Archive | December, 2009

>New Year’s Eve Day

31 Dec

>…And here I am with nothing suitable to wear! A hasty try through what used to be L. S. Ayres (later May Co. and now Macy’s, shorn of all history, tradition and elegant-esque lunch room, though the latter limps on at the State Museum; and just how sad is that?) found nothing that appealed.

I miss the old Glendale Mall, which had a shop that specialized in formal and sub-formal wear; it didn’t take all day to claw together the rudiments of attire suitable for a holiday event. Macy’s, by whatever name and even more so in recent years, is determing to be A Destination, in part by so scrambling the clothing collections that unless you’re a serious, semi-pro shopper, the process is a chore and you’ll be wanting to take notes.

I’m tempted to hit Goodwill first, but at 5′ 10″, it’s a rare day when they have much nice in my size.

…But if that’s my only complaint, I should maybe not complain too much! I’m for the shower; then I’ll don my pith helment, assemble the bearers and off into deepest Merchantia….


>Morning, Blank Slate, No Time

30 Dec

>Well, a little time, but only ‘cos I am waiting my turn at the shower.

I’m covered up with year-enders at work, so much so I have not even shopped for Something Suitable to wear for New Year’s (goin’ to the speakeasy steakhouse, yayy!). I only have to dress like a grown-up one or two times a year, which I consider an advantage of my job. It usually is — not so much when you want to go someplace where jeans, a hoodie over a knit top and workboots are not considered appropriate. (On the other hand, ooooooo, the food at Morton’s! The company’s pretty nice, too).

I’ve been working on a holiday “Starship” yarn, this one set during the short period of open warfare between USSF/NATO allies and the Edgers; I have a neat photo-essay for “Retrotechnologist” planned…but there’s a list of awkward, difficult and/or boring tasks to get done at the Skunk Works before the holiday break, none of them so routine that I can do them and noodle plot points or pity comments at the same time.

The good news is, I’ll have a week off and hope to make some actual progress. But today, not so much.

>Economic Sense

29 Dec

>In no little haste this morning (I worked 8 hours on/8 off/8 on Sunday and Monday, a trick that takes an increasingly greater toll, especially since I’m still getting over the flu; came home last night, ate a snack and sailed off to dreamland, debarking with utmost reluctance this a.m.), so it’s a linky morning — and something worth linking to: Markets Fail. That’s Why We Need Markets. Complete with a thumbnail sketch of rent-seeking, why it is bad and the role of governments in enabling same, plus the skinny on the useful service markets provide in letting notions that don’t work fail before they become too large.

It may be just horse sense to you and me…but the readin’ public has yet to internalize it. And good luck tryin’ to hammer the least glimpse of it into most congressthing’s skulls, even with the very finest hammer.

>On Mad Bombers

28 Dec

>…The day the Nigerian groin-bomber flamed out, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano fatuously proclaimed, “The system worked.” Interviewed by network news this morning, she backed away from that statement, saying she was — and I paraphrase — referring to the system of inconveniencing air travelers even more in the interest of security theatre, which kicked in almost immediately. Yay, hooray, air travel will suck even more and even fewer people will bother to fly.

Yet in a way, she was right. A “system” no bureaucrat — certainly no DHS secret policeman — would notice did work. While official reaction to the intel stage was weak, it should be noted the nitwit’s own father (and, presumably, co-religionist) thought his son was lookin’ a little jihadist around the gills and wrote to his government and to ours in warning. (Stop and think about that’n for a moment; it’s a good sign). The active-intervention stage worked very well — seeing something out of the ordinary, Dutch tourist Jasper Schuringa said his first thought wasn’t to signal a flight attendant or wait for an air marshal to break cover, but rather, “He’s trying to blow up the plane.”

“I basically reacted directly,” Schuringa said Saturday in an interview with CNN. “I didn’t think. I just jumped. I just went over there and tried to save the plane.”

Best line I’ve seen so far: “Aggressive intervention [in commercial air travel] has become the new societal norm.” Air Marshals? Ms. Napolitano, we’re all Air Marshals now.

The official attempts at protection failed; the amateur efforts, thanks to a very large dollop of luck, succeeded.

>Umm, What?

27 Dec

>Some of my pals on the Lupine are…lexically unique. I actually know what this is trying to say and it is still a snickerworthy kind of Fail. Also? I will not watch that movie. Oh, so very, very not.

PS: Yet another reason why HAL got so weird about the Pod Bay Doors, revealed

>LED Tree

26 Dec

6 meters tall, 600 Watts and point-addressable: every light is an RGB LED.

…Remember when the psychedeli (gimme a pint of Zen and a couple slices of patchouli) generation adopted g’grandma’s beaded curtains, then took ’em Day-glo? Well, me neither, but I saw it on TV so it must’ve happened. Next go-round, the beaded curtains will be the TV — or what ever far-out, mind-blowing pattern y’want, maaaan.

>Status Code: 4:10 To Gone?

26 Dec

>I think that wraps up the codes you’re most likely to see. …I still wanna work up something better for “404.”