So at the “Housewarming Party”:http://juniorbird.com/archive/003702.html the “dog”:http://juniorbird.smugmug.com/gallery/3054487_JzRG2/1/166319766_anwr9 walked out the front door, took a left turn, and went absentmindedly exploring down the block. A neighbor a few houses down fortunately recognized him and came by carrying the little guy. Let me tell you that finding a black dog in the middle of the night did not sound like a good bet at the time and we were sure happy to see the pup. Then, as we were setting up for last night’s combined Halloween/AIG’s Birthday party, a “Cooper’s Hawk”:http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/36/_/Coopers_Hawk.aspx suddenly swept down from the sky gunning straight for “Junior”:http://juniorbird.smugmug.com/gallery/1437283_4rCYr/1/68344502_yTuCP.
I was about six feet away and in no position to do anything about it. Junior saw the hawk well before me and went into “full display”:http://www.strayreality.com/birding_directory_site/birding/umbrellatoo.jpg and let loose his loudest alarm call. All of a sudden, the hawk just hung there in the air, with his target suddenly looking twice as large as when he began his dive; I could see the characteristic round tail shape and the blue-gray basic coloring and the barred tail. And then the hawk’s wings got lift and he swooped away, clearing the wall between our house and the neighbor’s by about a foot and apparently shooting just over the neighbors’ heads on the way to whatever tree he’d been sitting in. Junior wasn’t worked up; I guess he’s just so used to assuming he’ll be eaten (he is a prey animal after all) that he thought actual peril was no different from just any other day.
Fortunately, the party we threw went great. I made an aioli and sauteed mushrooms and boiled potatoes to dip in it, and we served “Dark n’ Stormies”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_%27N%27_Stormy, “Diabolos”:http://drinkboy.com/Cocktails/recipes/Diabolo.html, and “Black Witches”:http://www.idrink.com/v.html?id=1357. We even had some fun decorating the place:
And the birthday celebration was wonderful, with the AIG’s favorite carrot cake and a delicious flan cake as well:
It was a great Halloween, but I hope I don’t have another one as scary soon! And, worse, now we’ve had peril to both the pets in both of our parties. Who’s next? Does it rotate back to Jake, or is it going to be trouble for me or for the Most Important Pet, the AIG?
The dog was acting quite proud earlier today. Since he had recently barked at some people walking past the house, I thought nothing of it; but then I noticed the empty bag of onions on the floor next to him. The bag of onions that, last I checked it, held a rather sizeable red onion. And the dog, looking so proud, seated right next to the empty bag.
The onion is not on the kitchen floor. It’s not on the living room floor — not even under the sofas. It’s not next to the dog’s bowl, and he didn’t put it near the birdcage, you know, to frame the parrot. I didn’t check the backyard but let’s face it that onion doesn’t need to be dug up twice. He can’t have moved it far; his breath smells like angels, not like onions from holding the big bulb between his teeth as he carried it. For the same reason, and, perhaps, because the genus _canis_ is more compelled by meat than by vegetables, I think we can theorize that the dog did not eat it.
So, internet, where did that dog hide that onion?
OK, let me lead this one off by clarifying. I often joke that I live in the ghetto; at the same time, I’ve never felt unsafe in my neighborhood. Everyone’s nice. That said, there’s either a high-speed chase going right by here or an LAPD chopper hovering over here once a month. And what do I ever hear about it? It’s not in the LA Times (they only have “a blog to cover murders”:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/homicidereport/, and even that’s a day behind), it’s not on “KCAL 9″:http://cbs2.com/. But, gosh, it seems to be important enough at the moment, given the number of sirens I hear and what I imagine is the cost of keeping a chopper in the air.
So, why isn’t there a source for news about what’s going on in my neighborhood? I’m sure that news choppers are often up there following the chase, it’s just that the newsroom doesn’t feel like putting it on. Why not let me watch streaming video online or something? Or, the LAPD could have a blog with officers’ reports — names and addresses redacted, of course — that told people about what was happening in each division.
Now, let’s not get bogged down in technicalities. Sure, there are legal issues, but, hey, this is supposed to be about being a community. Letting me keep up on things would let me help! Or at least be nosy. At any rate, this is what I want. So, how do we get it done? And why isn’t it already done?
Seriously, I need to know if I really needed to lock my door when the hovering LAPD chopper sent its spotlight beam into my driveway earlier this evening. ‘Cause I would’ve rather been out there watching the show!
Two years of school and two years of startup haven’t left me with a big clothing budget. I’d like to take what I own rather further than it’s going currently. But, as I contemplate radical things like not getting my dress shirts starched so that I can have one of these “casual” looks, I’m having trouble finding sources for good fashion ideas.
Maybe it’s because I’m going out to all the wrong places, but unless this summer’s fashion lessons are “chino shorts” and “linen shirts,” then I’m missing the message. I’m too busy to spend a bunch of evenings at chic West Hollywood restaurant. It seems like all I have to go by these days is “the Sartorialist”:http://www.thesartorialist.blogspot.com/ and he’s not, shall we say, warm-weather oriented. What blogs am I missing here? What should I be wearing? Chic minds want to know.
I am Annoyed Consumer. The people at Blue Cross — normally I would say fine people, but not in this case — have raised my rates. Now, I’m aware that there’s this thing called “inflation” and this other thing called “progress” and that, sometimes, these conspire to make health insurance premiums go up. But somehow I don’t think that a 20% increase is representative of the core health care inflation rate.
In fact, apparently, in 2006, “healthcare rates for businesses increased by 7.7%”:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15014332/. Why is the rate increase for me nearly three times the rate increase for businesses? It doesn’t make sense — in fact, I’d think it should be the opposite. For plans provided to businesses, insurance companies must accept some members who aren’t in good health, just because of who they work for. In contrast, when choosing individual plan members, the insurance companies have shown a preference to “cherry”:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-insure28nov28,0,2548282,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines-”pick”:http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-reject8jan08,0,6430685,full.story?coll=la-home-headlines. While I’m in no way in favor of this practice — in fact, I think it’s best for everyone if insurers cover the largest risk pools possible — logically, it should result in the ultra-exclusive inidividual insurance being the cheapest of all.
And it’s not as if I’ve moved into some big new risk pool. I’m closer to 32, sure, but I don’t know that 31 1/2 is some famous dividing line between “young and resilient” and “old and fragile.” I haven’t gotten sick, haven’t gotten any medical treatments lately, all I did in the last six months was get a checkup and an immunization booster. That’s not cost-increase-worthy.
Anyway, I’m not a big fan of my 20% boost. In fact, I really don’t want to pay it. And I don’t think that it’s reasonable that I should accept worse coverage. My ideal outcome is that I’d pay 7-10% more this year than I did last, which seems to be in line with overall health cost inflation, and is a fair rate increase.
So, who can I complain to about this to fight my increase? Insurance commissioner? City councilperson? Congressman? ‘Cause I’m ready to fight.
I discovered “CVS”:http://www.nongnu.org/cvs/ at the very beginning of this century, when I was doing Web dev. Getting past revisions? “Diff”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diff? Little notes on what changes I’d made? Life-saver. Even after leaving the industry, I kept much of my work in CVS, because revisions and branching are useful even for binary file formats, such as Word .docs or Photoshop .psds.
But I’ve been fooling with “Ruby on Rails”:http://www.rubyonrails.org/ and it seems like all the cool kids are using “Subversion”:http://subversion.tigris.org/ these days. I’m probably going to have to grab myself a good SVN client anyway; should I just switch to Subversion for all my version control needs? I currently use “TortoiseCVS”:http://www.tortoisecvs.org/ to make my CVS live easy, and it looks like “TortoiseSVN”:http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/ is similarly easy-to-use.
What does switching to SVN get me? Is it really _that_ much easier? Can I easily migrate my CVS repositories to SVN and keep all of my past revisions? What have people’s experiences been with the two technologies?
I know this is a pretty obtuse entry but I’m also pretty sure that there’s at least two regular readers who can answer all these questions.
Was a time when the spam that flooded my mailbox was *real* spam, giving me the specifics on how to gain a few inches where it counts or lose weight or get OEM software or whatever. These days, I don’t know what’s going on. To get around the filters, spammers put every letter on its own line or throw in meaningless filler words or use eye-munging obfuscation in the hopes that my spam filter won’t figure out that h00d1a is a common spam word but that I will grok that it is a weight-loss product.
And lately it seems like the spam has become so content-heavy, in order to get around the filters, that the actual content is drowning out the spam! Like the latest, a fine effort from a company that put nothing but a single link to some advertised content and the following fine joke:
bq. A rich white man threw a party and invited all of his buddies and neighbors, including Leroy, the only black guy in the neighborhood. He held the party around the pool in the backyard of his mansion. Everyone was having a good time drinking, dancing, eating BBQ and flirting with the women. At the height of the party, the host said, “I came home from a business trip and I found a 10 foot alligator got in my pool and I can’t find anybody who will come and take him away. I’d give a million dollars to anyone who would do the job!” The words were barely out of his mouth when there was a loud splash and everyone turned around and saw Leroy in the pool! Leroy was fighting the gator and kicking its ass! He was jabbing it in the eyes with his thumbs, throwing punches, head butts and chokeholds, biting the gator on the tail and flipping it through the air like some kind of Kung-Fu master. The water was churning and splashing in the struggle. Finally Leroy strangled the gator and let it float to the surface. He slowly climbed out of the pool. Everybody was staring in disbelief. Finally the host says, “Leroy, I reckon I owe you a million dollars.” “I don’t want it,” said Leroy, panting. The rich man said, “Leroy, I have to give you something! You won the bet.” Leroy said, “I would be satisfied if you gave me the name of whichever one of these white motherf**kers it was that pushed me in the pool.”
I mean, how does that get me to click through to a bukkake site?
I like it when the pools are set up with 25-meter lengths. It’s easy to gut it through just one more length when they’re that short, and the 25-meater lengths give twice as many lanes as do the 50-meter length. Sure, with a circuit you can easily fit four people in a 50-meter lane, but, for us marginally-fit trying-to-get-in-shape swimmers, we’re not really consistent enough to kee pfrom running into each other, so it’s lane-splitting or bust.
So you’ve decreased pool capacity by 50%, plus you’ve made it much harder for said marginally-fit trying-to-get-in-shape swimmers. I’m used to pushing myself to do just one more length but there’s a big difference between just one more length and a complete lap. That means either resting more often than I’d prefer or half-drowning by the time I breathlessly make it to the end of the next lap, which in turn means resting even longer, which results in fewer total laps swam.
Plus, then, taking away 1/3 of the lanes for the masters swim — that’s just not cool. I had a choice to give up after about 3/8 mile or go and try to swim a circuit in a lane with four other winded, half-drowning wimps like me. Guess which I chose. Not that I’m bitter.