June 30, 2005
More Consumer Items
- The Rubbermaid Paint Buddy. After your fabulous repaint job, you store your little bit of leftover paint in this bottle that has a roller built into the top. Then when you need to do a touch-up, you just whip out your Paint Buddy. I imagine it could also be used to do some grafitti.
- Intelligent Smart Bath. Internet-enabled. It phones you when your bath is ready.
- 10-million candlepower spotlight with a rechargable battery. This allows you go deer-spotting without bringing along your motor vehicle.
- The Sony HDR-HC1 HDV Camcorder, a genuinely high-definition consumer camcorder for less than $2000! (B & H listing for the camera is right here).
Spain Makes It Legal
The Butte County, California, Meth Strike Force has published this list of the locations of former meth labs in the county, complete with street addresses!
On that subject, I discovered just a couple of days ago that my thief had stolen my spare battery for my Mac iBook. It was stored right next to the loose change that he got. I thought it very odd that he stole the battery, but left the iBook alone...until a tiny bit of web searching turned up the info that meth labs use the lithium in rechargeable batteries! Kee-ryst! My idea now is to get a really big rat trap, bait it with Sudafed, and set it out to see who it catches.
June 29, 2005
From earlier this year:
Not Quite The Jetsons Yet
Amazon is the only place you can buy this: The Penguin Classics Library Complete Collection. I mean, the COMPLETE collection. That's 1,082 books for only $7,989.99 (you save: $5,324.75!), including shipping! The thing is, these are the paper books. That's it. Penguin Classics just as you've always known them. Books. These are not CD-ROMs, DVDs, or an iPod packed with digital versions. Nope, you'll need to lay in a supply of good ol' ribbon bookmarks for these.
Did Anyone Notice?
According to this Hilton website, the United Kingdom ended on March 31, 2005! But the Queen! She just got an iPod shuffle! Who paid for that?
June 28, 2005
The American Way
Freestar Media is proposing to build a hotel in Weare, New Hampshire. And they plan to get the land for the hotel in the All-American way: eminent domain. In fact, the property they want is adding virtually no value to the town of Weare as it is currently the home of Justice David Souter. With the votes of three members of the the board of selectman, then both Justice Souter and Freestar Media will be able to enjoy the precious right of eminent domain, as intended by our Founding Fathers.
Canadian House Votes To Make It Legal!
"It" being gay marriage. The Canadian House of Commons has voted to legalize gay marriage for the entire nation. Approval by the Senate is expected within a few days. Technically, this will extend marriage rights to Alberta, P.E.I., Nunavut and the Northwest Territories; but symbolically it means so much more!
The L.A. Times has an article about the launch of Logo, the new cable channel for gay people. It was Logo that was along filming a documentary on AIDS LifeCycle.
Reality TV veteran Scott Stone is producing "The Ride," Logo's seven-part documentary focusing on participants in the AIDS/LifeCycle 4 bike trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles earlier this month. Logo "is the only place to really tell the story the way we're telling it," he said. "This is not a big moneymaker for me or my company. It's more a labor of love."
June 27, 2005
A couple of photos of Ken, taken about a year ago.
Git Yer Tin Hat!
What Really Happened is one website that collects the paranoid and ill-informed theories of anti-government nutcases, embellishes them with spelling errors and typos, and presents them for your entertainment. They've got the expect (JFK's assassination, TWA flight 800, the Kursk sinking, etc.) but also some that are a bit new to me. For example, Hawaii is not a state! That theory is based on the notion that the overthrow of the Hawaiian royalty was illegal, and so everything following from that act is illegitimate. That naive view of history would mean that North America belongs to the Indians!
June 26, 2005
A Couple Of Late Fire Photos
These are from the neighbor's house fire last Monday.
Just Not True
There is a ridiculous rumor floating around that Pepsi will be bringing out a soda can that bears the Pledge of Allegiance minus the words "under God." I chased this down to see if Pepsi could really be that stupid, and of course they're not. Pepsi, always happy to be of assistance to the curious consumer, nicely points to a similar fuck up by Dr. Pepper a couple of years ago. Dr. Pepper is not a Pepsi product. By foolishly inserting that ellipsis, Dr. Pepper made it clear they were quoting the Pledge and leaving out "under God." If they had simply said "One nation indivisible" they could have had some wiggle (weasel?) room.
The Flag Burning Amendment
John Scalzi points out that the proposed amendment to ban desecration of the flag will apply ONLY to the American flag, not slightly wrong facsimiles. He doesn't say, but I would foresee a series of court cases to decide what does and does not constitute an American flag.
"...and the Cabots speak only to God."
Here in Desert Hot Springs things are simple: 1 high school, 1 fire station, 1 police station, 1 coffee shop (for now), and 1 museum. That museum would be the Cabot Museum. Cabot Yerxa was, indeed, a descendant of the Boston Cabots and was, in effect, the founder of Desert Hot Springs. He was the first white settler here and, although the Indians told him where to find the hot water source, no one knew of the cold water aquifer until Cabot discovered it...the very same cold water that is piped into my home today.
Cabot Yerxa, veteran of the Alaska gold rush of 1898, homesteaded 160 acres near here in 1913. By a hand-dug well, he discovered the extensive supply of underground hot water that in 1933 became the basis for the start of Desert Hot Springs. In 1941 he began this pueblo-inspired home. The construction of which was his single-minded devotion until he died in 1965.
Donated by Desert Hot Springs Improvement Association
April 26, 1981
CABOT A. YERXA
1883 - 1965
The home of Cabot Yerxa pioneer desert homesteader in 1914.
Founder and first president of Desert Hot Springs Improvement Association who placed this memorial of recognition in 1978.
BTW, the title of this post comes from this rhyme:
This is good old Boston
The home of the beans and the cod
Where the Lowells speak only to Cabots
And the Cabots speak only to God
I'm Not In Aruba
Check out my fellow Ron Gilbert and his big yellow toy. He's in Aruba as part of that investigation there.
June 25, 2005
Some Tech Items (Not All Nerdy)
- If you've been thinking you'd like to get a laptop, and you don't want to spend a lot, but you want a good one, and you are bound by the heavy shackles of Microsoft, then consider the Averatec 4200 for only $1200. Nice features. Nice display.
- If a $1200 laptop is too much, maybe you'd like this Philips portable DVD player for only $200. Perfect for long plane flights or for watching porn under the bedcovers.
- An interesting WSJ read about security solutions for stolen laptops. One is rather James Bondish, consisting of a packet of unidentified caustic liquid that is installed INSIDE the hard drive. If the laptop is stolen, the liquid is sprayed onto the HD in a fine mist, destroying it. I wonder why top level execs expose their company secrets by carrying around laptops with important secrets contained therein just so they can do Powerpoint presentations at board meetings. Why not have TWO laptops: one full-powered one with all the secrets which is kept in secure locations like the office, or a safe, when not in use. The second laptop contains nothing more than what the exec needs for the business of the day.
- Mechanical memory! Yes, we are going full circle, if Cavendish Kinetics has their way. Their mechanical memory uses only 1% as much power, is "up to" 1000 times faster, and is more stable than electronic memory. The catch is the size. So far the biggest they've got is 256 Kb. To give you a sense of scale, that's about the size of the memory on the very first DOS PCs.
- Only Apple could get away with this. Facts: it's a press release from Apple. Speculation: something will happen somewhere, sometime regarding a subject to be announced. Of course the usual suspects theorize it's an iPod announcement or an iTune announcement. I am going to guess that Steve Jobs will get up and admit that he stole the idea for a GUI from Bill Gates way back when.