:: Thursday, July 31 2008 ::
We are safe at home in Conway, Arkansas!
:: David (0:45 in Michigan, 6:45 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Wednesday, July 30 2008 ::
We're just at the twelve hour mark in our massive cross country drive to Arkansas. We woke bright and early in our 98 percent empty apartment, then doped the kitty and loaded the other 2 percent in the car, dropped the keys at the rental office, and off we went. About ten hours in we had to redope the kitten, who was going bat-crazy, but otherwise it's been smooth sailing.
:: David (19:51 in Michigan, 1:51 in Paris) - Comment
:: Tuesday, July 29 2008 ::
Well, the movers came yesterday to put the breakables into boxes, and now we're just waiting for the truck to show up and take all the boxes away. The downstairs neighbors, Pete and Jen, moved out some time ago but couldn't get a sublet, so we are able to use their place as a staging area during the move. The cat is more than a little freaked out, I think, but hopefully after the marathon drive tomorrow (14 hours!) she'll be able to start settling in to the new house. Friday the cable dude will set us up with new nternets, and then it will be back to business as usual. I'm looking forward to some time off after all this is done, but I'm not sure how relaxing unpacking and outfitting a new house will be, honestly.
:: David (12:04 in Michigan, 18:04 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Saturday, July 26 2008 ::
Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus!!! Or, perhaps more importantly, save us all from people who don't realize that tree octopi don't exist.
In one study, Donald J. Leu, who researches literacy and technology at the University of Connecticut, asked 48 students to look at a spoof Web site about a mythical species known as the "Pacific Northwest tree octopus." Nearly 90 percent of them missed the joke and deemed the site a reliable source.
This is all apropos of the question asked today by the New York Times: is reading online is really reading?
:: David (23:04 in Michigan, 5:04 in Paris) - Comment
We're just packin' fools this weekend, with the exception of a couple dinners out with friends. It's the final stretch, and there's still lots of stuff to get loaded up.
:: David (22:44 in Michigan, 4:44 in Paris) - Comment
:: Friday, July 25 2008 ::
Apparently London's Oyster cards (which are wireless cards that allow you to pay for all forms of public transport in the city of London) have been having some issues recently. Crashes, corrupted cards, and a recently released hack have all happened in the past few weeks.
:: David (10:50 in Michigan, 16:50 in Paris) - Comment
:: Thursday, July 24 2008 ::
Dear HR Person,
The money you spent buying some off-the-shelf job application processing software was wasted. Here's why: just like you, I don't like having my time wasted. You posted a job, I sent you a resume. End of story. If your software requires me to then re-enter my resume again, I probably won't apply. Since the point of buying the software was to make hiring easier, driving away qualified applicants is a sure sign of failure.
Thanks and regards,
:: David (0:01 in Michigan, 6:01 in Paris) - Comment
:: Tuesday, July 22 2008 ::
So we've been hearing for a while that Arkansas is running television ads (which you can see on the AR tourism site) nationwide to promote tourism. But what I hadn't expected is that our little town of Conway will apparently be running ads in-state to try and get tourists. I'm not totally sure what I think about the idea of trying to get in-state tourists in such a small state, but there they go anyhow. We'll see if it works.
:: David (14:18 in Michigan, 20:18 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
An interesting article on the BBC about marijuana in Canada, not necessarily interesting for what it says (there's lots of weed in Canada, and everyone is growing it!!), but for the tone of the reporting:
I'm not sure I buy the use of the term 'organised criminal syndicates' in association with middle class growers.
If Inspector Cantera's estimates are accurate, then British Columbia is probably home to the largest concentration of organised criminal syndicates in the world.
Much of the revenue derived from BC Bud, as the cannabis crop is known, goes on paying college fees, perhaps buying a second car or making that holiday to the Caribbean just a little bit more affordable.
:: David (10:14 in Michigan, 16:14 in Paris) - Comment
:: Monday, July 21 2008 ::
So the times has this really interesting article all about Berea College, which is a college which charges no tuition. As their website explains, "Berea charges no tuition and admits only academically promising students, primarily from Appalachia, who have limited economic resources." This approach is contrasted with other wealthy schools (Berea has an endowment of more than one billion dollars), who have recently come under pressure to use some of their endowments to help less wealthy students. I found the comments of Berea’s president, Larry D. Shinn, illuminating:
"You see some of these selective liberal arts colleges building new physical education facilities with these huge sheets of glass and these coffee and juice bars, and charging students $40,000 a year, and you have to ask, does this contribute to the public good[?...] We are a tax-exempt institution, so I think the public has a right to demand that our educational mission be at the heart of all of our expenditures."
:: David (22:54 in Michigan, 4:54 in Paris) - Comment
:: Sunday, July 20 2008 ::
We held a giant yard sale yesterday, in an attempt to get rid of some of the accumulated crap of the past... well, in my case, more than a decade. Our neighbours downstairs and a friend also participated. The morning went very well, and we disposed of a number of big-ticket items very quickly (some before the sale even officially started - the ad in the paper had said it started at 9AM, but that doesn't often stop the hard core sale-goers). All was going well until about noon, when the rain arrived. We migrated things indoors, but effectively the sale was over. We wrapped things up around 4:30, loading the clothes into bags for Purple Heart, who will pick things up on Wednesday. Now we're in the final cleaning run - everything goes into a box, and a week from tomorrow the movers will pack the breakables (the insurance requires them to pack things in order to be covered).
:: David (12:05 in Michigan, 18:05 in Paris) - Comment
:: Wednesday, July 16 2008 ::
We are so amazingly busy right now it blows my mind! The garage sale this weekend is coming up quickly, and then it's one week to truck-loading. And to top it off work is super crazy, as I am training my replacement. Zoiks!
:: David (15:28 in Michigan, 21:28 in Paris) - Comment
Nothing makes the red cross sadder than pretending to be red cross personnel when you are actually commandos rescuing people like Ingrid Betancourt from FARC.
:: David (13:26 in Michigan, 19:26 in Paris) - Comment
:: Monday, July 14 2008 ::
Hopefully, by now you've all heard about the New Yorker cover (pictured at right) which has apparently been denounced as "tasteless and offensive" by the Obama campaign and "totally inappropriate" by the McCain campaign. As the Guardian notes: "The satire was evidently lost on Obama's campaign and on his opponent, the Republican, John McCain." The editor of the New Yorker, in an interview given apparently before the... story?... broke, was apparently exasperated, as was the cartoonist. As, I must confess, am I. But I expect I am the target audience for the picture.
:: David (22:40 in Michigan, 4:40 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Sunday, July 13 2008 ::
I headed home on Saturday to fill the Yaris with as many boxes as it would take from my parents' basement, and as it turns out that is quite a number of boxes - I was there for roughly six hours just filling boxes with books and such and lugging them out to the car. So today I partially unloaded the car, and then had a half day of rest involving random episodes of cancelled TV shows.
:: David (22:46 in Michigan, 4:46 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Friday, July 11 2008 ::
Ah hah. And while I'm on the subject of Obama, you can make a donation to the campaign through my personal fundraising page (no joke - I told you the Facebook dude was effective!) and make my thermometer taller. While you're at it, suggest some clever text for the whitespace on the left - I've left the default text, and it isn't all that thrilling!
:: David (19:21 in Michigan, 1:21 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
So I am considering working for the Obama campaign this fall, and as such today I created an account on my.barackobama.com (which, according to the new york times, is run by one of the founders of facebook - which is clear - it's a very well designed site, with lots of stuff to do). In browsing around the site I discovered a local group that wasn't exactly what I expected from Arkansas - it seemed one of the local groups was called 'Bears for Barack'. Sadly, it wasn't what I expected, but rather referred to a local sports mascot.
:: David (19:06 in Michigan, 1:06 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Wednesday, July 9 2008 ::
I hardly know what to do with the fact that the New York Times has an article on that dancing dude on youtube. But I guess if you're going to get 15 minutes (or so) of fame, that's a great way to do it.
:: David (17:11 in Michigan, 23:11 in Paris) - Comment
Sasha and I were commenting that it would be nice to have a copy of the opera we saw over the weekend, so I went hunting for it on the interwebs. I discovered several random things that made me happy. First was the Mutopia project, which is working to make public domain sheet music available to everyone. The second was the Philadelphia Orchestra's online music store, which sells their music in FLAC format, and which recently performed all the Beethoven symphonies, which you can buy as a set on their website.
:: David (10:06 in Michigan, 16:06 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Tuesday, July 8 2008 ::
Safely back! A 4AM wakeup followed by a 6AM flight, and to work by 9 (ish). Overall a most excellent weekend, which we closed last night by having drinks and dessert with Sasha's extended family in the NY area.
:: David (10:12 in Michigan, 16:12 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Sunday, July 6 2008 ::
A day at the opera today, we headed over to see Julius Caesar in Egypt, and then dinner in Cooperstown, New York. There was also frequent checking of the Wimbledon score, which seems to have ended in Nadal's favour.
:: David (22:10 in Michigan, 4:10 in Paris) - Comment
:: Friday, July 4 2008 ::
We went and saw an exciting 4th of July parade today. I took lots of photos, but you'll have to wait to see all the thrilling details of the Cobleskill, NY parade. The high point of the parade was either the Maple King and Queen, or the dog doing her best to imitate the fire truck sirens.
:: David (22:20 in Michigan, 4:20 in Paris) - Comment
:: Thursday, July 3 2008 ::
We made it safely to New York, though the flight was delayed by three hours. If you have a key to our place, feel free to stop by and see the kitten - she'll be happy to see you! So far as I know there are no big plans (other than watching Wimbledon), so it should be a relaxing few days!
:: David (11:09 in Michigan, 17:09 in Paris) - Comment - View Comments
:: Wednesday, July 2 2008 ::
I can't decide what to think about Barack Obama changing his vote on telecom immunity. It's hard not to think as someone at the phone company - feds come in, tell me to do something. They're the feds. I do it. Or I go to jail. The legality of what they tell me to do most likely doesn't enter into it. So why should I be prosecuted after the fact?
:: David (16:18 in Michigan, 22:18 in Paris) - Comment
Well here's something I didn't expect to happen: Ingrid Betancourt has been freed. According to Le Monde, three Americans and 11 Colombian soldiers were also freed in the operation. The Americans were apparently anti-narcotics people, unsurprisingly.
:: David (16:12 in Michigan, 22:12 in Paris) - Comment
:: Tuesday, July 1 2008 ::
Too bizarre not to share: JPMorgan Chase Accidentally Breaks Into Your House And Steals Everything You Own.
:: David (16:44 in Michigan, 22:44 in Paris) - Comment
I'm pretty crazy about energy usage, but it's awfully tough to gauge certain activities in an apples-to-apples way. Should I drive less, or buy locally produced food (which has been driven less)? Etc. Treehugger has a link to a doc that gives some guidance in this arena, looking at a host of things and giving an energy use estimate.
:: David (16:19 in Michigan, 22:19 in Paris) - Comment
Hooray! Now everyone can own a Yaris - Toyota is bringing the 5-door to the states!
:: David (13:59 in Michigan, 19:59 in Paris) - Comment
Random stories for the day - elephant rental for weddings in the US, and 12m bees dumped on Canadian highway. That should cover everyone's odd story needs for a while.
:: David (9:42 in Michigan, 15:42 in Paris) - Comment