May, it’s done. Well, maybe not quite, but today’s the last of it, and what with coming out of a long holiday weekend, I’m treating today more like June 0th than May 31st. I’m going to try and plow through all the start-of-week and start-of-month stuff today so the decks will be clear for tomorrow.
The weekend? Saints on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Lost two of the three to Kansas City, which isn’t encouraging, since the Saints are in the same division as the T-Bones this year. Decent food through the weekend, and even more work to do putting the recipes up. Maybe that’ll happen this week, but then again, maybe not.
On Saturday night, Adam Olow hurt himself sliding into second. Now the St. Paul Saints will miss ‘best hitter in league’ for a month due to a sprained ankle. Ouch.
Saturday night/Sunday morning saw my first real glitch with ipHouse. They had moved the old ProNS DNS servers, and that meant that suddenly DNS wasn’t working for me. Much worse, it wasn’t working on my server, which meant that the 800-odd spams that came in while I slept Saturday night could neither be flagged as spam nor bounced, and I had to spend some time Sunday morning first figuring out the DNS problems, and then sorting out the mess that 900 spams (they didn’t stop coming while I was fixing things) leaves. Eww.
Yesterday? Big plans for getting things done around the house. Instead I headed up to mom’s to visit her and got stuck in traffic (at 2pm!) returning to the Cities. I ventured off onto side roads, since I’d rather drive 45 with an occasional stoplight than alternate between 70 and 35 on the freeway. When I finally made it home, I took care of the things that had to be done, and then collapsed on the couch, letting everything else wait for today. As if I didn’t already have enough to do.
- Over the weekend, Claire book tagged me. So here’s my contribution to Book Tag meme. [claire]
- Sounds like the pieces are coming together: Johnny Depp arranges to shoot Hunter Thompson’s ashes from cannon. They still need approval from Pitkin County, but it sounds like that will probably happen. [strib]
- Here’s how to make your very own Guinness Ice Lolly (aka popsicle). Cool. Err. Cold! [boing boing]
- In the comments on a Link dump that Dan did, it was pointed out that there may be a loophole in Minnesota’s fornication law, since it prohibits sex with any single woman, but says nothing at all about multiple women. In any case, I plan on putting a bug in my local reps’ ears about these laws. One of them is just nutty enough that she might introduce a bill trying to repeal them, just in time for people to be able to watch the outcome before the 2006 elections. [flutterby]
- KernelTrap has a feature on the OpenBSD Hackathon 2005, Part I. Interesting reading, especially the part about OBSD now working on Zauruses. Part II is also available. [openbsd]
- Claire & Aaron’s new book RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone is now listed on Amazon. It should actually be available there soon, if you don’t want to buy it directly. [endwar]
Last night was an interesting one, alright. I spent the day working, trying to wrap up a project that’s been going on for a good long time. Things went pretty well, and I’m thinking that I’ll finish all the bits I’m supposed to work on before the deeadline I’ve been given. Not much earlier, but enough to make the client happy.
So I spent last evening “celebrating” where I am on the project. Stopped by the Sporty for dinner, and ended up spending the night. The most notable thing of the evening was talking with a gal who had recently been dumped by her stupid boyfriend. She’s a cute 21-year-old, and while she’s young, she’s one of the Sporty gals that I think has her life mostly together. The high point of the evening was me saying something inane like “dude, if I wasn’t twenty years older than you, I’d do you in a heartbeat.” but I actually meant it, and there’s an outside chance that it made her feel better. In any case, it’s where the subject for today comes from. Besides, that’s just what friends do.
I wonder about this sort of thing, though. Is it better for me to tell the truth (i.e. I think this gal’s a catch, and the boyfriend who dumped her is a putz), or should I maybe keep my big yap shut and not be getting involved in the romantic lives of folks twenty years my junior. I dunno. But at least there’s a ballgame this evening that will help take my mind off the problem.
- Remember how Paris Hilton’s Sidekick got hacked? Well, in spite of insecurities on some of T-Mobile’s servers, it all Started With Old-Fashioned Con, aka Social Engineering. Sure T-Mobile has spent millions upgrading their servers since then, but how much have they spent educating their employees? [schneier]
- I think I’m going to have to add Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools to my morning read. They’re not all winners, but there’s some seriously cool stuff there. [boing boing]
- Here’s a nice pair of postings: Lies Verizon DSL Support Has Told Me Today and Lies I Have Told Verizon DSL Support Today. I’m so glad I have an ISP like ipHouse, even if it means that I don’t have PNS anymore. [kottke]
Man. I was feeling pretty cranky yesterday. I solved the problem somewhat by heading out and shopping for a new chair. I think I’m probably going to get a Knoll Open Up, but I’m going to ponder for a little longer. At nearly $900 for a chair, it’s not the kind of thing to rush into, especially since I’m going to be needing a new computer sometime this summer, too.
Last night, George Tsamis got his 300th win, in what sounds like a darned good game. I spent the evening at home, listening to the rain on my windows, rather than sitting in it. Steve Butler, a late addition to the game, Helped The Saints Win, 9-7 when he was put in for Justin Hall during the pre-game rain delay.
Today there’s the “Kids Game” over in St. Paul. An eleven AM start. I could go over there, and it looks as though my schedule would even permit it, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay home instead. There’s plenty to do around here, and perhaps the sunshine streaming in my windows will encourage me to get it done. I’m in a better mood at this point in the day, at least, and that’s got to count for something.
- I’m not the only one who was down about the weather yesterday. Lileks had an especially bleaty Bleat in the cold and rain. [lileks]
- The City Pages says that You Know You Want It, referring to the way the Strib’s editorial board has jumped on the pro-stadium bandwagon here. I’m pretty sure it’s a done deal, and Hennepin County voters are going to end up having to buy Carl Pohlad a new stadium, but I sure hope there’s still some way to derail this thing.
- For the people who wonder why I think smaller government might be a good idea and for whom the hundreds of millions to buy Carl a new ballpark isn’t enough reason, I offer this. Thanks to pork-politics, we’re going to get to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a bridge bigger than the Golden Gate Bridge to serve fifty people in Alaska. And we’ve already been robbed for a million and a half for bus stop in Anchorage. Remember that feeling when your representative tells you how great it is that he’s bringing home pork for your district. [coyote blog]
- And if you think the government exists to help you, remember that not only are there odd laws ban owning skunks and swearing, but here in Minnesota, fornication (i.e. sex between unmarried people) is illegal, too. And the Clinton defense won’t work either, since sodomy’s illegal here, too. About the only bright spot, if you can call it that, is that given the statute of limitations, I’m in the clear. [flutterby]
Today, I’m almost hoping it’ll rain all day. I’ve been spending almost all my waking hours either sitting in front of my computer or on the aluminum bleachers at Midway, and my knees and back are starting to feel it. The knees are sore because almost everything I sit in ends up putting my ass below my knees (including my Aeron chair, which doesn’t come with a long enough seat-post for people my height in the first place, and mine has started lowering my fat ass to the ground over the course of the day), leading to a crunchy-knee-feeling by the end of the day. The best solution to this problem is to get out biking, but I still need find the time to finish the spring tune-up on my trike. Maybe a rainy day will supply that time.
The Saints game last night? Another win. St. Paul’s paper says Munoz, Cox help Saints stymie Cats, but I’m pretty sure the Saints were playing the Vipers last night, not the Cracker-Cats. I wonder where the press-release went wrong, especially since the story from the Saints: Saints Make It Three In A Row, 7-6 gets it right.
And the links that follow? Well, I took a few days off from griping about the bad legislation we keep getting, so I guess today I’ll catch up on that a bit. It’s not a particularly happy view of the world I have this morning.
- First off, Minnesota’s Handgun permit law is law again. I thought he’d signed this earlier, but it turns out it wasn’t until yesterday that Pawlenty signed the bill into law. [strib]
- A Minnesota court takes dim view of encryption, allowing the presence of PGP on a child pornographer’s computer was evidence of criminal intent. Ditto for his
internet use.Silly me. I would have thought that paying a nine year old girl to get naked so you can take pictures of her would be enough to make it a pretty clear crime.
- The Drug Policy Alliance says You’ve Been Drafted and points to HR 1528, another horrible bill introduced by Sensenbrenner, (R-WI). This one would make it a crime not to notice someone selling drugs to kids. I’m pretty sure simply being in a bar when someone under 21 with a fake ID would make you a criminal, the way this is written.
- Here it goes. USA-PATRIOT, Episode III: FBI asks Congress for power to seize documents
ranging from medical information to book purchases, to investigate terrorism without first securing approval from a judge.Man, J. Edgar would be spunking in his panties if he could have gotten this sort of power. The JPFO has an example of how the FBI was using the powers they were granted in the post-9/11 panic, and it ain’t pretty. [war on guns]
Yesterday was about as good as the weather in Minnesota gets. Sunny, around 70, and just enough breeze to keep the air clear. I celebrated it by talking to Jon from Finer Surroundings as he replaced the window that broke a while back (under warranty) and mowing the lawn. When that was done, I spent a while gabbing with a neighbor who was also out doing yard work. A little lunch, a little work, then it was time to get the chicken ready (based on AB’s recipe) and out to the ballgame.
The Saints picked up where they’d left off Sunday afternoon, and ended up beating Schaumburg 13-9, and tying the series. Schaumburg’s pitching staff reminds me of Spahn and Sain and two days of rain. They’ve got a couple pretty darned good starting pitchers, but once you get past those, there’s no depth in their pitching staff.
Once again, I’m going to have to promise the pictures from the ballpark are still coming. I haven’t had time to suck everything from the camera and sort them out yet. Maybe today if I can get the bug I’m working on stomped quickly.
- For the Saints, Another onslaught beats Schaumburg, tying the series 2-2. Tonight, Calgary. It’s nice to see the Saints actually getting written up in the St. Paul paper. I wonder how long that will last. [press-patch]
- Regarding Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4), John Gruber says I Suppose It Has to Be OK. [kottke]
- Some new ‘Buy American’ legislation draws fire, since the legislation requires DHS to buy things that are at least 50% made in the US. That means they’ll have to do without computers and cell phones. As an added benefit, it’ll probably invite backlash legislation from other countries. I’m pretty sure I’d be much more comfortable with DHS if they had to do without computers. [slashdot]
- Warren’s got a nice post about the Mistrust of Individual Decision-Making and how it leads to the nanny-state we’re in. If you don’t trust people to make intelligent decisions about how to run their lives, of course you have to regulate them to death. [coyote blog]
- Here’s an article on Why Crunch Mode Doesn’t Work. I’ve known most of that for years, and one of the things I like most about running my own business is that I generally manage to operate entirely in the “productive” part of the curve. When things are going well, I’m spending 4-6 hours per day doing productive work for my clients, and am running near the peak of the curve for productivity. Yes, I could put in more hours, but I wouldn’t get as much done, and wouldn’t be able to bill at as good of a rate. [accordionguy]
A weekend full of Saints games. First one of the regular season, and there were plenty of reminders of things that I don’t get right until I’ve had a chance to remind myself of my stupidity by showing up in the parking lot without something I need. Luckily, I hang out with people who are both generous and better prepared than I am, so all went well.
The things I forgot this year were gas for the portable stove that’s used for Sunday breakfasts, and sunblock. The first was solvable, since Pete had a spare can of gas. The second, well, let’s just say I’m feeling a little pink today.
The Saints faced Schaumburg’s best two pitchers on Friday and Saturday nights. The results were not so good, as the local boys lost the first two of the series. Yesterday, they set a new league record for doubles with ten, while going on to win 15-2. I think we’re past the best of the Schaumburg pitching at this point, and have high hopes for game four against the Flyers.
There’s also interest from the Saints of in a cookbook of tailgating recipes. Annie stopped by and mentioned it before I had a chance to bring it up, so I’m going to try to start collecting the recipes I use each night before I forget them. We’ll see how it goes, but there’s an outside chance I’ll have another book by the end of the season, and this time with someone else to sell it. That would be fun, I think.
For the record, Friday night was simple. Steak and standard yellow store-bought potato salad. Saturday, I made some polenta (or grits) for breakfast, then chilled ’em to have patties for the game to serve as an appetizer before some fajitas. Sunday was breakfast sandwiches (using sausage patties) pre-game, and some cocktail shrimp post-game. Only one or two recipes will come out of this weekend, but I’ve got a long home-stand (not to mention a long season) ahead of me, so I don’t want to burn myself out before I even get started.
I also have some pictures taken over the weekend, but I’m running late this morning, so they’re going to have to wait until later in the week. Sorry.
- A new Saints Shortstop arrives suddenly, and the Strib tells you a bit about Chris Weber. [strib]
- The Saints also have a Spiffier Midway planned for next year, with the renovations to happen after the end of this season. I’ve got mixed feelings about it. I like the benches, and will miss them if they put in plastic seats, but otherwise I think most of the ideas are overdue. Saturday night we discussed plans for the stadium and it sounds as though there will be a survey of the widths of the the section F posteriors, in order to determine what the right spacing should be. The current benches allot 18″ per posterior, but since everyone can slide up and down the row to make room, it’s seldom a problem. Standard stadium seats are 19″ and comfortable stadium seats are 22″. We’ll see how it comes out. [press-patch]
- Did you know that Everything You Thought You Knew About Grilling Is Wrong? Well, most of this is stuff I already knew, but I disagree on the flip early, flip often. The grill should be hot enough (and the meat warmed up to room temp) so that steaks get a couple minutes on each side and they’re done. No reason to flip them more than once if you had all your preparation done. [kottke]
- Here’s some good news: Scientists Say Sunshine May Prevent Cancer, including skin cancer, and
Even if too much sun leads to skin cancer, which is rarely deadly, too little sun may be worse.Of course they’re talking about fifteen minutes of sunshine a day, not the six hours I got yesterday. [fark!]
Well, that’s not too bad. Got the links done and you’ve got something else to read now.
- The Strib says the Saints are Winnin’ and grinnin’. Well, hopefully they will be this evening. [strib]
- Scott put together a list of 20 Cool Tiger Features You Might Not Have Heard About. Spiffy. [scottk]
- Wanna know what you’re representatives are up to in Washington? Plogress.com will let you see what particular method of screwing you they’re choosing this week. [kim]
- Yesterday Koscielski’s Guns and Ammo lost the fight. They’ll have more news on Sunday.
- Okay. I really don’t have to go to Episode III now. I’ve read The Sith Hits The Fans and know the whole story. Here be spoilers. Funny spoilers. He turns evil, you know. [steveo]
Gonna be another day with late links. I’m still awake at three ayem, after a day with a whole bunch of bug-stomping, then a fine Korean dinner, then N beers at the Sporty, then some more bug-fixing, and at this point, all I can say is that Thursday was a very good day for me. Heck, UPS even found my house to deliver my book.
There might be some more here later in the day, but then again, the Saints start the regular season tonight (and by the way, NHK will have a crew there, so if you have one of the Japanese Saints T-Shirts, please wear it to the game — it’ll make Seigo a happy boy), so I might not be typing at you until Monday. I’m sure I’m capable of being that irresponsible.
|hmm… which apartment to deliver to?|
I’m hating UPS again. A book I wanted to take a look into yesterday is supposed to be on the way from amazon. At 12:30, while I was sitting at home, the UPS driver tried to deliver it to the apartment down the street from me. At 4:30, the tracking information finally updated, and I called in to find out how I could get my book. At 7pm, after two trips to the UPS place, I finally gave up. UPS has my book, and I’ll get it when they damned well feel like giving it to me. Unless they just can’t find it at all, which is where things were when I gave up last night. I probably didn’t win any friends with my parting comment, either.
When you find the package, why don’t you just give it to FedEx to deliver? They don’t seem to need an apartment number to deliver to my house.
That was just the capper for a generally frustrating day. The bugs I need to fix aren’t yielding to my normal bug-stomping techniques, and what I’d really like is to be able to take a walk in the sunshine to clear my brain. There’s no sunshine to be had, though.
- Today is the hearing for Koscielski’s Guns and Ammo downtown at 2pm. City Hall, Room 220. This is pretty much the last showdown for the last gun shop in Minneapolis. Unless Mark wins, in which case, it’ll be a year or two before the City comes after him again. I don’t konw if I’ll be able to make it down for the hearing, but I wish Mark the best. [war on guns]
- In this week’s National Review, Mark Steyn’s column, A War Without Polkas points out that as of today, the war on terror has gone on longer than the US’ involvement in WWII. Apparently things move slower today:
Imagine if FDR had turned to Tenet to start up the OSS. In 1942, he’d have told the president not to worry, we’ll have it up and running by 1950.Then, we got internment of Japanese and ration stamps. Today we get internment of (fewer) middle easterners, national ID, and a vague feeling that Oceania has always been at war. Sigh.
- Yesterday, while eating lunch, I got asked for the first time if I was planning to go see Episode III. Now this wasn’t a complete stranger, but rather a bartender at the Sporty with whom I’ve had more than a few discussions about things like
Should I worry if I’m still tending bar at 25?
Well, I didn’t get my first full-time job until I was 26,so she knows at least a bit about me. And she understood that while Return of the Jedi was her favorite (she’s exactly girly enough that this was no surprise), people my age might have had a problem with the dancing teddy bears. But she still seemed to be taken somewhat aback by my response to her question:
Naw, I don’t need to see it. I already know how it ends. He goes evil.Or maybe as the critic at the New Yorker said:
Break me a fucking give.[strib]
- According to the strib, The weather’s just ducky, but the humans are getting testy after 17 days of rain in the past 24. I knew it felt like a lot. We’re supposed to get a break tomorrow, but then more rain on Saturday and Sunday. Ugh. Will it be the rainiest May ever? Probably not, but it sure feels like it. [strib]
- This may be more of a Friday link, but I think I need to lighten the mood a bit. Turly’s got a movie of the Coolest Dog Ever (Windows Media, 770k) that you probably need to watch. Wow. [turly]
Sheesh. Wake up this morning, and it’s raining again. With more forecast for tomorrow. Maybe on Friday it’ll clear up, but it’s starting to sap my energy. Yesterday, between the showers, I managed to get the onions planted. The only thing left to go in is the garlic, and I’m trying to decide between planting the stuff that’s started to sprout in my kitchen and buying some stuff a nursery has given a head-start for me. Might get to that today if the water ever stops falling from the sky.
Most of the rest of yesterday was spent fixing bugs. As is typical, when encountering a bug, I started by stripping out all the code that’s just plain wrong and putting in comments about how it should work. Today, I try to write code that works correctly for one particularly troublesome bug, but it looks as though once again, every bug I fix will mean negative lines of code. Who says metrics aren’t useful?
One other notable thing yesterday: I had a hankerin’, so I headed up to Long John Silver’s for lunch. The fish was as tasty as I remember it from back before all the local locations went away (early 1980s, as I recall), but the Hushpuppies were disappointing. The outsides were too slick and the darned things lacked any sort of texture at all. Sigh. So I’m guessing that at some point I’m going to have to fill up a container with hot oil and make some myself. I guess that’s one item worked out for the tailgating menu this year. Reminds me that the season starts in two short days.
Links? Well, they’re in short supply today, too. Sorry about that. The rain has my mood down, and there are just too many things I don’t want to blog about today.
- Mark Cuban points out how Yahoo forces RIAA staff cutbacks by making all the music you can download available for five dollars a month. As he points out, that’s going to make it tough for the RIAA to argue that some kid with some downloaded songs cost them thousands or millions of dollars. No sir. Five bucks. [slashdot]
- Swiftee asks Soooo, how’s that smokin’ ban goin’ for ya? The answer seems to be that for bars where smoking is banned, not so good. I’ve seen the same thing. The American, just across the border in St. Paul, is hopping. At the Sporty, here in Minneapolis, sales were off thirty or forty percent when the ban hit, and seem to be about the same still. The only good thing is that since the ban went into effect, I’ve had no problem walking in, even during one of the big specials like three-for-one, and getting a seat at the bar. [mitch]
First, in site-news, last night’s server-move went well. No longer is my server located where it has been for the past three years, but instead it’s in its new home downtown. Sometime this morning, my DSL line will get switched, and then my transfer to my new ISP will be complete. I’m going to miss my old Mr. ISP, but what are you going to do?
That’s not all that happened yesterday. There was a flurry of administrivia in the morning. Invoices were submitted, checks were deposited, and bills were paid. There were also stops at the post office, McD’s, and a stop by the temporary garden center set up in St. Anchovy. If you decide to shop there, be aware that you should keep a close eye on the cashier, since my three tomatoes, three peppers, parsley plant, bunch of peppermint, and tub of onions got rung up as nine six-pack-planters of herbs, then a ten twenty twenty-five percent discount because I said
that ain’t right. I’m pretty sure I still overpaid, but it got the total down to the twenty bucks I had planned on spending, so I didn’t argue any more. Then it was home to stick the plants in the ground. I got everything but the onions planted before the rain chased me inside.
The afternoon and evening were spent trying to make some tortuous code run more quickly. No real success, but I learned some stuff about the code that I can maybe make use of today. After some din-din, on the way to move the server, I stopped by Steph’s with a few violets I had moved to make room for the veggies (the darned things grow like weeds, y’know). Then server things that I’ve already mentioned. When I got home from that, my neighbor had left a couple wild rose plants sitting on my step (we’d talked about me taking them during our Sunday chat) so I did some gardening in the dark, plunking them into freshly-made holes in the back yard. That was it for the day for me. A busy day makes for good sleep.
- A bid for stadium referendum loses before the Local Government Committee in the MN House. There are two more committees that have to approve the ability of Hennepin County to add a tax without a referendum so the Twins can get a new stadium built for them. It’s sure looking like we’re going to get stuck paying Carl Pohlad’s welfare. [strib]
- Claire’s got Books, books, books, books — and universal ID and books about universal ID. If you’re looking to do some offline reading to get up to speed on the issue, here’s your pointers. [claire]
- I keep meaning to read through the Fifty Writing Tools from Poynter, but I never seem to get to it. Maybe mentioning it here will be the nudge I need.
- If you’re looking to get published Lulu.com might offer a solution. I keep thinking that I should finish off the second edition of Mead Made Easy one of these years, but it hasn’t bubbled to the top of the pile yet. Once again, maybe talking about it here will give me a nudge.
- A reader pointed out: Moof! There’s Dave! Moof! In some pretty good company, too.
First the weekend roundup. Spent Friday night at the Saints game. It was chilly, and thankfully the game went quickly. On the way home, I dropped a friend at the Amtrak depot so he could catch his train to Fargo where he was going to run a half-marathon. Then a stop at the Sporty. When I finally got home, I capped the night with a shot of Nyquil, and slept soundly. Until six AM. Feeling as though I hadn’t had enough sleep, I took some more Nyquil and went back to bed. This time it worked, and I slept until noon.
I spent Saturday with a hangover from the cough-medicine (and possibly from the beer). Nothing horrible, just a fuzzy-brained-feeling that persisted most of the day. But Mark was having a barbecue, so I headed out to Cabbage Patch and enjoyed the day as best I could. I got pressed into tending the grill, and managed to time things so I didn’t have to spend too much time outside in the scattered showers. That was fine by me, since I’ve got a lot of practice at tending meat over flames. I managed to get almost all the meat done at the same time, but we hadn’t planned ahead enough to have the corn with the rest of the food. When I got home, I spent an hour or so watching TV and then called it a day.
Sunday was the weekly trip up to see mom. Got home and took a nap, since while I’m mostly over my cold, I was still tired. When the sunlight coming through the west-windows of my house woke me up, I headed outside to mow the lawn. The noise from the lawnmower brought a few neighbors out to work in their yards as well, and we ended up chatting for an hour or so. I’ve got an offer for a couple wild roses I can have for the effort of transplanting them, plus one neighbor who’s going to help thin my lilies a bit. And I got a slice of rhubarb cake out of the deal!
That brings us to today. It looks like a busy day. There’s the normal mid-month work to be done, plus some work I had thought about doing yesterday afternoon before the weather turned decent. Plus I want to get the garden planted. Oh, and I need to move my webserver this evening. You may notice an outage.
- The attorney general of Massachusetts tackles spam gang, shutting down the webservers where they were selling their fake fancy watches and fake prescription medicines. They’ve identified the seven people involved, but the ringleader is thought to be in Russia. I thought maybe it would cut down on the quantity of spam for a day or two, but I’ve seen no change. [slashdot]
- Good news! The MN Senate passes handgun bill after removing some of the bad amendments put on in the Crime Prevention Committee. Next stop, the house. The Press-Patch has more details in Gun bill a slam dunk in Senate. As ever, Joel Rosenberg is likely to have the latest, plus he has some reflections on the process this time around. [strib and press-patch]
- People keep trying to Crack the Google Code, but Google’s got some pretty smart people trying to keep their results from getting messed up by
search engine optimization. [slashdot]
- The Real ID Rebellion is a clearing-house for information on fighting the REAL ID Law. [endwar]
- Claire says We’re all Illegal Aliens Now, and also says that the Hardyville borders are closed. [endwar]
- An earlier article said that national ID was Our Line in the Sand, which you should read if you don’t think a national ID is a big deal. [claire]
I had a friend ask what the big deal with the REAL ID Law was, and realized I need to do some additional explaining. Claire’s articles above are a good start. But the new law does not mandate an additional ID card. It puts federal standards on existing state ID and driver’s licenses. The big changes are that some information that Minnesota has left off IDs will now be required (most notably your social security number and some “biometric identifier”, plus the card will need to be machine readable.
But due to the creeping post-9/11 security-state, you already need picture ID to travel by any motorized or commercial transit already. You can’t get on a plane, train, or long-haul bus without showing ID. That already rankles, but at least in the case of MN IDs, those companies couldn’t collect my social security number, which may have made it a little (though not much) tougher for them to put the pieces together.
Claire covers this in the “mission creep” section of her line in the sand. Second, there’s the question of why the government feels entitled to poke into my life. Third, there’s the violation of rights. Claire points out the Fourth, Fifth, First, Ninth and Tenth amendment violations. And all this government snooping won’t make us any safer. Would-be terrorists will still find a way to procure either fake or genuine US-government-approved ID, so we won’t be any safer.
Finally, I visited security-states in Eastern Europe in the early 1980s. The presence of police everywhere, like that of National Guardsmen in the airports, may make for safer streets, but it also gives you a sense of conitnually being watched. Add in the fact that going nearly anywhere would mean at least one stop by some official who would demand to see your papers, and it was an oppressive atmosphere. Since I was in high school at the time, we did our best to laugh it off, but there was still that feelign that we were continually being watched. People adjust to it, since humans are pretty darned adaptable, but that’s exactly what worries me about the current situation in the US. People will adjust to the heightened level of surveillance. And I fear that the government will ratchet things up another notch or two. The police-states of Cold War Eastern Europe didn’t happen with any single event, either. They gradually built until the system finally collapsed. But the leaders of many pro-democracy movements were jailed because the government could easily track their whereabouts. And that’s what worries me about REAL ID.
I’ve been ranting about the Real ID Law (since Bush signed it on Wednesday) around here. Many may not think this is a big deal, but I think it is. We have, for the first time in this country, a nationwide identification card, which will be needed to travel (via airplane, bus, train, or car). To me, that sounds like an internal passport, almost identical to those used in the Soviet Union. And that just ain’t right.
Sorry if you’re not concerned about that. I did include some other links below, but I think this is one of the bigger issues of the day, and will probably continue to rant about it for a while.
- The National ID Battle Continues, as many governors are threatening to fight the bill. If you happen to be from Wisconsin, remember that it was James Sensenbrenner who wrote this one and then inserted it into an appropriations bill that was signed into law on Wednesday. [wired]
- Bill has an Open Letter To President Bush on the Signing of the REAL ID Act. Claire says we should Stay angry about Real ID. Here in MN, SSNs weren’t tied to driver’s licenses until now, so this is even a bigger change around here, which is maybe why I’m angrier than many. Whether the law is good or not, the Achilles’ heel in ID Act is fraud and theft at the various departments of motor vehicles. Finally, hitting the point I touched on above, Colby Cosh asks what the difference is between the REAL-ID law and the Soviet Union’s internal passports. [endwar, claire, and colby cosh]
- In local news, Joel says it Looks like today is the day for the MCPPA to get voted on. There are some problems, such as an amendment attached that would require fingerprinting of applicants (which if you think it’s reasonable, think about how you’d feel about having to get fingerprinted to receive welfare, which isn’t a right guaranteed by the constitution), but hopefully this will pass in its original form. [mitch]
- Huh. The Bitty Browser is like picture-in-picture for the web. Interesting, but I can’t think of a use for it around here (yet). [boing boing]
- Hoo boy. Lileks takes on the Minneapolis Public Library and makes me laugh. But he also invokes Godwin’s Law, so perhaps the discussion is over and he’s already lost? [lileks]
Today looks like a good day to stay inside. There was a stretch yesterday afternoon when the sun was out and it felt nice outside. My neighbor was outside mowing his lawn, and I thought briefly that I should be doing the same, but I think I’m going to wait for the weekend and hope the weather will cooperate before the grass gets so tall my lawnmower won’t be able to handle it. This morning, we’re in April again, except for all the vegetation.
I’m reminded of an aphorism that says
If you don’t treat a cold, it lasts seven days. If you do treat it, it lasts a week. I should have remembered that earlier, but since I’m in day six here, that offers some hope.
- It’s been a few days since I mentioned the MCPPA. Joel Rosenberg has the latest, and it looks as though tomorrow might be the day it hits the Senate floor. [mitch]
- Damn. There’s going to be a special advance screening of Serenity (the movie based on Firefly) on May 26th in twenty cities, including this one. But they’re already sold out, and it doesn’t open until September 30th. Feh.
- Chicago now has a Spycam Force of thirty cameras, soon to be expanded to over two thousand. It seems to be reducing crime, but given Chicago’s history of police abuses, what’s the price in freedom going to be? [wired]
- I’m not alone in thinking the Real ID Act isn’t the best idea. The JPFO call it The End of America:
Well, frankly, if the Real ID Act doesn’t make you paranoid, you’re not paying enough attention. We ask you to consider the long-term impact of a few other acts of government.And then goes on to point out how income tax would only affect the rich and social security numbers would never be used for identification. This “mission creep” is typical of how government grows. Remember that the federal government didn’t do much about firearms until prohibition ended, and suddenly all those revenooers needed new jobs, so some new regulations got written and there’s suddenly lots more to do to keep those boys busy. [endwar]
- Speaking of taxes we didn’t agree to, Judge Approves End of United Pension Plans. There’s another 5 billion (at minimum) tacked onto our tax-bill because United risked their pension money in order to make bigger profits, and lost the gamble. Rather than being forced to fold up shop, we just get to hand over buckets of money, and United’s shareholders will go on making money, whether the company is profitable or not. [claire]
- Warren has more on the UAL pension, saying it’s a Classic Moral Hazard of defined-benefit plans (like Social Security). That’s one of the reasons I think any meaningful reform needs to switch to a defined contribution plan. It’s just too easy for those who should be responsible to duck their obligations in a defined-benefit plan. [coyote blog]
Went to the Saints game again last night. Started out with over a half-hour rain-delay, as a light rain was falling at the scheduled start-time, and then they got in four innings before the rain picked up enough again to chase everyone. But it had been raining most of the way through the game, and I don’t think anyone was disappointed when they decided they’d played enough. It’s the pre-season after all, and the Saints were ahead of Winnepeg 5-3 (I think — the bottom half of the scoreboard had
shorted out at the start of the game) on the strength of a five-run third inning.
But it was nice to get home a little early. I got to sleep early, and only got woken up by my cold a couple times during the night. The weather’s supposed to be pretty crummy the rest of the week, and I think that’s going to suit me just fine. I need to stay inside and concentrate on work, and it doesn’t appear as though any distractions are going to get in my way. Of course, I’m resourceful enough that I’ll probably find something to distract myself with, but at least I don’t have any excuses ready just yet.
- The Twins Stadium passes first test, as the House Governmental Operations and Veterans Affairs Policy Committee passes a bill letting Hennepin County tax us without a referendum. Next up, the Local Government Committee. One notable thing is that the Twins have admitted they’re not planning to put a roof on the stadium. For a team that plays from April to October in Minnesota, I’m not sure of the wisdom of that, but hey, the skyboxes will be cozy. But if this tax passes, I still like the idea of having a bunch of guys dress up as Bud Selig, break into the Metrodome, and dump crates of baseballs into the Mississippi. [press-patch]
- New driver’s licenses are on the way: Real ID passes in US Senate, and President Bush will be sure to sign it. And it passed because it was tacked onto a bill authorizing spending for the ongoing whatever-the-hell in Iraq, because there was actually some opposition appearing and it might not have passed if it had to stand on its own. [boing boing]
- As for the new cards, Dr. No himself, Ron Paul says National ID Cards Won’t Stop Terrorism or Illegal Immigration.
Criminals can and will obtain national ID cards, or operate without them. National ID cards will be used to track the law-abiding masses, not criminals.[endwar]
- Stephen Green is suffering from Moral Exhaustion and wonders where the hell his allies have gone. I dunno. I’m pretty sure I’ve been here all along, but I’m not sure I’m exactly an ally. He sees the
War On Terroras a holy war. I’m less sure of that every day, especially as I see things like the Real ID Act passing, in the name of making us safer, when really, it’s the same bad idea that big-government types in Washington have been wanting for years (since at least 1995). So Steve, if you’re wondering why your
former Libertarian comradesare frustrating you, perhaps it’s because we agree that
tyranny and freedom cannot exist on a single planet, it’s just that we’re starting to suspect that our government is trying to be just as tyrannical as some it’s busy overthrowing. Maybe the problem is that your former allies see you as having deserted them, Steve.
But hey, congrats on the kid on the way. [vodkapundit]
Finally made it to a Saints game last night. Their third pre-season game, and my first. It rained, and the game was delayed a bit, and the Saints lost, but I still had fun. I’ve also reached the point in the cold where the side-effects from the medication are almost worse than the symptoms I’m trying to address. I guess that’s good, except for the three hours of sleep I got last night because the Sudafed kept me awake. Grr.
And that’s really all the news. Work continues, and the end of the project draws ever-nearer. I’ve hit the point in the project where I’m busy enough to not even be looking for something to follow it with. That’s probably not good planning, but between the cold, trying to tackle the last few bugs, and Saints games to attend, I’m out of hours in the day.
- Just in time for mosquito season, Two new bug armors pass muster at CDC. Only one of the two is available now, and I have no experience on how effective they’ll be, but they might be worth a try. [strib]
- Bruce Schneier has a long commentary on the REAL ID Act. He says it’s a done deal, but gives some suggestions on how to fight the darned thing. [schneier]
- Warren has finally realised that Republicans are saying We Won’t Respect You in the Morning to small-government libertarians, and points to a Cato report showing that the current crop are more big-government than anyone since LBJ. [coyote blog]
- Here’s a cool website to spend a couple minutes with: Meet the World gives information about eight contries in the world by way of using their flags as area-graphs of some factoid about them. Now if only there were a full collection… [accordionguy]
Probably a short update. I started coming down with a cold on Friday, and by Saturday it was in full swing. I didn’t go to the Saints pre-season opener, and definitely didn’t make it to the 5:30 am game. In fact, I wouldn’t have moved at all during the weekend if I hadn’t run out of food and cough syrup Sunday morning.
Today, I’m still feeling pretty crummy. There are a couple hours of work I need to get done today, and that’s probably going to be it for the day — the way I’m feeling, they’ll probably take most of the day.
- The Saints played a real eye opener yesterday. There’s also an account from the Minneapolis paper. I wish I’d been there. [press-patch]
- Sheesh. Here’s an alert for web app designers about how google’s web accelerator works and what it means to web applications that offer “delete” or other similarly destructive buttons. [boing boing]
- If you’re running Safari on Tiger, don’t go to the zaptastic page without first turning off the
Open “safe” files after downloadingpreference. The widget that gets auto-installed in your dashboard isn’t too damaging, but it could be. [vowe]
- Breaking news from Boing Boing: We Won The Broadcast Flag Fight!. The DC Circuit of the US Court of Appeals has ruled the FCC does not have the jurisdiction to regulate what people do with TV shows after they’ve received them. [boing boing]
- Want to know how Real ID will affect you, since it looks like it’s going to become law, since the Senate passed it as part of the Iraq spending bill. You’ll be needing a new ID by May 2008. [slashdot]
- Apparently that national ID card act gets voted on in the Senate tomorrow, apparently. Check UnRealID.com for more information about why you don’t want one. [boing boing]
- I really really hate DVDs. I was sitting around yesterday, feeling sick, and trying to watch Once Upon a Time in Mexico, when just before everything comes to a head, the DVD quits working. After spending about a half-hour trying to scan or skip past the hiccup in the DVD, I ended up just shattering the damned thing and throwing it away because you can’t actually get to the damned data when a few bits on a DVD go bad. Equally annoying is Apple’s DVD Player which just tells you that it had a problem reading the disc, and offers you one option:
Quit. I know it’s not easy, but the format has been out there long enough that someone should have a player with a “skip past the scratch” option by now, shouldn’t they?
About once a month I do the update here before I go to bed pass out. This is the one of those for May, apparently.
Last night, Jim and I went to the Swinging For The Fences lecture at the Mill City Museum. It was a good lecture, and I bought the book. We’d stopped by the Sporty before heading down, and stopped back again on the way home. It was the latter that killed me (and caused me to write this earlier than usual, but not much).
It looked at first like a boring night, and I was figuring I’d get home early. But ’round about midnight, there was an influx of folks I knew and wanted to talk to. One of ’em was a gal, natch. Spent the rest of the night talking near her. Didn’t really expect to get lucky or anything, but it’s nice to talk to the cute chick, especially when I’m not planning anything. The problem struck around the tenth (?) beer or so, when I quit remembering that I’m twice her age and ended the night by making a clumsy and drunken pass at her at bar close.
You’d think that over twenty years of spending time in bars might give a guy a clue as to how to behave after a bunch of beers. Apparently you would be mistaken to think so.
Sheesh. I’m too old for this shit.
- The Rayming products Mac Pack 1 looked like a decent GPS solution for Mac until they redesigned their site, leaving nothing but 404s behind. What I really want is a standalone GPS that I can use with my Mac, but can also use to gather data without carrying around a computer. I’m starting to think no such animal exists. And if it does, it’s probably sold by a company who can’t even show their products on the web. Feh.
- Looking for bargains around the University of MN? The Daily offers Ten for $10, ten different places that offer a chance to get out without spending too much. [daily]
- This site full of Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena is pretty fascinating. Somewhere between the eyes and the brain, funny things happen, and he explains some of the funniness. I spent more than an hour looking through it.
- I’ve mentioned the Smart Car here before. The latest? Smart Car Seeks Small Niche, and apparently that niche isn’t going to include me. At least not until 2007. Bogus.
I just checked back, and I didn’t make any special comment about the year, month and date being the same in 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2004, so I guess I’d better mention it now. Heck, it’ll only happen until 2012.
Good weather, and a relatively good day yesterday. Some work got done, but the chores around the house got left behind when I decided to head out for some buck burgers with friends. But it left me in a good mood last night, and feeling good this morning, so I think the break was worth it.
- Want to know the latest on the MCPPA? Joel Rosenberg has the poop, including which legislators are still on the fence and could use a polite call. During the time when permits were going out relatively easily, the sky didn’t fall, and the streets didn’t erupt in gun-violence. That discredits most of the antis’ arguments right there. [mitch]
- I’ve made the Saints 2005 Schedule available in iCal format. Email me if you find any errors or absolutely need it in xCal format. I haven’t figured out how to do the conversion yet, but I’m convinced it’s not too difficult, since there’s a bunch of sample code from Apple that looks useful. In any case, the pre-season starts this Saturday, so I figure it’s about time to make the data available.
- The MN Historical Society will have an lecture tonight: Swinging For The Fences: Black Baseball In Minnesota. I’m hoping to head over for it.
- Over in St. Paul, Capitol leaders back plan for Twins stadium, and it could come to a vote next week. If not, Ballpark passage predicted, possibly in a special session this spring. The St. Paul paper seems to think there’s a chance that we’ll get a referendum on the tax, but the Twins are in full-on scare-mongering mode, saying that the delay imposed by a referendum will drive up costs so much that they won’t be able to build a stadium. Well, that and the fact the the tax would almost certainly be voted down in a referendum. Everyone in the state seems to be eager to spend Hennepin County taxpayers’ money, and legislators are praising the
smart strategy of financing a ballpark with a Hennepin County tax that neither residents nor legislators can block. When this sort of thing happened a couple hundred years back, it made for a bunch of tea dumped into Boston Harbor… Of course if you dressed up as Indians, broke into the Metrodome, stole a bunch of baseballs and dumped them into the Mississippi today, you’d be called a terrorist and a racist. [strib and press-patch]
- Interesting. The Mozilla SVG Project is adding native SVG rendering to FireFox. Two things that I find interesting. The first is that SVG is a direct comptetitor to Adobe’s Flash. The second is that, a few examples aside, graphics haven’t been a part of HTML until now. I’m wondering what doors this will open for designers. [slashdot]
- Hmm. There’s google’s new web accelerator which, as I understand it, serves up pages from their cache. jr’s cranky about it. Cranky enough to turn adwords into Minus Words, blocking them from his world. I’m interested to see what solution he ends up inventing. [jr]
- Did you know that E-mail addles the mind more than smoking dope? Doesn’t surprise me. When I’ve got serious work to be done that requires real concentration, I shut down the email. Otherwise it’s too easy to switch apps, distract myself, and lose my train of thought. [claire]
I had big plans for yesterday. I spent the day watching them unravel, so today’s plan is to just try to get through the things that were on my list for yesterday that I didn’t get done. And thus does the work-week slip by a day.
- There’s Major bucks in minor leagues. The Goldklang Group, owners of the Saints, are doing okay. [press-patch]
- Sean Jensen is no Saint. He went to the open tryouts yesterday, and gave it a shot. Didn’t make the team, but has an interesting story to tell. [press-patch]
- The Board has spoken: Hennepin County OKs Twins stadium. Now the issue goes to the state legislature, which has to allow the board to levy the tax without holding a referendum on the issue. [press-patch]
- Is this a surprise? I don’t think so. Microsoft Chairman: End overseas hiring limits. BillG wants to be able to hire programmers from anywhere in the world, and says there’s a shortage of programmers here in the US. He had me until he started talking about the shortage of programmers — I know enough people looking for work that my BS detector went off. Then again, maybe there is a shortage of people willing to work for Microsoft…
- What’s the TSA giving us? More Baggage Taboos, but Little Security Enhancement. Hell, the agency even admits that airport security hasn’t improved since 9/11. [kottke]
- Wow: Great architecture, clean streets, culture — it must be Minneapolis It’s quite a paean to Minneapolis from the SF Chron. Cool.
When I woke up this morning, the temperature was below freezing again. Brr. But there’s hope. According to the weather-girl last night, it’s supposed to warm up from here on out, with decent temperatures for this weekend’s Saints games. Might be raining, but I guess we’ll see about that as we get closer to the weekend.
Yesterday, as expected, I was tired from not getting enough sleep. It was a real battle to get all the administrative work done in the morning before running out for lunch and stamps, but I made it. A quick post-lunch nap, and I did pretty well through the rest of the afternoon. I even headed out to the garage after supper to flatten the stack of cardboard boxes that has been building up as I slowly unpack things.
Today? Work, then it’s time to finish clearing the workbench in the basement so I can actually use it. Alternately, I could wrap up the spring tune-up on the trike. I want to complete both of those tasks this week, and at this point, I don’t really care which gets done first, as long as something gets done. Yes, it would be nice to have the trike ready for more rides, but it would also be nice to get the workbench, umm, working, and if I start riding around on my trike, I suspect the basement will still be a mess this fall.
Of course, there's always the chance I'll swing over to St. Paul. The Saints are having their annual tryout camp today, and I've had fun watching that in the past. I suspect I'm not going to make it to that, but there's still a slim chance I'll find (or make) the time.
- The Hennepin County Board to get an earful on stadium plan today at 1:30 pm. Turnout at the meeting is expected to be high. But the Stadium pitch adopts perverse sales ploy stressing the only
pennies per daycost of the new tax. I don’t especially care if it is only pennies. Carl Pohlad was willing to contract the Twins a couple years ago. And now we should give him millions of dollars for a new stadium? Screw him. [press-patch]
- Joel Rosenberg has More good news on the long and winding trip of the Minnesota Conceal and Carry repassage bill through the legislature. It sounds like it might actually get to a vote this year. He also has a list of who to email or call. [mitch]
- I like this one. Since nearly everyone I know is convinced that universal health insurance would be a good thing, why don’t we have Hunger Insurance, too? Oh yeah. It wouldn’t work. [claire]
- Heh. A funny local site: MyPyramid.org is run by the USA Dept of Agribusiness, and claims to offer a
Food Pyramid you can trust. Finally!Useful tips, too! [strib]
Nothing that stuck on the ground, but yeah, there were flakes falling from the sky yesterday, and when I woke up this morning, it was below freezing out there. After the warm weather in the first half of April, this just seems like a cruel trick. My apple tree thinks it’s a pretty cruel trick too, as all of its leaves are turning brown as though it’s fall out. Nothing to do but wait and see if it recovers, I guess.
The weekend around home was pretty good. A trip up to see mom Saturday morning. She really enjoys getting out to see people, and we stopped by the feed mill. I needed more seed for the birds, and it was a good excuse to visit with some folks. Everyone there knows her, and they were happy to see her, too. Saturday evening was an open house at a friend’s. Talked to a bunch of Saints fans who are excited about the season starting, even if there were snowflakes in the air. Sunday, I spent the day at home, catching up on sleep and a bunch of “little things” I needed to do to keep the place livable.
Sunday night, after I was done for the day, I dug in my stack of unread books for some light bedtime reading. I started reading Bruce Sterling’s The Zenith Angle ISBN:0345460618. The book was good enough that it was two in the morning by the time I finished it and finally got to sleep, so I’m running behind this morning.
- Speaking of books, Claire’s mystery project is no longer a mystery. She’s written a book with Aaron Zelman titled Out of the Gray Zone and it’s available now. [claire]
- In the latest on the stadium, Twins turn to fans for support, spamming their season ticket holders, who in turn pressed the Hennepin County Board for the stadium. The vote is tomorrow. [press-patch]
- R.T. Rybak withholds endorsement of stadium plan, but I’m sure he’s happiest at the moment that the hot-potato is in Peter McLaughlin’s lap. McLaughlin, who actually can vote on the proposal, plans to vote in favor of a stadium. Meanwhile, Rybak quiet in stadium debate, but
If he were on the board, Rybak said, he would vote in favor of the plan.Remember, the meeting is at 1:30pm tomorrow. [press-patch]
- There are some calling Carl Pohlad The biggest panhandler in Mpls. I like the idea that he should have to register for his begging badge before he can get Minneapolis to buy him a stadium.
- Well. Apple sued over Tiger moniker by Tiger Direct, who are claiming trademark infringement. It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.
- Is Apple Out to Launch adding launchd to Tiger? Naw, I think it’s a nice step forward. [slashdot]
- The City Pages did their Best of the Twin Cities issue last week, and Jim points out the people I know that won mentions, including Jim. Congrats! [jim]
- Remember the Italian Nutjob I mentioned back in March who got shot at in Iraq and then claimed it was a conspiracy by the government to silence her or some such? Well, CBS reports that Satellites Show Sgrena Lied and the car was doing 60 mph and never slowed on its way to the checkpoint. The report released by the Pentagon last week was poorly redacted, but covers things pretty well. The car was going faster than all other traffic that night, and when the US soldiers fired warning shots, the driver sped up, rather than stopping. [instapundit]