Useless celebrations

Regarding all the recent hubbub over 7/7/7, I just thought I’d complain that I lived in (847) on 7/7/3 and (773) on 8/4/7. Dangit. This after I missed my planned party on Sep 8th 2001. Being a numbers geek isn’t as easy as it used to be.

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At this point I think it’s time I outsourced most of my feed to Simon Willison

(Update: Simon’s last name corrected per comments, sorry.)

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Howto sleep in Boston for under $50

as I recently discovered on NPR radio, humans have difficulty sleeping first nights in rooms

I was just talking yesterday about how I don’t trust my brain to react to stimuli in the expected fashion. More evidence for that–I always sleep better in strange places (on the road, when I was a kid visiting family…).

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Yard environmentalism

Kathy Schrenk notes a story on the problem of gas-powered lawn mowers and other similar devices.

The problem with the non-mowing solutions outlined is that a lot of them are also bad for the groundwater supply. Every square foot of pavement is gallons of rainwater diverted from soaking into the ground and instead sent into the sewer system, where it has to be cleaned up (and often won’t ever find its way into local waterways).

When I was 12, we moved from a Chicago 3-flat to a 1 acre lot with a ranch house. Every year, my parents convert more of the yard into trees, flowers and shrubbery, resulting in less lawn mowing. (This is mostly because mowing the lawn for 90 minutes totally blows, but it also looks nice). But paving would be a disaster, especially in urban settings where water runoff from a paved driveway has to be diverted out of the groundwater to avoid toxic runoff.

Of course, most Chicago suburbs don’t allow gravel driveways. Back in the day, alleys in the city were cinder (from people’s coal stoves, natch), but since that was phased out and the city took over maintenance, they’ve been paved.

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I’ve started using it at work. So far, it’s pretty fantastic.

More to come in the next couple of days.

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Form Libraries

Ian Bicking rants about how worthless they are so I don’t have to.

Look, HTML is a much more approachable standard than python code. You have to write HTML to make your site work. Why would you try to move more HTML into python? HTML generation in python sucks — implicitly or explicitly.

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Tivo: Dialing forever

James Robinson mentions his first-gen Tivo has the wrong timezone — fortunately it seems that Tivo was smart enough to send show times in epoch time instead of local time so recordings still work.

My DirecTivo had similar problems, but they were compounded by the fact that the thing hadn’t dialed in in 2.51 years. So saturday night I tried for about the 10th time to change the dial-in number to one that works. Same thing. Punch in your area code, please wait while we call, it connects just fine..

Then it gets stuck. It should only take 30 seconds at most to download the list of numbers, and every time I’ve tried this I’ve pulled the plug on the phone after 15 minutes because, clearly, something must be wrong.

Well, what was wrong was me. It turns out that the Tivo will try to download software updates on any phone call, not just a nightly call, so it was trying to download the entire 6.2 release along with my phone numbers.

So, if your software’s out of date, just do the phone number change late at night and just let it run. Better yet, if you run unplugged most of the time, is plug the phone in and try to do a daily call instead, because at least then you can use the tivo while it’s downloading.

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Fox News

For some reason, the Democratic Party of Nevada agreed to host a debate of 2008 democratic presidential contenders with Fox News providing the questioners. After a lot of people pointed out how dumb this is, given the kind of crap that Fox regularly spews out about those same candidates.

In response, Fox News analyst Mort Kondracke had this to say:

“If Fox, you know, was embarrassingly right wing or something like that, it would be plain for all to see.”

And he’s right. It took another two sentences for him to compare democrats to Stalin.

I’m convinced!

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Girls Suspended Over 'Vagina Monologues'

AP Story.

I think I can safely say that the administration’s overreation is far more toxic than anybody hearing the word “Vagina”

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First Etsy sale

My wife is all excited that her first Etsy-listed item. That’s awesome. I first saw the site mentioned on Sam Ruby’s aggregator.

Now I guess I need to finish up her Django site so she can promote her stuff there as well.

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