More from my brother, on the solar storm and the northern lights. MSNBC:
Skywatchers as far south as Texas were treated to blazing sky lights, the aurora borealis generated by the first storm.
The aurora occurs when high-speed particles, accelerated locally as the storm’s magnetism interacts with the geomagnetic sphere, race down Earth’s magnetic field lines toward the poles.
Sometimes all the colors combine for fantastic displays.
Also called the northern or southern lights, the phenomenon is normally visible only from very high latitudes such as Finland or Alaska. Forecasters expect auroras to reach well south — perhaps again into many U.S. states and European countries — off-and-on for the rest of the week and possibly through the weekend.
My brother, who lives up near Montpelior Vermont, sent me email saying he was surprised that I hadn't blogged anything about the recent 'solar storms' and the resultant increase in the Northern Lights.
I've never really ever seen the Nothern Lights, but I'd love to. When I was a teenager we saw what I believe was a minor display here in Southern NH. There were no colors involved. It was just what looked like a broad white mist, zooming across the sky.
I've seen the reports of expanded Nothern Lights activity in these southern latitudes due to the solar activity, and I've gone out most nights recently when the sky was unclouded. But no luck. Very disappointing.
One of my (and most everyone else's) favorite blogs, Boingboing, has been offline for a couple days.
UPDATE: SteveG passes this along from Boingboing: "...the DNS is going to take a day or two. In the meantime, http://22.214.171.124/ is your friend."
Jerry Pournelle has always been pretty negative about the Mac. He's softened a bit over the years. Here's a recent example. This appears to be written by "Roland", one of his minions, but the last sentence seems to be Jerry.
The old saw about things being either very easy or simply impossible on the Mac is no longer valid, sir.
There's nothing meaningful one can name which is impossible on the Mac, anymore, since they rewrote the OS (OS/X) atop the FreeBSD *NIX variant.
I issue an open challenge to any of your readers to come up with -one significant task- which is impossible to accomplish using a Mac, but which can be done under Windows or Linux.
Which I suspect is more or less true. On the other hand, many years ago I said I didn't really want to have to learn to grep: UNIX was designed to be obscure, a full employment act for Gurus. So it may still be true for most of us that it's either easy or impossible, with the side note that you can get a wizard to do the impossible...
I'll be getting a 15" Mac pretty soon now. Thanks to all who subscribed or renewed subscriptions for making that possible.
Over in the Comments area, Sherman, my friend who isn't profane and negative about EVERYTHING, writes about Kelly's:
Oh man. It was the cranberry sauce.
Sitting on the sea wall, midnight or even later. It was so dark that Revere Beach didn't look like the piece of waste it is. Hearing the waves. Eating fried chicken and french fries, and they give you this cup of cranberry sauce. I've never bought fried chicken anywhere else where they do that automatically.
Kelly's on the Beach. God, that's a great place.
The past couple of days have been a little busy. Yesterday I was down in Massachusetts, helping my mom and dad with their computer. And today I was at Prescott Park most of the day in meetings.
One good thing about the trip to Mass: I got to eat at Kelly's!!!
Maybe I'll get to catch up on blogging this evening.
The Brewer Dictionary of Phrase and Fable:
To rain cats and dogs. In northern mythology the cat is supposed to have great influence on the weather, and English sailors still say, “The cat has a gale of wind in her tail,” when she is unusually frisky. Witches that rode upon the storms were said to assume the form of cats; and the stormy north-west wind is called the cat's-nose in the Harz even at the present day.
The dog is a signal of wind, like the wolf, both which animals were attendants of Odin, the storm-god. In old German pictures the wind is figured as the “head of a dog or wolf,” from which blasts issue.
The cat therefore symbolises the down-pouring rain, and the dog the strong gusts of wind which accompany a rainstorm; and a “rain of cats and dogs” is a heavy rain with wind.
Here's a weblog dedicated to covering the subject of invasive species, plants AND animals.
You may remember that the past two summers I worked as a "Lake Host" to educate visiting boaters about these foreign plants, and how to slow down their spread.
[Thanks to GE reader GeorgeV for this link]
I've been thinking alot about participating in NaNoWriMo. The National Novel Writing Month. The deal is that you commit to, semi publicly, write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.
I'm pretty intimidated by the idea of writing an AVERAGE of 1667 words, EVERY DAY for a month. But I may just dive in and see what happens.
Jody over at Big Dump Truck is a regular.
There's a great story at the end of a longish (and all interesting) post by the redhead: "But we did the entire 3-act play solely for William Hurt and his assistant - as though there were a full house."
Yesterday Josh Marshall, the author of one of the most popular and insightful political blogs, posted an initial request for donations so he could go on the road to cover the NH Primary. He expected it to be a long haul to raise enough to cover his expenses.
Today, before he's even had a chance to make a real budget for the project, he's received more money than he'll need. Almost $5,000 contributed in less than 24 hrs.
This is great. It shows how people are getting used to the idea that some things on the net are worth paying for. It's also a wonderful example of the "patronage" model, which I expect is gonna be a big part of the way things get paid for in the future.
In case you didn't notice, the Red Sox announced yesterday that they would not be renewing the contract of Manager Grady Little.
I was among the throngs of Boston fans who, prior to Game 7, were singing Grady's praises. He had guided us through the Oakland comeback, and now, in Game 6, his faith in Nomar, and some others who had been slumping, was rewarded with a very important win.
Grady was a god. He deserved a big fat new contract. He had just the right mix of diplomatic skills and big-league baseball savvy.
Grady was good.
Then Game 7, Inning 8. Grady made a HUGE mistake.
Should he be fired, after all the good things he did, for just this one mistake? That's a tough question.
I kinda wish he could stick around. Be given a chance to redeem himself. Show that he can learn from his mistakes, become a better manager.
But I reluctantly agree that he can't stay in Boston. He has become too much of a story, a symbol, for all this self-doubt we have here.
If Grady continued to manage the Sox, every non-textbook move he made would be debated endlessly. Manny Ramirez could have all the drinks with his Yankee buddies that he wanted, and nobody would notice, because of the controversy that would flare up every time Grady made the simplest of judgement calls. One out in the eighth would never be the same.
So Grady has to go, because he can't stay.
I hope Grady does well. I believe that after the furor dies down he can get another major-league manager gig. I hope then he'll be able to show what he can do, what he has learned.
Good luck Grady.
Oh, and let your hair grow out, cause that buzzcut looks silly on you.
My neighbor Bill, his wife, and Sheba just headed out in their small aluminum boat. I'm a little ashamed that I know the dog's name, but not the wife's.
Roy Peter Clark, Poynter Online:
At times it helps to think of writing as carpentry. That way, writers and editors can work from a plan and use tools stored on their workbench. A writer or coaching editor can borrow a writing tool at any time.
...30 writing and revising tools. We have borrowed them from reporters and editors, from authors of books on writing, and from teachers and coaches. Many come from reading the work of storytellers we admire. The brief descriptions should be enough to help you build your own tool collection. [Read all 30 tools...]
Statia has an interesting neighbor at her new place: "Living a block away from a CVS could be a convenience, or it could be extremely dangerous."
For 7+ years, Rob and I lived across the street from a 24 hour 7-Eleven. Very convenient. Rob was a big fan of those little Drakes Cakes cinnamon topped coffee cakes. I've always had a weakness for the old reliable, Hostess chocolate cupcakes. The ones with the white squiggle across the top.
Interesting piece about Lucasfilm's decision to get into the computer animation business. Red Herring:
In George Lucas’ Star Wars movies, the young Darth Vader sires a baby boy, Luke Skywalker, and abandons him – only to discover years later that Luke has grown into a powerful adversary. The same plot line runs through the story of Mr. Lucas’ company, Lucasfilm, and its offspring, Pixar. [More...]
Keep up the good work Mr President.
There's a story in the news this morning about how Massachusetts is planning to offer two sale-tax-free shopping days this holiday season. My question is, do you think that the state tax planners will pay for this shopper's/retailer's windfall by spending less? or by raising taxes somewhere else?
I'm guessing the latter. If so, where is the real savings?
This guy (apparently in Rome, but blogged by a french language site) is selling street candid photos that he prints on the spot using a digital camera and a printer hung around his neck.
Thank you for visiting my website and for your interest in supporting my continued leadership of this nation.
In the year 2000, America came together to cast its suggestion for President. Some of you were with the program and made the right choice, but more than half of you actually tried to pick somebody else for my job. Fortunately, we have a Supreme Court that understands the damage which can be done when democracy is turned over to regular citizens.
[Thanks Off On A Tangent]
There's a good chance Red Sox Manager Grady Little will be "fired" today. Kinda sad, but probably the best course.
Boston Globe: "The span of Grady Little's life as the 43d manager of the Red Sox began to thunderous applause when he was introduced to the team at the spring training headquarters in Fort Myers, Fla., March 11, 2002. By nearly all indications, it will end this week, perhaps as early as today, when the Sox formally sever all ties with their embattled field leader."
I really hate the time change. Or at least the one at this end of the summer. It got dark SO EARLY today! It was aggravated by the fact that it was a gray overcast day, and never really got very light.
This is another bad side-effect to living here, vs N Calif. The combination of the latitude, and the relative east-west location in the time zones, make it get dark alot earlier here in NE. And it's getting cold too.
I just read a handful of definitive reports on Macintouch that all say that Panther, the cool new version of the Mac OS, will not install on my ancient, Powerbook (Wall Street).
That kinda sucks.
I've been looking forward to its features, and now it seems that I'm shut out. Ah well, no point in being too bummed out by this. I've known that it's only a matter of time. You can only keep these old machines running for so long.
There is one, kinda kludgy, possible workaround. It involves installing a third-party patch called Xpostfacto. It's not available for my PB yet, but they say they're working on it.
Andy Ihnatko: "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the New New Year's Eve: staying up on the night when Daylight Savings ends, just to watch the clock in the corner of your screen flip from 1:59 AM to 1:00 AM."
Mark Pilgrim has put together this good summary of new stuff in Panther.
See? Just like I predicted. National league in six games.
This is an interesting development to the Grady Little situation.
Michael Holley, Boston Globe: "Little has grabbed his bosses by the lapels and dared them to push him away. It's eerie how prepared he is to lose his job." [More...]
This whole situation has gotten me to thinking about how, when you get yourself into a situation of huge potential rewards, it comes with the potential for huge destructive consequences.
[Thanks to SteveG for catching an html bug in this item. It's fixed now.]
Adam over at Boston Common, also did some website upgrading. Unfortunately (for him) his glitch was much more of a pain than mine was.
I'm glad to get the blog back online cause today is a big day. It's Panther Day. Apparently there'll be events at the Apple Stores tonight starting at 8pm, to intro and sell the new system.
It's getting good reviews. I just hope it'll run on my old-faithful "Wall Street" machine.
Thanks to the really quick response from the support folks at my hosting provider, he.net, the problems seem to have been solved, and we're back online.
Update: (Friday morning) The transistion is encountering more problems than I expected. Comments are partially broken, and I can't do regular posts to the site. We're working on it and I hope to be back soon. Stay tuned. -- Jack
I'm about to "flip the switch" to upgrade the hosting account for this website. I don't think that you will notice any interuption of access to the site. But I won't be able to post to the blog, and comments entered during the transition may be lost, at least temporarily. See you tomorrow. -- Jack
Sherm's gonna hate this, but here's an interesting interview from today's Boston Globe with Bill Buckner. It was conducted during the "big fight" game of the recent ALCS.
I didn't feel any kind of tension to catch the ground ball. Usually, when you miss a ground ball, it's because you look up. I didn't look up. The ball hit . . . I'm pretty sure the ball hit something . . . because the ball didn't go underneath my glove. It went to the right of my glove. It took a little bit of a funny hop, bounced to the right a little bit. It wasn't like, you know, you feel rushed and you look up. It took a funny hop. I mean, it's funny. It's funny. What do I chalk it up to? Fate. That's part of the game. [More...]
David Pogue, writing in the NYT, likes Panther: "In Panther, Apple has taken an already sparkling, super-stable operating system and made it faster, better equipped and more secure." [More...]
The Halloween cemetary pic in the masthead is from the front yard of one of my neighbors here at the lake. Kinda cool.
Yesterday I was wandering off the beaten track in Durham NH, and came across this pretty spot.
This is called Wiswall Falls. It's on the Lamprey River. It is the site of a mill that, in the 19th century, was the heart of the town of Durham. A huge fire, and the establishment of UNH in another part of the town, spelled the end for Wiswall as the center of town.
It's snowing here in Southern NH. Scott, my brother who loves snow, has finally put away his sandals and is wearing sneakers this morning.
The forecast is for it to snow overnight tonight. We could have snow on the ground tomorrow morning. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
[Originally I was going to keep this in my private notebook. But let's see how it goes.]
I had an odd dream last night. I was visiting Rob. I was staying in a cottage that was at the base of a hill, at the edge of a lake. There were fast running streams on both sides of the cottage.
It started to rain. The rain got pretty heavy, the roof of the cottage started to leak, and the gutters to overflow. There was water flowing across the floor of the cottage.
The streams were nearly overflowing with a torrent of water. I looked up the hill, concerned that if the streams overflowed their banks the cottage could be washed away. I looked to the cottage, thinking that I should get my valuables out of it in case of a flood. The first thing that I thought to protect was my laptop. The dream ended soon after that.
Ever since waking I've been thinking about the fact that the most valued thing I own is this laptop. Is that a good way to live?
Michael Holley, Boston Globe:
Do you feel any guilt over this? Just a little bit? I do. This is the World Series, featuring the two best teams in baseball, and I don't love it nor hate it. I don't dream about it or argue over it. It's just there, a neutral blob jammed between a couple palm trees.
It's true for me. I can muster almost no enthusiasm for this series. I've watched about a total of 2 innings of the first two games.
Unlike Holley, I do feel that neither team is worthy. I'm gonna be disappointed no matter who wins. I want the Yanks to lose, but the idea of the Marlins being crowned the best team in baseball is depressing to me.
I acknowledge that part of this is a reaction from our Red Sox getting eliminated. But I really think that I wouldn't have tuned out if the Cubs had made it in. Then there'd be a worthy team to root for.
Go Marlins? No, that just doesn't work for me. Too bad. Maybe next year.
Maxie caught a mouse tonight. Apparently she caught one this morning too, but I slept throught that one. Tonight we were sitting in the living room and heard a noise in the corner, behind the table.
Maxie came bounding out with a string hanging out of her mouth. No wait, not a string, a mouse tail. I grabbed her by the scruff of her neck, she opened her mouth, a live mouse dropped out, scurried across the kithen floor, and jumped into a convenient sneaker.
I used the second sneaker to cover the opening on the first, and shuttled the little guy out the back door. He'll probably find his way back into the house and Maxie's mouth, but I'm planning to through that one.
Trojan Horse is looking more and more likely. Business Week:
BEYOND THE MAC. Years after Apple launched its advertising campaign admonishing customers to "Think Different," CEO Steve Jobs appears to be taking his own advice. Instead of resigning himself to the idea that Apple will never be more than a niche PC supplier, Jobs is slowly transforming it into a high-end consumer-electronics and services company à la Sony (SNE ) -- one that he hopes ultimately will be less dependent on sales of the Macintosh PC, which now account for about 80% of revenues.
The whole BW series on Apple's Strategic Shift
Since last Thursday, most of us here in Red Sox Nation are in therapy. Dealing with loss. One way I've been coping is through denial. I've been avoiding posting baseball references.
But here's one. Red Sox Haiku. "Going, going, gone / In the eleventh inning / Winter has begun"
On Monday Apple announced that more than a million copies of the ITunes for Windows software had been downloaded in the first three days following the software's release. The company also said that more than a million songs were purchased in the same period.
I've begun my second season of tracking of the change in the level of the lake. For those unfamiliar, the state lowers the lake by about 6 feet each fall, to faciliate shoreline repairs, protect shoreline facilities (like docks) from ice, and provide flood control in the spring.
Here's the latest chart of drawdown 2003.
My website hosting company, he.net, has added Python support to the new machine that I now live on. So I'm taking the plunge to really learn the language and use it in place of Perl. I like Python's syntax, the structure, and the built-in functions. More later.
One of my brothers (the smart-alecky one) many years ago adopted Vermont as his home. He shows little desire to ever leave it. Maybe his passion for Vermont can be explained by the things in this Boston Globe article, or maybe it's in spite of them.
Some might accuse our northern neighbors of having control issues. But according to state officials, the name Vermont has real value. A product labeled "Made in Vermont" -- whether herb-infused maple syrup, pineapple pepper jam, or chai water buffalo yogurt -- is worth 10 percent more than the same product made elsewhere. And though you can't eat him for breakfast quite yet, Howard Dean is also benefiting from the Vermont name, spinning homespun value to a national market hungry for a candidate who is, well, unadulterated. [More...]
Over in comments, Sherm has challenged me on the use of the word "humiliation" in the title "A very public humiliation" and he's right.
I was going for the clever play on words, and I was mostly focused on the word "public". My point was that, whatever it was we suffered that night, it was very public. Maybe "Public Disappointment" would have been better.
Reuters, via Yahoo! reports:
Citing data from Nielsen Media Research, Fox, a unit of News Corp. Ltd., said [Game 7] was the most-watched league championship game on any night, on any network, in 12 years. It also drew higher ratings than 24 of the last 27 World Series games.
The game had a 28 percent share of the national household audience. In the New York market the share was 49 percent and in Boston, which has not won a World Series since 1918, the share reached 73 percent.
Ben Jamieson is quoted in Macintouch about a possible "trojan horse" benefit to the Windows version of iTunes:
With all the hype and buzz surrounding the release of iTMS for Windows, I noticed an interesting and possibly important side effect...
iTunes for Windows installs Quicktime 6.4 as well, which is going to result in a massive increase in the installed user base for Quicktime. Once media content providers see this, maybe they will begin to move away from the all to prevalent Windows Media Format and begin utilising the far superior power of Quicktime for content delivery.
...since last month, ABC News Radio correspondents have been experimenting with filing stories via Wi-Fi Internet connections, in a possible prelude to expanded use of the technology. Instead of going back to the office, reporters are looking to beam live broadcasts and interview clips via public Wi-Fi connections, which are increasingly available in bookstores, restaurants and public parks.
The story says there are still "technological glitches", but the only one they describe in the story is when the reporter doesn't know how to configure his laptop's networking settings. Not really a wifi problem I think.
Did the NY Post really jump the gun and write about the Red Sox winning. How's that for a loyal hometown newspaper?
What's Boston gonna blog about now that the Red Sox season is over?
[non techy readers will probably want to just skip over this item]
Regular GE2 readers will remember that about two weeks ago I upgraded the little drive in my PowerBook to a BIG drive. The process hasn't been without complication.
One of the gotchas was that my Apple Music Store purchased songs wouldn't play. It kept asking me to authorize the machine, and when I entered the info, it would say something like "can't find the appropriate folder or have don't have right permissions." I've been struggling with this since the upgrade.
I've suspected all along that the problem was related to the fact that, on the new drive, I have my Users directory on a different volume than the main OS. I did this as a result of yet another difficulty with the upgrade.
Digression: It turns out that my ancient PowerBook (G3 266 Wall Street) has a weird hardware limit in the hard disk circuitry. An OS X boot volume must be less that 8 gig in size. To be more precise, the boot volume must reside completely in the first 8 gig of hard disk address space.
Well this was no prob with my old 3 gig drive, but it's a bitch with my new 40 gig-er.
It took me a bit to figure this all out, but when I finally got OS X booting off the new drive I ended up with it partitioned into two volumes: 5 gig and 32 gig (OK it's actually a 37 gig drive).
Now the question was, how to utilize this odd partion mix.
Long-story-short, what I decided was to put the Users and Applications folders on the bigger volume, and all the OS stuff on the smaller.
I found some notes on the net about how to configure the Users directory on the second volume so the System knew where to find it. It seemed to work OK. Until I tried to play one of my purchased songs.
End of digression, back to the iTunes problem...
When I went to play one, it asked for authorization, and I got the "can't find the appropriate folder or have needed permissions."
Now it seems that Apple doesn't want the hackers figuring out exactly how authorization works, so there's very little info out there about what folder or permissions they might be talking about.
I tried all sorts of things.
I repaired permissions. I reinstalled iTunes. I checked with Apple to make sure I had the right password. I bought new music to see if it was only the old songs that wouldn't play. I tried lots of other things that I can't remember now. No joy.
This morning I sat down to work with it some more. I found an Apple tech note that talked about a missing Shared Folder being an authorization problem. While exploring this I realized something.
Back when I created the external Users folder, I made an alias to this new folder in the place of the original folder. This made it easier to navigate to it. But now I discovered that (apparently) since I created this alias with the Finder, it didn't work right in Terminal. I couldn't use the 'cd' (change directory) command on it in Terminal.
"If 'cd' can't resolve the alias, maybe other system services are having trouble too," I thought.
So I deleted the existing alias (no mean feat since it's in a protected location so I had to do it in Terminal with sudo), and created a new one with
sudo ln -s /Volumes/Yikes/Users/ Users
Eureka! That did the trick. When I tried to play a purchased song it asked to be authorized, it succeeded, and the song played. Other purchased songs now played without asking for further auth.
So there you go. Mac OS X, it's an adventure.
Disclaimers: 1. If I was a real *nix head. instead of a pretender, this all might have been obvious from the start. 2. I'm not 100% that I'll never be able to boot OS X of a larger partion, I'm still looking into that one (suggestions and fixes welcomed, put 'em in a comment).
Ever since this morning's heartbreaking loss I've been trying to come up with some pithy, or witty, or sage, observation about the conclusion of the 2003 Red Sox season.
I've got nothing.
Like millions of others, I'm tremendously disappointed. So close.
Maybe I'll post more about it later, maybe not, but for now I just want to congratulate the Red Sox for what (we need to remember) was really a great season. We didn't get the result we wanted, but it really was a very exciting and entertaining season.
Cowboy up, rally karaoke guy, shaved heads, hating the bullpen early on, worshiping the bullpen later, Theo the boy wonder, Wakefield, Lowe, Pedro, the Monster seats, Manny calling in sick, drinks with the Yanks, Millar, Mueller, Ortiz, Trots' game winning homer, coming back from 0-2 in Oakland, 2 ALCS wins in Yankee stadium, and so much more. It was a long season. Lots of good stuff there. Thanks Sox.
I'm sorry, I can't be quiet any longer. It has to be asked.
Why is our government advertising the new $20 bill? Do they think that otherwise we won't use it? Or that the ads will make us use is more?
Why? What is the goal here?
Wil Wheaton' weblog (to Alex Gonzalez, the Cubs shortstop who bobbled an easy ground ball and failed the end the disasterous Game 6 8th inning):
Dear Alex Gonzalez,
Don't worry about everyone who wants to kill you right now.
Fundamentals, like using your body to back up a routine ground ball, or using two hands to handle that ball, are totally overrated.
Signed, Bill Buckner.
As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I know a little about the disappointment Cubs fans are feeling tonight. Congratulations to everyone in the organization for a great season. We were rooting for you.
I know it's little consolation now, but you have a great team and a great manager. As we say in Boston, "wait 'til next year."
Cubs-Marlins game is still in progress, so no final winner there yet. And, of course, Red Sox-Yankees will be decided tomorrow. But regardless of the outcome of those games, here's my prediction:
American League team wins in 5 games.
Back during the season we couldn't say enough bad things about the Red Sox bullpen. Now they're pitching some awesome innings.
Nomar finally seems to be coming out of his slump. 4 hits tonight, including a virtual inside the park home-run. Anyone else notice that Nomar, the notorious first pitch swinger, watched alot of first ones go by tonight? Learning patience?
So tomorrow night we go back to that legendary matchup, Clemens vs. Martinez. Another chance to play a part in the closing of Raahhh-gerrrrrr's career.
Just a reminder, since the Cubs lost, and will have a Game 7, they will be the later game tonight. Red Sox play at 4 ET, assuming the weather cooperates.
I was out at first light securing one of our boats that was trying to break loose. The rain was falling kinda sideways and the wind blowing at what the weather sites I look at say are 40 mph gusts.
I'm watching the leaves get stripped off of the bright yellow tree outside my window.
My sister, who lives 25 miles NW of here, has had no power since before 6am. I want to go down and start the coffeemaker, but I'm sure that will jinx somthing and cause the power to fail here too.
I only just got around to watching the tape of last week's Survivor. There are SPOILERS in the "Continue reading..." link.
I really have only two comments.
1. It's SO ironic that they've twice refused to vote off Osten because they wanted to keep his strength, and yet his lack thereof sunk them in the Reward Challenge.
2. The "kidnap a member of the other tribe" thing is a really interesting development. It could easily weaken OR strengthen Rupert. It'll be really interesting to see how it plays out.
BTW it was odd the way they included the "kidnap a member of the other tribe" thing as add-on to the immunity challenge. I wonder if, knowing that Drake was thinking of taking a dive on the immunity challenge, Probst was instructed to reveal, and include, the add-on only if Drake was obvously tanking, as a sort of punshment for doing it?
3. Once again I think they're editing things in a weird way. I think there must be interactions among the Drakes that we're not seeing. That must be what is making them behave so weird. I mean, why get rid of Burton? I think we don't have all the info.
3a. And what's the story with the weirdo Jon? Are the editors exagerating his looniness? Are they not bothering to vote him out now cause he's an easy target for later when things are tougher?
I guess that was more than 2 things.
Red Sox fall 4-2 in ALCS game 5. But now we're on the brink of elimination, which is where we often play our best.
Over in comments Steve talks about why the Windows version of iTunes and the Apple Music Store might be an OK thing.
The "Trojan Horse" theory is the only thing I've come up with that seems to make this a good risk. The idea would be that exposing alot of Windows users to iPods, and the Apple Stores, would create more Switchers. That would be good.
Steve also suggests that the additional revenue from selling more iPods and more song downloads would be good for Apple's bottom line. This one, I'm not so sure about.
Remember that Apple's main business is selling computers and copies of the Mac OS. Last year Apple had gross sales of $5.7 billion. I haven't done a detailed analysis on this but... suppose iPod sales jump alot. Steve says that they have now increased to a rate of 700K units a year, and let's say that the new Windows thing DOUBLES that. 1.4 million units of iPods, at $400 each, would be gross sales of $560 million, or still only 10% of total sales.
So it seems to me that this very generous income projection only gains us 10% on existing sales (actually it only GAINS 5% since we're already at the 700K rate), while risking weakening the main product line.
These numbers are really quick-and-dirty. I'd welcome some feedback on a better/different analysis. My main desire is a healthy Apple, promoting an increasingly large Mac user-base.
But the Windows iTunes, makes me nervous.
Famous Escher drawings that create impossible 3-D settings. Escher made these work because of tricks you can do when rendering a 3-D view in 2-D. But these folks have created Lego sculptures that look the same. Hurts my head trying to figure out how it's done.
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald:
Let this be a lesson that we need neither fistfights nor follies, be they on the field or in the bullpens. All we need is the Red Sox and Yankees, nine a side, in the crisp autumn air and in the heart of October.
We have a series now.
We most certainly do.
Boston and New York have played 23 games against one another this year and the running score is Yankees 12, Red Sox 11. It is 2-2 in October
So now, after a season in which the Red Sox have played 171 games, here is what we have: Boston and New York, best-of-three, winner goes to the World Series and loser goes home.
Ever since I wrote yesterday's item which I entitled "succession", I've been looking at that word and thinking, "That's not right."
Well, I was right, I was wrong.
The correct word/spelling is "secession".
I suppose I could try to claim that I actually meant the word I spelled, "succession", as a reference to California moving from one governor to the next... but... no, wait... that really is what I meant... yeah that's it. Cause I'm never wrong.
The Red Sox evened the AL Champ Series tonight at 2 games each. Wakefield pitched another gem, and is now the owner of both Boston wins in this series.
Why can't we just outright win one of these? The stress is killing me. I wish I had the Red Sox Nation concession on Tagamet.
I was watching the recent episode of Grounded for Life on TiVo last night. Lily, the teenage daughter, was thrilled to discover that her boyfriend planned to give her an iPod for Christmas. She pleaded for him to not wait, to buy it for her now. It's so cool, she said, it can hold jillions of songs.
Product placement? or an unsolicited endorsement?
On Thursday, Apple is expected to announce and/or launch the Windows version of their ground-breaking Apple Music Store service. This will include a Windows version of iTunes.
I have concerns about this.
I am a devoted Macintosh fan. I've never thought it was a "religious thing" between Mac and Windows, it's not just a personal preference. It's simply that Mac is better. It's easier to use, more attentive to the users' needs, and genuinely original.
Windows is often brutally difficult to operate, cares more for market share and control than the users' needs, and trumpets innovation when what they've always done is to copy, buy, or trample the inventive work of others.
Sorry I didn't mean to get onto a rant there.
The thing is, that I've always felt strongly that the "Macintosh way" was important, and it should be defended and advanced.
Back in the late 80s and early 90s I worked for Apple, in Cupertino, for the Developer Tools Group. Toward the end of that time I became discouraged because I felt that the leaders of the company had given up on beating Windows and instead they were pursueing a course of compromise and appeasement.
The Apple Developer Support group was (and is again!) an excellent source for supporting programmers in creating great software for the Mac. Having great software, exclusively available on the Mac, was one of the best lures we had to help showcase the qualities of a system that was often hard to quantify in ads, or show in glossy screenshots.
But in the early 90s Apple seemed to have given up on beating Windows and had begun to help programmers to develop software simultaneously for BOTH Mac and Windows. I felt this was a terrible mistake.
I fought this attitude from within the company. But this meant that in public I promoted a company policy that I opposed in private. Finally in 1992 I couldn't continue so I left my job at Apple.
Now, Apple is about to release a Windows version of iTunes.
I am a great fan of the steps that Steve Jobs has taken over the past few years to bring Apple back from the brink. My sense is that Jobs is even more anti-Windows than I am, so I really don't understand why Apple would abdicate the competitive advantage of a Mac-only iTunes.
I have big reservation about a Windows version of iTunes. But I'm going to withhold judgment on this for a while. Maybe Steve has something up his sleeve. I hope so.
...liberals are mourning along the state's northern coast, particularly San Francisco, where 80 percent voted against the recall. In the city that nurtured beatniks in the '50s and hippies in the '60s, Schwarzenegger came in a distant second to Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante among the replacement candidates.
Some residents joke darkly about forming a separate state, with San Francisco as the capital.
The Cubs experienced a pause, in what appears to be their march to the World Series, as Marlins pitcher Josh Becket hurled a gem of a 2-hitter complete game. It was a no-hitter into the 6th (5th?) inning.
In a way, this is a good thing for the Cubs, cause it means they get to clinch at Wrigley Field.
Until about a week ago the Fall colors here in southern New Hampshire seemed to be arriving late. But in the past few days many trees have really burst into vivid colors. Many deep reds and bright yellows, mixed among lime greens and summer colors still little changed. Strange year.
We've reached the time of year when the colors might continue to intensify, or a gusty storm may just knock all the leaves to the ground overnight.
It's been raining most of the day. Although the Patriots are currently playing in the rain, it's not at all clear that the Red Sox will be able to.
Congratulations to Roger Clemens and the Yankees, for winning an important, and very strange, game.
I'm on the record about Clemens, but otherwise I want to be clear that I don't HATE the Yankees. They are a quality team, and apparently a good bunch of guys.
On the night when Cal Ripkin Jr decided it was time to end his consecutive games streak, the Yanks were the opposing team that night in Baltimore. It wasn't announced that Cal wouldn't be playing. When the Orioles took the field, people didn't immediately notice that Cal was absent.
The Yankees in their dugout noticed, and the whole team stepped up to the field level and started the ovation that saluted Cal on finishing his historic streak. I've always thought that was classy of the Yanks.
I don't hate the Yankees. I just want them to lose EVERY game, and especially when they're playing the Red Sox.
How to write a Thank You note.
As extra motivation, I will also grudgingly tell you the hidden secret of thank-you notes: They improve the frequency and quality of the gifts you receive.
Gaurdian Unlimited: "The committee said Ms Ebadi represents reformed Islam, and lauded her for arguing for a new interpretation of Islamic law which is in harmony with vital human rights such as democracy and equality before the law."
I've never really been a fan of Charlie Sheen. I never warmed up to his goofball movies, and I gave up Spin City when MJ Fox left the show.
But I've been checking out his new sitcom, Two and a Half Men. It's pretty funny.
Kinda cool time-lapse of 24 hrs in downtown Toronto. I particularly like seeing the lights start to come on in the buildings just before dawn.
The oldest man is also a Red Sox fan [Story]. And no, we're not talking about my friend Sherm here.
Bad news: The first comment to my little "I hate Roger" rant, pokes a bunch of holes in my, admittedly, emotional diatribe. The commenter makes some fair, and accurate, corrections to my revisionist history.
Good news: The Comment was made by David Pinto, the author of one of the best baseball weblogs on the net. David Pinto read my blawg! Maybe next time I'll say something intelligent.
By the way. I still hope we savage Roger this weekend.
I don't like Roger Clemens. I think he's disloyal, opportunist, and an egomaniac. I've rooted against him ever since he abandoned the Red Sox 'cause he thought he could win a World Series ring with another team.
Now Roger is returning to Fenway for what will, once again, be his final appearance there. Almost more than I hope we can win the whole thing, I hope this is what will happen:
We beat (embarass!!) Roger on Saturday, we go on to eliminate the Yankee is less than seven games, and thus Roger has lost his final playoff appearance, in the last start of his career, at Fenway. I would find some justice in that scenario.
There's another really ironic perspective on all this. If the fates allow, and we go on this year to win the whole thing. If Roger had remained loyal to Boston, he would now be ending his career as the respected senior member of the Red Sox, and he would be the leader of a pitching staff that finally ended the curse. That's the legacy that an honorable player would deserve.
See! I'm not the only one having trouble with this. KPIX/KCBS:
"I spell [Arnold's last name] 50 times a day, and correct it another 50 times a day," said Lindsay Ward, a chyron operator for CBS 5.
I spent most of the day today working with my dad, installing a hot water heater in my sister's basement.
Hey, that's the kinda guy I am.
OK, do you think maybe there are people all over New England who are getting buzz-cuts now?
Has anyone else noticed that the daughter on Life With Bonnie this season has disappeared? She's just gone, with no explanation.
That's not right.
This weblog just passed a milestone. It received it's first-ever "comment spam".
Suddenly, an entry from a year ago received a comment that was a commercial for some product.
On the fringes of the blogging bigtime!
When Grady Little and Theo Epstein talked to Johnny Damon right after they won Game 5 in Oakland, "He wanted to know if he caught the ball."
This could be big, in a good way. CNET News:
In ruling from the bench late Tuesday, Minneapolis, Minn., federal Judge Michael J. Davis permanently barred Minnesota from applying traditional telephone rules to Vonage, a pioneer in technology that lets consumers bypass the traditional phone network by making voice calls over a broadband connection. ...
Tuesday's ruling for now frees Vonage to sell its Internet phone service in Minnesota without obtaining a telephone operator's license or paying fees to support 911 services. More importantly, the order is the first to address the authority of a state to oversee so-called voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and could thus impact efforts by other states to regulate VoIP providers.
John Powers, Boston Globe:
[Pedro's declaration, two seasons ago, that he wasn't afraid of the Yankees] was the clarion call for the Rebel Alliance, which is firing up the galactic fighters for yet another assault on the Empire in tonight's American League Championship Series opener at Yankee Stadium: "Ain't afraid of no ghosts."
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald: "[The Red Sox and Yankees] are, perhaps, more evenly matched than at any time since their historic playoff game to decide the 1978 AL East division race."
Last Saturday: Chili Fest. This Saturday: Pumpkin Patch Pancake Breakfast.
The Register: "Research has found that some [young] people suffer withdrawal symptoms if their phone doesn't ring leading to 'lack of self esteem and anxiety'".
"Flying in a light plane 2000 or 3000 feet above the ground is a totally different experience from being in a commercial jet where the pilots shoot straight up into Class A airspace (18,000 feet and above) as quickly as possible."
I'm thinking that Arnold...
(By the way, I'm sorta old fashioned about these things. Out of respect for the office, and the system, I would like to refer to Arnold by his last name. For example, regular readers may note that even though I have no use for the man or his handlers, I never refer to the president as "shrub" or "W". So I'd like to call Arnold by his last name... but who-the-heck knows how to spell it?!) ...
Where was I? Oh yeah... I'm thinking that Arnold probably doesn't move into the state House TODAY. There must be some sort of official certifying process before Davis is actually OUT and Arnold IN. In the meantime, I'm betting that there will be lawsuits -- lots of lawsuits -- that will delay that move-in. So here's my question.
When does the normal term for Cali Governor end?
If the "process" drags out until the regular term ends, will Arnold just never ascend? And the winner of the next (regular election) is the one? How does this work?
"So I used the feared Diebold machine. I was unable to vote on prop 54 because the program is tricky and asks you to cast your ballot after the first two issues. So I voted on the recall and on a candidate, but I that was it: "poof!" thanks for voting! better luck with democracy next time!"
[Link via Sheila Lennon]
Cringely. His proposed solution is a little vague, but he describes the problem well: "I finally figured out that privacy was never intended for you and me. The system doesn't care about us at all."
Oh, and by the way, Arnold is now Governor of California.
The second biggest story today -- after the Red Sox win -- is that my home-state-away-from-home, California, is holding their infamous recall electio.
As of a couple of days ago I thought my old home had lost its mind and was gonna elect Arnold by a landslide.
It's still too close to call, but apparently people are reacting that Arnold seems to have a little problem with women.
I've spent alot of the past 24 hrs reinstalling files on my laptop. I got my new HUGE hard disk installed yesterday and it's taking longer than I expected to get things set up.
Red Sox complete the "Cleveland-thing", to win three in a row from the As, fight back from a 0-2 game deficit, and advance to the AL Champ Series against the Yankees on Wed.
I got my new 40 gig hard drive installed today, and it's taking longer than I expected to get things back up and running.
For example, it appears that my hardware has a hard limit that the OS X system has to be installed in a partition no larger than 8 gig. So I've split the drive into 8gig and 32gig. That seems to be working, but it's very inelegant.
Now I trying to decide how to divide the stuff between these two volumes.
David Weinberger, Joho the BLOG: "I heard the last 30 minutes of AKMA's seminar at BloggerCon. Indescribable. Booming voice, booming ideas. Too delectable to take notes during."
Doc Searls: "Today is the "open" day at BloggerCon, and lots of new people are showing up. The sessions are split between five different rooms"
The Cubs just beat the Braves to move on the the NL Championship Series.
The Cubs haven't won a post-season series in 95 years. They haven't won a World Series in even longer than the Red Sox.
It used to be that a younger sister wasn't allowed to marry until her older sister married first. The Cubs are the older sister. The Red Sox aren't cursed, they are the younger sister. They can't win until the Cubs do.
(By the way, I hadn't realized this, but the last time the Red Sox won a Series was 1918. The team they beat was... the Cubs! I don't know what that fact does to my sister theory, but it's interesting.)
"Cleveland-thing" Step Two - Check.
Now we go back to Oakland. Pedro vs. Zito. Everyone seems to think we're a big favorite. I'm not tempting fate like that. Respectfully optimistic, that's me.
Regular Gone East readers have been asking me where comment-area-regular Sherm is. He hasn't been heard here in some time.
Hey, Sherm's a busy guy.
Trott Nixon that is.
Red Sox staved off elimination last night, in a somewhat long thriller. But let's stay focussed here, cause this was just step-one of the three-step "Cleveland-thing".
My friend Ken M was at the game. I can't wait to hear what he has to say about it.
It rained cats and dogs during yesterday's Chili Cook-Off, nevertheless the event was a big success. Go figure.
In past years we had cancelled the event if it rained. But this year we planned ahead to have a backup in case we needed to go under cover. Now I'm kinda hoping it rains again next year.
Fosters Daily Democrat: "Despite rainy weather, a long line of chili enthusiasts formed at the entrance to Strawbery Banke Saturday morning to get into the 15th annual WHEB Chili Cook-Off."
Portsmouth Herald: "Chili hunters brave the rain. ... Steam rose from hundreds of cups as taste testers milled around hunting for their favorite chili. Nineteen area restaurants on Saturday tempted peoples taste buds at the 15th annual WHEB Chili Cook-Off..."
Most blogging systems create permalinks that link to a page that contains a single entry, often with its comments displayed below it. But I'm finding lately (for example, with the BloggerCon coverage) that what I really want to do is link to a sequence of entries. What's the proper way to do this?
Linking to the main URL for the blog will result in the desired entries eventually drifting far down the page, and off of it. But linking to an individual entry leaves alot of items invisible.
Alot of interesting stuff coming out of the first full day of BloggerCon.
I'm going to really regret it someday that, due to other commitments, I've been unable to attend an event that may be looked back on as the Woodstock of the new internet.
Here are the first few bits of coverage I've noticed.
Steve Garfield has a bunch of Day One comments and links.
Of course, Dave Winer: "11PM: Great show. So many smart excited people. Lots of interesting discussions. ... Tomorrow is Day 2, with a completely different flavor, multiple tracks, and no charge, should be lots of new people."
Christopher Lydon recorded this interview with Day One star Jay Rosen.
I'm sure there'll be more later.
Gonna be away all day doing the Portsmouth Chili Cook-Off. See you on Sunday.
...instructions for making a simple book out of a paper bag. All you need is a pair of scissors and a paper grocery bag.
[Thanks j-walk, a really fun blog BTW.]
An asteroid about the size of a small house passed just 88,000 kilometres from the Earth by on Saturday 27 September - the closest approach of a natural object ever recorded. Geostationary communication satellites circle the Earth 42,000km from the planet's centre... The asteroid, designated 2003 SQ222, came from inside the Earth's orbit and so was only spotted after it had whizzed by.
We lost game 2. Now we have to go and do the Cleveland-thing again. This is not the strategy I would have chosen.
What do YOU call it, when someone reveals the identity of one of your country's secret intelligence agents, during wartime?
New York Times, Thursday:
The men who won the 2000 election by promising to restore honor and integrity to the White House spent yesterday doing a pretty good imitation of O. J. Simpson, looking for the culprit. You could just picture President Bush with his Sherlock Holmes deerstalker, magnifying glass and bloodhound Barney. Silly. The White House knows who did it. All Mr. Bush has to do is roll heads. Whole article...
Boingboing summarized it best: "According to US social security records, there were five kids born in 2000 whose parents named them Timberland, forty-nine Canons, eleven Bentleys, five Jaguars, and a Xerox. The kicker? Twenty-four children were named Unique." Read article...
I've been thinking about this for months. Today I did it. I called Justin at MacEdge and ordered a 40 gig hard disk upgrade and a wifi card for my dear old Powerbook.
I've gotten alot more life out of this machine than I ever expected. It really changed my computing life when I got it back in 97. Although I've never used it as a true on-your-lap-while-on-the-subway machine, I have been an active traveller with it. I've used it on three cross-continent driving trips, and 5 years as my main machine.
For awhile now I've been lusting for one of the new aluminum or white powerbooks. With built in usb and firewire and wifi and a battery that works. But the budget still won't allow that. So I've stretched the old one's useful life as long as possible.
I always figured that when I upgraded to a new laptop I'd install linux on this one. But since I installed OS X there's really no need. All the geeky things I might do with linux I can do with 10. So I guess that is how it'll stay.
In the meantime I'm looking forward to all that disk space and some wardriving.
For years Sherm and I would go to eat at our favorite Harvard Sq Chinese Restaurant. I can't remember its name, but it was on Church Street, about halfway between Mass Ave and Brattle Street.
We liked this place 'cause you could get a really good "pu pu platter", and those little ovals of pork that were often found floating in the won ton soup.
A few years ago our place closed, and we didn't know where to turn. Then on one particular visit we decided to try the Hong Kong. I'd been walking past this place for decades, but never went in. It's a two story pink stucco facade on Mass Ave east of the Square.
This place is great.
It's become notorious lately as a favorite hangout of Dave Winer and the Harvard Sq blog crowd. Kinda like Jing Jing East, but very different. Michael Feldman describes it well in his blog piece about the upcoming BloggerCon festivities.
The Hong Kong restaurant in Harvard Square, site of the sure-to-be fabulous kick-off party for BloggerCon, has a long and storied past as a dark and private rock under which Harvard students can creep when they need to disappear without leaving campus, as well as a bottomless bowl of greasy faux-Chinese cuisine and high-octane, bizarrely garnished rum-based drinks. Read more...
[Update] After I wrote this, I read in Dave Winer's blog that he has never been to the Hong Kong. Well I would have sworn I'd read of at least a couple blog gatherings there. I guess I'm remembering things that were before Dave arrived in town. Halley's birthday?
This week's NOVA on PBS was about the discovery and restoration of a notebook by Archimedes which has been lost for over 1000 years, and in which he wrote about math discoveries that were 1800 years ahead of their time. Infinite Secrets, The Archimedes Palimpsest.
I just noticed that it got down to 37 degrees yesterday morning. That's the lowest temp since last spring.
AP via the local Dover NH paper: "A group of libertarians planning to bring 20,000 liberty-minded Americans to a "free state" has chosen New Hampshire."
Not everyone thinks this is so cool. Brian Kane: "These people are wackjobs. Extreme libertarianism is sociopathic... You folks in NH can expect every looney in the book to come crawling out from their survival bunkers to move to your state. Charming."
[Updated] Eric Raymond kinda likes it. "What could be more American than migrating to a thinly-settled area to experiment with liberty?"
Well, Tuesday all my teams won, but tonight they all lost. Maybe later I'll write at length about this ordeal of a Red Sox-Oakland game. Right now, I need to try to .
In case you forgot, tonight is Game One of the Red Sox - Oakland As Series. 10 pm. On ESPN I think.
Yesterday's games were pretty good. All my teams won (why does that never happen when I bet?).
The Giants beat Florida, the Cubs beat Atlanta, and the Yankees lost (to Minnesota, but it really doesn't matter to who, as long as the Yankees lose.)
The Cubs game was the only one I watched. VERY impressive outing by Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood. According the the TV guys, he is now the first guy to be the winning pitcher and to also drive in the winning runs, in a post-season game, in almost 100 years.
I saw a couple of innings of the Yankees loss on TV, then heard the ending on the radio. The Yanks played really sloppy. They almost pulled it out at the end, but they really LOST this game. Heads are gonna roll.
I wish I'd been able to watch the Giants game. They're a favorite of mine, and Pac Bell Park is the second most beautiful park I've ever seen a game at. I'm hoping to be in front of a TV for their Game Two today.
Just a reminder to those of you who are in the NH Seacoast area, the Prescott Park Chili Cookoff is this Saturday. We have 20 (!) restaurants participating this year. Tasting begins at 11:30 am and goes on till all the Chili is gone, probably around 2-ish. It's $7 for adults, $5 for kids, for all the Chili you can stand.
Prescott Park is in Portsmouth, along the river, just downriver from the Memorial Bridge.