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Fucking Packers. Two weeks in a row they've lost. Today was pretty pathetic. Ahh, well...

Today I had my second experience putting in parquet flooring. Stearns got some for the downstairs office he's making, so I came over and helped him (while Amy read a book). The floor went down surprisingly quickly (2, maybe 3 hours, including lunch), but damn, that adhesive just gets *everywhere*. If you wipe it off when it's still fresh it's not a problem, but as soon as it starts to dry (after about 5 minutes), good luck. I still have a bunch on my jeans, and I'm sure Brian has plenty all over his body.

On the job front, I've got my eyes set on a web project for the state historical society. It would only be for a few months, but it would be something. I've got my fingers crossed.

Yesterday at the dog park there was a Saint Bernard. Damn, that thing made Jake look positively small. It was initially on-leash, but when we came around to the other side of the park it was off-leash. It saw us, and came running directly at me. Let me tell you, the sight of a dog who's head is over 3 feet off the ground running right at you is something. Of course, he just wanted attention, and I happily provided him with some, until my dogs became even more needy and took me away from him. Such a cute dog.

Glass Nickel has good fried chicken. You should try it sometime.

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So, we had *way* too much fun at Ruppert's tonight, taking apart hard drives and playing with the magnets. The thing we didn't quite understand was how can such powerful magnets be within an inch of the platters and not totally erase all the data on them?

Get some hard drive magnets. They're fun.

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As I'm sure anyone with an older house knows, such structures are often home to some very wacky construction. I found that out today. I wanted to access the area directly underneath the closet in the third bedroom (so I could run some wires), which meant taking down some paneling at the bottom of the stairs. That turned in to taking down most of the paneling in the stairway. And that turned into a lesson in archeology.

Now, as you may or may not know, in this house, the door to the basement is in the dining room, which was originally the living room. "Who in their right mind puts a basement door in the living room when they build a house?" is the question I've asked myself several times. I had pondered where else the stairs possibly could have gone, and had never been able to figure out an answer. Until today.

Getting back to the paneling, as I previously mentioned, I started by removing some directly under the closet in the third bedroom, which I've been told was added after the fact (by Derek's parents). I had previously figured that the space where the closet is was simply empty space in the stairway, and that the entire section was built to make room for the closet. I was never quite sure of that, though, as I didn't think that they put up the paneling in the stairway. Well, after removing some paneling, I found that the construction under the closet matches that of the rest of the original house. Hmm. After pulling off yet more paneling, I figured it out - what is now the closet was in fact the rear hallway, and the stairs actually used to descend in the opposite direction. *That* explains why there's a landing at the bottom of the steps (not common for 1954 construction), why the basement door is in the living/dining room (it wasn't originally), and probably why there's no back door to the house (it must have been removed when the back hall was "closed"). Obviously the back hall opened into the kitchen, which makes a LOT more sense for a house built in 1954.

I love this shit.

As an aside, I should be joining the club shortly by writing my own blog engine. Right now I'm in the planning stages. I think I'm going to try to make it as functionally equivalent to Blogger as possible.

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Wow - Ruppert updated his site! There's even less there now than there was before! Go Brian!

In other news, there isn't much other news. The Packers looked the best they've looked in awhile at the Metrodome yesterday, but they still ended up blowing it at the end. The house is now *somewhat* clean, since we (I) felt it should be that way for the company that was coming over.

Oh, anyone good with Samba should contact me. I want to tweak a few things and I'm not quite sure how I should go about it...

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Today is my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. Is that amazing or what? 20 years ago they had a big party because they didn't know if they'd make it to their 50th or not. And now here they are on their 60th. They've both been slowing down a bit, especially over the past year or so, but it doesn't make it any less impressive, IMO. Here's to them...

In other news, check out The Political Compass. As far as my results go, let's just say I'm not too far from Gandhi.

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Last night/this morning was one of those "I sure hope I don't have to do that again anytime soon" things. Last night as we were going to bed, we got a call informing us that the sister of our good friends Pauline and Leanne had suddenly died. Well, Leanne is down in Chicago, and has no way to get up to the Madison area. So at about midnight, Amy and I headed down to pick Leanne up from the south side of Chicago, and then turned around and came home with her. That drive is not fun, especially in the middle of the night. There's just something wrong about seeing it start to get light out when you haven't been to bed yet.

Of course, our thoughts are now with Pauline, Leanne and their family. I'm not sure I know what else to say...

Rest in peace, Amy Brower.

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Could the state of the news industry be any more pathetic? This is the current "BREAKING NEWS" headline on

Bush warns Saddam

That's "breaking news"? You know, Bush making threats to Iraq is such a rare occurrence...

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From the should-have-used-a-cordless department:

Explosive electric razors under investigation

We all knew their food could harm you, but who knew the stuff in McDonalds' bathrooms could too?

It's times like these I'm glad I don't use an electric.

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As you all know, yesterday was election day. After 16 years with a Republican for governor, Wisconsin finally has a Democrat in the top spot. Of course, power in the state senate shifted to the Republicans, which kind of offset that victory (the assembly was already dominated by Republicans). Locally things worked out fairly well, but the national outlook is scary. I'm not even sure I want to know what a Republican House, Senate, and White House will do over the next two years. Send us to war against every foreign leader that sneezes? You know, if somebody like John McCain were in power I wouldn't have such a problem with things, but who knows what our non-President will do next.

Getting back to the note on gun control below, on another forum somebody offered this, in response to somebody saying their dad didn't have any guns in the house:
I would say that your dad made 100% sure that you had no defense against an intruder.

I would ask this question: it's 2AM, you just heard a downstairs window smashed in your home and you can hear the sounds of footsteps headed toward your children's room down the hall. What do you do?
No defense against an intruder? Ever hear of security systems? Or martial arts? Or baseball bats?

How many times has someone smashed in YOUR window at 2 AM and headed for your kid's room?

On a lighter note, I finally got the front lawn totally raked and mowed. There were a LOT of leaves on it. Heck, I'm even a bit surprised that I was able to finish up as quickly as I did.

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Lately I've been cleaning up a few things with my site, including the blog archives below (check it out). It's pretty funny - I've been using Blogger for just under a year, and in that time I've written more than I had in the previous 3 1/2 years combined (the "Pre-Blog News"). Kind of interesting what I did and didn't mention.

At any rate, yesterday I felt like total garbage, although today I'm feeling a bit better. I think I better go pick up some drugs, though.

BTW, does anyone out there know how to get the "Polite" ringtone on a Nokia phone that doesn't have it already?

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Election Selection: Are we using the worst voting procedure?

A *fascinating* article on the theory behind voting methods, including why plurality (what the US uses, of course) is perhaps the *worst* way to show "voter intent". With another system, people could feel safe (safer, anyway) voting for a third-party candidate, since they wouldn't have to worry about their vote being "wasted". Of course, I doubt changes will happen any time soon, since they would certainly undermine the stranglehold of the two major parties, and what currently elected official would want that?

The article mentions Florida's 2000 presidential election a few times. What they say doesn't seem too far out - that if another voting method had been used, Gore would have won, since most of the Nader votes would have gone to him (in one way or another). What the article didn't touch on, though, and which is perhaps more interesting, is how would the voting pattern have changed (obviously if people knew they could vote for multiple candidates they wouldn't have voted the same way)? My *guess* would be more people would have voted for Nader (with Gore second). How would *that* have affected the results?


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So, we just got back from seeing Bowling for Columbine. As liberal as I am, I'm not a huge Michael Moore fan - he's a bit overly radical about certain things, and he often leaves himself wide open for attack by the right by only telling one side of the story. Having said that, I really enjoyed the film, more than I was expecting to. I think he did a good job of not being overly preachy or annoying, yet he still put certain people (ie, Charlton Heston) in their place (who's NRA staged rallies in Littleton and Flint right after the school shootings). And, damn, while I still hate his music and image, I was amazed at how articulate Marilyn Manson was. So, yeah, go see it. Now.

On a side note, some people can be real jerks. When we got to the theatre, there was a *huge* line of people, many/most of them waiting for Bowling. Luckily we got tickets, but we were some of the last people to do so - there were maybe 10 open seats scattered throughout the theatre, and none of them were next to each other. One row did have two seats open, albeit not next to each other. I kindly asked if some of the people could move down one seat so we could sit next to each other. I was told (quite frankly) by one woman "I can, but I don't want to." Can you say "bitch"? Luckily a few seats opened up elsewhere, and they were actually in a better location.

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Not a whole lot of exciting stuff going on. The website I did for Erin's Sophisticates of String Quartet is up and running. No big deal, although I thought it wouldn't hurt to give them some free advertising. Go check it out.

Freckles is doing much better. She had been really out of it, and her heart rhythm was off. Luckily, after taking her off her meds (which were for a small bump on her back), she perked right up. Looks like the meds were to blame...

The dogs are doing fine, but Amy and I are slightly under the weather. Coughing, blowing, etc, etc. But then, what else is new, right?

If anyone wants to come to the house and rake, you're more than welcome to. We'll even provide a rake.

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.