Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I've been outed

I wasn't aware that my eyebrows were a problem, but The Onion has discovered my identity...

(for those who don't know me, they are off by only 1 year and 20 miles, and it is very likely that something here would have a dateline of Dayton)

Monday, February 18, 2008

it shouldn't smell like that Pt. 2

Another of my wife's scent adventures is some sort of thing that plugs in, and is filled with a purple liquid. Theoretically it should smell like lavender. As far as I can tell, it is full of cat piss--When I walked into the room, I literally started looking for wet spots on the floor until I traced the smell to the source. My nose must work differently, I cannot imagine someone thinking that scent is an improvement.

it shouldn't smell like that

My wife handed me a tissue and asked me to smell it. I was expecting a light floral...Instead I got a deep, unexpected snort of Vick's Vapor Rub. Menthol-scented tissues. Strongly menthol-scented tissues. Apparently my reaction was funny...

...and then later I grabbed another from that box, forgetting. I really don't like Vicks.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Ubuntu Update Manager continued

Update manager still doesn't measure up to the rest of Ubuntu. Still interrupts needlessly, still a resource hog. This is one of those things that bugs me about lots of software--The hard part is done well, but easy user interface issues are barely adequate.
Advance the video to about 1:20, turn the volume up (lower right corner) and put your drink down.

http://view.break.com/215062 - Watch more free videos

(H/T to Bayou Renaissance Man)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Schwinn Meridian vs. Worksman Trifecta Adult Trikes

In a previous post I talked about the Worksman Trifecta adult trike, and said I'd prefer the Schwinn for a few dollars more, without even seeing the Schwinn.

I found a new-in-the-box Schwinn Meridian trike on Craigslist for about $100 less than Walmart sells them for. My initial guess is confirmed. This is a much, much better trike than the Worksman Trifecta.

My biggest complaint about the Trifecta was the lack of anything to locate the rear axle. (This eventually caused a bearing to disintegrate, minor frame damage and severe axle damage. I have an axle on order) The Schwinn has higher quality bearings, and the axle assembly has a stop of some sort in 4 different places. There is also chain tension adjustment possible that the Worksman lacked, although this may be more complicated than necessary. Parts on the Schwinn are what you'd find in a high-end discount store (or low-end bike store) bike, several steps up from the Worksman's very cheap components. The Schwinn has both front and rear brakes instead of two front brakes, and the front brake is a mid-grade direct pull, instead of the low-end caliper of the Worksman. The brake levers have a "parking brake" feature that will lock the brakes by pushing a button--Nice to keep the bike from rolling down a hill unattended. Wheels are 26" aluminum with stainless spokes, tires are slick balloon tires, probably the best suited for this use.

Fenders for the rear wheels strike me as fairly useless, a bit fragile and likely to cause minor trouble--If it had been mine, I would have not installed them. The basket folds--I'm not quite sure why, maybe you can bungee something a bit over-sized to the basket platform.

The Schwinn is a lot bigger, with a longer wheelbase, and it doesn't fold. If you need to take it anywhere by car, it will need extensive disassembly. Despite the larger size, the Schwinn isn't significantly heavier, and the frame appears to be much stronger. Other than the size, the Schwinn is superior in every way.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Balancing rights

Roberta X had a post on gun rights vs. property rights that finally helped me figure out how to justify my gut feelings.

I believe in both property rights and gun rights. My gut feeling was that in general, businesses shouldn't be allowed to ban guns from their parking lots, but I couldn't justify it with my views on property rights.

After reading Roberta's post, there are several things that are important and provide support for my gut.

First and most important is that corporations are not people, and the limitations on corporate liability come at a price of limiting corporate rights.

Second is that areas open to the public are different than private areas of a business, even if corporate owned. This includes to a lesser degree employee lots without access controls.

Finally, you retain property rights to your car, even when it is on someone else's property.

This boils down to a corporate owned public parking lot having virtually no rights to either ban guns or to search your car for them. A privately owned lot has a bit more rights, but they still can't search your car unless you have explicitly agreed--A sign saying "subject to search" is not an explicit agreement.

I think guns in corporate owned public areas not in a car are somewhat protected, but there are limited circumstances where they can be banned--bars and gun shows should be able (but not required) to ban carry. This needs to be with explicit assumption of liability, and at least some steps to minimize risk.

Corporate owned private areas, and individually owned public areas are where I think the balance tips toward the property owner. A corporation may ban guns from 'areas not open to the public without specific invitation'. Even here there are some areas where rights go the other way--They cannot restrict a trucker from having a gun locked in his truck (unless they provide storage) even if others in the area are restricted.

Friday, February 01, 2008


We often take the dogs and bicycles to the river bike path in the truck. The other day my wife couldn't find the truck key, so she took the car. Our younger dog Angie jumped on the trunk and was ready to go...