Thursday, October 30, 2008

Line for advanced voting

Line for advanced voting
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
About a block long... Wonder if people think this is an important election?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Constitution Free Zone

American Civil Liberties Union : Surveillance Society Clock:
"Using data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, the ACLU has determined that nearly 2/3 of the entire US population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

The government is assuming extraordinary powers to stop and search individuals within this zone. This is not just about the border: This ' Constitution-Free Zone' includes most of the nation's largest metropolitan areas"

What in the hell am I talking about?

Normally under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the American people are not subject to random and arbitrary stops and searches. The border has always been an exception. There, the longstanding view is that the normal rules do not apply. For example the authorities do not need a warrant or probable cause to conduct a “routine search.” But what is “the border”? According to the government, it is a 100-mile wide strip that wraps around the “external boundary” of the United States.

Border Patrol has been setting up checkpoints inland — on highways in states such as California, Texas and Arizona, and at ferry terminals in Washington State. Typically, the agents ask drivers and passengers about their citizenship. However, these stops by Border Patrol agents are not remaining confined to that border security purpose. On the roads of California and elsewhere in the nation – places far removed from the actual border – agents are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing. Dozens of drug sniffing dogs are employed along southern borders in Arizona, resulting in thousands of arrests per year. Not for pounds and kilos of dope - for dust in a baggie; used pipes in the trunk; seeds and stems in the carpet.

They're setting up terrorist and immigration checkpoints in those hotbeds of radical violence, like Forks, Oregon. (Courtesy the Seattle Times)

This July, the government updated the Border Patrol policy to date regarding information searches: now documents and electronic devices can be detained for an unspecified period. They may now be copied without any suspicion of wrongdoing, the lowest legal standard. Any papers. Any electronic device. Any information. An example? An FBI agent asked Texas native Yasir Qadhi to come by. Qadhi said the agent cited the March 2006 stop, where his cell phone was confiscated, and said, "We went through your personal diary in your phone, and we discovered these numbers on there, and we want to know your relationship with these specific individuals." (Courtesy the Washington Post)

Discussion on

(realistically, checking the Bill of Rights, the only one the current and past administrations have missed violating or simply eliminating by fiat is the 3rd amendment. 9 and 10 have been long gone since the 1930s.)
Indeed, I rather doubt that the framers of the Fourth Amendment would have considered 'reasonable' a program of indiscriminate stops of individuals not suspected of wrongdoing.
Justice Clarence Thomas, 28-Nov-2000 (City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, 531 U.S. 32 (2000))

CSS Inheritance

This is a nice tutorial on how CSS Inheritance works:

CSS Inheritance (Dorward Online): "An explanation of how inheritance works in CSS and why CSS doesn't need Object Oriented style inheritance."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Who is Bill - author of Ravioli at Lightspeed

This post to the MIT Humor mail reflector was written by 'Bill'.

Under enough pressure, ravioli behaves as a gas

Who is Bill? I'd love to properly cite this article in my .sig; I'm misattributing it to Nathan J. Williams now, who posted it to the MIT mail list.

(updated link - w. England 14-SEPT-12)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So not going riding

So not going riding
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
No way would i go out riding tonight. It is absolutely pouring down rain!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jeremy Clarkson on Motorcycles (British)

Jeremy Clarkson Vespa GTV Navy 125 review | Driving - Times Online: "What I’m trying to say here is that, yes, bikes and cars are both forms of transport, but they have nothing in common. Imagining that you can ride a bike because you can drive a car is like imagining you can swallow-dive off a 90ft cliff because you can play table tennis"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

IRS Withholding Calculator

IRS Withholding Calculator: "The purpose of this application is to help employees to ensure that they do not have too much or too little income tax withheld from their pay. It is not a replacement for Form W-4, but most people will find it more accurate and easier to use than the worksheets that accompany Form W-4. You may use the results of this program to help you complete a new Form W-4, which you will submit to your employer."

Nathan - may be handy with your new job!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Random Cat drinking

Random Cat drinking
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Random Cat will only drink out of the faucet. He's too good for the fancy Drinkwell cat fountain!

Jing Project: Visual conversation starts here. Mac or Windows.

Jing Project: Visual conversation starts here. Mac or Windows.: "The concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere.
Try it, you’ll like it. It's free."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Airave and bandwidth

I've just gotten a Sprint Airave -- a box that acts as a micro cell tower and sends the voice signal across the Internet to the public telephone network -- and I thought I'd see how it works when you are limited in bandwidth.

So, I'm downloading a whole stack of files, using over 600kb/sec of bandwidth (the cable modem only handles about 680kb/sec) and got on a conference call.  

Everything seems to be working fine!  Fancy...

Motorola S9 audioblog

WxExW Auto Audio Blog #20

Set up the Motorola S9 stereo bluetooth headset on the Instinct - here is the first test!

Gabcast! WxExW Auto Audio Blog #20

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BywayBoogie banquet

BywayBoogie banquet
Originally uploaded by kcsporttour
Great food after a great day of riding around Paris, AR. Thanks to the Grapevine Restaurant.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Study: Sprint ranks worst in pay-for-performance - Kansas City Business Journal:

Study: Sprint ranks worst in pay-for-performance - Kansas City Business Journal::
"A Glass Lewis & Co. report, released Oct. 3, said the Overland Park-based wireless carrier (NYSE: S) paid its top five executives almost $74 million in 2007, when the company’s stock dropped about 30 percent and it reported a $29 billion loss."
What I like about this is the employees participate in the same bonus scheme - last bonus period we got a nice surprise!  :-)  Too bad the merry-go-round will stop in a couple years.  Then I'll have to get a real job.  

I should re up my American Concrete Institute certification . . .

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Audioblog: Instinct, Moto Bluetooth test

Just playing with the Instinct again, paired it up with the old Motorola H500 Bluetooth headset. Functional, somewhat muted. I get a pair of S9 headphones later this week or next week - see if they are any better!

Click to listen . . .
Gabcast! WxExW Auto Audio Blog #19

Monday, October 06, 2008


Here I was feeling pretty good about getting a homecooked meal for Alec tonight - nothing fancy, just a basic omlette, toast, orange wedges, etc. Then I talked to Nathan. And he's fixing home made macaroni and cheese. With home made croutons. From his own made from scratch home-made bread. (using his home-brew yeast cultures I have to assume!)


And he's a single dad with a harder full-time job than I have!

I think I'll order pizza.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pork Salad - or a good hard shaft?

From the Jamie Dupree show on "Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any shaft consisting of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means of enhancing the spine of such shaft,"

I'm not sure if they're legislating how to F*** us or just making pork salad, but that is from page 300 and 301, Section 503 of the senate approved version of the Wall Street bailout bill.


Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3): "Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

Amazon S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of scale and to pass those benefits on to developers."