Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Subdivision Challenge

February 27,2011

The main road near my house is under construction for a few weeks, which means that I am getting far more acquainted with local subdivisions' twists and turns than I ever wanted to.

I miss the days when streets were in a grid, and I didn't have to wander around wondering if I'd ever make it out of the maze.

So the next time you're designing a subdivision, have pity on those of us who have to get around in it.

(Update: A substitute bus driver got so lost that he drove around the same streets three times until a student went up and directed him on how to get the kids home.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who Needs Snow Days?

February 17, 2011

For at least the third time in 2 years, a local school has closed for hazardous waste removal because somebody broke a mercury thermometer. (One thermometer--a small one.)Sometimes they close for one day, sometimes two or more.

Remember how we used to get to play with the mercury in the lab? (And some wiseacre is saying, "Yeah, and look how that turned out!") Pretty much, though, we all survived. So I don't think that one blob of mercury from a thermometer merits a whole Haz-Mat team and a school closure.

I wonder how long it will be before the kids start using the paranoia to their advantage?

Picture it: "Oh, my gosh, my project is due tomorrow, and I am SO not ready! Quick, hand me a thermometer!"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl Stuff

February 6, 2011

They May want to Rethink This

As of the second set of Superbowl commercials, the message I'm getting so far is that Doritos people are either mean or weird.

Maybe they'll improve as the show goes on.

Party On

After the halftime show I was dying to compare notes with somebody. Went to Facebook and there were my friends, posting their opinions. It was sort of like being at a virtual Superbowl party.

Is it Too Late to Change My Mind?

In January 2009 I wrote that I wished the Superbowl organizers would get some younger acts for the Halftime Show. This year I thought the Black Eyed Peas had a nice spectacle, but (since I’m not familiar with their work) I was sort of expecting a melody; without one the show seemed REAALLLY long. I was actually nostalgic for Bruce.

I liked the techno style; I just wished there had been actual music involved.

Sorry 'Bout That

February 6, 2011

Sorry that everybody who gets automatic updates got so many today. No matter how much I proofread, I still don't catch mistakes until they're posted. (Even though I usually let the entries age a couple of days to make sure they're right before I post them.)

Happy Reading!

The Cost of Getting Customers

February 2, 2011

Chase bank is doing away with free checking. One of the reasons cited was that “It costs us a lot of money to service ATMs and provide the services that we do,” according to Chase spokeswoman Darcy Donahoe-Williams. “We need to make up for lost revenue.”

Never mind that banks put in ATMs in order to
a) lure customers with convenience and
b) save on personnel costs.

If ATMs cost too much, ditch ’em. Add jobs. Support the economy.

Talented Dog

February 2, 2011

A dog in Japan is 95% as accurate as a colonoscopy at detecting cancer, just by smelling breath samples; 98% as good by smelling stool samples.

I think we’ll leave this subject unexplored.

All the Fun with None of the Mess

February 2, 2011

If you want to play with a cat, but can’t or don’t want to own one, you can play with a cat online by logging onto You can use your computer to yank or wiggle kitty toys connected to a robotic arm at the shelter. It keeps the cats from being bored, and apparently does the same for a lot of people: 86,000 from 108 countries have logged on so far.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No New Taxes for Felons

February 2, 2011

People in Idaho found guilty of felonies, misdemeanors and other infractions are charged a $10 fee, which helps finance the State Police Training Academy.

The Idaho State Police asked that the fee be increased to $11.50—a whopping $1.50 increase—to help shore up the budget of the Academy.

The hike request was turned down by legislators on the grounds that it was a tax, and we don’t believe in taxes.

So if you want to commit a felony here in Idaho, it’s still cheap.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

On the Plus Side...

February 2, 2011

With the blizzard raging across the U.S., not much chance that the groundhog will see its shadow today.

(If you follow such things, seeing its shadow means six more weeks of winter—so half the U.S. should be home free after this storm—in theory.)

PS—I’ve never thought it should count if they haul the groundhog out of its den to get the prognostication. If it's still sleeping, it obviously won’t see its shadow—so leave it be!