Archive for January, 2003

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Dear Senator

January 29, 2003

Senator Feingold, I like you. A while back I saw you on C-Span taking a bold stand against the Patriot Act. Now I see your name mentioned at one of my favorite web sites (Slashdot) because you’re taking yet another bold stand. This time, for radio listeners everywhere.

Only days ago I was writing about how awful radio is in the greater Milwaukee area scottfeldstein.net/log/. I theorized that perhaps it was because most stations were owned by the same few companies. Whatever the reason, I wish there were some more variety. Of course, listening to music is nice, but when it comes down to getting news and other important information I’d rather have a few independent voices in there along with the mega-radio-conglomerate news feed.

So thanks. Thanks for doing it again – taking a bold and potentially unpopular stand for what’s right. That, Senator, is what I call leadership. I was proud to tell everyone at slashdot that you are from my home state of Wisconsin.

You have my vote, sir. Keep up the fine work.

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The System is Down!

January 27, 2003

I actually sent this email to one of our sysadmins here at work.

(insert name of your system administrator):

I was thinking about the recent (insert name of large computer system) outage and it seems to me that we should have a standardized notification system that would alert all necessary personnel to the problem. This notification system should ideally be made universal for all enterprise level systems.

I recommend the following:

Attachment: sbtechno.mp3

– scott

Thanks to .sara for linking me to www.homestarrunner.com. Crazy stuff.

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Men’s Room Amusements

January 27, 2003

One can see all kinds of unusual things in your average men’s room. Even the scribblings on the wall can be interesting. Apart from the usual off-color limericks and such, sometimes one finds real gems. I have always felt that the best restroom scribbles are the one’s that utilize “found” words – the instructions on the hand-dryer, name of the soap dispenser, etc. (One clever person, observing that the toilet-paper dispenser proudly displayed the name “Paper-Savr,” rechristened it “Ass-Savr.” Or there was the guy who rewrote one of the enumerated instructions on the electric hand-dryer; beside each numbered step there was a small icon, which supposedly indicated what you were supposed to do. He had crossed out “rub hands gentlly under warm air” and replaced it with “receive bacon,” and I’ll be damned if that’s not what the little icon looked like.)

I have now, however, discovered an entirely new category of men’s room word amusements. These involve no intervention by bathroom users whatsoever, consisting entirely of the unaltered, manufacturer-written names and instructions accompanying the various aparatus found in the room. Case in point: I discovered that the toilet paper dispenser in one men’s room bore the moniker “Professional.”

I don’t know about you, but I use the toilet about as often as everyone else and I never even considered “going pro.” I guess I just hadn’t realized that these types of career opportunities existed, let alone what type of equipment might be availabe to me once I made the leap.

Seriously, stop and think a minute: there’s someone who works for this manufacturer who thought it was a good idea to put the word “Professional” on the toilet paper dispenser. I think that’s funny as hell. It’s also a little frightening.

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Intellectuals in Higher Ed?

January 21, 2003

I’m stunned and delighted. A university president talking about how intellecutalism is, well, a good thing in higher education. As good as football even!

“People often know about an institution because of a winning football team. How often do you hear about a university known for sending large numbers of students on to graduate programs, professional schools, or community service? We’re talking about a need for balance.”

Read it yourself!

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Again with the Radio Thing

January 21, 2003

I have said before that radio in this town sucks. Can satelite radio really help? I’ve been hearing about satelite radio for a while now and all I can say is a) I hope it suceeds and b) $10 is too much – try $2, then I’ll bite. Go read this article at the Washington Post. It’s worth it. Here’s a snip:

Carping about a lack of variety on the FM dial is typically the province of the local music zealots, fans who crave new music, those with alternative tastes who believe the Dixie Chicks and Celine Dion are not only Wal-Mart-grade lowbrows but artistic agents of evil.

Jeez, is that really me?

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MLK Day & Cameras

January 20, 2003

Ah, Martin Luther King day. A great American and a great day off from work. Angela didn’t get the day off but she took a vacation day. The kids had school so we hung out together without ’em. What a concept!

First we took Logan out to Minooka Park for another of our 3-mile hikes. That’s three days in a row! The three of us are definetly getting plenty of exercise and our money’s worth out of the annual county park sticker we bought. It’s pretty cold but we just bundle up, wear thermal underwear, sweatshirts, hoods and big coats and we’re fine. The cold doesn’t seem to bother Logan at all, although he does bunch up snow and ice in his paws on occasion. We’re going to get him some doggy boots. I hope the other dogs don’t make fun of him.

After that we went to Best Buy to fondle cameras. I’m not buying one till after our tax return comes but I’m doing extensive research. Ok, “obsessing” is a more accurate term for it. But whatever you call it, I’ve narrowed my choices down to three cameras, in order of cost:

The G2 is the dream camera and is also way out there in terms of cost – probably won’t find it under $510 as it’s more commonly priced at $650. The Olympus is more reasonable and can be had from $350-$450, depending on who you buy from. The A40 is the “little camera that could” and goes for $250. Each of them is excellent in it’s own way – I’ve done the research. It really all comes down to how much I want to throw at this digital photography obsession thing I seem to have developed. We’ll see how things stand when the tax return money is in hand.

After that and lunch at a Thai buffet we went furniture shopping. Not to buy anything really, but to get ideas. We still don’t have a proper bed because we couldn’t fit ours up the stairs in the new house!

We had a full day but an enjoyable one.

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One Year Ago

January 17, 2003

It’s been exactly one year since I started this blog. (Or “web log” or “online journal” or whatever you want to call it. Apparently most people who have them call them “blogs.”)

Yep. One year ago, January 17th, 2001 was when it all started. A friend of mine told me about a service called Blogger and from that moment on I was hooked. After a while, though, I began to wish I didn’t have to do everything Blogger’s way so I started looking into a do-it-yourself job, eventually discovering MovableType and Redhat Linux. Still looking for more, I later added Gallery.

But the better story is the one about what it’s been like to scribble random things about me and my life in a public way. As I’ve said before I have really enjoyed it because it helps me anchor myself. I have such a poor memory I can hardly remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday let alone anything that happened months or years ago. But now I often can.

It’s not so much that the blog serves as a ready reference (although sometimes it does) but rather the act of writing it down and seeing it take it’s place in line, in the stream of events that constitute my everyday life…just solidifies it in time for me. Not long ago I wrote

And of course I am thankful for this blog. Publishing the trivia of my life here in words and pictures enables me to hang onto it better. My memory is so poor. Creating and being able to refer back to this record helps anchor me more firmly within my own life. It’s a good feeling.

It would be neat to impliment an automatic “one year ago on this day” link below my posts now. Maybe I’ll look into that.