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Archive for the 'News' Category

Rutan Announces Retirement

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

I just saw the news — Burt Rutan has announced his retirement.  I’m sad, but then again he deserves a rest.  He’s done so much and I can only imagine what he must still have in his ideas book.  I wonder what he decides to do with his soon-to-be “free” time.

Bought An iPhone

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

So, I finally got an iPhone. I know it’s a few years behind the time, but the 3GS and 3.0 OS finally made it seem like a complete product. Also, the 32GB model seemed like it was the first to really be big enough as a convergence device. Additionally, the App Store “ecosystem” looked like it had reached the size needed to sustain itself. So, I dumped my no-longer-on-a-contract T-mobile account over to AT&T. So far so good. It’s nice to have a reasonable Internet browser all the time. I’m an NPR addict, so having instant access to their podcasts is awesome. Weather radar in your hand is amazing. I’ve got enough space to hold an enormous number of apps, music, podcasts, pictures, movies, and TV shows to remain computerless for a good chunk of time. I’ve even managed to connect to my office VPN, but I haven’t bought an SSH app to do my normal thing with yet (I live on a terminal). I even found this blog app, so maybe I will get back to posting again.

Another Day, another shooting

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Well, another day, another shooting.  I didn’t even see mention of this on the local news tonight.  Maybe I just didn’t hear it as I wasn’t watching/listening too closely.  This time maybe it was self-defense, but the alleged attacker certainly didn’t seem to have benign intentions and if he hadn’t been shot, what might he have done with the gun he brought while trying to break-in to the residence.  The scary part, all 3 involved are police officers.

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6610489

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,277480,00.html

59 Murders in 2007

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Well, I ran across this morbid article yesterday:

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6574288

The good news is that we’re down 10 murders relative to this time in 2006, but the bad (and really scary) news is that there were 5 murders on this past Friday and Saturday alone. Pretty scary stuff.

Update 5/30/2007:

Just saw on the nightly local news that the murder count is now up to 62.  One of the homicide detectives they interviewed said 8 were from this past weekend.  One murder would have made it 63 when a pregnant mother was shot (woman is still alive, baby died), but because she was only 2 months pregnant they have to consider it an aggravated assault (baby wouldn’t have survived outside of the womb as the deciding factor).  Sad sad sad…

Educational quality and spin

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Yesterday, I was searching around for the results from the BBQ competition last weekend when I happened across this article about Tennessee students:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/education/article/0,2673,MCA_22897_5547147,00.html

I was surprised and dismayed that my newly adopted state performed so poorly with regard to education (not that Oklahoma was particularly great). I thought “at least they are being honest about it.” A local paper actually covering such news is important.

Well, today, I’m searching around for other local news to find out where a rather scary “random” park shooting was, and I came across this article:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/local/article/0,2845,MCA_25340_5549461,00.html

I thought that those articles were somewhat contradictory.  It’s certainly possible for, say, the best school in the nation to be located in the worst district in the nation, it’s just not likely.  So, I decided to find out a big more about the study mentioned in the article and I found the results posted here:

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/challengeindex/

It was good to see exactly what the study was supposed to show.  Well, for one, it’s a “challenge” index and they state pretty clearly that they don’t include magnet schools, or charter schools with high (I’m paraphrasing here) composite ACT and/or SAT scores.  I have plenty authority on the matter to tell you that magnet schools can certainly challenge their pupils.  The mini Commercial Appeal article doesn’t mention this.  They also include a nice disclaimer at the end, so maybe they expect more astute readers to catch them, but I’m sure the schools they mentioned will be touting this as “proof” of the quality education they provide, just as the article implies.

Well, I decided to take a look at the list a bit and see who is where, etc.  Didn’t I just read that they leave out magnet and charter schools?  Then why is the #1 school on the list named Talented and Gifted?  Why is the #2 school named Science/Engineering Magnet?  I start scrolling down the list and find a school I’m a bit more familiar with — Classen School of Advanced Studies.  I know that’s a magnet/charter school.  There are a bunch more just like that.  Something seems a bit fishy to me.  At the minimum, there needs to be some clarification, but I’m wondering if there was some funny business going on here to make somebody look good.

At least somebody gets it

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Found a link to this article today. I must say, I’m a bit surprised to see something like this on any of the big media outlets, but if one would have it, it would probably be Fox News. That or something by John Stossel (spelling?). It’s kind of preaching to the choir for those of us that “get it”, but maybe it will help some others see the light.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,264896,00.html

Big news….try two

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

We started the paperwork to build a house. This is not a duplicate post. The following Tuesday I got a call from the broker and she said our paperwork didn’t go through. It wasn’t a loan issue, it was a floor plan issue. Basically, the lot that we picked (and even put a deposit on to hold while we were deciding) didn’t fit the floor plan we chose. This was one of the larger lots left in the development, but a combination of easements and setbacks made the floor plan too long to fit. In fact, they checked (as this had already happened once before on the same lot with a different floor plan) and there is only one floor plan that they offer that would fit. Well, that they offered. The quarterly price adjustments (increases) came this week and the floor plan that fit is no longer being offered. We didn’t want that floor plan as it was too small, but who knows what they can do with that lot now, because buyers can’t choose a floor plan that will fit. I suspect it will become an inventory home.

It was rather disappointing to lose that lot. We’d already gone from “decide on a floor plan” mode to “decide on options (ie counter tops, colors, etc)” mode. To top it off, Shinta was out of town for training this week. So, after a bunch of back and forth with the broker (and her with the architect), we got some mini plans showing our chosen floor plan on some of the other lots. It was so disappointing to lose the larger lot, but maybe it will turn out for the best. The good thing is that this lot is certainly more level. It’s also a slightly higher elevation. If, for whatever reason, we get a huge rainstorm, water shouldn’t be standing on our property.

So, it’s back to interior decorating decisions…

Big news

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

We started the paperwork to build a house. The next step is getting approved for a mortgage. It’s a big step. Hopefully everything goes smoothly.

Gun Free Zones Protect the Children

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Okay, sarcasm mode off. I just saw this on the news.

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5569718

Didn’t the bad guy know that schools are gun free zones. Or maybe he knew that made for a place law abiding citizens wouldn’t be able to protect themselves.

Catch-up

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

I haven’t posted in quite a while and a lot has happened. I don’t know where to start and I’m sure I’ll forget something, so here goes:

We’ve continued our restaurant tasting. Since the last update we’ve been to Erling Jensen’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Lulu Grille, and Bhan Thai (twice). We went to Eriling Jensen’s in celebration of my birthday and getting a job. The full-fledged review is where to find the detail (not written yet), but it’s quite probably one of the best restaurants in Memphis. Bhan Thai has the best Thai food we’ve had in Memphis (Chao Praya being a close second). Ruby Tuesday’s has buffalo burgers. I’ve been missing my buffalo fix and I’m finally finding some here. Incidentally, I found out about Erling Jensen’s while looking for buffalo meat here. We went to Lulu Grille today for lunch (more buffalo burgers). And since we’re on the topic of food, I should mention that the little cafeteria at work has an excellent tasting Italian sub sandwich for CHEAP.

Speaking of work, I’ve completed my first three weeks. My luck seems to be holding up not only in finding a job so quickly, but also finding a good one. I really enjoy it there. The people are friendly, and there doesn’t seem to be the pervasive flow of people jumping ship you find in some companies. To me, that’s a good sign, and I’m excited to see how this goes. That reminds me to complain about taxes. My god I hate taxes. I was looking at my paystub and realizing that I’ve now paid more in taxes from this new job than I use to even get paid over the same period of time. And we don’t have state income taxes, that’s all federal.
Also, I don’t think this has happened since my last post, but I seem to have neglected it. I finally got to go shooting again. We went to RangeUSA for their Carbine night with the Krinkov. Those frangible rounds they require weren’t 100% in feeding, but they were also so light that accuracy is probably pretty bad out my 1/7″ barrel. At the cost ($0.35/rd) I’m sure I’ll probably go again out of necessity, but it won’t be too often. I’ve got some more Makarov ammo coming in, though. The drought on 9x18mm seems to have been helped a bit. I’m gonna need it for the HCP (aka CCW in most places) class coming up.

No new movies yet. Kind of surprising, considering how many I usually see. I rented Clerks and Pirates of the Carribean so that we’ll see them before their sequels. Miami Vice is out this weekend, so maybe that one. Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis have started up again (and I completely forgot). We spent last night catching up. Gonna be good new seasons.

Memphis has had it’s 100th murder of the year. Actually, by now it’s probably beyond that, but last week I saw it on the news. Washington DC is complaining about their 18 or so murders, but they don’t have a clue. Did I mention the HCP class? Also, pretty freaky, some dude went on a stabbing spree at a grocery store. He was stopped by a dude with a pistol (not a shot fired). The news mostly skipped that little fact. That HCP is sounding even better. Also, in unrelated news, Todd Bailey (Special Weapons) posted pics of his upcoming MWS that he’s been working on for a couple years. I like it. I want it. We’ll see how long it takes for it to really be available. The SP-10 .40 caliber he said would be ready “in two weeks” (4 months ago) aren’t ready yet. Maybe I’ll be able to afford them when they come around, I just need to find an FFL I like.