August 2005 Archives

His Silicon Feathers

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Seen on /.: Space Penguin Could Hop Around The Moon:

A robotic Lunar Penguin explorer could be hopping around on the moon by 2009, said Raytheon on Tuesday, as it unveiled the concept lander at an aerospace conference. The unmanned lunar device, in development for two years, is 3 feet tall and weighs approximately 230 pounds.
That's all well and good, but we'd better be prepared for when it goes renegade - we need to make sure Robotic Batman is ready to take him down!

[Yes, the paper's done. No, I don't think I'll have time to do WTW or Part IV. Sorry, Chess.]

Don't Cry For Me, Blogosphere-a

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In case you're pining over the lack of DL posts lately (yeah, both of you), dry your tears and go donate some cash to help the victims of Katrina. Instapundit has a good set of links.

In particular, there's this, which gives you the chance to pry some money for the victims out of your company (and who doesn't enjoy sticking it to The Man every now and then?):

Jay Allen has a further suggestion:

I would suggest people donate through their companies whenever possible. Most major corporations offer matching funds to the dollar for charitable donations. Find who's collecting money for relief efforts, then file for a match through your employer instead of sending to the agency directly.

Not bad -- if your employer is supporting this.

Mad Max IV: Tornadodome!

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Paper due in class tonight + fantasy football draft tomorrow = no White Trash Wednesday or Part IV.

Meanwhile, go chase a tornado:

Anyone wanting a closer look, or to actually get a glimpse of the interior of a tornado, would need a heavy, armored vehicle that could withstand intense winds, debris and hail.

That's exactly what IMAX cinematographer Sean Casey has built with his Tornado Intercept Vehicle (TIV). The TIV is big, heavy and armor plated. With it, Casey hopes to record a direct hit with a tornado and survive.
Check this thing out - it's like the Batmobile's ugly brother:
(Photo courtesy George Kourounis)
The TIV, before the addition of a rotating turret to house the IMAX camera.

Yeah, I want one.

Full Moon, My Ass! Part III

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[Part I is here. Part II is here. Remember the standard disclaimer: 60% of this story is 100% true, 20% of it is 50% true, and 20% of it is PIDOOMA.]

After several minutes of wandering drunkenly around the boat docks, we figured out where the sound was coming from - the stereo speakers of Wilford's boat!

Dude. Is. Snakebit!

There was some kind of electrical weirdness on his boat that was generating a quiet 'putt' noise every second or so - even though the boat was switched off with the keys out! For some unknown reason, turning on the lights made the sound go away, but nothing else short of pulling the battery cable would. DA and Kenny went to call Wilford and break the news to him, and I wandered back towards DA and Dimples' place, where I found Dimples sitting on their boat, looking none too pleased.

When I asked her what was up, she told me. "It's Full Moon Friday. I was under the impression there would be a Full Moon Cruise!"

I was about to tell her that since it was 1:30 in the morning, the odds weren't real good, when DA and flower_goddess came around the corner carrying a cooler. This perked Dimples up immediately, and within five minutes we were in the middle of the lake and had it all to ourselves.

A good Full Moon Cruise is a thing of beauty, and I highly recommend taking one if you ever get the chance. The wind and lake were as calm as I'd ever seen either, and the full moon and clear sky gave us enough light to navigate easily at idle speed. We passed through the channel to the big lake, and, when we were far enough from shore, saluted the full moon in the only really appropriate manner.

We completed our circuit of the big lake, much to the chagrin of the one party still going on the shore (where they signalled us so vigorously that I'd have thought them shipwrecked if I didn't know better), and headed back towards the channel and the smaller lake.

"Chris, could you run a lookout for me?" DA asked. "I'm not used to approaching from this direction at night."

I went forward and started watching the bottom for unpleasant surprises. Right as we got to the mouth of the channel, I saw a couple of big rocks way too close to the surface. Before I could even mention this to DA...

... we passed safely over the shoal and entered the channel.

Even though it was after two in the morning by now, we still encounted another pontoon boat coming the other way in the channel. As it passed us, its pilot drew himself up to full height and announced

"I lowered my cholesterol!"
which got a big laugh out of everybody.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, my brain ain't wired like most other peoples'. I've got this reptilian forebrain part that can take direct control of my mouth and force something out of it before my higher brain can stop it. Sometimes this power works for good; other times, not so much. I'll undoubtedly sprain my shoulder patting myself on the back for this, but tonight was one of the former. Within a second of the cholesterol remark, I blurted out

"I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO!"

DA laughed so hard he let go of the wheel. The rest of us laughed so hard we didn't notice that.

Or that our course had changed from "pass under the bridge" to "impact on the bridge."

Full Moon, My Ass! Part II

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[Part I is here. Remember the standard disclaimer: 60% of this story is 100% true, 20% of it is 50% true, and 20% of it is PIDOOMA.]

There was an ozone tang in the air as Carmine, DA, Wilford, and I entered Carmine's house and went back to the utility room. You could actually see the flashes from the arcing wire connected to the breaker box without even having to open the box.

"Piece of cake," DA said. "All you have to do is switch off the main breaker."
"Uh, huh," Carmine replied. "Remember what happened last time you and I worked with electricity?"
"Don't look at me," I said. "That's a chips problem; I'm a salsa guy."

Everybody looked at Wilford. "It's probably my fault anyway," he said. "I walked by my A/C unit a couple of hours ago, and it made a horrible screaming grinding noise and quit. You got a broomstick?"

Carmine rummaged around in the closet and handed Wilford a broom.

With a metal stick.

"Are you trying to kill me?" Wilford asked.
"Sorry." A little more rummaging around produced a less lethal implement, and Wilford pried open the box door and hit the main breaker. The arcing stopped and the air started to clear.

While the three of them set about transferring refrigerator/freezer contents to working appliances, I went into town and got pizza for everybody. Something happened while I was gone - alien abduction, nuclear event evacuation, something - because when I came back, pretty much everybody had vanished except flower_goddess and me, DA and Dimples, and Kenny and Leen. Oh, well. More pizza for breakfast.

After dinner, we set up for night Jarts again (it is so much easier when you have the key to the field lights), and DA and Dimples beat Kenny and me three games to two. I think Kenny was spending more time complaining about the choice of Jarts (sliders rather than fixed-wing) and ruleset ('Hood Rules instead of Lake Rules) than he did about his throws.

'Cause, y'know, it couldn't have been my fault, despite the fact that all three losses came on my throw.

Couldn't have been me. Nope.

Sometime during the epic match, we started hearing what sounded like a small one-cylinder engine: "Putt. Putt. Putt. Putt." which we figured was just a little jon-boat creeping along, maybe frog-gigging or something. Eventually, it occurred to one of us that the sound had been going on for quite a while, was getting neither louder nor quieter, and was coming from the general direction of the boat docks up the shore about a hundred yards away.

"It's the full moon, folks," DA reminded us as we walked down the shore trying to identify the sound. "Could be anything."

Read Part III.

Life Imitates Fight Club

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The first rule of assassinating inconvienient foreign dictators is - you do not talk about assassinating inconvienient foreign dictators!

Today's NFL Quiz

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Another Uncomfortable Life Lesson Learned

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Lately, I've been sampling some podcasts trying to find a few to listen to regularly (so far the only winners are Earthcore, IMAO Podcast, Area 51 Show, and The Starkcast).

On one of the other casts - I can't remember for sure but I think it was either Dawn and Drew, Keith and the Girl, or Soccergirl, Incorporated (all of which fit under the category of 'occasionally interesting') - where they made reference to a class of developmentally disabled students singing White Christmas. They even played a clip of the MP3 - yes, somebody made an MP3 of it, and yes, it sounded every bit as bad as you think it did.

But.

Every one of those students is a better singer than I am.

White Trash Wednesday

The ethnicity of the folks involved in this story isn't mentioned, but this is classic White Trash behavior so it doesn't matter what color they are:

A 39-year-old Lebanon woman was sentenced to 30 days in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to allowing an older man to have sex with her underage daughter.

Donna Rose, who lives on Hunters Run, not only gave Curtis Lee Barnes oral permission to have sex with her then-15-year-old daughter, she signed a permission slip, Warren County prosecutors said Wednesday.

"... he always had and will (have permission to have sex) until she is 18 or until they break up," states the permission slip that Barnes gave to investigators after the young teen got pregnant.

The slip is signed by the mother and there is a signature of a witness, court officials said.

You know, when I was in junior high school and wanted to get a pass to, say, go to the bathroom, I would always hand the teacher a pencil hoping they'd use it to write out the pass. Then I'd keep the pass after I used it, erasing inconvienient details like date, time, and destination (leaving the signature), so I could reuse it later for, shall we say, activities without official sanction.

Having said that, I have to admit that I didn't think anywhere near as big as this guy.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

Full Moon, My Ass! Part I

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The weirdness started before we even made it out of town on Friday. We were sitting at the light, ready to turn onto the freeway, when a black-and-white Camaro pulled up next to us. And I don't mean a police Camaro, either. I mean white with big irregular black spots. Just to clear up any possible misinterpretations on the road, it had lettering on the door handles saying "Cow-maro."

I was so stunned that I didn't even lean out the window to ask "What. The. Fuck?"

Now, I can't read lips, but I'm certain that was exactly the question on the lips of the driver who saw the Cow-maro as he made a left turn off the ramp to our right and crossed in front of us.

It was good for a chuckle, not to mention a good bit of head-scratching, as we continued our journey to the Secure Undisclosed Location. The conclusion we came to was that Cow-maro Boy was the #1 area salesman for Gateway, and that was his prize, in much the same way as Mary Kay Cosmetics awards Pepto-Bismol-colored Cadillacs to their top shills.

We arrived to find The Usual Suspects deciding what to do with a used Yamaha golf cart that StitchMistress had recently bought. The plan started out with a fabric swatch for an upholstery upgrade, a paint sample (canary yellow) for the exterior, and the idea of stealing the 'M' off another cart's "Yamaha" emblem so the StitchMistressMobile would be emblemed "Yamama."

By the time The Usual Suspects were done brainstorming, we had blueprints that would add a kegerator, low-rider pneumatic suspension, new Hemi motor, aero package with spoiler, roll cage, five-point harness, air horn, plasma TV, laptop computer, and a TV deal for our new "Pimp My Cart" show. Within an hour, I had a MS Project plan put together to coordinate all the subcontractors. This, of course, would require an addition to Carmine and StitchMistress's garage to hold the StichMistressMobile while said work was done on it, a prospect that Carmine was quite enthusiastic about (in retrospect, it appears that that was his intention all along).

It was about this time that half the lights in Carmine and StichMistress's house went out.

Read Part II.

All Units Disperse To Planned Hide Positions

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Heading up to the Secure Undisclosed Location for the Full Moon Party. Back Sunday.

Yes, bail bondsmen are on five-minute airborne alert.

#50: Fail To Do Anything A Woman Says.

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iVillage, in their never-ending quest to emasculate the male of the species, reprints an Esquire article from 2002: Things A Man Should Never Do After The Age of 30.

Maybe I'm just saying this because I'm currently in violation of at least half of them (and I'll be 41 next month), but what a fucking load of bullshit. Take a look at some of these:

The Eyes, It's The Eyes! OK, And The Teefus Too.

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White Trash Wednesday

I'm thinking about just renaming this category 'Local6 Wednesday,' because lately it seems like I'm just channelling them:

A 64-year-old woman in Lake County, Fla., is arrested for allegedly shooting her sleeping husband in the head and then killing his dog.

Police said Codelle Borgman shot her husband three times in the head and once in the abdomen at close range while he was in bed.

What makes this story is the picture:

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

It's getting nigh on football season again, so I've decided to add a blogroll with U-M blogs that I figure on reading regularly this year. I imagine this list will grow as I find more - of course, the nature of using a blogrolling.com script to display it in this post will mean that it's always up to date; I'll still need to put it on the sidebar for future reference.

The Verizon guys are installing FTTP in my neighborhood this week, and they are tearing the dogshit out of my backyard (literally; I haven't cleaned up after the canine family member for a few days now). I guess I'm being punished for leaving an open access to the utility easement behind my house - you know, actually obeying the covenant, unlike most of my neighbors who build their fences right up to the property line.

Aaaanyway, they've chosen my backyard as Base Camp to run fiber to my whole side of the neighborhood, and right now there are about three grave-size holes behind my house. I mean literally - they're about 3' x 6' x 6', and I'm going to want to pay attention when they fill them in just in case they try to sneak Jimmy Hoffa in there or something. Allegedly when they're all done, they'll send in a 'remediation crew' to clean up the mess they made.

I hope you'll forgive me if I don't hold my breath waiting.

Update: Apparently the job description for the 'remediation crew' is "chuck most of the dirt back in the general direction of the hole, pack it down a bit, then wave jauntily as you depart," because according to flower_goddess that's pretty much what they did.

And they probably get paid more than I do.

Update: They had a crew come in to rake and seed it yesterday. I take back what I said.

Memo to Bob & Tom: spending five minutes discussing a letter you all read in the studio but can't read over the air is NOT good radio. It's like a giant joke the audience isn't in on.

That is all.

The angle everybody's missing on the NCAA banning Native American nicknames/mascots - once they're all gone, PETA will demand that they ban animal nicknames, too.

And 'Fighting Irish' will still be allowed. Because they're white.

Update: Geez, that didn't take long:

Jacksonville State and the University of South Carolina have ruffled some feathers at PETA and the animal rights advocacy group is asking Myles Brand to do something about it.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to the NCAA president on Wednesday asking him to extend the recent ban on nicknames considered hostile or abusive to ethnic groups so that it would outlaw the Gamecocks.

Life Imitates Man Of The House

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In Man Of The House, Tommy Lee Jones plays a Texas Ranger assigned to protect the UT cheerleading squad after they witness a murder.

Last Wednesday, some Michigan high school cheerleaders witnessed a hit-and-run accident in Ann Arbor and quickly devised a cheer to help them remember the perp's plate number:

Members of the Lincoln High School varsity cheerleading squad from the neighboring community of Augusta Township helped Ann Arbor police find the 30-year-old man by chanting the license plate number until they arrived.

"I knew I was going to not remember it because there was too much going on," coach Patricia Clark told NBC's "Today" show on Monday. "So, when I ran down the street and got the plate number, I yelled to the girls, 'remember this.' "

According to police reports, the man's truck hit the back of a car stopped at the traffic light near University of Michigan's campus on Wednesday. The impact forced that car into another vehicle, which then hit another one.

. . .

"The coach just said it and we were saying it over and over, and then it just turned into a big chant since we kept repeating it," said Kimmie Ostrowski, a senior captain for the team who also appeared on the "Today" show.

Give me a 'P!'
Give me a 'E!'
Give me a 'N!'
Give me a 'C!'
Give me a 'I!'
Give me a 'L!'
What's it spell? Something nobody's carrying with them!

Dude Is Most Appropriately Named

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(SondraK explains the title)

More local dipshittery. This criminal mastermind had a plan to steal over 22 large from the store where he worked:

A local grocery store employee was formally charged Monday with theft in connection with the loss of about $22,000 from the store safe.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, David W. Todd used his work keys to unlock the safe at the Georgetown Square Scott’s Foods, 6310 E. State Blvd., and took about $4,911 cash on Aug. 1 and $17,222 in cash plus $3,103 in checks Aug. 2.

On both days Todd, 22, of the 5600 block of Woodshire Drive, walked the bags of money to his car and went back to work, court documents said. When he got off work about 6 a.m. each day, he went home with the money, court records said.
Dammit! He was so close! What tiny error did he make? What stroke of luck allowed the long arm of the law to reach out and pinch him?
A store security manager called Todd and told him a surveillance tape from Aug. 1 showed him taking the money from the safe and then walking out the front door, court records said. While talking with Todd, the security manager received a call from a bookkeeper who reported a second loss of cash and checks on Aug. 2, court records said.
They had a camera connected to a VCR covering the safe! How could Todd possibly have anticipated that? Have you ever heard of such a forward-looking security measure?

Drop What You're Doing And Help Fight Cancer

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I'm serious. Hit the 'Clik4Cathy' button to the right - as Bluto would say, "don't cost nuthin." If you're a Day By Day fan, you already know why; if not, Beth explains.

For Sale: 2003 Human, Low Miles. $1000 OBO

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White Trash Wednesday

I am going to have to seriously rethink my plan to move up to Steuben County in a few years, because we have yet another WTW story that takes place there. Angola teen accused of trying to sell son for $1,000:

Wearing an orange Steuben County Jail uniform and her shoulder-length hair in braids, a 19-year-old Angola mother appeared in court Monday to answer a charge that she tried to sell her 2-year-old son to his paternal grandparents.

Britney Ranee Asbury, of the 570 block of South County Road 300W in Angola, was charged with one count of attempted child selling, a Class D felony that could bring six months to three years in prison. A plea of not guilty was entered for Asbury on Monday in Steuben County Magistrate’s Court.

According to court documents, Asbury entered into a written agreement with Richard and Penny Good of Orland, grandparents of her son David, on Thursday for the sale of the toddler. Penny Good’s son, Adam Crabtree, is the biological father of David, according to court documents.

Asbury received $200 from the Goods on Thursday and offered to sign guardianship of David over to the couple for an additional $800, court records said.

The Goods contacted police Friday morning about the deal, and Asbury was arrested Friday and remained in jail over the weekend.

Asbury, who is six months pregnant with a different man’s child, spoke in a shaky voice Monday to Steuben County Magistrate Randy Coffey, occasionally wiping away tears as he questioned her. [emphasis added]

I have to wonder why the grandparents entered into a written agreement to buy the child, then contacted the police. Something tells me we haven't heard the last of this story.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Most of my fellow WTW'ers focus on Funny White Trash, and since chronicling Stupid White Trash is starting to get to me, I may head that way m'self. Take the whole tour:

Life Imitates The Amazing Race

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As I mentioned in the previous entry, Game Show Network is replaying all seasons of The Amazing Race. Tonight they showed the season 3 episode known to hardcore fans as Dieselgate, where four teams hosed up their 4X4s by refueling with unleaded when the vehicles were designed for diesel.

Well, that's a mistake anybody can make, even if the vehicle in question is a $125M yacht:

LONDON (AFP) - Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovitch was left fuming after the wrong sort of fuel was pumped into his luxury family yacht, forcing him to re-arrange his summer holiday, a report said.

The Russian-born tycoon was said to be "disappointed" after the fuel mix-up involving his 72-million pound (100-million euro, 125-million dollar) yacht the Pelorus, while it was docked in Malta to prepare for his family holidays last month.

Any motorist who has put diesel instead of petrol into a car will know the feeling -- although not the cost of the error -- filling up Pelorus' tank costs 120,000 pounds, and cleaning up the mess could cost at least one million pounds.

[Warning - TARfan inside joke ahead]

Good thing Ian wasn't the guy driving the yacht - he would just have drained the fuel tanks right into the ocean.

[H/T Fark]

I'm accustomed to seeing one episode of The Amazing Race, then spending the next week talking about it. Now that Game Show Network is rerunning all of them from the beginning, one leg per night, I'm approaching TAR overload, and I think it's beginning to frighten flower_goddess. See, since I Tivo it (Replay it, actually) and watch it as the last show I see before bed, it's usually still running through my head as I fall asleep.

And sometimes even after I fall asleep. Last night about one AM, this exchange occurred:

me (making pedaling motions with my legs, while lying in bed)
flower_goddess: What are you doing?
me: I think I'm going to finish this lap and call it.
flower_goddess: Call what?
me: Leg. I mean leg.
flower_goddess (who by now has realized I'm still asleep): Leg? What are you doing?
me: Finishing The Amazing Race, duh!
flower_goddess: You're quitting?
me: No! I'd never quit! I just got eliminated.

Today's Lesson: Taking Videogames Too Seriously Can Kill You:

SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean man who played computer games for 50 hours almost non-stop died of heart failure minutes after finishing his mammoth session in an Internet cafe, authorities said on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old man, identified only by his family name Lee, had been playing on-line battle simulation games at the cybercafe in the southeastern city of Taegu, police said.

Lee had planted himself in front of a computer monitor to play on-line games on August 3. He only left the spot over the next three days to go to the toilet and take brief naps on a makeshift bed, they said.

"We presume the cause of death was heart failure stemming from exhaustion," a Taegu provincial police official said by telephone.

Lee had recently quit his job to spend more time playing games, the daily JoongAng Ilbo reported after interviewing former work colleagues and staff at the Internet cafe.

I guess he didn't grab that last health power-up quickly enough. [h/t BoingBoing]

I got this package in the mail the other day. The contents aren't relevant to this post, except for my excitement when I saw a big ol' sheet of bubblewrap. I dig it out of the box, all set for ten or fifteen minutes of good geeky fun, and commence to poppin'.

At least, I thought I did. The first few bubbles I squeezed just kind of gave a weak sigh and deflated. I took a closer look and saw that the bubbles had been joined into long rows of cells, interconnected enough that you couldn't pop any individual cell - the air would just move into the other cells in the row!

What godless slimy Communist mouthbreathing twinkletoed buzz-harshing killjoy thought that was a good idea!?!?

I Want This Person Should Calculate My Raise?

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Last Friday, the division bigwigs did their quarterly webcast to talk about our year-to-date performance (brought to us live from Massachusetts, or Texas, or wherever the division is headquartered, beats me). It was pretty snoozeworthy, as usual, except for one tidbit.

One of the speakers was trying to get more people to arrange their travel through the company Travel department website rather than through local travel agents, because travel agents typically charge $40 per transaction and our Travel department charges only $20, which represents, and I quote,

"A savings of 100%."

The really scary part? I'm pretty sure the person who pinched off that growler was the division's chief Controller.

Normally it's a question that does that, so I didn't know how to react when I suddenly realized the answer to this question:

How come so many people on Survivor misspell the name of the person they're voting for?

Maybe this was immediately obvious to everyone but me...

Because it's not like you're going to be hiking to tribal council and ask somebody "So how do you spell your name, anyway?"

Hugh Hefner's new reality show, Girls Next Door, premieres this weekend on E!. Apparently dude can still bring it, because at nearly 80 he has a stable of three girlfriends (a #1 girlfriend and two others) living in the mansion. He described his latest arrangement thusly (heard on Bob and Tom yesterday at the end of the second hour):

There are many roads to Mecca, many ways of living one's life, and I've certainly tried a variety of different kinds of ways. [emphasis added]

I'm willing to bet that when he gets on his hands and kness, bows forward, and starts mumbling unintelligibly, that he ain't praying.

Jim Dreyer has successfully completed his attempt to swim across Lake Superior (original DL post here). Apparently the track map doesn't tell the whole story; endgame was a lot more complicated than it looked:

Very quickly a storm had moved in out on the lake and we saw Jim's light moving very quickly across the bay area he was supposed to come into and then we both doubted if it was really Jim or if he could really go that quickly....we soon realized that Jim was in trouble, as the current was taking him past his destination. There was an island out from the mainland that we did not want him to finish his swim on, as he had worked so hard to make the solo swim and was within a few miles from the shore of the outer tip of Cape Gargantua. Tom Farnquist, Chris and another the Captain's Mate (sorry, I don't have your name yet, sir) were out on the David Boyd. Jack and Shelly on shore had marine radios provided by West Marine (thanks to West Marine for your great sponsorship) and we were able to confirm that in fact Jim was being pulled by a horrific current and could not fight it to get into the bay area where all were waiting on shore. Members on the beach continued to shine lights to show him where we were, but the current was too strong. Tom was able to pull in close to Jim to discuss the best plan and encouraged him to get to land to complete his "Solo Superior" crossing. There were several radio transmissions, including the coast guard trying to determine if Jim needed rescure. Tom Farnquist alerted them that he thought he could keep the situation under control and to give him 45 minutes and Jim reached shore at 11:25 p.m. (official time)at the far tip of Cape Gargantua, past the planned area that is remote, no car access, only availabe by hiking. But, a huge success had just occurred nontheless. Jim stepped on shore, got swept back out to sea, and Tom pulled up to Jim again and then convinced Jim to get on his boat, and probably saved his life at this point, I do believe he would have gone back out to sea and traveled another 60 miles before hitting the next shore (WE CAN NEVER THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR ALL THAT YOU DID, TOM AND CREW)that the swim was a success and it was over! The fifth Great Lake, finally under his belt. There were cheers and tears on the beach for happiness for Jim for all of his hard work, discipline and training and perserverance over the past years to achieve this goal.

And I think it's a good day when I can make it an hour on the stair machine. Yeesh.

A Glimpse Into My World

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I wish our requirements were defined half this well.

'Cause There's Some People What Need Offending

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My take on Some People throwing a hissy fit over President Bush's recess appointment of John Bolton as UN Ambassador, and how it's going to hurt the President politically?

Nobody who's pissed off about it was going to vote Republican anyway. No harm, no foul.

White Trash Wednesday

Elsewhere in society, golf rage is on the rise. Among our favorite demographic, local6.com tells us about mini-golf rage: Woman Accused Of Slamming Girl At Putt-Putt Course

Police said Darnell Lee Kreuzer of Lake Mary, Fla., was playing putt-putt golf on June 27 at T.J.'s Family Fun Center on South Volusia Avenue in Orange City when she apparently became angry with Julia Coelah and grabbed her.

. . .

"The lady, she picked me up by the leg and grabbed my arm and she picked me up and she threw me and then whacked me with the mini golf thing and I got a big bump on my head," Coelah said.

After the incident, Kreuzer left the center but witnesses wrote down her vehicle tag number. Thursday, the state attorney's office charged Kreuzer with child abuse.

It is unclear what prompted the attack, Local 6 News reported.

Kreuzer told police that she was trying to get the girl out of the way of an oncoming golf ball.

Kreuzer is also accused of swinging a golf club and attempting to hit the girl, Local 6 News reporter Tarik Minor said.

She faces child abuse charges, which is a third-degree felony.

I enjoy hearing about the origin of coined words and phrases (incidentally, The Straight Dope is a good place for that kind of thing; examples here and here and here). Anyway, on this day in 1867, a battle fought in Wyoming gave us the expression 'circle the wagons.' [H/T Castle Argghhh!]

Lance Armstrong Says, "Now That Guy's Crazy!"

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Well, Jim Dreyer is at it again, making his sixth attempt to swim across Lake Superior to raise money and awareness for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Great Lakes Mariners Memorial. His previous attempts, while unsuccessful in their goals of crossing the lake, were all significant accomplishments in their own way, including several world records. This is the last of the Great Lakes he hasn't successfully swam across yet.

He's making good progress; it looks like he's about 1/3 of the way to Point Gargantua as of 9:00 AM Central Time. Why he doesn't turn east and finish quickly east of Rousseau Bank, I don't know; I'd guess that it isn't far enough for a good challenge. That or maybe something about currents.

Monitor his progress here; he has a transponder in his support boat - and by 'support boat' I mean 'dinghy he's towing behind him because he doesn't have a support boat this time.'

Dude. Is. Crazy.

Update: He made it.

Today's public service announcement: next time you've got the lid off your PC to clean the dust out of it (and you do clean the dust out, right?), take a couple of extra seconds to inspect the capacitors. Dan Butler of TNPC Newsletter has the story (with pictures for those of you who don't know what a capacitor is):

It was frustrating. My mouse jumped all over the place. My system locked up for unexplained reasons. Maybe it restarts, maybe it doesn't. I've checked for viruses, spyware, and the rest. Al Gordon was convinced of spyware but I am not sure how it would get on my system in the first place.

So I'm typing this on my backup system that was ready for just such emergencies. Total down time to move from one machine to another? Less than one hour thanks to my backup routine. This is an older slower machine but it gets the job done until I can repair the main system.

It turns out that my motherboard has bad capacitors. They were bulging, leaking and the cause of all my problems. I'll be replacing the motherboard in the next day or two. Hopefully all my other components are still good. It turns out the "bulging capacitor" problem is widespread but not well acknowledged by the manufacturers. Not only is the problem widespread but it has elements of corporate espionage. [From email - TNPC Newsletter Volume 7 Issue 16, 1 August 2005]

The corporate espionage Dan refers to is a story in itself - read all about it here.

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