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:: Tuesday, July 31 2007 ::

I hit a milestone in World of Warcraft over the weekend, making it to level 30. To celebrate, I thought I would pass along some of the blogs I read about MMORPGs, including Tobold's MMORPG blog and Van Hemlock. They're both a little meatier than your typical blog, averaging several paragraphs per entry, but keeping it just under the 'too long' line.
:: David (14:22 in Michigan, 20:22 in Paris) - Comment

:: Sunday, July 29 2007 ::

Heh - whups! I should post a link too - pictures from our trip to New York.
:: David (15:31 in Michigan, 21:31 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[1]

OK - photos from out trip to New York over the 4th of July are up. As you can see, there are photos from the Buffalo Zoo, as well as lots of flowers, and some random people shots.
:: David (15:29 in Michigan, 21:29 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[1]

I really do love Arts and Letters Daily. Whenever I need something to read (say, while waiting for files to transfer), I can go there and find stuff on, for example, Heinlein's 100th birthday, or parent-child play as cultural imperialism. It's a nice way to wait. And hopefully, when the waiting is done, I'll be able to point you all to my photos from New York. fixed link
:: David (15:21 in Michigan, 21:21 in Paris) - Comment

:: Saturday, July 28 2007 ::

Here's the deal - if you are a pilot, fly the chopper, and pay attention. If there are a half dozen choppers all covering the same story, pay extra attention. Otherwise, there will be an accident.

I actually feel incapable of expressing how much this story makes me feel like our culture has hit rock bottom.
:: David (2:14 in Michigan, 8:14 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[1]

:: Thursday, July 26 2007 ::

There's a really interesting article over at Ars Technica which talks about Deep Packet Inspection. This may sound like deep geek talk, but it's actually a really interesting article, all about how your internet provider wants to control what you can see and do on the internets. Just go past the networking stuff and into the implications section, if the tech is too much. The author is quite obviously biased, but so am I, so there you go. I especially like his dissection of the marketing-speak producers of DPI machines use:

Let me put my cards on the table: I loathe the word "exaflood." It sounds like the sort of concept that would surface in a bad science fiction novel, one involving a sentient artificial intelligence, aliens who speak only in clicks, and a hard-boiled ex-space Marine with a shotgun. I'm not going to use it again, but if you're not familiar with the term (it's generally used not in any technical sense, but simply to mean "a whole lot of data"), check out this Wall Street Journal article or this freely-available reprint.
This battle has yet to play out, and the little guy (that'd be you and me) has a lot staked on its outcome. We'll see what happens.... (via slashdot)
:: David (16:21 in Michigan, 22:21 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[1]

:: Wednesday, July 25 2007 ::

The Sierra Club has some quick tips for designing (or re-designing) an energy efficient home. One of the more interesting ideas they pointed out were tubular skylights, which look to be an amazingly good buy for lighting rooms in your average residential house.
:: David (9:52 in Michigan, 15:52 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[4]

Good news: my car is apparently still quite gay. I quite like the image they chose - wonder if I could get it as a t-shirt?
:: David (7:47 in Michigan, 13:47 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[5]

:: Tuesday, July 24 2007 ::

I love the way this quote from Le Monde translated in my head:

"Il y a eu un flux financier de l'UE vers la Libye"
The basic version says 'Libya got paid off' (in regard to the Bulgarian nurses problem). But the word 'flux' there made me think of something completely different....
:: David (12:08 in Michigan, 18:08 in Paris) - Comment

:: Monday, July 23 2007 ::

Just about ready to head in and start my new job. The first day is always nerve wracking - I had a billion things going through my head last night. But I expect all will be just fine. The bike trail looks quite useable, as I drove in this morning I checked it out. So as soon as I can get a bike, I'll give that a run.
:: David (8:48 in Michigan, 14:48 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[3]

:: Sunday, July 22 2007 ::

I had a reunion yesterday with a bunch of guys I lived with in college. It was, as always, too short and too crowded to really reconnect effectively with people who I see, for the most part, once a year, but it was better than not seeing them at all, and a good time overall. Next year, with any luck, we will remember to bring vegetarian options for Sasha, as my friends seem to be a rather carnivorous bunch.
:: David (15:45 in Michigan, 21:45 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[3]

:: Saturday, July 21 2007 ::

Well, after our little adventure with kitty health care, I've decided to look into some insurance in case something like this happens again. I found a review page where people leave reviews of cat insurance plans, which doesn't tell me much, but does seem to indicate the people I thought would be good are good. I'll probably enroll us this month, even though honestly I think it's as likely a waste of money as not. I expect I know someone else who will be giving this thought, though with two cats it's much more expensive....
:: David (22:31 in Michigan, 4:31 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[4]

:: Friday, July 20 2007 ::

It's a busy week here in Ann Arbor - the Ann Arbor Art Fair is taking place, and I volunteered to work the GLCA booth last night to promote my alma mater. Today we're taking the kitten to get her stitches out, tomorrow there's the TOAD reunion, and hopefully Tammy will come see the art fair.

And, of course, to top it all off, today is my last day of work. So next week I'll start my new job. Hooray. It's exciting to get started on a new project - I just hope I can get up to speed quickly enough!

By the way - Sasha has made me promise never to title my posts with obnoxious song titles, so for those of you who got 'Whoops! I did it again' stuck in your head, I apologize.
:: David (10:41 in Michigan, 16:41 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[5]

:: Wednesday, July 18 2007 ::

I may die of not surprise - seems the nuclear plant in Japan that was near the earthquake was more badly hit than first reported.

In a statement, the Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) said there had been a mistake calculating the radioactive level of water that leaked into the sea. It was 50% more radioactive than had been announced, the company said. "But the corrected radioactivity is also below the legal limits and does not affect the environment," Tepco said.
Because we all know low levels of radiation don't affect the environment. You can read all about it at the BBC.
:: David (8:31 in Michigan, 14:31 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[2]

:: Tuesday, July 17 2007 ::

Maybe I shouldn't feel so bad about my recent Harry Potter purchase. It seems the retail price in the UK is much higher than the price I paid, including air mail shippingaccording to the BBC. In fact, the suggested retail price is high enough that one supermarket, Asda, complained.
:: David (15:14 in Michigan, 21:14 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[1]

While we were living in France, we had the opportunity to visit the Viking Ship Museum in Denmark, where many (most?) of the existing viking boat remains are housed. One of the projects the museum pursues is rebuilding these boats using traditional methods. Now, one of the boats constructed in this manner is being sailed to Ireland, and the BBC has an interactive website devoted to the journey. It includes logs from the sailors, and their travels so far have been fairly hair-raising:

Overnight the crew experienced their worst weather yet. The rain continued with even greater force. Anyone who had remained dry during the last 24 hours was almost certainly drenched now. The sea also got rougher, putting the ship under great strain. At one point the back of the boat lifted right out of the water, exposing the rudder, before crashing back into the water. Louise’s injury continued to be painful and because she was unable to work she was at greater risk of exposure. Several of the other crew members were also starting to suffer from the cold and soon Susanne, the nurse, detected the early signs of hypothermia.
Apparently the sailors are volunteers, and while it's a crazy way to spend your holiday, I can see the attraction.

While you're surfing about, you can also have a look at the photos I took at the ship museum.
:: David (11:14 in Michigan, 17:14 in Paris) - Comment

:: Saturday, July 14 2007 ::

Well, now that I've quit my job, I have to give the super-awesome-neato-keen phone back. So I went out and bought a new one. It's the successor to the phone I had from work, and so far it's pretty nifty-neat-o-keen as well. It's called the HTC Mogul, and while the name isn't the greatest (I think I'll call it the PPC 6800, instead), the functions are wonderful. I've updated my contact page with the new number, so if you have something else, please update!
:: David (17:50 in Michigan, 23:50 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[3]

I'm not ready to say we're completely out of the woods, but kitten does seem to be taking solid food again, so we're feeling a lot better about that. A week without solid food is a very serious amount of time though, so I'm hoping to see kitten plowing through major kibbles next week!
:: David (17:28 in Michigan, 23:28 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[2]

I love people with tanks on rampages!

Officers called for back up and pursued the vehicle at speeds averaging 30km/h (19 mph) as it crashed through masts, fences and telecom relay sheds.
In this case, the fun was in Sydney.
:: David (9:55 in Michigan, 15:55 in Paris) - Comment

:: Friday, July 13 2007 ::

I know it's silly, but I really did want it, so even though the pound is at record highs against the dollar, I went ahead and ordered the UK edition of Harry Potter from amazon UK. It'll come air mail, which I expect means about a week after the US edition. Thankfully, unlike some of my friends, I'm not particularly concerned when I read it.

For those of you familiar with the UK's habit of publishing an 'adult edition' of the Harry Potter books, don't worry - I ordered the kids' version. Both UK editions have different covers than the American edition.
:: David (9:42 in Michigan, 15:42 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[1]

:: Wednesday, July 11 2007 ::

While the New York Times may not live in the same world as the rest of us, it sure is a fun place to visit sometimes. Witness their recent article on wine tastings gone wrong in upstate New York:

The latest additions to local lore include a story about members of an inebriated group at the Palmer Vineyards here who hopped off a hayride and began gallivanting naked through the vines. Then there were the drunken customers at the Pugliese Vineyards in Cutchogue who jumped into the shimmering lake next to the elegant outdoor tasting area. And the bachelorette parties that often culminate in tabletop dances, to the horror of nearby oenophiles sniffing or sipping the local chardonnays.
It sounds as though our trip out east was just a little tame, and maybe we should have made time for the wine....
:: David (13:47 in Michigan, 19:47 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[2]

Hey - does anyone have any opinion on the whole 'text on the left' versus 'text on the right' question? I was thinking about overhauling the design of my blog, and wondering if I should put the menus on the right. But I always kind of feel like I expect text to be on the right, not the left. Is that the way everyone else feels, too?
:: David (12:08 in Michigan, 18:08 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[6]

Sigh. Still no happy kitten eating. She seems like she's afraid the food will make her ill again. We're trying an appetite stimulant this morning, and if that doesn't work we're going to have to feed her the hard way, which noone will enjoy. But hopefully once she has some food, she'll want more food, and at least if we're feeding her there's no dehydration involved.
:: David (11:13 in Michigan, 17:13 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[3]

Oh boy! slashdot noted today that a Will It Blend video has been posted of the iphone. For those not familiar, will it blend is, as near as I can tell, the best PR job ever done for a blender company. You can see the video here.
:: David (10:10 in Michigan, 16:10 in Paris) - Comment

:: Tuesday, July 10 2007 ::

Bonus points to the New York Times review of the new Harry Potter film, which does not resist the obvious joke:

the Potter enterprise has become a breeding ground for the next generation of British acting talent. Mr. Radcliffe has already spread his wings (and dropped his pants) on the London stage, and cultural pessimists of my generation can take comfort in knowing that while our parents may have witnessed Malcolm McDowell and Julie Christie in their prime, our children will see Mr. Grint and Ms. Watson in theirs.
Because it's always funnier when you say 'pants'!
:: David (17:35 in Michigan, 23:35 in Paris) - Comment

Wow - I knew the dollar was weak, but 2.02 dollars to the pound is impressive. And apparently 1.37 dollars per euro is also a record. It seems people think the housing market may hurt the US economy. I sincerely hope this isn't coming as a surprise to them - the writing has been on the wall for some time now....
:: David (16:17 in Michigan, 22:17 in Paris) - Comment

A busy first day back! This morning, I finally got my crown for my back tooth. It took longer than expected, both because they had to send it back once and because I went away for a week. While I was away the temporary tooth fell out, so I was reduced to 50 percent chewing power. But now that's all set.

Then, at lunch, we went over and picked up our kitten. She was totally wasted on pain meds, but seemed quite happy to get home. We're currently trying to get her to eat some food, but she is understandably a little gunshy, given that every time she ate before the surgery, it came back up. We'll give it a little time before we worry.
:: David (14:18 in Michigan, 20:18 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[1]

:: Monday, July 9 2007 ::

Well, we made it home to a very sad discovery - our kitten was ill. We took her in this morning, and they think she ate something bad (like a string) and are right now opening her to find it and make it go away. Very nerve wracking.
:: David (13:10 in Michigan, 19:10 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[7]

:: Sunday, July 8 2007 ::

According to our handy-dandy tom-tom (thanks, by the way, to Derek for guiding my choice in GPS), we are slightly more than half way home, also known as 10 miles from the Ohio border, in Pennsylvania. We'll stop for dinner in another hour or so, and then the final slog home from Cleveland. Our kitten better appreciate the effort we're putting in to seeing her this evening!
:: David (19:07 in Michigan, 1:07 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[3]

Oh boy! We're going home to see our kitten today! It's ten hours, and we're not planning on leaving until late-ish, so it should be a laugh riot. We'll see how it goes....
:: David (9:43 in Michigan, 15:43 in Paris) - Comment

:: Friday, July 6 2007 ::

It's been a fairly busy week, though I couldn't really tell you what we've done. I did buy a new guitar - a travel model for toting around, and leaving in the living room when we're not travelling. Otherwise, just puttering about. We're currently plotting our return, which may or may not take us by way of Buffalo again.

In other exciting news, my old job has been posted, so if you want to see what I used to do, read the listing. Apparently I was an Internet Engineer!
:: David (11:35 in Michigan, 17:35 in Paris) - Comment

:: Tuesday, July 3 2007 ::

Despite Nikki's concerns to the contrary, I have not been 'disappeared' by my former colleagues, nor the CIA. We're off on holiday to New York (the state, not the city). We drove over to Buffalo on Saturday, a normally five hour drive that became an eight hour marathon thanks to the border crossings. We stayed in Buffalo for the weekend with Heidi, and this morning headed out for Sharon Springs. En route, we received a phone call telling us one of the other guests at the Pfau "bed and breakfast" had been redirected to Syracuse airport, and that we should pick her up. As she would not be arriving for a few hours, we headed to downtown Syracuse, which has some crazy beautiful architecture from the early 1900's. After puttering about there for a while, we met the friend at the airport, and finished the trip over, arriving late in the evening.

I haven't heard the plans for the rest of the week, but I'm sure there are many of them. That, combined with the presence of two young boys who are keeping German Standard Time means I will probably not be capable of blogging too often this week, so please talk amongst yourselves for a bit. We'll be back next week!
:: David (22:27 in Michigan, 4:27 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments[1]

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