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And, to maintain symmetry with the previous entry

yesterday would have been my mom's 73d birthday.

She said, at my last birthday party, that that was the last one she'd see. Little did we know.

Damn.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 @ 01:03 p.m. - Comment

Register And Vote

Tomorrow is the deadline to register for the November 2nd presidential 'election'.

If you haven't registered yet... DO IT.

Sunday, October 3, 2004 @ 01:25 p.m. - Comment

What Would I Do

WE - Women's Entertainment is stripping Boston Public, which means I get to see the first season I missed while I was still Mr. Doesn't Watch Television Guy.

In 'Chapter 4' of our favorite schoolbook, office assistant Luisa has just told kinky-haired crybaby Milton Buttle, who's having sport made of him by a student on her "Holt .45" website (with pretty decent flashturbation, actually) that instead of *being* the crybaby she's just told him he is about it, he ought to "just pretend he's the Milton Buttle he once hoped to be, and do whatever he would."

Since I've built what there is of my character largely on the backs of my fictional heros (many Heinleinian and Robinsonian protagonists, Tom Clancy's John Clark, and Robert Parker's $FIRSTNAME Spenser), this resonated with me, and quickly evolved into the title question; a question I think everyone should ask themselves, when they don't know how to react to something.

Saturday, October 2, 2004 @ 10:05 p.m. - Comment

It seems like a good time

with The West Wing about to lauch for it's fifth season -- and the second without the hand of Aaron Sorkin at the wheel -- to point out again the exemplary fan fiction of Nomad in this fandom, and especially her epic 10 book cycle Further To Fly. This story cycle gets the only accolade I can apply which outranks "ready to shoot": it could be published as a novel, and would sell. Possibly an entire series of novels.

I *so* hope she finds a way to work out something with Warner Bros and JWP.

Read her other stuff too.

Saturday, October 2, 2004 @ 10:01 p.m. - Comment

We've

moved.

{ Thanks to Dave, of Dorm fame ]

Saturday, October 2, 2004 @ 09:06 p.m. - Comment

I have lots of cars, clothes and money

but a very small penis.

Friday, October 1, 2004 @ 04:03 p.m. - Comment

Electoral vote maps

There are plenty of these, and of course, they all disagree.

http://www.electoral-vote.com

http://www.presidentelect.org

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/

The Wall Street Journal

Some scientific analysis from Princeton.

And a bunch of good meta from NIU.

And of course, don't forget continuing Indecision 2004 coverate (or 'coverage', even) from Comedy Central's Emmy-award winning Daily Show.

Finally, some objectivity from factcheck.org. Both sides, it seems, were off their game a bit on facts.

Friday, October 1, 2004 @ 03:11 p.m. - Comment

Last night

I was trying to locate, on line, a copy of the Spider Robinson Crazy Years column about how we've run out of bad guys to demonize, which is why child molesters get it so much worse than they used to, to prove an unrelated point.

I couldn't find it, which is a comment on how stupid *newspapers* are, but I did run across a pretty decent interview with Spider.. and his collaboration with Heinlein on a book I've mentioned earlier; that starts getting written in March (I assume that's 2005, but his webmaster is a slob).

Q: Is SF going to die off with the first generation fans?

Not a chance. It's in one of its regular declines, just now, many readers having apparently decided they're more comfortable with warlocks and elves than with aliens and time travelers--but it will come back strong. Soon, please God!

I think perhaps part of the problem is that the magic Sci Fi year of 2001 finally arrived...and we *still* aren't all rich and immortal, and the Terran Federation *still* hasn't brought world peace, and we *still* haven't met superaliens who'll straighten everything. So, the feeling seems to be, "The hell with it, let's go read about unicorns."

Not to worry: it will all blow over (And we *will* become rich and immortal, establish world peace, and meet wise aliens.) Science fiction cannot die. Too many intelligent people are born into each generation.

Enough to make me rich? Not a chance. Solvent? Well, one can hope. But alive until the next wave of interest arrives? Yes, I think that's doable. Deus volent.

Things finally seem to be ramping up a little in Spider's career, thank ghod; it's certainly about time, and I want that third Lady Sally book, damn it.

If you've never read any Spider, you should. A good place to start is the Globe and Mail Future Tense column he appended to this interview.

Friday, October 1, 2004 @ 12:32 p.m. - Comment

There may be hope

The hell with Kerry; the Daily Show needs to book his press secretary. C.J. ain't got nothing on this guy.

Thursday, September 30, 2004 @ 11:12 p.m. - Comment

Andrew Kantor links to AP post-debate coverage

here.

You know: that's the debate that starts 40 minutes from now?

Thursday, September 30, 2004 @ 08:19 p.m. - Comment

Jeers right the hell back

to TV Guide.

I'm often in agreement with their Cheers and Jeers section's picks, but I have to take issue with their dis of Heather Graham's appearance on the beginning of season 4 of Scrubs.

Perhaps it's just because I so badly want to either marry her or cast her as Every Single One of Heinlein's red-headed heroines, but I'm lovin her stuff to no end.

And no, it's not just the cleavage.

Thursday, September 30, 2004 @ 06:55 p.m. - Comment

Desperately seeking coders

I have a passel (that's a metric measurement, roughly equivalent to three-quarters of a shitload in Imperial terms) of NCD X-terminals sitting around gathering dust, and there are, no doubt, even more of them in other places.

I'm sure that it's possible to build a cross-compilation environment (possibly with the last version of GCC to support the 68k processors -- morons) which would allow the creation of a native VNC client that could run on the bare hardware of the terminal and, well, be a VNC terminal.

I'm also *pretty* sure I'm not the person who knows how.

If you are, or you know someone who is, please get (them) in touch with me, won't you?

Thursday, September 30, 2004 @ 04:00 p.m. - Comment

A friend of mine

who is a professional singer/songwriter, is going to be back in town for the first time in about 6 months this weekend, and aside from singing with *me* (which is uber-cool), she's apparently also got a pending invitation through channels to sing some back-vocals for a event at the Tampa Hard Rock Cafe for Billionaires for Bush.

They're soliciting for members, and even though I don't think I can say I've ever even been responsible for a billion *pennies* in my life, I think I'm going to join anyway.

It'll be an excuse to wear my tux.

Thursday, September 30, 2004 @ 02:48 p.m. - Comment

Spotted via DaveDorm

Collision Detection. I *love* bloggers who write long, well.

Thursday, September 30, 2004 @ 02:38 p.m. - Comment

If you got lucky this hurricane season so far

and it doesn't seem that way to you...

Watch this.

[ Courtesy DebWire. ]

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 @ 11:29 p.m. - Comment

Dr Richard Florida

(who clearly... oh, hell: write your own joke :-) appeared on tonight's Marketplace, which I'll link to as soon as they get the rundown up, to comment on how Murrica was at strategic risk from our own, newly tightened immigration policies -- and even policies concerning temporary visitors to this country.

It will hurt us in the long run, he says, because the best and the brightest, who want to come here, and whom we can then take advantage of as a country (no negative connotations there; that's just what it amounts to objectively), will go other places because we've made it too *difficult* for them to come here with programs like VISIT-II.

Alas, he misses the much more important aspect of this.

That problem makes it more difficult for people who want to come here to get in. And those changes are in the name, at least, of increasing safety and security in the US, so we can grant the government points, at least, for looks, if not for actual intent.

The bigger problem, though, is ill-conceived legislation like the DMCA, which makes those best and brightest not want to come here in the first place, because they're afraid that their basic research will get them thrown in gaol because the US Congress is, indeed the best that money can buy.

People like Dmitri Skylarov.

And Congress can't hide behind patriotism, here; the MPAA and RIAA Protective Acts are solely greed and stupidity talking; they don't keep *anyone* safer.

[ I'll drop back in and linkify this; I wanted to get it posted while I was thinking about it. ]

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

The hell with Bush and Saud...

How about Bush and Hitler?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 @ 12:18 p.m. - Comment

OMG. :-)

Spike TV -- you know, the Beer, Boobs, and Blowin' Shit Up network? -- is bribing their viewers to get a checkup.

Anyone who's read... oh hell, *any* comedian realizes that the antipathy of the human male (well, at least the USAdian male) to non-my-arm-was-cut-off-by-a-helicopter medical treatment is legendary.

Spike, it seems, has come up with the ultimate solution. Bribery. You get a checkup, they might send you to Cancun. Where there will be, y'know, beer, and boobs... though likely no blowing shit up.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 06:51 p.m. - Comment

Over at Pam's now

since she, y'know, has electrons.

Lots of tree branches down on the way over, and some aluminium, as our British friends would put it, but the most spectacular items were the traffic lights on Bryan Dairy Rd.

At Starkey, a fixture broke at a joint, and the lower two lenses are hanging by a wire, 10 feet down into traffic.

At Belcher, the *entire strand* broke away from the northeast pole, and is laying on the southwest corner.

And the Marathon station on 46th Av lost an overhang. Flipped over, laying on the ground.

Much fun around Pinellas County.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 03:47 p.m. - Comment

Still blowin' in the wind

The average has dropped off considerably, to 5 or 10 knots, but the gusts here still sound like 35-50 knots.

Based on the storm's current position and forward speed, looks like I'll be off the road till at least 4.

My friend Chel up in Palm Harbor says things are passable up there, too, surprisingly, cause she's pretty much right on the edge of the south wall of the eye track.

<sigh>

My wind field has shifted from Southerly to Westerly, so I can tell it's due north of me. Bay News 9 is running VIPIR; there's a link to them around here somewhere. Back off line to preserve batteries. More in a while. Thank ghod for books. :-}

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 02:34 p.m. - Comment

If you're a friend of Pam's

this be a good time to give her a call.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 12:37 p.m. - Comment

Boom.

Power out now. I'm in the area of 66th and the ditch, for those who are familiar with the area.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 11:38 a.m. - Comment

Well

I was just about to report sustained 30-40kt winds... and before I could get the browser window up (on this P-266 Compaq Armada 4220T :-}) they backed off.

Glad I'm not out on a sailboat.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 11:30 a.m. - Comment

Oops.

I was *watching* out the back window when the low tree/bush in my back yard lost a second limb. Snapped, but isn't blowing anywhere, and, thankfully, none of the tall trees around me seem to {be losing much,have much left to lose}.

None of them are in my yard, either, which is a plus.

Bay News 9 via MP3 stream: click here. They give it to you as a .pls file, that's a direct link to the server. Works nice on my wireless, which can be handy.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 11:25 a.m. - Comment

So far, so good

though we've still several hours to go.

TBO Weathercenter animated bay area radar is here. So far, at Baylink Central in St Pete, lots of wind, 20 gusting to maybe 40 or 50, one low hanging tree branch torn down but not off, no damage otherwise so far. Wireless and 6 hours of power, though I won't tempt fate by telling you what power I'm *running* on just now. ;-)

More updates as they happen.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 10:59 a.m. - Comment

Ruh roh

Yeah, it turned again overnight. Here comes the wind. And the rain. PSP up to 100/40. Sit tight, folks; we'll make it through this.

Sunday, September 26, 2004 @ 10:19 a.m. - Comment

Jeanne -- 11pm

Yeah, the late NHC track confirms the northbound turn; I'm adjusting my PSP down to suit. Sleep tight, folks; I will.

[ UPDATE: while the county EOC website doesn't show it, WFLA is reporting a mandatory level-0 evac has been posted for Pinellas; flood-prone, RV, and manufactured housing residents: get the hell out. ]

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 11:52 p.m. - Comment

ABC 28's

Don Germaise is being likewisely stupid in Vero Beach.

Don't go watch it; it's depressing. :-)

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 11:30 p.m. - Comment

If you fly on commercial airliners

(or, if you're Heather Locklear or Blair Underwood), you should read these two stories on the recent LA Air Traffic Control communications failure (one by a Seattle center controller who, if he loses his job over this, I'm flyin' to Washington), and then be very afraid.

This has congressional inquiry written *all* over it.

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 11:27 p.m. - Comment

Coming in tonight

"A colossal negative space wedgie of immense power."

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 09:18 p.m. - Comment

Everyone's looking for VIPIR

and Local 6 (WKMG Orlando) seems to have some.

And Roger Simmons apparently blogs central Florida television.

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 09:06 p.m. - Comment

PS

While you *still* wouldn't want to be in one during a storm, in Charlotte County during Charley, *not one* manufactured home built since the 1994 post-Andrew code changes was damaged appreciably, and the only two people to die in one stayed in it against advice, and the home in question predated that year.

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 09:04 p.m. - Comment

Jeanne turns

Chris O'Connell of Bay News 9 is being moronic by the Melbourne Marina, and my favorite meteorologist says she's started turning right already.

Gee. Homeowners taking their chances. Reports on the beach. <yawn> Must be another hurricane.

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 09:00 p.m. - Comment

Ok, yeah, right

whatever...

Let's just get it over with and move along, ok?

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 08:10 p.m. - Comment

Beer Bad.

"The thing that the modern-day pundits fail to realize is that all the socioeconomic and psychological problems inherent in modern society can be solved by the judicious application of way too much beer."

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 07:29 p.m. - Comment

Andrew

Kantor with a very good consumer-level piece on why Linux is so cool... in USA Today.

I don't have to explain why that's neat-o, right?

[ UPDATE: added a link to Kantor's weblog; I like the cut of this boy's jib. :-) ]

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 06:29 p.m. - Comment

I've just capsulized a bunch of interesting thoughts...

1) Americans like to be told what to think.

2) Since John Chancellor stopped doing commentaries on the NBC Nightly News, no one respectable and believable has -- by and large -- been *telling* Americans what to think.

3) Evaluating the current big 3 network anchors in light of which of them might make a believable news commentator, the only one I can imagine wanting to listen to is Peter Jennings.

4) He's not retiring/resigning this year. (:-)

5) This is why network news is declining and blogging is coming up. Bloggers, for better or worse, have opinions. And, as I just pointed out to LWN editor Jon Corbet in an article comment, editoral opinion is *what people read magazines(,etc) for*.

But, as I'm so fond of saying, it could be just me.

So many things are just me.

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 05:47 p.m. - Comment

The top 10 reasons

why a hurricane is like Christmas.

Cause at this point, all we can *do* is laugh at it.

[ From Mike Levin, via DebWire, who notes that Mike has a 5KW generator -- cause, y'know, can't disappoint those blog readers... ]

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 05:18 p.m. - Comment

So, if Micro$oft tries

to force people to upgrade to XP SP2 by withholding those security patches I mentioned earlier, what do you suppose people will do?

Here's a piece that suggests they might upgrade those machines to *Linux* instead, since it will *run* on that hardware, which XP won't.

Saturday, September 25, 2004 @ 01:18 p.m. - Comment

Here we friggin' go again...

4 hurricanes in one season; never happened before.

TrackBar above; I'm going to add my TS and Hurricane effect Personal Strike Prediction numbers to the bar and keep them up.

Friday, September 24, 2004 @ 06:35 p.m. - Comment

Teledildonics is what they call it...

and and there's a new device in that category.

Friday, September 24, 2004 @ 06:14 p.m. - Comment

Is Google News

a Republican?

Friday, September 24, 2004 @ 04:49 p.m. - Comment

I always forget, when

musing on the fact that I haven't gotten any in 11 years now, that some people never get any at all.

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 10:05 p.m. - Comment

I'm sorry, Dave...

I'm afraid you can't afford me.

Wow...

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 10:00 p.m. - Comment

Here's an interesting little political

precis from a a K5 contributor that analogizies the last 16 years of presidential politics to the Louisiana governor's orifice over the same period. Can't vouch for how accurate it is, though it rings true for me (which basically means I agree with the author's politics, I guess), but it's interesting reading nonetheless.

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 08:03 p.m. - Comment

And finally, before I return to what

we are pleased to call The Real World for a while, one for Alan:

A positive sounding Wired piece on biodiesel.

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 02:04 p.m. - Comment

Why

insecure home PC's must be locked down.

It's not just about playing anymore.

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 02:03 p.m. - Comment

More Ask.Me

What to do if your daughter sees weird things on the schoolroom ceiling.

Call Buffy, be my approach. But maybe I watch too much TV these days...

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 01:59 p.m. - Comment

From the lighter side...

Small town school closed by Health Department: All the girls have cooties.

[ Thanks to Madville, via Freshnews ]

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 01:42 p.m. - Comment

What it tells me...

that your business uses Window$.

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 01:40 p.m. - Comment

Time for another trip to

Ask Metafilter: How do you deal with the bad days?

The questioner has CF and diabetes, but the replies seem useful generally.

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 01:16 p.m. - Comment

Even *Microsoft* thinks

you should switch to Firefox, (or Mozilla, Netscape, Opera or the alterhative browser of your choice): they're ceasing Internet exploiter security upgrades for anything older than Windows XP Service Pack 2.

So, if you're a HIPAA compliant organization, now you have even *more* reason to switch from Microsoft completely: you can't run the *new* OS because the EULA violates your privacy regs, and you can't run the old one because it has known security holes.

Close of business, 2005. Really.

Those monopoly reflexes will kill you faster when you finally have competition, and they do, now.

Thursday, September 23, 2004 @ 12:36 p.m. - Comment

Here is a person who clearly

has way too much time on their hands...

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 @ 11:25 p.m. - Comment

While I'd much Rather

watch Peter Jennings, I find it amusing that no one seems to be talking much about the fact that while the documents Rather produced and is now backing away from were forgeries, according to the officer's widow... they *did* reflect what he told her he thought at the time.

Smells like it's got Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it to me; mislead people with the truth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 @ 10:01 p.m. - Comment

Some fairly useful

letters are for auction on eBay.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004 @ 09:11 p.m. - Comment

It has seemed to me, for some time

that the people impacted worst by the tendency of legislators to pass worthless unenforceable laws are law enforcement.

This happens for two reasons. One is that there are more laws for them to enforce. Clearly that would make their job more difficult.

Secondly, though, and more importantly, are those laws that "everyone knows" aren't actually going to get enforced, or laws which aren't going to *accomplish* what they're purportedly intended to -- like the recently expired assault weapons ban. Any law that's intended to make already-criminal behavior "more criminal", or make criminal behavior which isn't (like the AWB or the DMCA, for example), is one that's likely to be ignored by everyone except politically-minded prosecutors with a great Example case.

But the problem is that the more laws we're *expected* to ignore, the less respect we have for law enforcement in general... which is also a bad idea.

Even punitively-low speed limits fall into this category (an Interstate-class protected road with a 40mph speed limit, for example, like Bryan Dairy Road between 66th St and US-19 in Pinellas Park).

So I propose (and hope that someone who's *equipped* will like the meme and run with it) Law Enforcement Against Grandstanding Legislators, which has the requisite silly acronym: LEAGL.

The necessary domains aren't yet registered, so have at it.

Monday, September 20, 2004 @ 08:44 p.m. - Comment

Slashdot Interviews Badnarik

Slashdot has published the result of their Open Source Interview with Libertarian candidate for President Michael Badnarik.

There's some very interesting skull sweat in the answers.

[ John points out that I'd mispelt the gent's name; fixed. ]

Monday, September 20, 2004 @ 07:54 p.m. - Comment

What to do, what to do...

Some excellent suggestions live at this page, which Pam found last week, but I'm just getting around to now.

To confirm, my mom's remains will indeed be interred at the Veterans Cemetery at Bay Pines; they asked if anyone wanted to be present, and I told them "maybe", so folks, this is your big chance.

Monday, September 20, 2004 @ 12:31 p.m. - Comment

There comes a time in the

process of a death when it ceases to be about the person who's dying, and becomes about the people who are getting Left Behind.

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

For us, that started about 4pm Friday afternoon.

We know there are relatives and friends who are in somewhat the same boat as us, and we're as sympathetic as we can spare the energy for... but it was our *mom*. So we hope all those people can find their way to cope as we work on finding ours.

Mom and dad had both pre-arranged to be cremated; I believe that mom's remains will end up next to dad's, at the Veterans Memorial cemetery, next to the Bay Pines VA hospital. Mom wasn't especially much for causes -- her favorite charity was us :-) -- so I can't make any suggestions as to whom you might make a donation to instead of flowers and the like. So if you feel the need to do so, just pick your own favorite charity.

Our family hasn't ever been much for memorials, either, I'm afraid... which doesn't mean that any of mom's friends -- or relatives -- who feel like it can't get together in her memory. But we're going to have enough trouble keeping the house to fly off to any such event.

So just turn over a glass for her, and say goodbye.

(And if you know anyone who needs to read any of this and isn't all wired up, please pass it along to them, would you.

It's not the sporting event... it's the 37 instant replays.)

Sunday, September 19, 2004 @ 02:44 p.m. - Comment

IMPORTANT

Do not forget:

Tomorrow is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, that holiday so beloved of Dave Barry. Hopefully, he's mentioned it in his column again this year...

Saturday, September 18, 2004 @ 03:56 p.m. - Comment

RIP Microsoft, too...

I have been saying since about 1998 or so, and here almost since I starting writing this weblog, that I predicted that by the close of business, 31 December 2005, if Microsoft was still in business at all, they wouldn't look anything like what they do now (by which, to clarify for anyone *else* who wants to bet me $15,000 about the issue :-), I mean "monopoly position and behaviors in both desktop operating systems and office automation software").

Lots of people *still* look at me funny when I say that, and I'll admit that Windows XP is *almost* what Windows should have been up front -- were it not for that "you must agree to let us snoop around on your computer when we feel like it" amendment in the SP1 license agreement that they tried to sneak over the plate, making the OS unimplementable in HIPAA compliant environments -- but it's too little too late.

But, if you didn't get enough on this from the ATC-outage-in-all-of-SoCal story I linked the other day, you might want to read this essay, which I just tripped over in my quest to figure out how to upgrade the firmware in my Plextor 708 without ripping it out of the Linux box it's bolted into. (The answer, for surfer-searchers, is Joerg Schilling's PXUpdate.)

Saturday, September 18, 2004 @ 02:14 p.m. - Comment

Requiescat in Pace

October 4th, 1931 - 9:54pm EDT, September 17th, 2004

Friday, September 17, 2004 @ 10:00 p.m. - Comment

Air Traffic Control

meets Ctrl-Alt-Del.

I'd recommend not flying in Southern Cal anymore.

Friday, September 17, 2004 @ 07:56 p.m. - Comment

"I'll talk to you later."

My sister did it much more stylishly than me.

In keeping with my mom's wishes not to be kept around hooked up to a mad-scientist machine if it wasn't going to help, we went over to Largo Medical Center and spoke with her resident, Daniel Orlando. He told us that her pneumonia was getting worse, and she was starting to suffer from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which is both unpleasant, systemic, and in her case, likely terminal in itself, if not in combination with the other stuff and her age.

They're likely unhooking the vent and removing the tube as I speak, and it is in the hands of whomever has the duty this week.

If you feel like you deserved a call to tell you this and you didn't get one, I apologize; you probably did, but believe me, it's harder on me than it is on you.

There was another call. They're almost harder than the actual event.

The last thing I know she heard me say was "I love you", so I'm covered.

But I'll say it again.

I love you, Mom. Bye.

Friday, September 17, 2004 @ 06:18 p.m. - Comment

Ghod, you know...

there are just *so many* coincidences in the world.

But sure; go ahead: reelect them...

Thursday, September 16, 2004 @ 09:19 p.m. - Comment

Overheard on the phone

"She doesn't have friends, she has a caseload."

Thursday, September 16, 2004 @ 04:03 p.m. - Comment

Ivan demoted

not so terrible, anymore.

Thursday, September 16, 2004 @ 03:47 p.m. - Comment

"My Guest Appearance"

The (surprisingly well written) saga of an eBay auction winner's day as a walk-on guest on Scrubs.

Thursday, September 16, 2004 @ 02:31 p.m. - Comment

You know...

The hard part isn't the "is my mom gonna die?" part...

it's the "is your mom gonna die?" part.

I don't begrudge people trying to be helpful, and caring, and like that. And alas, they're not telepathic -- not that that would help, because *I* don't know what I need.

But it's still rough.

I guess it's just rough.

Thursday, September 16, 2004 @ 01:57 p.m. - Comment

Up on an exceeding high mountain

W vs Jesus?

Here's the ad, courtesy of DaveDorm.

Thursday, September 16, 2004 @ 11:29 a.m. - Comment

Mom Update

Not good. Dr. Orlando called again this morning, and his optimism has, mostly, left him. They've tried to wean her off the vent 3 days straight now, and it is not taking. He says that when she's off, she's lapsing into Cheyne Stokes breathing. This Is Not Good. He also says that when they tried to test her this morning, he didn't feel she was alert.

But the kicker for me was that her friend Florence stopped in Monday or Tuesday to see her, and now reports that when they had her woke up... she was crying.

That's enough for me.

She'd prepared a living will, to take us off the hook, not that that helps much.

More as I can assemble to composition necessary to type.

Thursday, September 16, 2004 @ 10:27 a.m. - Comment

O.M.G.

It's Scrubs-log.

And can I just take a moment to say that Heather Graham is who you'd get if you put Heather Locklear and Courtney Peldon in the aforementioned mad-scientist machine?

Wow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 10:08 p.m. - Comment

Jesus Saves!

He passes to Moses; he shoots; he scores!

Pam pegged it: these Weather Channel morons meteorological professionals sounds like friggin hockey play-by-play guys.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 09:38 p.m. - Comment

Ooooooh

A TV news blog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 06:26 p.m. - Comment

Gulf Shores, AL

That's where HurricaneTrack.com is at, with their bright yellow webcam truck

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 05:23 p.m. - Comment

You've probably seen the phrase

"reports from ham radio operators" about a dozen times this month, if you've been following news reports about the unusually busy hurricane season (which basically means "if any of them were aimed at you" :-).

While my ticket lapsed some years ago, and I've been too -- I'll say lazy, and you go with stupid if that works better for you -- to reinstate it, I still have a soft spot in my heart for hams, and I'm not alone.

Unsurprisingly, there are lots of them working at the Hurricane Center; there's a station there courtesy of FIU.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 03:36 p.m. - Comment

Another Weather Blog

On the Jeanne bar for the moment, cause space is an issue: this one's from WeatherUSA, and those guys are clearly good surfers; lots of things I wouldn't have thought to search for, though link heavy rather than interpretation heavy like Fresh Bilge.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 01:11 p.m. - Comment

As you can see

I've added a second WeatherBar up there for TS Jeanne.

When it becomes a hurricane, I'll upgrade it from orange to red, by which time Ivan will likely have touched down and finished being terrible.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 12:31 p.m. - Comment

Well, now...

Here is an interesting result from Google. Check the sponsored ad at the top. :-) Clearly, mentioning the word Jew is a good way to increase my gratuitous search-engine hit count even further. (From the Google Blog, from Bloglines, via Dave.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004 @ 12:02 p.m. - Comment

Just in time for all the hurricanes

here's a Slashdot story about wind power dropping to a penny a KWH.

Alan; you can sell this?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 10:28 p.m. - Comment

From the Reg

my favorite snarkily British IT pub: A handbook on hardening home and small business computer systems against attack.

More when I've actually read it.

[ looks closer ]

Oh: it's an *ad* for the book, and it was writen by the Reg writer in question. Nevermind.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 05:55 p.m. - Comment

Saving music

though not the music industry...

It's a Downhill Battle.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 05:52 p.m. - Comment

Courtesy of Weather Nation

whose blog is # 2 up there on the WeatherBar, a satellite shot of Ivan.

Still too far south for me to call it a clean miss, but no one thinks it's coming here anymore...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 05:46 p.m. - Comment

Wednesday

What it is?

Well, if you said it was Prince Spaghetti Day, you probably grew up in Boston, and while it's not quite Wednesday *yet*, we *do* have some new Spaghetti, finally, from Hurricane Alley.

My Strike Probability Assesment is now down to 5%, and dropping; that white outlier is just too far fetched to believe.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 04:51 p.m. - Comment

Just in case

you thought there was actually *hope* for the next generation: here's a link to Kristian15 to disabuse you of that silly notion.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 04:09 p.m. - Comment

Lots, and lots, and lots

and lots of cool "where are the black helicopters" data points at the FAS website...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 03:27 p.m. - Comment

And how's that coming along?

INDUCE call feedback results are here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 03:14 p.m. - Comment

Go. Call.

RIGHT. NOW.

Make sure to tell them that you're a registered voter (assuming you are) and what US Congressional district you live in (West Wing fans will smile quietly when I say that I'm in "the Florida 10th"). And also, *explicitly* make the point that you've heard they may try to sneak this in as a rider on some other bill people *want*, and how unhappy you'll be with them if that happens. This point is almost *critical* to make, if you bother to call at all.

If you don't get it: read this.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 02:54 p.m. - Comment

Tuesday 3pm update

on Hurricane Mom:

I just spoke fairly extensively with Dr. Orlando, one of the Morton Plant pulmonologists who is working on my mom. He says that while today's attempt to wean her off the vent didn't quite work out either -- she's still fighting the pneumonia, which is clearly much more extensive than was obvious, thank-you-very-much Progress Energy -- that he continues to be optimistic (and these guys aren't given to unreasonable optimism in my experience) about her prognosis.

He's put her back on Vancomycin, based on today's blood work, and expects that knowing what he's shooting at will be quite helpful (duh...), and he figures that a couple more days will fill the bill.

More, as the saying goes, when we know more.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 02:41 p.m. - Comment

Screwing up the news cycle

Here is a delightful little piece spotted by Doc Searls about how hard it's becoming for news organizations to find sidebars to fill the space on this, our 4th major storm of the season in Florida.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 02:03 p.m. - Comment

Strike Probability

My personal assesment is now down to about 15%, and will continue to drop slowly as Ivan proceeds northwards, trending to zero when it makes landfall somewhere other than here.

If the forecast tracks change at all in an easterly direction, I will promptly revise that back up to 30% and re-start chewing on my nails. Weather Underground, via DaveDorm, has a much more recent spaghetti model up here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 01:11 p.m. - Comment

I've been involved

with Open Source Software since before it was called that, and recently with MythTV, a project to create an open source replacement for the likes of TiVo and ReplayTV (I'm quarterbacking the creation of a user manual for it on the Wiki David Greaves has kindly set up).

And, especially recently, I've composed a marketing tagline for OSS (cause that's the sort of thing I do) that I think explains the case the most succinctly:

Open Source Software: where Good Ideas... actually happen.

If you have an idea for a good modification to a program/product: where do *you* think you're more likely to get it implemented? If the product comes from FacelessCorp? Or from a bunch of hackers in their back bedrooms?

I know which way *I'm* voting there, and clearly, a lot of other people do too, these days.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 12:55 p.m. - Comment

Apple v. ... Apple?

Apple Computer got into a trademark scruff early in its life with Apple Corps Records, the little known company that owns much of the Beatles' record catalog. The settlement constrained Apple Computer from getting into the music business.

An early scape resulted from the Yamaha synth chip in the early Apple IIGS, but the recent fracas will likely be more troublesome -- and expensive.

Can you say iTunes?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 12:27 p.m. - Comment

There's no place like Homer...

Why I like geeks:

They do things like construct maps of nonexistant places. In detail.

Sickening detail.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 11:45 a.m. - Comment

Just a reminder

That spaghetti model linked to up there is currently a bit out of date. I'll post a wrap when I notice it's changed.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 10:52 a.m. - Comment

Alan Sullivan

who seems to know a lot more about meteorology than I do (though I suspect you'd expect that from a boater, which I gather he is) sounds like he's taken me off the hook, unless we get another Elena (see historical tracks, above). (Where by 'above', of course, I mean 'below'.)

I'm just as glad; preparing for a hurricane is kinda fun. Having to actually live through one, not so much.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 10:49 a.m. - Comment

Seems to be mine and Dave's week

to trade cool schidt.

Hey, Alan?

You wanna truck? Here's your truck, right here. Shame they don't have an SUV version. Nice to see International is building a pickup again, finally, though.

My preferred SUV?

A Freightliner FL-90 walkin. Though they seem to be really difficult to find linkage for on the net.

Think Sunstar Critical Care. ;-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 @ 10:29 a.m. - Comment

Yes!

I knew I'd figure it out sooner or later.

Courtesy of the NOAA Coastal Systems Center, here's a complete chart of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico since 1980. (They don't keep the images around, so I'm hosting it; if you're a high traffic site, and you want to use it, please mirror it instead of deeplinking, so my poor little webserver doesn't go belly up, 'k?)


(Click, as Dave likes to say, to embiggen)

If you want to run your own plots, go here; note: it's not the easiest user interface to figure out: navigate and zoom, *then* pop up the query box and select.

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 09:59 p.m. - Comment

If you want to know everything

on the web about weather and storms, go where reporters go -- this is always a good suggestion, no matter the topic.

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 09:49 p.m. - Comment

Here's a buncha more

stuff from somebody at RoadRunner Houston, including links to someone else's spaghetti model, but not what I'm still looking for. More when I find it.

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 09:43 p.m. - Comment

Wednesday 8pm update

on Hurricane Mom: they forgot to wake her up, but she looked a lot better than she did the other day, which is consonant with the nurse's opinion from earlier.

94% O2 sat this morning, but they didn't quite wean her off the vent; they'll try again tomorrow. Thanks to all for good thoughts. And you people who *know* me who haven't sent an email...

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 09:12 p.m. - Comment

And, if that geography/cartography crap *does* turn you on

then you should probably check out GeoComm, where such people appear to hang out.

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 09:05 p.m. - Comment

Hunting around a bit,

while waiting for Ivan to go somewhere else, I found a site with plots of historical hurricane tracks, by year, along with a raw data file of the plots, if you want to do some work of your own, courtesy of Unisys, though I'm switched if I can figure out why.

If you're enough of a {weather,computer,geography,} geek (which includes people who got that joke :-), you can get a map layer from the good folks at NationalAtlas.gov, who have *lots* of cool stuff like that, and if you don't have anything to *put* map layers into, you can probably find something at the FreeGIS project (if you're willing to dig; their site isn't the cleanest thing in the world), and if you do, you'll likely find lots of other cool stuff in this Google search.

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 08:59 p.m. - Comment

Flashback: ePinion: Duets

USA Networks recently re-ran the Huey Lewis/Gwyneth Paltrow karaoke movie Duets, which I got to see, albeit chopped up a bunch, courtesy of my sister's MythTV Box.

It reminded me that I'd written a review of that for ePinions when it came out. It's one of my better ePinions.

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 07:10 p.m. - Comment

I've updated

the WeatherBar above, replacing NBC Miami with HurricaneTrack, who are also represented in my sidebar. They're fixin to head for Panama City.

Eejits. :-)

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 01:56 p.m. - Comment

Ruh roh.

We've got some Fresh Bilge (>:-}), and the man's not as sanguine as he was before. I'm increasing my personal strike probability analysis back to about 25% until the NOAA 5pm hits; I'll re-evaluate then.

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 01:39 p.m. - Comment

Luckily, though

the 5am NOAA track has taken Tampa Bay completely out of the forecast area. I'm not exhaling all the way yet, but it's comforting.

Monday, September 13, 2004 @ 06:27 a.m. - Comment

Yick!

The forecast track is, if anything, farther west tonight. But the 0 Zulu spaghetti model is showing some *very* disturbing ideas...

Sunday, September 12, 2004 @ 11:04 p.m. - Comment

Pinellas Confidence Factor: 80%

If the Bilge man is right, and his reading concurs with mine, based on my sources, which aren't quite as impressive as his, I give it less than a 20% chance of hitting here.

It is more powerful than ever, 5th lowest central pressure, and slower than ever (WNW at 8), but it's track continues to head more and more westerly; the BoatUS wind field map leaves the Pinellas peninsula out completely at this time. See below about Elena and Charley.

Sunday, September 12, 2004 @ 12:16 a.m. - Comment

This is, of course, September 11th

and while we in Florida are a bit distracted, I did see a *much* larger number of American Flags on the road and in yards today than I usually do.

MSNBC, spotted via Madville (and of course, found at Freshnews), has this [flash] timeline of what went on, 3 years and 12 hours ago.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 09:44 p.m. - Comment

Pinellas Country Debris Pickup

If you have a yard full of leftovers from the last two storms, the county has place you can take the stuff, if you can't afford (or get) someone to do a drive by with a tree-chipper.

That's a link, as usual, to the county EOC bulletin page. It *should* be a formal weblog with a purpose built tool (with mailing list and RSS interfaces), but I'll get to that with the EOC technical manager after the storm passes.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 09:40 p.m. - Comment

Here, because I hadn't linked it yet,

is Weather Underground's crapload-of-info-about-tropical-storms page. In particular, it points indirectly to the latest Bill Gray hurricane forecast, which is only a week old.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 08:22 p.m. - Comment

Here's some alternate spaghetti for you

courtesy of a poster on the St Pete Times' forums; it's at Weather Underground. I've poked the webmaster at WTVT Fox-13, who are using the spaghetti image on the air; if I can get them to host it, I'll link it for y'all.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 07:43 p.m. - Comment

Ivan going even further west

The latest lead from TBO's weather center is couched in the terms that fit my personal model of the latest behavior of Ivan; it's track is leaning even further west than earlier. So, if it doesn't do a Charley, or worse, an Elena, we should be off much of the hook.

If not, I have my plywood, ice, and non-perishable food and drink situations covered.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 07:09 p.m. - Comment

According to CNN/Money

Microsoft's latest annual report finally lets the cat out of the bag: they're scared shit of Linux.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 01:48 p.m. - Comment

Mom Update

Just got a call from the pulmonologist, Dr. Masson (who, hopefully, ain't too busy sellin' wine, before its time, or otherwise), and here's the 2pm Saturday update on Hurricane Mom:

They took her vent down for testing, as they do every day, and while she only blew a 30% O2 sat, he says he's not worried and things are looking positive; still some pneumonia, but it seems to be clearing with continued antibiotics. Luckily, my mom has never been Take Antibiotics Girl, so they don't have to haul out the Keflex, just yet.

We're gonna go visit later; more when we know more, but it will likely be 3 or 4 days more. Luckily, Humana picks up the bill starting tomorrow. Or maybe that's today.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 01:42 p.m. - Comment

OMG

My sister, who is, of course, my local outlet for all things Scott Bakula has located a *song* about him, from a Madison, Wisconsin regional powerpop band called SunSpot.

Amazingly, it's *really* good music.

If you have the lyrics handy, mail em to us, 'k?

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 01:20 p.m. - Comment

But,

According to this Wind band map also from BoatUS, shows good things for the coast, especially if the track continues drifting westward.

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 12:55 p.m. - Comment

The Spaghetti Model

image has run out of bandwidth on the Hurricane Alley server, because BoatUS deeplinked it, instead of caching it. Google and archive.org are both too old on those two sites; I'm trying to find the image via Google Image search, and get it put *somewhere* useful, but in the meantime, check out all the other cool crap I found on GIS about Ivan. :-)

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 12:47 p.m. - Comment

Here's another one from

the Salty Guy: Seems Ivan isn't the only hurricane causing problems this week. Were the Bush NG memos forged, cause they *typeface* was too new for the date of the memos?

Saturday, September 11, 2004 @ 12:37 p.m. - Comment

Aw, crap.

Bilge Guy has changed his mind.

Lookin like 8pm Monday, folks.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 10:50 p.m. - Comment

As near as I can determine

This is the only official page about WFLA Channel 8's VIPIR system on the Internet. More if I find it.

And the 11pm advisory should be up soon.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 10:32 p.m. - Comment

I've said this before

but, having just seen the season premiere promo before the current airing of Star Trek: Enterprise, I have to say it again: if they aren't smart enough to use the music they're using under that promo as the main title theme, they deserve to die.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 08:00 p.m. - Comment

More Ivan

and, like the doctors treating my mom, NOAA is clearly trying to avoid being overly optimistic.

The Bilge Guy (:-) doesn't seem to have that problem. I like the cut of his jib, especially since he seems much less secure about Ivan's prognosis than others.

As with Microsoft going out of business by close-of-business 2005, remember: you heard it here first. :-)

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 07:41 p.m. - Comment

Even More WeatherBloggage

WeatherBug has one, as does this guy, the WJXX ABC-25/WTLV NBC-12 duopoly in Jacksonville has a reporter doing a blog, and Detroit's News has one for expats.

Oh, and Walt Belcher mentions us in a piece talking about the circumstances in which Channel 10 bugged out for the last one.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 02:30 p.m. - Comment

I've just realized that it will be

sometime Sunday before they think they can call the track reliably on Ivan. So make your pre-prep, and get ready... but relax a little for tonight and tomorrow.

Spotted at Fresh Bilge, courtesy of WeatherBlog 1, above, is what sounds like some informed discussion about what Ivan might do. He has some interesting comments about Jamaica, too, and he gets bit by the Spelling Flame. :-)

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 02:17 p.m. - Comment

DynOMat

The quicker picker-upper.

You gotta read this one.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 02:02 p.m. - Comment

Google run by boobs?

That's what The Reg had to say about the Playboy Interview with the firm's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The entire interview is included in the online prospectus, which will tell you way more than you ever wanted to know about an IPO. I love reading all the "this is how we could flame out" stuff.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 12:18 p.m. - Comment

It's!

The Dave Barry Hurricane Guide!

[ Courtesy of GoogleCache, because the Herald has started this silly You Must Sign Up crap. ]

For real-time Dave Barry updates, check out his weblog.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 11:31 a.m. - Comment

I've added two more

items to the WeatherBar above; a pair of weather blogs, one of which, in order, recommended the second; the Weather Nation one in particular (that's the second one) has a bunch of great linkage. I may steal much of it over the next few days.

Thank ghod I have a hurricane to keep me busy... :-{

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 10:43 a.m. - Comment

The Ivan NOAA track

has shifted fairly sharply east, towards somewhat the same predicted landfall point as Charley. The spaghetti model, linked above, is settling down, alas mostly in our direction as well. A couple branches of it still go off into WestLant though; that wouldn't suck. I have enough to worry about.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 10:16 a.m. - Comment

Mom.

Breathing. Ambulance. Oxygen. Hospital. Barium Swallow. Aspiration. ICU. Drama. Bronchoscopy. PEG tube. Anguish. Stable. Fire bad. Tree pretty. More later.

Friday, September 10, 2004 @ 10:01 a.m. - Comment

Everyone *else* is looking for VIPIR's track

And, apparently, you're gonna have to watch the channel to find out; a keyword search for VIPIR at wfla.com comes up with the delightful result of "0 search results".

Everything else, I'll link to. :-) As long as the power, and the walls, hold out.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 @ 10:37 p.m. - Comment

And, just to provide a little light relief

Beds is at it again, but this time, it's the much more important topic of toe-licking.

I'm reminded of the time two friends of mine were borrowing mine and my roommates' apartment so that he could demonstrate to her that he was a cunning linguist... and Kiss' "Lick It Up" came on the radio. They told us they were useless for at least 5 minutes; rolling off the bed with laughter.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 @ 10:11 p.m. - Comment

Also from Dave

I'm not much on conspiracy theories, but this makes me wonder [3MB flash]...

Plausible assertions, all.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 @ 10:00 p.m. - Comment

For all those of you who are looking for the

"fuck-you" track for Hurricane Ivan (I was like "huh?", looking through my logs...), Dave has it.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 @ 09:51 p.m. - Comment

I sure hope that my hit count today

has no relation to the upcoming wind speeds.

Lots more Ivan bloggage upcoming later tonight; check back then. For the moment, here's the NOAA Track map. If it stays on course, 1400 Mon through 1400 or so Wed next week will be the hot time for west central Florida.

Let us all hope it turns a hard right, and a bit earlier than Charley managed, 'k?

Thursday, September 9, 2004 @ 05:27 p.m. - Comment

Power Back.

As of about 90 minutes ago. Thanks to the street-level Florida Power guys; no thanks to the management of the back end, which needs to work *a lot* harder on exposing the triage process.

Had I known on Sunday that we wouldn't have power until *Thursday*, I would likely have found a place to park Mom back when it might have *kept* her from catching pneumonia.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 @ 05:18 p.m. - Comment

I lied.

Frances wasn't boring at all. The combination of the steroids my mom is on, the lack of power *all fucking week* (thanks to Progress Energy, whose corporate offices are up in the Carolinas, and whom I'm no longer stumping for), and the trip to the neurosurgeon yesterday in an under-air-conditioned car, put her back in the ER last night: pnuemonia.

<sigh>

The thing better not hit us; I fuckin' quit.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 @ 01:39 p.m. - Comment

As if *everything in my life* wasn't complex enough

Here comes another hurricane. Lots of useful, though non-specific links scattered around this page. Pitas may die since it's down here in Florida with me; I'll be mailing Andrew about that shortly. Keep an eye on Pam's page, which isn't always pitas-dependent, if mine goes down.

Thursday, September 9, 2004 @ 01:15 p.m. - Comment

Half the planet is

looking for the spaghetti model picture for Ivan.

I got that from BoatUS for Frances; they don't have one up yet from Hurricane Alley for Ivan -- which doesn't especially surprise me, as far as it is out yet.

When they *do* get it, it will likely be here, so you've got something to bookmark.

I may do a reference bar up top too, with storm specific links. Assuming I ever get the power back on at my mom's. :-)

UPDATE: yeah, that's where they put it, and Fox 13 has already run it. I take heart in that only 4 of the 13 or so models put it on top of *us*.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004 @ 02:11 p.m. - Comment

External CSS is not always your friend

The server my CSS sheet lives on appears to have died, and I don't have another copy of it in a useful location at the moment.

UPDATE: it's later; Pam's hosting a copy for me.

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 06:44 p.m. - Comment

Clearly, Dave Barry had to evac too

Hence, this week's lame-ass column which clearly fits into the category of "columns I could write in 15 minutes while packing the car", where, by "I", I of course mean "him".

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 06:17 p.m. - Comment

Bored? Me? :-)

For those of who *still* think there's no software for Linux, check out the "show me a random project" link at Freshmeat, the project announcement website. It's like Sourceforge, without the storage. :-)

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 05:10 p.m. - Comment

Remember the Apple Newton?

So do lots of other people. Apple killed it 6 years ago, but it still refuses to die.

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 05:03 p.m. - Comment

The Hottest Car In America?

The hybrid Toyota Prius. I was surprised, too.

More on the Prius from Home Power magazine is in this PDF file

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 05:01 p.m. - Comment

Here's a nice follow up story

about Max Mayfield from the National Hurricane Center.

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 04:55 p.m. - Comment

A Penguin In Every Store Window

Here's a nice piece by NewsForge's Robin Miller about why World Domination may not be enough for Linux's success.

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 04:31 p.m. - Comment

If you've been wondering why third-world banana republics

(and no, I don't mean the clothing company) have been feeling the need to dispatch election observers to the United States since 2000 to make sure we live up to our own standards, perhaps this Kuro5hin story about the recent modification of a military reg to permit active-duty military to participate in political conventions will be interesting to you.

I was pleased to note that the very first commenter answered my very first question: this change was made after the Democratic convention, but before the Republican one.

If I was a Republican, I'd be getting pretty disgusted with the things my party seemed to feel it had to do to stay in power...

[ Originally, that said "my third world". No, to clarify, I do *not* have any banana republics of my own. The clothing, either. ]

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 03:46 p.m. - Comment

Ok, now here is a

good incentive program to convince people to vote in November. I just can't decide if they're serious or not.

[ Not even a little bit safe for work. Thanks to Flutterby, where I get all this kind of stuff. ]

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 03:37 p.m. - Comment

Feature Story: Hurricane Frances

Final: Frances turned out to be a pretty boring storm, actually, at Baylink Storm Central in Seminole (not to mention my house, in St Pete. As a last gasp, though, one tree limb took out the transformer feeder behind my house last night, and I gather FPC fixed one half of it at 0400, but the other half still isn't fixed.

The power, of course, went out, but Florida Power (Progress Energy can bite my ass) are doing their usual yeoman job, and they have 661,999 *other* households to re-power -- and now we know how long the UPS's will run. :-) Time to build a super honker UPS.

All in all, we got off pretty light, though I know there were lots of people who didn't.

NOAA track prediction chart is here, and the Florida State EOC has a roundup page too; the St Pete Times has one as well.

My appraisal of the NOAA track map, if conditions hold (or improve more), is that we in the Bay Area will get a 'good storm' (which I've been waiting for :-), not a *bad* storm, and so far, today, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it -- and indeed, that's mostly how it worked out.

Lots of closings information, from Bay News 9, and the St Pete Times. If you're wondering, the Lisniewski family reunion is not cancelled this time.


(Satellite image courtesy WFLA)

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 3:17 p.m. - Comment

She's someone else's problem now...

No; Frances. :-)

She's headed out to the Gulf, and we're just catching the tail end. BUgged mom and sis out to the (un-airconditioned, you bastards) office, which at least has power, a refrigerator, and (most important of all) a working Internet connection.

Got breakfast at the IHOP this morning before heading over; they got it on my table 7 minutes before *they* lost power for the morning.

It's gonna be a messy week; I can tell.

Monday, September 6, 2004 @ 3:15 p.m. - Comment

Home now

Near miss, cranky laptop, cranky ignition, cranky blogger. Exhausted. Night.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 10:24 p.m. - Comment

Power still out

Thanks to WFLA and Bay News 9 for their foresight in setting up simulcast agreements...

The outage here is local; a tree limb broke a wire in the neighbor's back yard. Probably sleeping at home tonight; it's remarkably mild out.

More later.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 08:41 p.m. - Comment

Power out.

More later.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 05:52 p.m. - Comment

One of the nice things

about having a PVR (based on MythTV, in our case) is that it makes following live news coverage so much easier. You can pause and rewind, and record as many channels as you have tuner cards for (for us, currently, 2, but a third and fourth card are in the offing, fund permitting).

I'm in the process, with some help from others, of creating a collaborative User's Manual for it on a Wiki graciously provided by David Greaves. Likely, some MythBoxers will find this, my first public announcement there of; you're invited to come over and help out.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 05:19 p.m. - Comment

Well, this is boring...

I was hoping for a 'good storm', as opposed to a 'bad storm'. Over here at Baylink Storm Central in Seminole, we're discovering just how well chosen this house was: almost all of the storm so far has missed us. Course, the fact that we're at almost 110' AGL doesn't hurt anything either, I guess. In any event, no causalties so far; we'll keep you up to date. Assuming we can stay awake. Damn, does it feel like 9:30 pm already.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 04:44 p.m. - Comment

Pictures of Frances

Courtesy of Bay News 9, and PhoneCam9.

Email your phonecam pix to phonecam9@baynews9.com

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 03:43 p.m. - Comment

Um, it's Labor Day?

Channel 28 was going to be hosting the local affil for the Jerry Lewis Labor Day MDA Telethon. They've canceled; if you were going to volunteer... um, stay home.

Another brownout just now...

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 03:08 p.m. - Comment

Here we go...

The Courteney Campbell Causeway is now closed. That is all.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 03:07 p.m. - Comment

Power Fluctuations

Starting here now. Still got power; more as I know more<tm>

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 02:32 p.m. - Comment

HurricaneTrack

whom I've mentioned a couple times in the last hour, have a wireless mobile webcam on top of their Tahoe SUV. Their site is as professional looking as they profess to be; check 'em out.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 02:13 p.m. - Comment

Someone else, clearly,

is also blogging weather.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 01:52 p.m. - Comment

Oh, and by the way

If Charley and Frances haven't been enough for you...

Stand by for Hurricane Ivan.

And check out Hurricane Track, just mentioned over my shoulder on WTSP, which is what we're watching. Steve Jerve just doesn't measure up to Dick Fletcher, VIPIR notwithstanding. Here come the gusts.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 01:26 p.m. - Comment

The power's a flickerin'

We'll keep you up to date as long as we can.

The eye is almost due west of us, eastbound at 9 mph. And though Dick Fletcher ain't bugged out yet, it's still fun watching him.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 01:18 p.m. - Comment

What do you get

when you toss Dave Barry and David E. Kelley into one of those mad-scientist people-combining machines?

You get Beds, that's what. Here's his latest column, on why batter-coated frozen french fries are a fresh vegetable. Well, in *school*, at least.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 11:49 a.m. - Comment

William Shatner (back) on Star Trek?

See; this is why I like the New Media: Traditional magazines would never allow the word "fricking" into print. :-)

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 11:31 a.m. - Comment

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge

is now officially closed. That is all.

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 11:28 a.m. - Comment

Well, the power's started flickering already...

So the bloggage might be thin today. :-}

We've got UPS's, and we're going on instant shutdown mode this time. And hell, I've got an inverter. :-)

Sunday, September 5, 2004 @ 11:05 a.m. - Comment

Frances claims a casualty

I read here on the net that someone has already died.

Saturday, September 4, 2004 @ 09:43 p.m. - Comment

A nice web cam

Streaming from Fort Pierce.

Saturday, September 4, 2004 @ 08:45 p.m. - Comment

Airports closed

TIA and PIE are both closed as of 1900 Saturday; they'll remain closed until sometime Monday.

If you were flying out; too bad, so sad.

If you're expecting someone in from Florida... be prepared to wait. :-}

Update: I was worng. TIA has one more US Airways outbound at 10:30, but you ain't gettin' on it. :-)

HARTline has cancelled bus service now, as well; no word from PSTA or the cab companies.

Saturday, September 4, 2004 @ 07:55 p.m. - Comment

Let us sincerely hope...

that none of NOAA/NWS's computers succumb, this weekend, to the Blue Screen Of Death.

And the incredibly funny 404 page I got while searching for those links.

Saturday, September 4, 2004 @ 04:32 p.m. - Comment

Thanks to some

clever assistant assignment editor at Bay News 9, here's a list of outdoor webcams from locations in the predicted footprint of the storm track.

Saturday, September 4, 2004 @ 10:50 a.m. - Comment

Can I just take a moment here to say

that Courtney Peldon is *really* something else? Pretty, hot, saucy, happy... (let's leave out "slightly over half my age" for now, can we?)

Friday, September 3, 2004 @ 08:17 p.m. - Comment

Wikipedia

As you've heard me say before, Wikipedia is the shiznit. A reporter ridiculed the idea a couple weeks back, and the person to whom he did it proposed that he try to pollute it, to see if it would stick.

The reporter pooh poohed the idea, but some other people tried to do it anyway, as an experiment, and unsurprisingly, it didn't screw things up at all.

UPDATE: there's a Slashdot thread now, where some other people note that their fake articles didn't get reaped (yet); the comments are in line with my opinion, though.

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 10:43 p.m. - Comment

Throw it against the wall...

and see where it sticks; it's the Spaghetti Model -- an overlay view of *everyone's* hurricane track models.

The image is courtesy of the informative but messy Hurricane Alley, via the less messy, but less informative BoatU.S., with a hint initially from one of my producers at Access Pinellas (which is all ready for Channel 10 to borrow our studio again this Sunday :-), John Robarts, of Book Talk.

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 09:39 p.m. - Comment

This camera,

on the other hand, is a bit more... topical.

It's at the Florida State Emergency Operations Center, aimed at the Big Wall. Lots more interesting stuff at floridadisaster.org; link on the sidebar as 'State EOC'.

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 06:13 p.m. - Comment

Wow.

This camera will likely revolutionize shooting weddings. :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 06:06 p.m. - Comment

More Hurricane Frances Stuff

This, from Tampa Bay Online, Media General's website for the Trib and Channel 8. My current reading from the track projections I'm seeing from 5pm is it will turn further south of west, and therefore be closer to Tampa Bay, but it will also be much less windy by then (where, by then, I mean 2pm Sunday or so).

More When I Know More

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 05:40 p.m. - Comment

I hope you got gas

cause, as my sister points out, if you didn't you might be screwed.

Well, ok, she didn't phrase it that way...

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 04:00 p.m. - Comment

Aw, Shit.

Hurricane Frances may end the US Manned Spaceflight Program.

Forever.

/me walks off, muttering resignedly...

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 03:23 p.m. - Comment

If you're evacuating...

dial 5-1-1 for traffic details. Or, y'know, even if you're *not* evacuating.

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 02:03 p.m. - Comment

Pinellas Closings, etc

Bay News 9 has a list, and so does the Times. (That link is to the AP; it might not work from my site; if so I'll fix it later. And thanks to FEMA, from whom I'm stealing the little animated GIF; I expect their black helicopters will be too busy for me, and also to Dave, for some help with the CSS. :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 02:00 p.m. - Comment

Well....

it was time for a new coat of paint; thanks to the Open Source Web Development folks, and specifically Haran, who created this particular template. Hope you like it. I'll probably tweak it a bit over time. It's all CSS, no tables, so it should tolerate text resizing and window squooshing better than the old format.

Thursday, September 2, 2004 @ 12:01 a.m. - Comment

Diebold

wil deliver the State of Ohio for Resident Bush, *indeed*.

*BACKDOORS* in vote tallying software, people.

I am not being paranoid in citing the re-rise of the political machine.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 @ 05:53 p.m. - Comment

Ok, here we go again, again...

Hurricane Frances. Inbound. 4 days? Keep it tuned here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 @ 11:28 a.m. - Comment

Damnit

The only thing I hate worse than getting up really (for me) early, is doing it for no good reason. I don't know whether the doctor's office made the mistake, or if it's my fault, but the appointment isn't, it turns out, until *next* Wednesday.

<sigh>

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 @ 11:23 a.m. - Comment

Tenting Today

Well, it seems like that, sometimes, waiting in doctor's offices.

Off to the neurosurgeon's this morning; hopefully, we'll know what's going on my the afternoon.

Now, if I can *just* manage to get it across to my sister that her acting like a spoiled twelve-year-old really does have a measurable impact on Mom's health. I'm really tired of having to put up with (and run interference for) it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004 @ 09:04 a.m. - Comment

When Governments Go Bad

Voter Verifiable paper audit trails in Florida.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 @ 02:58 p.m. - Comment

When Geeks Go Bad

This, courtesy of Madville, courtesy of Freshnews, is a 10.5MB WMV8 file of a Toyota Camry -- a full size Toyota Camry -- set up as an RC car, and driven around the desert.

It ends up rather unpleasantly dead, as you might have extrapolated on your own...

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 @ 11:23 a.m. - Comment

Potential and Reality

This joke has the potential to be very funny, but in reality, it's kind of lame.

Monday, August 30, 2004 @ 10:07 p.m. - Comment

He Blogs for

Al!.

Must be a close personal friend, or something.

Dave noticed he changed blogging engines; I hadn't even noticed he existed...

Monday, August 30, 2004 @ 05:30 p.m. - Comment

More Mom

Finally got the neurosurgery consult scheduled; the first guy apparently doesn't do this sort of work. The new guy, Harry Van Loveren at USF is apparently God's gift to neurosurgeons (or perhaps, neurosurgery candidates); we have an appointment at 11am Wednesday.

Monday, August 30, 2004 @ 03:52 p.m. - Comment

Election Tomorrow

Don't forget to vote.

If you have problems voting, or seen anyone *else* being given a ration, report it to AFSCME who have a page set up for this.

Love your country... but *NEVER* trust it's government.

Monday, August 30, 2004 @ 02:01 p.m. - Comment

How idiots react

to freedom.

Freedom is hard work.

Friday, August 27, 2004 @ 11:16 a.m. - Comment

MGM v. Grokster

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district court in affirming that Grokster et. al. are *not* liable for contributory infringement because of the peer-to-peer filesharing software they produce, and they pretty thoroughly spanked Hollywood for trying to get them to bend the law (mostly fashioned by the Sony v Universal (Betamax) decision and A&M v. Napster) to permit such a suit.

Lots more at the EFF's page, they were one of the amici curiae in the case. More, too, at LWN, if you're a subscriber (or it's a week old).

Thursday, August 26, 2004 @ 03:10 p.m. - Comment

Aw, Jeezus...

Linux is a teenager, now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 @ 12:03 p.m. - Comment

So I'm contemplating one of those

midlife career changes that go along with one's midlife crisis. I'm pretty much sick and tired of the stress that is concomitant with fighting with Other People's Computers, most of which comes from *having* to make a living at it.

I've always been picky about what I'd work on -- to the extent possible -- but either the work got crappier, or I've gotten pickier. In either event, I'm not making enough money to make me especially happy.

And then there was last Saturday. No, the one before; the Night After Charley. I was at Cool Moe's, where I've been going to sing lately on the weekends, at the suggestion of Nikki, my regular waitress at Texas Cattle Company (she was sort of my birthday present) -- even though despite her protestations, *she* doesn't go there much.

And the 2-1/2 years regular KJ, Maddi, is leaving to go to Grand Central Station in St Pete.

And this second guy who auditioned for the spot. Well, let's just say his audio skills weren't as mad as the clients. Everyone always likes to say that most karaoke singers are drunks who won't notice the difference.

All I can tell you is that in my 14 years experience, it's less than 10%.

IN any event, I *do* have mad live audio skills, and if I can figure out how to pay for the necessary gear, I may stick my neck out. It's a nice lightweight transition...

Tuesday, August 24, 2004 @ 05:17 p.m. - Comment

So I'm contemplating one of those

... and clearly, so is my weblog engine. <grrrr>

Tuesday, August 24, 2004 @ 05:17 p.m. - Comment

Mommy Home.

There will be lots of prescriptions and cajoling and neurosurgery consults and the like, but at least we won't have to play the "but you really *need* this operation" game; there are some things she's smart about.

So, for now, a stand-down. Which is nice; keeping sis in one piece was taking all the energy I had left.

More when, as, and if.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004 @ 12:59 p.m. - Comment

And speaking

of pounding things, you'll probably enjoy the comments in this Slashdot thread about the new worm that turns on your webcam without telling you.

That Seven Sisters' guy? He speaks for me. :-)

Monday, August 23, 2004 @ 09:56 p.m. - Comment

I see Cringeley

is now pounding his pulpit on non-technological topics.

Hmmm...

Monday, August 23, 2004 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment

Can I just say...

that, after an entire week reading Tom Clancy, "find someone special to take out tonight" has, perhaps, an entirely different meaning to me than the spammer intended...?

Monday, August 23, 2004 @ 12:10 p.m. - Comment

Mom Update

Well, I haven't talked to any doctors today, but they stress tested her, and she says that the cardiologist is of the opinion that the sinus problem *is* secondary to the neuroma.

So, the question now is: is she up to 8 hours of someone digging around in her head with a shovel?

As before, Let's keep thinking those good thoughts.

Sunday, August 22, 2004 @ 09:50 p.m. - Comment

Here's a really well done

if ugly website full of video information.

Sunday, August 22, 2004 @ 05:15 p.m. - Comment

Appointment in Samarra

I can't say it better than Dan, at Flutterby:

Read this.

Sunday, August 22, 2004 @ 12:39 p.m. - Comment

Oh, I *so*

want one of these for Nextel. I'd actually pay real cash for this.

Sunday, August 22, 2004 @ 12:35 p.m. - Comment

Ruh roh

Well, here we go again.

My mom's in the ER. Well, ICU, now; they've moved her. She was out shopping for groceries today, and passed out on the front porch of Publix.

They called 911, and put her groceries in the dairy cooler.

When the hospital got around to calling us -- like, 2 hours later -- we went up to find out that the problem was sick sinus syndrome, either primary, or secondary to a recurrence of the acoustic neuroma she had (mostly :-{) removed back in 1985.

Alas, they're not really going to have any good answers for us until Monday, cause her primary care doctor didn't pull weekend duty this weekend. Such is life. I hope.

More updates as they happen.

I'm not religious enough to say "pray if you got 'em", but to quote Rona Barrett(?), "Keep thinking those good thoughts."

Saturday, August 21, 2004 @ 06:09 p.m. - Comment

Helping out the Marines

in Iraq: Ernie's House of Whoop Ass. [ Warning: be an adult. ]

Thursday, August 19, 2004 @ 05:06 p.m. - Comment

Microsoft done be the software

fo' yo' bitch.

Thursday, August 19, 2004 @ 03:11 p.m. - Comment

Finally!

More federal judges (I almost write "feral", which would have been funny all by itself :-) with a clue!

A federal appeals court has upheld a controversial court decision that says file-sharing software programs such as Grokster or Morpheus are legal.

Following the lead of a lower court decision last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said that peer-to-peer software developers could not be held liable for the copyright infringement of people using their software, as long as they had no direct ability to block the acts.

The CNet piece is here. Don't have the decision yet.

Thursday, August 19, 2004 @ 03:07 p.m. - Comment

I've been saying it for a couple years now...

I guess regime change begins at home.

Join The Committee To Re-Defeat The 'President'.

Thursday, August 19, 2004 @ 02:03 p.m. - Comment

I've seen the promo now promoting

Star Trek: Enterprise...

And I've bet my sister dinner at her favorite restaurant that the theme music behind said promo is the new season 4 theme.

She says she doesn't take sucker bets, alas.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 @ 09:09 p.m. - Comment

Terrorist Briefs

Just like mom said: always make sure you're wearing clean underwear.

Damn, but the Atlantic Monthly is good...

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 @ 11:27 a.m. - Comment

Baghdad Bob

makes it to the Internet.

[ Courtesy of Alan, whose web page doesn't really merit a link cause he never puts anything on it :-) ]

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 @ 11:05 a.m. - Comment

Naked Came The Manatee

It's a South-Florida-Bunch-Of-Whackos genre serial mystery novel, with Dave Barry as the leadoff hitter, and Carl Hiaasen batting cleanup. It's still funny, almost a decade later, and a quick search to a Barnes and Noble review reminded me why:

Mystery fans will enjoy the interplay between familiar characters like Buchanan's Miami News crime reporter Britt Montero, Levine's brawny lawyer Jake Lassiter and Standiford's building contractor-turned-sleuth John Deal. The story is less important than the pleasures to be gleaned from observing very good writers at play, penning their sardonic love letter to Miami and its environs.

At the time, I didn't *know* most of those characters were the writer's pets; it's even funnier now.

If you like Dave, or any of the other 12 writers who commited this book, go find a copy now and read it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004 @ 12:58 a.m. - Comment

Well, at least he's started

being honest.

Sure, let's re-elect this guy.

Oh, excuse me, we didn't do that in the first place.

Monday, August 16, 2004 @ 01:49 p.m. - Comment

BOB --

Bomb on Board?

Some people are *so* moronic.

Monday, August 16, 2004 @ 11:47 a.m. - Comment

Wow...

We so dodged a bullet. Hope all those people down there are ok. Amber? Your talked to your folks?

Friday, August 13, 2004 @ 04:28 p.m. - Comment

Love us 'murricans

Georgia Power is loaning us a couple dozen crews for cleanup after the storm. Thanks, guys.

Friday, August 13, 2004 @ 03:29 p.m. - Comment

Dodging a Bullet

At last report, everyone seems to agree that Charley, in addition to strengthening to Cat 4 and speeding up to 25kts, has hung a *hard* right, and is even going to put Sarasota/Bradenton on it's off-shore side, and smack Naples/Ft. Myers instead.

While I send those people my best, and as tacky as it is to say it, better someone else than me.

Weather's still gonna get suck-ugly here before tomorrow, but at least the house will likely still be here.

Friday, August 13, 2004 @ 02:28 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Charley - Webcams

Here's links to a bunch of strategically placed webcams:

Clearwater - Harborview Center
WFLA Downtown Tampa
TECO Downtown Tampa
Naples Daily News
Ft Myers beach
Naples - Vanderbilt Beach

And Weather Nation has a weather blog!

Friday, August 13, 2004 @ 02:01 p.m. - Comment

WTSP Evacuates

The good folks at WTSP Ch. 10, the local CBS affil, had to bug out because their usual haunts cause they were a bit too close to the bay.

Where'd they go?

My studio.

I'm, to coin a phrase, lovin' it.

Apparently they normally host their website inhouse, too, cause they've hammered their front page down to nothing.

Friday, August 13, 2004 @ 01:24 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Charley - Ridin' the storm out

Much better song title than plan for a Friday.

Even the 13th.

If you're hanging out, here's a checklist of what's left to do.

Friday, August 13, 2004 @ 12:37 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Charley - update 6

Well, we're at approximately T-4 hours for the beginning of festivities. There's a very slight tendency for the track to continue bending East, but don't count on it.

If you're in an evac zone:

GET THE FUCK OUT NOW

Friday, August 13, 2004 @ 11:59 a.m. - Comment

The Fabulous Four Engined

Weather Plane?

Yep, that's the WC-130 hurricane hunter, flown by, among other people, the members of the *seventh* US uniformed service: The Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


(images courtesy of The Weather Channel, though they probably are too busy to notice. :-)

Much more than you ever wanted to know about probably my second favorite military aircraft (behind the late, lamented SR-71A Blackbird) is here.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 @ 11:23 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Charley - 11pm advisory

My reading of the discussion from 5pm EDT is that it may turn less easterly than they'd projected; the strike probabilities (which have been updated to 11pm) seem to reflect this as well.

We may be out of the woods, at the expense of Cedar Key and rural northwest central Florida. Well, they have more trees and less condos than we do; I won't feel too guilty.

Pray if you got 'em.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 @ 10:55 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Charley - Pinellas Roundup

From the St Pete Times (nice to have your own reporting staff ;-), a nice roundup of preparations around the county.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 @ 10:44 p.m. - Comment

Bay Area Closings

Everything's friggin' closed, idiot.

-Lasiewski family reunion in Lutz is cancelled until next month sometime so everyone can reschedule.
Who the hell are *those* people? Were there hundreds of them?

Thursday, August 12, 2004 @ 10:26 p.m. - Comment

Forget 'smoots', Up North<tm>

...they measure snowfall in "scotts".

Shelby Scott, that is; longtime weather-loving reporter for WBZ TV Boston, who retired a while back. You think those Weather Channel guys on the beach, imitating a Pioneer stereo commercial are impressive? Well, they don't hold a candle to our Shelby.

Shame she didn't retire to Florida, we could use her.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 @ 09:50 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Charley - update 3

The St Pete Times has a monster package on the evacuation up right now; that's a front-page link, of course; I'll try to fix it up after the storm for archival purposes.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 @ 08:33 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Charley - 2

Looks like I'm the hot corner.

The evac lookup page is here, if you can hit it (it's pretty swamped; alternatively, you can call 453-3150): if you live in level A, B, or C, or in manufactured housing<tm>, get the hell out. Shelters open at 6, but try to go somewhere else, especially if you have animals.

If you have horses (or, presumably, other large animals), you can take them to Walsingham Park, 102nd Ave entrance, and Animal Services will put them up for you. Thought that was nice.

That link is also the Emergency Bulletin homepage, and if you have an email address for your cellphone, you can go add it here, and they'll send the critical bulletins to you on it. I usually add *both* my cellphone and emailbox addresses -- if you have Nextel and two-way text, be sure to use "@messaging.nextel.com". The older "@page.nextel.com" goes to your alpha page channel, and costs money.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 @ 04:10 p.m. - Comment

Hurricane Charley update 1

Pinellas County has recommended, but not actually declared a Level 3 evac; everyone in evac A, B, and C areas along with mobile homes, should evacuate or make preparations to do so.

Weather Channel's tropical update page is here, and Florida Forecast is down at the bottom of the page.

The county is planning for a Cat 3 strike; I think (hope :-) they're pessimistic on both fronts. Watch the Atlantic Storms link on the left sidebar...

and in the worst case, everyone I love knows who they are. :-} Alan, Pam, and Amber, in order, are my executors, though they probably don't know it yet.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 @ 11:44 a.m. - Comment

Herewith

a gratuitous link to a client of mine, in the aviation fuel management business, cause no one links to them, and Google doesn't like them (though, oddly, Yahoo, who are renting Google for the day, does).

Tuesday, August 10, 2004 @ 06:34 p.m. - Comment

A-la-carte cable is a horrible idea

It's the latest thing: another battle which I suspect the cable companies (and their program suppliers, especially) want to fight as hard as possible and lose.

The idea, as I understand it, is that someone somewhere is agitating about how horrible it is that you're forced to take (and, presumably, pay for) big batches of channels (usually called 'tiers') even if (horrors!) you don't actually care to watch them.

Now, aside from the fact that it will be an administrative nightmare for cable companies to go from 5 or 6 tiers (broadcast, basic, extended, premium, digital) to as-many-tiers-as-they-have-channels, which is the logical outcome of this (don't believe anyone who tells you it "eliminates" tiers; that's not what really happens), there is a much more insidious reason why this is bad:

the only practical way to implement it is to a) move all channels from analog to digital, and b) encrypt each channel separately.

The two reasons why that is bad, for those who weren't paying attention the last two years or so are:

1) making all channels digital means you *have to* rent a box from the cable company for every TV you have; the FCC's decision in TCA96 that they couldn't charge you per set becomes moot, because you have to have a box anyway, and

2) even in the unlikely even that someone comes out with a PC TV tuner card that will tune the SCTE 40 standard for MPEG-encoded digital cable, *you won't be able to use it*, because the "digital tier"... won't be a tier anymore, and it won't be unencrypted.

And they'd like us to think this is *our* idea, and that they're giving in.

Shyeah, right.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004 @ 06:17 p.m. - Comment

It was 30 years ago today

that Deep Throat taught the band to play.

Three decades ago to the minute, Richard Nixon's resignation from the office of the Presidency of the United States took effect. I was 9. I remember *precisely* where I was.

We lived on the northwest corner here, where Schaefer Ave intersects the School St. loop; the south and east sides of out lot had stone retaining walls.

I was walking East, along that south stone wall, when the town fire station horn went off, as it did every day at noon.

The President, I learned only this past year, was in Air Force One, heading home to California; the plane called in to, IIRC, Albuquerque Center and changed it's callsign in mid air -- from Air Force One to Special Air Missions 26000, the tail number of the old 707 airframe most commonly used for Air Force One duty. It's twin was 27000; the current VC-25A 747 based replacements are 28000 and 29000.

Monday, August 9, 2004 @ 12:00 p.m. - Comment

If you live in Louisiana, MOVE

Apparently, the Lousisana courts have repealed the 4th Amendment.

Thursday, August 5, 2004 @ 01:56 p.m. - Comment

I'm linking this here

so that I can keep reading it and reading it, in the hopes that maybe it will sink in:

What really turns women on.

[ From the HotSauce blog, spotted on the sidebar of the only recently rediscovered blog of Shell, late of Shellshocking. ]

Tuesday, August 3, 2004 @ 09:28 p.m. - Comment

The National Commission

on Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States has issued its final report; clearly, the lead writer is actually a *writer*.

I'm *very* pleasantly surprised to find out that it's available in PDF format directly from the commission's website; you can have your choice, one big 7.2MB PDF, or a bunch of individual chapter files, none larger than 2.4, and most of which will fit into even a 2MB Palm Pilot with the Palm Adobe Reader.

I expect *someone* will publish it in hardcover; one of my family heirlooms is a hardcover bound copy of the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (which, of course, I haven't read. :-{)

Tuesday, August 3, 2004 @ 07:58 p.m. - Comment

Dave

of Dorm fame, spotted this K5 piece on an alternative way to elect a president.

I'm not sure what I think about it; I do think it would make a a helluva semester seminar for a sophomore poli-sci class -- anyone got one laying around that I can borrow?

Monday, August 2, 2004 @ 11:19 p.m. - Comment

Straight Outta Maxim

Lisa Simpson vs. Jessica Simpson

I checked out some of the other pages on this site, but they weren't funny.

Monday, August 2, 2004 @ 06:47 p.m. - Comment

Oh, Mein Gott; no!

The new BMW 3 series?

Monday, August 2, 2004 @ 03:51 p.m. - Comment

And his hits just keep on coming...

I applied my own Ashworth's Law to the piece I read by Paul Graham about Great Hackers, to which I linked around the bend there, and found that all of his essays are of that quality.

Particularly (for my friend Beka): Why Java Is My Pointy-Haired Boss' Favorite Language.

Ok, that's not the real title, but it's better than his.

Monday, August 2, 2004 @ 03:41 p.m. - Comment

Time to

make the donuts... I mean, turn the page. Don't forget: more good stuff right through that link below.

Monday, August 2, 2004 @ 03:34 p.m. - Comment


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