should be quite an adventure.
And switching gears onto a totally different subject, I’ve been thinking about the Ratliff article linked below, and I’ve got a few thoughts to share. Go read the article if you haven’t already.
The first is that Ratliff wanted to be caught. He started getting cocky and took up Wired on the challenges they set him. If he’d truly wanted to stay hidden, he could have avoided going to the book reading where he got caught. He could have avoided creating a new twitter account and posting details about his whereabouts for people to find. He was setting himself up for failure because he wanted to get back to his “real” life. It’s like a kid who “runs away” but comes slinking home at supper-time.
Or take Burn Notice in which “super-spy” Michael Westen is supposedly hiding out, but has friends and family that he has daily contact with. He’s not hiding, and one of the things that bugs me about the show is just how bad he is at some things that seem like elementary survival instincts for someone in that situation.
In fact, the only popular portrayals I can think of someone disappearing successfully are Into The Wild ISBN:9780679428503 in which Chris McCandless successfully disappeared (though people figured out where he’d been after the fact), and My Name Is Legion ISBN:9780345295224, which is Science Fiction.
So that’s thought one: disappearing is hard, especially as we move into a more transparent society. And human nature being what it is, most people are really bad at it. They want to get back to their life, and end up doing things that make them easy to catch. But yet thousands of people do manage it — their stories just don’t make it into popular media. Probably at least in part because their stories aren’t all that interesting if they don’t get caught.
Which brings me to the second though, that’s touched on in Ratliff’s second (first chronologically) story I link below. Is hiding really worth it? If you don’t fix the reason you want to hide in the first place, you’re really not going to improve your life by hiding. You’ll throw away whatever support network you have, and still have whatever self-destructive habits caused you to want to run away in the first place. Doesn’t seem like a very effective solution to me.
So while I don’t think anyone has to worry about me disappearing anytime soon, it’s still a fun mental exercise. And hey, it’s easy to point to the mistakes that appear in the popular accounts and have thoughts like
What a maroon! What an ignoranimus!
And I think that’s enough musings for the morning. Time to get out and find some tile for my bathroom. Have a good weekend!
- Here’s What Happened when Writer Evan Ratliff Tried to Vanish. Interesting just how little privacy is to be had, especially if you taunt the world, challenging people to find you, and then keep using online services, trying to see how they’re doing. [metafilter]
- Before the story of his vanishing, Evan Ratliff asked What Does It Take to Really Disappear?
- Cooking geek? Check out playing with fire and water which has some pretty cool ideas. Not a whole lot there that I’d try to attempt, since I’m more about comfort food, but some cool science applied to food in novel ways. [metafilter]
There’s been frost on the grass the past couple mornings. The leaves are off almost all of the trees. All we need to make it feel like winter here is some snow. And slightly colder temperatures. After a chilly October, November has been warmer than normal so far.
Which is okay by me, I think. I’ve managed to get most of the outside projects done for the fall. There’s still a pile of branches I need to break down and bundle, and a pile of cardboard in the garage that needs to be bundled up too. But both of those are things that are better done in cool weather, even if there’s snow on the ground.
The big news on the home front is that I think I’m finally moving toward getting the bathroom remodel done. I’ve found a contractor, and we’re putting together a plan, so it’s time to start buying fixtures and such. Also near the top of the to-do list is rearranging stuff in the basement enough that I can get the space to put a toilet down there to use during the construction. So it’s looking like a busy month or two, without even thinking about the holidays yet.
- Here’s the Anatomy of a Bogus Subpoena issued to IndyMedia. Bogus indeed. [boing boing]
- A woman going through a TSA security check asked Where are all the white guys? Turns out the TSA doesn’t really understand the meaning of “random.” [boing boing]
- These Eleven Myths of De-Cluttering offer suggestions for how to reduce clutter and make yourself happier. [boing boing]
- Going on vacation and want to bring home Snow globes? TSA will likely just say ‘no’. But then that’s not all that surprising. After all, it’s not security they’re after, but security theater. [boing boing]
- Well! It’s not just that I’m a cranky old man: The Hubbert Peak Theory of Rock explains why we’re all out of good songs. [flutterby]
- I added a recipe for a Curried Beef Stew I made over the weekend. Yummy!
Sorry for the lack of updates. Got sick last week, and have been busy since, trying to catch up.
Not much to report otherwise. But hey, I’ve got links!
- A nice profile of a friend: Edgy pastor familiar with both the highs and lows life has to offer.
- People ask why I go through the hassle of hosting my own mail instead of using gmail like all the cool kids are doing. Here’s Why.
- Slow data on your iPhone? Has ATT Wireless data congestion been self-inflicted? Looks like it likely has.
- I’ve been asked more than once what the best company is to Outsource your photo scanning projects to. Well, here’s a review. [nack]
- A web app named Skritter aims to help you learn Chinese and Japanese characters.
- Looking for some interesting photography? Black and WTF has black and white photos. [metafilter]
- Ugh. Here’s info about A court decision that reflects what type of country the U.S. is. I feel sick.