Liberal Misrepresentation

August 14th, 2009

According to Paul Krugman, the liberal economist Paul Krugman just gave a televised interview in which he gave the impression that he was wearing a suit - when, in fact, he wasn't!


August 13th, 2009

Last night we drove around Briones park looking for a good spot from which to do some Perseid watching. We settled on a spot next to the reservior, about fifty yards from the main road down an EBMUD access road. As I expected, the light pollution was far too great to see much - although it was a nice night - and there was some cloudcover, to boot. Two satellites, a couple dozen aircraft, no meteors.

After about half an hour a cop pulled in behind our car and rousted us. He was very friendly, suggesting other spots we could legally watch from, and chiding me about the posted no trespassing signs which I had, in fact, seen and driven right by. I suspect having a three year old running around saying "daddy it's a police car" helps defuse any tension.

I feel no hesitation about non-destructive trespassing on EBMUD land. I'll do it again. Of course, EBMUD (or the fuzz) do then have the right to kick me out if they catch me. So everything went pretty much the way it was supposed to.


August 11th, 2009

I am shrugging off my World of Warcraft addiction again. Addiction is probably the wrong word - I have no problem quitting, but I do have difficulty playing in moderation. I had gone cold turkey for four or so months last year, but then my wife pulled me back in.

My problem with the game is: anything I do I want to do well, which in the case of WoW means doing it to excess, grinding daily quests and re-running instances until the item you want drops, trading your time for the ability to wave a larger e-peen than your peers.

But the last patch just came out and I was highly underwhelmed by the new content, which has provided the last nudge I needed to drop off again.

The first thing that my sudden free time has allowed me to do is to finally install a webmail client on For a decade now I've used pine as my mail client, which means ssh'ing into the box. And, let's face it, an ASCII GUI is just a little bit behind the times.

Of course, as with all things UNIX/Linux, this meant a much larger workload than simply installing a webmail client. Ha! No, I had to install PHP, which is of course a horrible security hole so I had to do my best to lock it down, and then I had to install an IMAP server - I didn't need one before, and on the Internet if you don't need a service, turn it off or better yet uninstall it - and connect it to my existing MTA, and *then* I was able to install and configure the webmail server.

Happily, aside from one MTA configuration snafu, everything went as planned and now I and my 2-5 users can access our email using a more-or-less full-featured webmail client!

I wonder if tonight is raid night.

Poor Stephen Hawking

August 11th, 2009

Every now and then conservative media crosses the line from aggressively dishonest to hilariously stupid:

“People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless,” the [Investors Business Daily] editorial claims.

Of course, that same Stephen Hawking who wouldn’t have a chance in the United Kingdom was in fact born in the United Kingdom, has lived his entire life in the United Kingdom and lives there still today, at the ripe old age of 67.

Honest conservatives - I know you exist, I'm related to some of you - take back your party! Or form a new one, or something! Leaving the rudder to those living in a crazed fantasy world is of no help to any of us.

Have You Read? List of 100 books

August 6th, 2009

I found this to be a good list of seminal works (available in English); very genre open-minded. Lots of books here I really ought to read; so far I've read almost exactly a third (33) of them. It does lack any Mark Twain. Also: 4 Jane Austen novels? Come on.

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