Sunday, July 31, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:57 @matt_dollinger #notagreatcareerchoice #
  • 12:24 @madimus yes, absolutely #
  • 17:49 We know we have to do it. But we don't want to do it. So we're gonna make you do it. Then we'll attack you for doing it. #wesuck #
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We Suck

The deal shaping up in Congress is really shattering in its political expediency over governance. Seems like pretty much everyone in Congress except the 1st Year Republican House members knows the Debt Ceiling needs to be raised and that it isn't really something to play chicken with. However, the leadership in the house seems unable to educate those representatives and provide enough information for those reps and their constituents enough to get them to vote to do it.

Instead it sounds like they are going to vote to authorize the President to raise the debt ceiling on his own - that there's a difference to this and voting to raise it themselves is something that is only political and not at all procedural. So they'll vote to cede the authority, knowing full well what the result will be - and then they'll vote to admonish the President for doing it.

We know we have to do it...
We can't bring ourselves to do what we know we have to do...
We'll make it so you can do what we can't bring ourselves to do that we know we have to do...
Then we'll scold you for doing what we made it possible for you to do that we were unable to bring ourselves to do that we knew we had to do.

We suck.

The saddest part is that they will then all run on how they opposed raising the debt ceiling. Red meat to chum the waters in Tea Party districts.

Here's a novel idea: if you really think we shouldn't raise the debt ceiling, don't vote for it. Don't vote for any circumstance that allows it. Stand by your damn convictions. Don't look one way and make the thing possible and then turn the other way and say you didn't want it to happen. That's not governing, that's advertising.

I lied. The saddest part won't be that they'll run on it. The saddest part is that many, many voters won't notice that particular campaign stance as being totally and completely empty.

Voting to give the President extraordinary authority to do something you don't want done that you know for a fact he will do is exactly the same as voting for it yourself. Geez! You're a US Congressman, grow a pair.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

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Friday, July 29, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 11:50 shaping up to be a telecommuter day #
  • 12:31 @bpeoples and it's usually so hard to get a cab #
  • 12:32 Errand. Walking. #ohthatswhywemoved #
  • 13:30 @beccarebec one house, and almost one house without contractors #
  • 13:31 @giantspatula whats tomorrow? #
  • 13:39 might have to turn on the air #
  • 13:45 ! nice, shallow, deceptive tax story on CNN - way to tell just part of the story guys #
  • 15:07 and... rinse #
  • 15:07 @madimus we had it on last weekend, but were able to turn it off during the week #
  • 15:11 If congress thinks archiving peoples web history is a good idea, I would like all congressional candidates web history to be public record. #
  • 17:27 DOMA, bad. Tell them: #
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 23:07 @XOMR @giantspatula ooh I got one, I'm not a booth babe- just old. #
  • 23:08 @48v @xomr @keeboch am I above the line? #
  • 10:38 @bpeoples at least you won't need a rag #
  • 12:55 Got a letter today asking if I want to sell my house. I haven't really even finished unpacking yet. Might be premature. #
  • 14:07 Precollege Drafting - Studio Time #
  • 19:44 And here comes the rain #15217 #
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140 Characters or Less...

  • 15:09 to hold out and say we won't agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced budget amendment. It's unfair #
  • 15:11 @bpeoples that was John McCain on the Senate floor #
  • 17:30 @alfranken this is stupid right, but I don't really want to hear about anything besides how we're breaking the impasse until it's fixed #
  • 18:19 somebody get her a new pair of shorts #
  • 18:20 I have two cats that would like to be adopted. Know anyone that would like a cat? #
  • 18:31 Hello Congress: "If you are going to expect perfect or nothing, you will get nothing every time" #
  • 23:07 @XOMR @giantspatula ooh I got one, I'm not a booth babe- just old. #
  • 23:08 @48v @xomr @keeboch am I above the line? #
  • 10:38 @bpeoples at least you won't need a rag #
  • 12:55 Got a letter today asking if I want to sell my house. I haven't really even finished unpacking yet. Might be premature. #
  • 14:07 Precollege Drafting - Studio Time #
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Debt Ceiling

I was going to put a West Wing video clip here, but the... Ooh wait, I lied, score one for the Blogsy app. Moving right along.

Let the record reflect that today I snapped at a US Senator. Al Franken tweeted something that he'd done that I am sure is great for all of us, but I couldn't be bothered to appreciate it. Instead I answered back:

dboevers @alfranken this is stupid right, but I don't really want to hear about anything besides how we're breaking the impasse until it's fixed
about 6 hours ago in reply to alfranken

Not my finest hour, and if by some unbelievable coincidence Senator Franken or anyone from his office stumbles across this post I'd like to apologize for losing my patience.

Can I tell you? I wanted the big deal. I would have celebrated Obama giving away entitlements if we'd seen some revenue enhancements. I don't totally hate the Reid plan (ok, I'm lying I totally hate it, but I can live with it). The Boener plan, wow. And the tea party plan? When they say prioritize do you think they know that what they are proposing leaves no money for anything?

Maybe they do.

Today I came to the end of my rope. I want the President to wheel around with a phaser rifle, break a window and yell at someone.

This far and no further. The "people" Republican freshmen so often cite are no people I know. The people I know think government is a place where people can come together to do great things. The people I know understand that this costs money, and the people I know think it is worth paying for. I don't think we should agree to plan that slowly raises the Medicare entry age, I think we should approve a plan that slowly lowers the Medicare entry age - maybe a year a year for 60 years.

It's true, government should be as small as it needs to be. But there are things we've seen that we do need and we should keep doing those things. And we should always be looking for other things we need. And when we find those things we shouldn't be so irresponsible as to not be realistic about paying for them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:18 Hello Congressfolk. Please no cuts without additional revenue. #debtceiling #
  • 20:20 Mr. Speaker, running a government isn't the same as running a small business. #
  • 20:22 Mr. Speaker, the President doesn't set national spending. Congress does. #debtceiling #
  • 20:41 Sounds like if you're contacting your Congresscritters you should wait a few hours: sites crashing, phones busy... #
  • 08:26 @XOMR um, no. #
  • 08:27 @keeboch freezing on ap! propriate movie quote response. #
  • 08:29 Take a second and write your reps today. #
  • 11:35 Just discovered I had to pay for a texting overage on my cell bill last month. I get 200 texts, but MMS photos are assesed by file size. #
  • 11:51 This is pretty hysterical: #
  • 11:57 @bpeoples they have people working right now trying to get you more crashes #
  • 12:59 @GreatDismal must read my hardcover Zero History before the sof! t back comes out #procrastinator #
  • 13:00 Precollege Drafting. Isometric and Oblique. Brains hurting. #
  • 15:47 @donttrythis #
  • 16:15 Note to House Republicans. Defaulting on the debt won't mean we'll change Washington spending habits. It'll just be defaulting on the debt #
  • 16:21 @Lynn_Allen is there a *right* way to trace raster images in Acad (to export to CNC as Plines)? #
  • 16:40 Should I join the 2015 page or just keep stalking it? #
  • 17:28 Another day of getting no closer to the end of the list - even though its the end of the day. #
  • 17:49 Does the idea of the "Super Congress" scare other people as much as it does me? #
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Monday, July 25, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:00 Why isn't a cut to Medicare a TAX HIKE for retirees? We seem to have no trouble with that logic for corporations. #
  • 10:46 Why is a cut to a corporate subsidy called a tax hike when a cut to a public retirement subsidy isn't? #
  • 10:56 @bpeoples they are both money paid out. #
  • 10:57 One CSR at the bank. Now waiting 30 minutes. Nice job Citizens. #
  • 12:32 When the Republicans rhetorically say now, 'Who would raise taxes in a recession?' the answer is Ronald Reagan. #
  • 12:52 I wonder what Nexflix would have to charge for them to license and stream everything? More than I pay for cable? #
  • 13:06 @CarnegieMellCFA 'sup? #
  • 13:07 @matt_dollinger tell me how you really feel. #
  • 13:49 It might be cooler out, but it by no measure cool. #
  • 17:10 writing an email that even I'm not reading anymore - probably won't achieve much. #
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:28 @matt_dollinger your folks just bought us a nice dinner. #
  • 10:17 @matt_dollinger probably not that epic. #
  • 11:46 Is it possible the animated .gif was Warhol's ultimate media but he didn't get to see it? #
  • 12:21 @giantspatula I have something for you to do if you're bored and looking for work. #
  • 13:59 @giantspatula in your email #
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 09:00 @keeboch yes well, the answer to that is clearly "it depends" #
  • 13:33 Inlaw visit #
  • 13:34 @andreashock pot, kettle... #
  • 16:02 Ahh. That's better. #
  • 16:08 Saturday afternoon, 304 empty. Probably a good thing. #
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Friday, July 22, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:26 @giantspatula might be cold inside #
  • 21:26 Delk died? #thecloser #
  • 23:33 @_plainKate_ haven't worked with any of them. Guess I really am nobody. #
  • 00:09 Sen. Al Franken shreds the Republican economic theory: #
  • 10:23 @caryatiddreams snowpocolypse much, much worse #
  • 10:25 Precollege Drama Friday Workshop: "Applying to C! ollege" #
  • 10:33 Well. This week officially went WOOSH! #
  • 14:22 Nerdgasm: "a female Mandalorian. It was then revealed that this new character is voiced by Katee Sackoff of Battlestar Galactica" #
  • 15:04 Work is throwing me out of the parking lot. If they don't want a full day I'm not gonna argue. #
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You know when I said I thought we'd be done with the contractors this week? Not so much... I always used to say my precollege students were the most motivated of all my students... It's hot. Not Iraq hot, or Afghanistan hot... I've been making a list of conventions our faculty should attend but don't. I wonder if I should include Comic-Con? Might be fun... Bought even more AV cables this week. Soon I will be able to play anything on anything. Then they will make video wireless... Still not walking to work. I need to fix that... Monday we will start the build for our second show of the season. No, we haven't started the first show yet... Really, really need to pay bills... If the News of the World had brought down a crime syndicate or a dirty government with these phone hacks, would we be as upset? I probably wouldn't be... More and more often now when people call and ask "Do you have anyone?" the answer is a glass half full/glass half empty "no"... I had the thought today that the alumni associations of all the Pittsburgh colleges should have an "Alumni Olympics" to build the community. Then I remembered that Pitt would kick our ass... Today we got storm doors and bathroom back-splash grout... It's been pretty hard to keep up the writing here. Gonna have to come up with a strategy... A bunch of my students apparently have tumblr feeds, just what I need: more in my RSS... Turns out you can't use the WatchESPN or the CNN live video stream if your video provider is DirectTV. Unfortunate... Too bad about the Women's World Cup. Would have been nice to be the champs again... Today I decided one of the fights wasn't worth fighting anymore. It's a shame when people decide that winning is more important than their own best interest... Tomorrow's Friday Precollege Workshop is "Applying to College." I wonder what I am going to tell them... Rush thinks the "real feel" thing is a government conspiracy. That's what comes from always being in air conditioning... For a minute there it looked like the NFL thing was going to be settled, oh, and the debt ceiling thing too... This house by the way. Ridiculous... We added "Alphas" and "Falling Skies" to the DVR but haven't watched anything. With the summer schedule the way it is, we could record on Monday and be done for the week, except a lot of what I really like isn't on Monday... If you are keeping score I still haven't read that book I've been carrying around. Maybe before work starts... Still no new Google Toolbar for Firefox... I've got a good feeling about Captain America, but we're way behind, Still haven't seen HP, Super8, Horrible Bosses, Cars 2, Bad Teacher, Larry Crowne, Green Lantern, First Class, On Stranger Tides - maybe we'll do a movie a day, two week staycation...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 11:30 Precollege faculty meeting. #
  • 15:45 Backpedalling, backpedalling #
  • 15:47 Precollege drafting - Isometric & Oblique #
  • 16:00 I no longer have the same response to hearing problem traffic reports #upsideofmoving #
  • 16:02 Obama invokes Reagan. Up is down, right is left... #
  • 16:07 The sorry truth is that the constraint of 140 chars didn't oversimplify the arguments put 4th by these candidates @ all #
  • 16:48 thinks that @verizon should provide access to the CNN app streaming to their DSL #
  • 17:11 @sspuh nooooooooooooooooooooooo #
  • 19:08 Congressfolk, when you say "this place isn't disciplined enough to spend responsibly" you're saying "I am not disciplined enough..." #
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What Happened to Chat?

I used to chat a lot. Every machine I have has AIM loaded on it and has it in the startup so that it boots right there every time I turn on a machine. I went from AOL to AIM when I dropped AOL. I've had Trillian and Pidgin. Recently I added my Facebook friends to my AIM installation and thought that would mean WAY more chatting. But it hasn't. There's so little chatting now I've thought a whole lot about uninstalling the applications. I've long thought that the AIM app was a tiny little boat anchor slowing down everything else I do. I probably won't do anything so drastic. But I do wonder where all the chatting went.

I've read online that chat's been replaced with SMS and Skype. I guess that's possible. People are way more savvy with their cell phones, and the cell phones have much easier text entry. Maybe a lot of what was chat is now SMS. I guess the same goes for Skype. Why would you sit at your computer and type when you could sit at your computer and talk; or even talk with video. AIM had audio and video a long time ago but I think it was software ahead of the hardware curve. For some reason I never used it. But really there's another thing here. SMS and Skype aren't the same as chat. Chat is a different mode. For one thing, you sort of have to put yourself out as being available for chat. SMS is as intrusive as a phone call - well maybe only as intrusive if you expect to converse. If you're just shooting out a message SMS is *perfect* but for talking... pretty much the same as a phone call. Skype is different too. Maybe I'd feel different if I were a regular user, but I don't get the feeling you just leave a Skype connection open when you are doing other things. Chat was sort of the ultimate side conversation. Really I am surfing or playing a game or working, but while I am there's this slow running continuous conversation going on.

Maybe it's that the people I chat with have become busy. Chat does have the handicap of having to be sitting at the computer. Years ago I would sit at this screen for many more hours than I do now. Many of my friends have had kids or changed their work or job situation. Those are all things that would take people out from in front of their screens. I shouldn't begrudge them their quality of life just because it cut down on my socializing.

Could be it is about screens. With my phone and my tablet I don't get in front of my computer all that much anymore. I can even blog fairly well from the tablet. I tend to not run AIM from either of those devices. I'm not sure why - ok really the reason why lately is that there's so much less chat. Why would I? Could be that it's the same for other folks.

I've been looking at the "hangout" thing on Google+. It seems to me that maybe that's the heir to chat. I could see just leaving that open. Although the video dimension of the thing is certainly a game changer.

It's probably not a bad thing that chatting has dropped off. It was in all likelihood distracting and I can say for sure that my Pacific timezone buddies often kept me up much later than is healthy for me (good thing I don't have buddies in Hawaii). Still, I miss the interaction and the ability to keep up with what people are doing and what they're thinking in real time. Facebook really isn't a substitute, even if they are the new AOL.

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:49 If a colleague looks foolish should you tell them they look foolish? #
  • 22:20 So many new appliances, can't tell what's beeping. #firstworldprobs #
  • 08:28 Just wrote an email I shouldn't have. #
  • 08:31 @giantspatula my first computer had 32K of RAM #
  • 13:38 @giantspatula well, you did help with the Dinosaur project #
  • 14:27 Well, that went just about how I thought it would. #
  • 14:31 Strange times. Hero of the left: Robert Bork #
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:38 My twitterz are all clogged #
  • 00:04 A/C set to 80. Maybe I'm missing the point. #
  • 11:29 writing annoying gimme email #
  • 13:09 Precollege Drafting - Dimensioning #
  • 13:10 @aerdin2 what about managing multiple alumni databases? That always seems like a problem to me. #
  • 13:42 @aerdin2 unless, of course, they marry eachother #
  • 14:34 In the future! , when designing buildings, just go ahead and include an office/workroom for the copier repair person. #
  • 14:49 How is it I don't know about theatre projects happening on this campus - amazing. #
  • 15:44 @aerdin2 I always identifed more with program than class - even more with my frosh dorm hall than my class #
  • 15:53 @aerdin #21stcenturyproblems #
  • 16:29 @DeathStarPR you might if you hadn't already *remodeled* it #shortsighted #
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Monday, July 18, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 22:00 I think our fridge jus threw a spazzing because a plastic bag was sticking out of the crisper drawer. Our fridge might need to relax. #
  • 12:22 @golan couchsurfer #
  • 13:04 @aerdin2 regional carnivals #
  • 13:52 starting an Evernote implementation attempt - anyone got any advice? #
  • 14:06 @bpeoples far as I knew #
  • 14:38 "when U rlly stp 2 think abt it, thr is not much work in musical thea! tre beyond NYC or tours." rlly? #
  • 15:39 and rinse #
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 00:03 Dropping Debi off at 1:00am. Deja Vu. #
  • 10:52 @AngryElex @backstagejobs lighter, easier to drill, can cut with carpentry tools, no need for threading... They were looking out for you. #
  • 15:58 Why is it so difficult to find an acceptable shelving unit? #
  • 19:11 Another victory for the Internet! #
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 23:29 OH: What's scarier than a Pteranodon with a light sabre? A Pteranodon with two light sabres! #
  • 10:37 Parents weekend marshmallow challenge: #
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Dinosaur Workshop - Summer 2011

After a one year hiatus the CMU Drama Precollege Dinosaur Workshop made a comeback.

We added a new guy this year: the pteranodon...

Since I started doing this project I've been thinking about hanging one of those in a tree in my yard. Although, this year we made the decision to clean up the entire exercise by electing not to use the exterior plywood that had been so difficult in the past. So no outside displays this year. Also I think all the students are going to take their pieces home with them, so there will be no leftovers for me. Very sad.

This is the fourth time we've done the project and the second time we've gone "super-size." This time we did one of the Stegosauri as the large scale:

This piece is about 13-14 feet long and maybe 7 feet to the tip of the tallest plate. I'd been under the impression that this one would be larger. We did a large scale several years ago and it came out 17' long and 12' tall. This one had many more pieces so I'd thought it would come out larger. Now that I think about it after the fact, our methodology makes a puzzle with more pieces ultimately come out smaller. Using that logic, we should blow up the pteranodon next, as it has the least number of pieces of any of the models we've done.

We took everything outside again this year. I lost my display space form the last time to some campus construction so this year we moved up to the main entrance of Purnell. It was nice to get them out under the sun for photos, but it seemed to me that just about everyone took today off (maybe sleeping off late night Deathly Hollows) and so foot traffic wasn't really what I hoped it would be. Still the people that were around did seem to enjoy the work.

Here's a slideshow of all the pictures from this year's workshop.

This is for scale, just in case you haven't been able to tell:

If you are in town, some of the work will be in the Purnell lobby and the scene shop through the weekend.

140 Characters or Less...

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 22:30 @stagedirections yes. No. #
  • 00:13 @kernelbrooklyn deaf? #
  • 14:45 Precollege Drafting: Orthographic Multiview #
  • 15:07 @mipow have trouble paying for data again. when I can't find wifi I use my phone. #
  • 15:12 4..3..2..1... #
  • 15:20 Choot-spa. Cool. #
  • 15:56 I would have a lot less email in m! y inbox if I could stop sending myself things #
  • 16:35 Trying a software "repair" function. Not confident. #
  • 17:55 @golan if you figure out what to do with it, let me know. #
  • 17:56 Didn't Eric Cantor watch The West Wing? Haffley loses and then the Republicans lose the election. #everythingiknowilearnedfromtv #
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Public Service

The city of Pittsburgh, like many other cities is in the midst of an ongoing financial crisis. It's possible that's too strong a word as the response doesn't appear overwhelming to someone not part of the process, and if it is a crisis it's a fairly long crisis. In any case, they're taking a real close look at revenue streams and one that gets a lot of talk is parking.

Not to long ago the city parking authority upped the rates in some of the busier neighborhoods and concurrently lengthened the hours drivers would have to feed the meters. Most of the time when you park you are dealing with individual coin-op meters, but a few of the city lots now have the central ticket printers that take paper money and credit cards. I was just reading an article that said the mayor wanted to replace a bunch of the older style meters with more of the ticket printer types. This initiative was getting a cold reception from the city council because changing the gear also apparently meant raising the rates again.

Interestingly the reason for the rate increase wasn't so much paying for the new gear or installation as to cover lost revenue from credit card transactions. When someone parking uses their credit card instead of paying cash a potion of the payment goes to the company handling the transaction as opposed to going to the city in full.

This got me thinking. It's possible we missed something in the recent credit card reform effort.

It seems to me that in the case of a public transaction that maybe the card company shouldn't be permitted to take a fee. Perhaps as a condition of their being permitted to do this type of business they should be required to handle municipal payments for free. This can't really be too significant a potion of their total revenue. Not to say they wouldn't miss the money, but it doesn't seem too unfair a idea to me.

In fact, I think I'd expand the notion and say that any civic transaction at all: local, county, state, or federal out to be handled as a public service by the transaction companies. And while I'm reaching I'll go one better and say any charitable transaction or transaction with a not-for-profit entity should also fall into this category.

No more dollar loses on charged tickets for not for profit theaters. My mother would have rejoiced.

I guess there would be a cry of "something for nothing" here. Maybe it is too much to expect getting this for absolutely zero. There are quantifiable costs to the vendors for facilitating these transactions. The recent legislation capped the allowable swipe fee for all transactions. Maybe we could allow a slightly higher swipe fee for regular transactions in exchange for no fee on civic and charitable transactions. Or, maybe we could allow a dollar for dollar write off of the money they would have made on these transactions but didn't as a business loss.

Running it over in my mind I think it's ultimately doable, and the cities could sure use the money (to say nothing about how little any of us wants to see parking rates go up again).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 00:12 Maybe credit card companies shouldn't get a cut of public transactions... #
  • 08:05 @CardamomPress not doing reserved seats? The one time we did this we had premium sets #
  • 11:16 @48v have Kucik tell you about "estopping" #
  • 11:50 Which should cost more, the stapler or the box of staples? #
  • 13:59 @keeboch not too close #
  • 14:12 Even though there's no class with required reading! the Newspage still gets its updates: #
  • 14:40 Digging through email trying to find that one from Parking - because in the end it's all about parking. #
  • 14:48 @aerdin how about you just pay for me? #
  • 16:36 They are coming: #
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 23:41 when did our A/V setup get so complicated? #
  • 23:42 @mattigray maybe next time - the real show would be getting Marisa to explain the oven, I'm gonna need lessons its so complicated #
  • 00:07 @sspuh ooh, Matt Gray cleaned me out today, but there are still many more to be unpacked. #
  • 10:00 No external monitor when using the HBOGO app. Very sad. #
  • 10:56 Study: Americans Poor Now Because They Don't Have Any Money #
  • 12:35 Precollege Drafting. Studio Day. #
  • 13:24 @bpeoples painted, in the hallway, yes #
  • 13:25 @48v at least you see it before #
  • 15:51 Netflix :-( #
  • 16:10 Mr. McConnell, that's not advocating, it's abdicating. #
  • 18:57 @backstagejobs unfortunately it's something that isn't as rare as it could be. The change is likely in the coverage #
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Apple cables are expensive. We've been setting up our A/V here at the new Chez TANBI and the tablets are a new dimension. We have fairly new TVs in two rooms, one's that will take VGA directly or HDMI input, and another older TV that does S, Composite, or Component video. What with Netflix and HBOGO on the tablets it seemed like a good idea to get the cables needed to make things talk to each other.

We already had a VGA adaptor cable. We'd been using it on the bedroom tv in the old place. I wasn't 100% happy with that though, so for the new instance I got an HDMI adapter. Good thing I already had some HDMI cables around (and that I'd spent considerable time sorting cables over the weekend). Wouldn't want to have to buy a cable on top of the near $40 for the adapter. It's a nice compact thing though and does have a USB split off of it so that you can plug in the power while you're using it. That's something I was thinking would be a good idea with the VGA adapter I already had (which doesn't have that capability).

For the old set I got a composite cable/adapter. It was also on near $40. I'm telling myself that there's some electronics in the thing and not just pin switching. Otherwise the Apple folks have been taking lessons from the Monster Cable folk. This cable also has the power split, although if I leave it set up like I think I will I might wind up needing another wall wart for it.

Here's the kicker though. Both arrangements work swell. I even managed to get one of the sets to resize the thing to the screen in a way I hadn't been able to before (in the original setup the picture was sort of narrow and off center and I could never find the right control). The rub? HBOGO disables the external viewing option. So if you want to watch that library you have to do it on the screen on the tablet.

I think this is a little odd as you can use an external monitor for a laptop when doing HBOGO from the web. Its just the apps on the mobile device that has the restriction. We surmise it's because they don't want you taking your 3G mobile device to someone else's home, where there is no HBO, and watching their content on a real screen.

But then there is 3G internet for laptops too, so that's not a great reason.

So a little bit this renders the cable on the old TV moot because we had the capability to stream Netflix through the Wii already. The interface is a little better on the tablet, so we get that, and there's anything else we might want to get on a big screen: photo slideshows and the like.

But no HBOGO.

Makes an already expensive cable seem even more expensive.

Monday, July 11, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:51 @giantspatula remind me to give you Val's email. #
  • 21:52 Moving? #
  • 21:57 @XOMR free boxes... #
  • 22:00 Anyone recognize this cable? #
  • 07:59 Frugal is super, but another night like that and we are definitely cranking up the air #
  • 08:00 @sspuh yup, yup, please #
  • 09:09 Can I throw away floppies? I don't have any floppy drives. #
  • 09:10 @giantspatula yeh - upgrade #
  • 12:05 No foolin, its warm out there, and sticky #
  • 12:50 @narcosislabs people can boom time right after their costume shop massage #
  • 13:00 Copier is down. That is sad. #
  • 15:08 no share from chrome, no google toolbar from firefox... back to IE #
  • 15:19 Apparently rain is coming #
  • 16:03 rinse #
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Sunday, July 10, 2011


Anyone recognize this cable:

It sort of looks like 1/8" Stereo to VGA.

I uncovered it in a fit of organization today while trying to unpack my office. I also found a school of orphan wall warts and several phone chargers for Motorola Razrs. Also about a mile of coax and maybe two miles of telephone cable.

The worst part (alright not worst so much really, just sort of "and even more") is that I am sure there are at least two more boxes of obsolete gear and cable remaining.

Too much fun.

140 Characters or Less...

  • 01:03 @keeboch got it? #
  • 13:12 Really, is only money. #
  • 14:47 and... we're online again #
  • 17:46 putting cables in baggies hoping there will be some magical inventory idea forthcoming #
  • 19:08 Dear electronics retailers, if by sum chance I happen 2 come in 4 modular telephone or coaxial cable please stp me & ask me if I'm ok #
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Saturday, July 09, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:25 What am I doing? Waiting for a contractor, of course. #
  • 11:08 My last tweet was somewhat futile #
  • 15:05 @matt_dollinger don't let the man get you down #
  • 15:07 Appointment between noon and four clearly means 5:30 #
  • 16:04 I should not have agreed to this schedule #tipsfornexttime #
  • 16:24 Thanks DirectTV, Noon to 4 will now easily be after 6. Super. #
  • 18:02 Did I say 6? Oops! . #
  • 18:33 Finally #
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Friday, July 08, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:11 Yeahyeahyeah it's all a rich tapestry #thingshardwaremansays #
  • 20:14 You now have admin access, don't mess it up #almostwhatisaid #
  • 08:26 On hold. :-( #
  • 10:18 Watching Atlantis on the live stream. T-8:45. #
  • 12:03 maybe I won't make it to the office today #
  • 12:20 Is like I am babysitting my house #
  • 12:21 @narcosislabs wanna see the new place? #
  • 12:22 @giantspatula is mostly supposed to be Pittsburgh, yes? Just like one street scene in Chicago. #
  • 13:37 Is like I am babysitting my house. #
  • 15:45 @BirdbrainLabs I like bigger. #
  • 15:47 "@CMUnews: Hollywood is coming to CMU, again." hmm that's not what it's called #
  • 15:49 Yeah, not gonna happen. Well, there's always tomorrow. #
  • 19:58 Seinfeld, four. #
  • 19:59 @48v ouch #
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Launch Day

This morning I watched the last launch of a NASA Space Shuttle on a live stream online. I guess it says something about the longevity of the program that at the time it started there was no streaming or world wide web, and the computer I had on my desk at home had 32K of memory - and that was a lot.

I remember doing a research project for my high school speech class on the shuttle. I can't remember what was in the report, but I remember doing it. There were always lots of euphemisms for the vehicle: "Space Truck" and "Rock with wings" are the two that stick with me. In the movie "Space Cowboys" they called it "Flying Brick." it always seemed an interesting comparison to me, what was happening in the movies of the time versus what was happening in the world. On the one hand you watch the Millennium Falcon blast out of Mos Eisley with no notice and on the other you have a week long countdown with holds and delays and likely as many scrubs as launches.

Like with the Regan shooting I remember vividly the day we lost the first shuttle, first hearing through the grapevine and then rooting around the school building to find a television to see. Now I'd get a tweet and then look for video on my phone.

Turns out later I'd wind up with a connection to that day, not an overwhelmingly strong connection, but a connection. Judith Resnik was a CMU alum. There's a memorial to her here on campus in the Science Mall, and they named a dorm after her.

My recollection of the second tragedy is cloudier. I guess that's a testament to things just becoming more expected. Today's mission is STS-135. Would you have guessed there were that many? I might have said over 100, but maybe not. There's another interesting tension looking at how run of the mill it seems but also at how big an effort it still is.

I was upset when I heard they were ending the shuttle program. Just another in a string of disappointments from Challenger, to unit confusion, to Dan Quayle running the program. Really couldn't believe they'd let the transport program end with no replacement while the ISS still had life to it. Just a general bummer.

This past week I've heard a lot of NASA folks spinning the end of the program. The story says that the resources required to run the shuttles keeps any other program from taking off. While my preference would be to plus up the budget to be able to run both the old programs and new ones I guess it does make sense to try to get the low Earth orbit stuff into the private sector and get back to exploration.

Here's hoping the next news from NASA is something exciting and new.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:38 @lorenbarton working outa LA? #
  • 23:15 @matt_dollinger that's a good show. We liked it a lot #
  • 23:17 Contractor sez: "if everything oes well we should be able to install that the fifth of never." #
  • 23:17 @lorenbarton I see. I see. #
  • 08:04 The jazz is gone. Who knew? #
  • 09:16 Done with the apartment. #
  • 14:09 Precollege Drafting - Geometric Constructions #
  • 16:24 Still pining for that Google Toolbar - that's what I get for building a whole procedure around it. #
  • 16:48 I shouldn't need a work list this time of year. #
  • 18:15 Wish I didn't have to reset my DSL modem over and over. #IMissMyFIOS #
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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Get A Job

I read today that only 25% of high school kids of working age get jobs these days. The article tries to finger the reason this has been happening. They start with the notion that the evil Democratic Congress when they weren't stumping for socialized medicine upped the minimum wage and so employers can't afford to hire kids anymore. They debunk that pretty quickly saying that previous rises in minimum wage haven't cut youth employment; also that employers don't have to pay minimum wage if the employee is going to work less that 90 days (did you know that? Me either.)

The next supposition is that while not working more and more kids are doing internships or going to summer school. This is theoretically about today's helicopter parents and getting high school kids ready for college. A little bit I'm dubious of this as I'm uncertain all that many kids are going to college.

I could be wrong.

I worked a lot of summer jobs. That isn't to say I didn't go to summer school as well. Another reason that second reason sounds odd to me is that summer employment and summer school aren't mutually exclusive. I worked one summer at a day camp. I cleaned the picnic area every day (and to my Mom's chagrin ate hot dogs for lunch every day). I think I might have been underage in that gig. I seem to recall having to get a work permit.

I worked at least two summers at K-Mart. I worked the floor of the toy department and also some in the outdoor patio. Somewhere I still have patio employee t-shirts that say "may I help you?" on the back. It's amazing how many 50# bags of topsoil you can get into the trunk of a car.

Also there was a bunch of theatre. I did the tech for the drama camp for the Deerfield Park District, building scenery and then running lights and follow spot for the shows. I also built scenery and ran shows for the Wilmette Park District's Starlight Theatre.

The thing that sticks me about this article is that if parents are steering their kids away from work to do more education it's possible their base assumption might be flawed. I mean, I know that school is a positive experience, but some of what we look for in kids we think will succeed in college is some kind of experience away from school. Working a job gets you all kinds of useful experiences. For many folks this is their first introduction to "regular people" and functioning while working with regular people is a real skill. Showing up for work is somewhat different than showing up for school. Taking responsibility for work is different than taking responsibility for schoolwork. Following a bosses instructions is very different than following a teacher or a coaches instructions.

I guess it is possible for parents to think that these real life skills aren't as important, or that there's plenty of time down the line to learn such things and maybe they're right. But the life skills from working a job might go further to adding to someone's maturity rather than even more school.

140 Characters or Less...

  • 22:41 @bpeoples hmm, got no training or experience, but sounds fun #
  • 22:42 making a list of things lefties should hold the debt ceiling hostage for times in the future when parts are reversed #
  • 15:52 Sometimes it's really no wonder why I can never seem to make any forward progress. #
  • 16:12 I really should rename this d-list #
  • 16:48 A little bit I am too slow #
  • 17:31 Two separate pick up ultimate games: #
  • 17:32 ... And me with no cleats... No wind... No play in forever... #
  • 19:05 In a pinch, light beer can be used to fuel a car #factsthatareNOTtrue #
  • 19:06 @lorenbarton Replacement? #
  • 19:07 Spring water has a higher modulus of elasticity than tap water. #factsthatareNOTtrue #
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The Debt Ceiling

I think when I was growing up, under the congressional administration of Tip O'Neil there was a legislative precedent that held far more weight than it does today. It was the notion that "what goes around comes around." I just figure they had all been there so long they understood that if you play games with the process when you are in one position that the other side will do the same thing or worse when the positions are reversed. I think this stood us in good stead for a long time keeping either side from straying too far from the middle or doing anything too crazy.

Lately this seems to be falling apart some. There seems to be far more filibustering in the Senate. Getting any Presidential appointments confirmed has become harder with each administration. And now we have the latest bout over using the national debt ceiling as a bludgeon to get through legislative ideas that wouldn't see the light of day otherwise.

I guess some of the ideas if crafted properly and without the threat of imminent danger might not be too bad. I can see how a reasonably constructed balanced budget initiative might have legs. But what I can't understand is how nobody seems to have the perspective to see how someday the tables might be reversed and instead of righties digging in and wanting their brand of fiscal responsibility instituted it could just as easily be lefties slinging some of their favorite ideas. Some of which have been occurring to me today.

How's this for some lefty leverage (when the tables are turned):

  • A cap on military expenditures of 150% of the next highest spending country. A quick Google search shows the US at $740 Billion and the next being China at $380 Billion. this idea would cap us then to $570 Billion or a cut in spending of $270 Billion. I'm sure I could find something to do with that (maybe put it in a rainy day fund for the next Righty war).
  • Or maybe fixing the budget of the NEA at 0.1% of the budget for defense. That'd be $700 Million. Last year's NEA budget was $170 Millionish. Spend as much as you like on the military, but for every $1000 you allocate you are allocating $1 for the arts.
  • What about National Single Payer Healthcare? OR ELSE!
  • Maybe a dollar for dollar tax on fossil fuels to be spent on renewable energy research. Or a dollar for dollar tax credit for anyone that installs wind or solar energy in their home or business.
  • How about a constitutional amendment forever guaranteeing a Woman's Right to Choose.
I bet if I put my mind to it I could think of many more. Why is it none of the players now can see that this kind of brinksmanship goes both ways? I understand that they're on the bottom now and that this gives them real leverage, but can't they forsee a time when they could be on the top?

I guess not.

PS: I don't know if any of those things are any better ideas than what we're getting now - I just know that they wouldn't be well received.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:20 Fun albeit soggy 4th BBQ at the Gilboa's! #
  • 13:28 Precollege Drafting: Lettering #
  • 14:43 Anyone seen a real cool wall unit lately? Shelvy, cabintety entertainment centery? Bonus for something with doors to hide a TV. #
  • 14:58 Still no Google Toolbar for Firefox... #
  • 16:52 Picked up the dumpster today. Every day it's that much more like a house. #
  • 19:46 OH some dude confusing TARP with the auto bailout and blaming Wall Street exec bonuses on Obama. #paybetterattention #
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Monday, July 04, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 21:31 @giantspatula streaming? Can I finally see the finale? #
  • 00:23 GOP hopefuls, sure the far right pledges are key for the base in primaries. FYI, I'll remember them in the general - an independent #
  • 14:08 1776. TCM. #
  • 14:15 Not everyone's from Boston John. #
  • 14:41 Think the Ocean's Eleven guys could be talked into a remake of 1776? #
  • 17:47 No screwing around rain 15217 #
  • 17:48 ! @golan check out @BirdbrainLabs #
  • 17:49 @giantspatula checked it out. Wasn't too bad. #
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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Test Drive

So the house is to what might be called "substantial completion." I've been bumming a little bit that the move overlapped the end of the build out so we have no photos of the house both finished and empty. But only a little bit. I'll trade those hypothetical photos for being moved in for sure.

This weekend we started to share the projects with people aside from ourselves and the builders.

I wasn't quick enough with the camera, but the very first child through the door jumped up to grab the stair treads and swing back and forth. While he was doing that another child ran up to the landing and peered out through the railing proclaiming "look, I'm in jail" at which point the first child lost his grip and did a very noisy faceplant on the very hard hardwood floor. There were a few tears and then he thought it was as funny as I did.

Today I assembled our mail order patio set and we did a little "open grill.". At one point we had nine people hanging out in the kitchen. I don't think that would have been possible in the old house. The back yard handled the event very well, we managed to not melt the siding like the previous owners. The traffic on the street out front, so obvious if you are in front of the house made little or no impact behind - and even the neighbor's yippy dog wasn't all that obtrusive.

So far the only entertaining downside in the home has been bugs, fruit flies. Not sure if they've been there all along or if they rode in on the CSA, or if they came in when we started with food; but with doors being open with screens and some windows the same we've had to do some extra insect clean up on each occasion. My prediction is that will end when the storm doors are installed.

Anyway, so far it's a good house.

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:57 @aerdin nothing else under that hashtag #
  • 21:00 Evening at home trying out the AC #
  • 11:26 Just discovered the going rate for a rigging class. I don't charge enough. #
  • 15:54 Marisa is going to take my phone away. #
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Saturday, July 02, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 10:30 No contractors today. How odd. #
  • 11:39 Watching the washing machine. #
  • 15:55 TUBES! #
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Friday, July 01, 2011

140 Characters or Less...

  • 20:13 First meal at the table in the new kitchen. #
  • 20:14 @bethsemler smokejumper #
  • 20:59 Wow the new dishwasher is quiet. #
  • 11:41 Drama Precollege: Marshmallow Challenge #
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