Well, I Don't Need More Coffee

I think I drank about half a pot of coffee at home this morning, but I had a need to get on the Internet, so I took a trip into town and the Brew Moon coffeehouse.  They have free wifi.  You can’t just sit outside using their webs like a chump, though, so I had to buy something.  I will drink this coffee very, very slowly…

After a third day of the deer hunt, with one or two to go, I am fairly certain that it will end uneventfully.  Not that big a deal, really.  At least I got to sit in the woods for a while.  I don’t have anything really specific to blog about today, so if you’re busy shopping you can probably just proceed through and ignore this post…

I pulled into my parking space across the street from the coffee joint this morning, and I plugged 50 cents into the meter.  The girl in the car right next to mine stuck her head out the window and said that the meters didn’t do anything anymore, and there was no need to plug ’em.  “Well what the hell are they still here for then?” I laughed.  Probably just to make the out-of-towners look like chumps.  And it worked!

Oh hey, so what the hell happened in India?  Being completely out of touch with current events is probably the most frustrating thing about a weekend spent in E.R.  So I’m going to try to read up on this…

Got some miscellaneous other stuff to get done here and only about an hour to do it, so I’ll just encourage you to enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend…

PS – Going to meet up with Joe and April tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to that.  If you are in Eagle River for whatever reason, feel free to call!

Replacement Prognostication: Week 13

As I watch the hapless Detroit Lions get their collective ass handed to them by the Tennessee Titans, I realized that I need to get on with prognosticating this week in the NFL.  I AM going to take credit for calling the Lions game, too, because seriously: it’s just been a gimme all year, so…

However, with the dial-up situation here in E.R., time to cut the chatter and present my picks for Week 13.


  • Packers – win (they have to eventually)
  • Bears – win
  • Vikings – lose
  • Lions – lose
  • Chiefs – win
  • Seahawks – lose
  • Dolphins – win


  • Eagles – lose
  • Giants – lose
  • Jets – lose
  • Pats – lose

Meanwhile, Back At the Hall of Justice…

Came back into town on Tuesday for a brief stop at the office, some laundry, watching The Office, Heroes, and downloading some podcasts for the trip back up north.  Being “off the grid” for a couple days leaves me with a slightly uneasy feeling when I get back and news has broken that I didn’t know about.  But at the same time, it’s very freeing.  I should probably consider turning off the Internet for longer stretches of time.

I thought the Twitter updates worked out well enough.  Over this weekend, I’m going to try to make more use of the full 140 characters available per tweet.  I think it could be an interesting challenge to force that sort of economy on my thoughts.

What else can I tell you?  Ooohh– be on the lookout for Jason’s gift list, an oft-requested feature at this time of year.  It is scheduled to pop in time for all you zany Black Friday shoppers…

Info on New Year’s/birthday events coming soon, too.  If I miss you, have a great Thanksgiving!

We'll Give It Another Shot

I tried Twitter very briefly for a couple days back in May.  It was of virtually absolutely no use to me.  Part of it was, “why the hell would I blog fewer than 140 characters?” and another part was, “If I spend all my time telling people what I’m doing, I won’t get anything done,” and still another part was, “I don’t have all these text messages to burn…”

There are a few changes that have occurred since that caused me to reconsider.  Here in the present, I have a lot more texts at my disposal per month; I’ve switched to a more text-happy plan and can afford to “waste” them on dumb stuff like twitter.  Second, I found a nice Twitter plugin for WordPress, so I don’t have to tell anyone, “hey, go to this other page to find more updates from me,” instead they will all just be aggregated here and posted on a daily basis.  Finally, as I prepare for my annual trek to the Northwoods for the hunt, it dawned on me that I can relay texts from my phone much faster than taking the time to dial up to the web @ Mom and Dad’s, wait for my page to load, write a post, etc., etc…. I think you get it.

Anyway, be on the lookout for the ‘tweets,’ at least while I’m in E.R., and if I suddenly find Twitter to be worthwhile, then hey– I guess I’ll need to upgrade my messaging plan again.

Replacement Prognostication: Week 12

Your NFL division leaders have the following records, in no particular order: 7-3, 7-3, 6-4, 10-0, 9-1, 5-5, 8-2, 7-3.  Bears, Packers, and Vikings fans, rejoice!  Your underacheiving squad of ragamuffins still has a shot at winning this thing and making the playoffs.  With as little bias as I can muster, I’m going to say that the Packers will end up taking the NFC North.

I base this assessment on their schedule, and the team’s performance last week against the Bears.  It was the sort of “complete” game that the Pack played on numerous occasions last year, en route to a 13-3 record.  Now the team has to prove that this group, led by Mike McCarthy, will not pull a Sherman and play down to their competition week after week (in retrospect, those Mike Sherman-coached Packers should have won a lot more post-season games).

With 6 games to go, it’s also reasonable to say the Packers COULD run the table– they have several games left against some 2008 also-rans.  Maybe they lose to Carolina or Chicago and end up 10-6 (shrugs).  But in looking at the others in “the lead” in this division, I see QB as the Vikings achilles heel, and the defense will be it for the Bears (can’t BELIEVE I just wrote that).

But there are anywhere from 7 to 48 other teams playing each week, too, so enough lolly-gagging, and on to Week 12.


  • Packers – win
  • Bears – win
  • Vikings – lose
  • Lions – lose
  • Chiefs – lose
  • Seahawks – lose
  • Dolphins – lose


  • Giants – win
  • Jets – lose
  • Titans – win
  • Eagles – win

If you’re donning the blaze orange this weekend, good luck and be safe.  That is all.


Radiolab is finally back with new shows!!!  Fire up the link and listen to ‘Choice’ when you get a chance.  If you haven’t sampled this show in the past, I encourage you to listen to EVERYTHING that they have on their site.  I don’t remember a bad show from these guys.  Seriously.

I have turned into such a certifiable public-/talk-radio geek, sometimes I amaze even myself.  Maybe the most amazing thing, actually, is that more people aren’t turning off the radio and looking for some worthwhile content elsewhere.  I mean, I like Led Zeppelin and the Beatles as much as anybody, but I can only hear “Whole Lotta Love” and “Come Together” on the radio so many times before I want to shoot myself in the chest.

Where are you getting the new and exciting things that you listen to?

Six Futile Methods For Delaying the Inevitable?

I read a post on New Scientist today that offered up six suggestions for developing robots that would be adequately submissive, docile, or otherwise non-threatening to humans.  While they are all reasonable possibilities, it should be noted that:

  • they admit that it’s “too late” to execute two of them
  • a third (Asimov-like laws) is dismissed as good for fiction, but not practical for real life
  • the remaining possibilities are not technologically feasible at this point

Of course, we all know that regardless of what we do to control the manner in which robotic intelligence develops, the robots themselves will probably have greater ideas down the road.

Some Worthwhile Consumables and Weekend Notes

I finally listened to episode #368 of This American Life, “Who Do You Think You Are?” on my way in and for the first half hour or so of my work day.  About half the show was excerpts from a series that Studs Terkel, a recently deceased, longtime Chicago radio man hosted in the 1970s called “Hard Times.”  He did interviews with ordinarily American citizens about their experiences from the Great Depression.  It was fantastic to hear these unique perspectives of witnessed history.  Listening to a piece like this makes me think about how valuable the mass media archives of the 20th century could potentially be as the future rolls on.

And I guess that I’m thinking about it relative to photography in a sense: sure, we have photographs from as far back as the mid-19th century, and it is amazing to look into the faces of the people who lived at those times.  But what still photos lack (a clear idea of what the people who lived in those times THOUGHT about them), sound recordings and motion pictures of the 20th century have in spades.  As generations of people pass on and memory continues to fade, we retain an ability that no era in the past could boast: we can engage those past generations in conversation through recordings.  Pretty amazing stuff, if you think about it.

And speaking of voices from the past informing the events of the present, an interesting little piece here from New Scientist about how the worldwide economic doldrums we find ourselves in were predicted (with computer assistance) in 1972.

Beyond that, had an enjoyable and somewhat productive weekend.  Michelle and I went to see Quantum of Solace on Saturday.  Not usually a movie she’d be interested in, but we had a good time at the last Bond.  I thought it was good, but I agree with most of the critics I’ve read that Casino Royale was better.  The review I saw in The Onion tried to parallel the 2nd Daniel Craig-Bond flick with The Dark Knight, both being the first sequel in a largely-reimagined franchise.  I dunno if that’s a fair comparison, in part because Batman has such a long, rich body of source material to work from: the Joker is a well-established and defined character; James Bond is up against a new villian every time out.  So anyway, Bond was good; not great, but good.

Michelle was on pins and needles through most of the movie.  She hasn’t watched a lot of action films, so when she DOES see one, it is literally a heart-pounding thrill ride.  It’s fun for everybody.  After we left the theater, we talked about some other movies like this one that she might try, and we agreed that action flicks with lots of explosions, chases, fights, and general debauchery are a great reason to have a bigger TV.

OK, well, the kids are starting to back up in the office.  Best get to it…

Replacement Prognostication, Week 11

It’s shaping up to be a believably unbelievable NFL season– New England is down, but not out.  The New York “sleeping” Giants are positioning themselves for a quiet repeat.  Tennessee is undefeated, but I remain unconvinced that they’re anything too special.  I’m sure the Favre-zealots are gnashing their teeth right now over the Jets’ 7-3 record, but I figure, hey: the better they do this year, the better the draft picks for the Pack next year.  Then there’s Detroit, still floundering without a win.  The most unbelievable thing about the Lions’ mark of 0-9 is that this is the first time they’ve been there since 2001.  And if that’s not enough, now the Dolphins have a winning record.  God help us.

We’re nearly to the two-thirds mark of the season, and these are your predictions for Week 11.

SEASON RECORD: 31-17 (although I have definitely been buoyed by three simple “auto-picks” each week: the Chiefs, Seahawks and Lions will probably always lose).

  • Packers – win
  • Bears – lose
  • Vikings – lose
  • Lions – lose
  • Chiefs – win
  • Seahawks – lose
  • Dolphins – win


  • Titans – win
  • Giants – win

One of My "Issues"

One of the things that I took into consideration when I voted this year was net neutrality.  I’ve actually written to Congressional reps more than once on this one.  The criticism against legislating in favor of the consumer– against guaranteeing that all Internet traffic is not throttled, filtered, or otherwise interrupted by ISPs says that the marketplace will take care of itself on this front.  Once again, it comes down to trust, but mine is certainly not with the Comcasts and Time Warners and AT&Ts.

It’s good to see that net neutrality will most likely hit the floor in the next Congressional cycle, and I can cross it off my list of “stuff to be concerned about.”