Parkour

So, I guess that if you grow up in Europe and want to show how bad-ass you are, but skateboarding is too American, then Parkour is your sport. This stuff is seriously cool.

ok, done

finally caught up on moving over the old posts from the old blog location. This site now has all the content for this blog.

Dear Airlines

yeah, those days are gonePlease make up your mind.

Either, enforce your rules about carry-on bags or make the overheads infinitely large.

“Two Bags only, one bag and one briefcase or purse” you announce over the loud speaker. Meanwhile, I’m walking down the jetway behind some other business traveler who has a roll-away large enough for me to fit into, a backpack, a briefcase, and a garment bag. I then have to watch him stuff them into TWO overheads, filling both. He then walks to the back of the plane where his seat actually is. So not only does everyone have to wait for him, but then, everyone else has to scramble for overhead space. Of course, he isn’t the only problem. Half the people are carrying on over-sized bags that either take an entire overhead compartment or most of one.

I fly enough now that this is really a pain in the ass. It leads to people trying to board early so that they can make sure that they can stuff their bags into the overhead. It makes the entire trip crappier for the rest of us, especially if we have to put something into the overhead. (my bag takes up 1/4 of an overhead, thank-you-very-much).

Sure, if you actually start enforcing your rules, it will be a painful transition, making it take longer to get people through the gate, and annoying those who think that their bag really can fit even though it can’t. Long term though, all your passengers will be much happier.

In the meantime, GFY.

ok Apple, now you are really starting to piss me off

At this point, I’m just used to the horror show that developing software for the mac is. But as a user, it has always been sweetness and light mostly and with Apple service, it has always been awesome.

Now, Apple is crossing the line. My 30 GB iPod photo is busted. It has been lovingly taken care of, never dropped, doesn’t have a scratch on it. The problem? Sometimes (not always), the buttons on the scroll wheel are treated like you are pressing the middle button instead. This will last for a while and then go back to working. However, when you are trying to pause your iPod and you just keep flipping between the song, the rating, the position, the cover art, etc… it can be insane making.

So I put the details into a service report and got a box delivered lickity-split. Score one for Apple service. 3 days later, I got a box back! Joy! Apple service would remain in my heart. Until I opened it and read the note that said, (I paraphrase) “works fine, no problems found”. When in my description, I had said that the problem was intermittent, so I hope they did more than try it out for half a second. They reformatted it, of course. I tried it and it seemed to work ok. So I loaded up my music onto it and was able to repro the problem again within 10 seconds. I didn’t update the OS of the iPod, I just put music onto it.

So, I sent it back, saying in my service report, “no really. you have to try it before reformatting it. It really does happen. It is intermittent.”

I just got it back. Same story. “works fine, no service performed”

So, now I have to drag my ass into the genius bar to get some pimply faced UW freshman to ask me stupid questions since there is no fucking phone number I can call to talk to anyone at Apple service. The net result of which will probably be that they drop the DHL box in the mail for me and I get it back reformatted AGAIN with no service performed.

It is this kind of crap that made me switch to Apple in the first place, and it will be this kind of crap that will make me switch again.

One more Bush administration scandal before bed

The firing of the US District attorneys has focused more attention on hiring practices across the justice department, and everything comes back to Monica Goodling, the 31 year old graduate of a law school founded by a televangelist that considers their main textbook to be the bible. She became the person in charge of hiring and firing in the justice deparment and she took it on to herself to make sure that only good republicans worked for the government. It didn’t matter if the position were political appointments or normal civil servant jobs. Intollerant of those who didn’t hold her views, she also took it upon herself to remove people she suspected were democrats. I’m delighted that she didn’t take the deal. I think she should serve jail time, along with Rove, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush.

Colleagues Cite Partisan Focus by Justice Official (nytimes)

Ms. Goodling would soon be quizzing applicants for civil service jobs at Justice Department headquarters with questions that several United States attorneys said were inappropriate, like who was their favorite president and Supreme Court justice. One department official said an applicant was even asked, “Have you ever cheated on your wife?”

Ms. Goodling also moved to block the hiring of prosecutors with résumés that suggested they might be Democrats, even though they were seeking posts that were supposed to be nonpartisan, two department officials said.

And she helped maintain lists of all the United States attorneys that graded their loyalty to the Bush administration, including work on past political campaigns, and noted if they were members of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.

A warning for the Seattle real estate market

Las Vegas is growing significantly faster than the puget sound region, but that didn’t prevent a huge slide in prices due, in a big way, to flippers.

“We had seen real evidence of what was possible in this crazy, inflated market, and we just wanted to get a piece of that investment equity,” Schwartz said.

But when home prices unexpectedly took a backward step, many investors seeking to cash in quickly were left “upside-down,” or owing more on their mortgages than what their homes were worth.

The result was a glut of homes in the marketplace, communities spotted with empty houses and for sale signs — and a foreclosure rate in Nevada that leads the nation as owners unable to sell became saddled with unbearable debt payments.

Associated Press: Vegas flippers flop as market cools off

Yet more Bush administration incompetence and graft

I mean, c’mon when are going to do a real investigation here. Over and over, this administration shows that it has no regard for the public, only for it’s cronies.

On Spellings’ watch, the $6 billion federal initiative to improve literacy rates in disadvantaged schools appears to have served instead as a profit center for textbook authors and education consultants with ties to the Bush administration. Department officials and their consultants favored certain literacy texts and assessments over others for reasons other than pedagogical. One textbook author on leave from the University of Oregon while overseeing the federal National Center for Special Education Research testified before Congress that he earned $150,000 in annual royalties from an early-reading program. His co-author made a similar amount.

Seattle Times: Spelling’s Errors