Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gone Hiking

Went for a hike with Joahnna on sunday, around Rancho San Antonio. The day started out looking a little gloomy, but burned off quickly into a nice day. We took the Rogue Valley trail up and connected to the PG&E trail on the way back, which works out to around 6 miles.

Afterwards we were ravenous, so we stopped by the Los Gatos Diner for bacon cheeseburgers. So much for that exercise...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Great Wall of Texas

Bush is apparently trying to work on another facet of his Legacy, by creating a 700-mile fence between the U.S. and Mexico.

Apparently the legacy he's working on is Political Backfires That Cost A Lot Of Money. In what should be a familiar theme, it is ineffective (Border Patrol officers estimate that a fence will only slow people down by a minute or two), expensive (estimated price tag: $2.5B dollars), and has been most successful so far at pissing off people that were previously reasonably friendly to the U.S.

Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Voter Apathy

This article on CNN pretty much sums up how I feel about the upcoming elections. Democrats will likely win a bunch of seats, but it's not because they really have a good plan, but simply because they're not Republicans.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mark's Wedding

Went to Minnesota for Mark and Sarah's wedding last week. The St. Paul Cathedral was a beautiful locale. I was drafted to shoot video of the ceremony -- fortunately it was not a full Catholic mass, after 50 minutes of shooting hand-held my arm was cramping up in a bad way.

The reception was a few blocks away at old Victorian house. We used the first and second floors, along with the (furnished) basement, and found out later that the owner and their family still live on the third floor.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Wipe That Drool Off Your Chin, Soldier!

I was reading this article about lowering the recruiting standards for the armed forces in order to make recruiting targets (now why would we have to do that? Doesn't everyone want to help bring freedom to the Iraqis?), and could help but be reminded of an article I read in The Onion a few years back:

Clinton Deploys Very Special Forces To Iraq

Morale is said to be high among members of the very special forces, who were flown Monday from Sheppard Air Force Base to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in a squadron of specially modified C-130 "short planes." Upon arriving, the troops were given a thorough mission debriefing by Gen. James Herzog and a butterscotch-pudding snack cup. Each soldier was then issued an AR-15 rifle, three clips of NATO 7.62 mm rounds, a combat helmet with a velcro safety-strap, and a fanny pack with his name written on it in black magic marker.

(Follow the link for the full article)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Google Transit

Spent a couple minutes playing around with the "Google Transit" tool. It's like Google Maps, but it shows you what sequence of buses will get you from point A to point B, as well as breaking down the ride times for each bus and when they arrive.

An improvement over the "maps" tool is that it seems to be better about picking up non-street-address locations. I punched up some directions for Seattle (Bay Area isn't supported yet), and asked for a bus ride from the Space Needle to Sea-Tac. The results are pretty good: it figured out where the space needle was, and that "SEA" was the airport abbreviation. It also can take an arrival time and back-calculate when you need to leave (although that's also obvious by the departure time of your first bus).

Now, if they wanted to make money on it, they should make it so you can do it from your mobile phone. Maybe call up a phone number, talk to an automated search engine, and have it send you back a text message with the instructions and itenerary.