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Well, it's that time of year again. The last few days I've seen the first yellow jackets of the season. I'm not quite as paranoid as Amy or Zach, but I don't like them much either.

In other news, it looks like the ex-bank at the corner of University and Park St. is finally being demolished. Perhaps if someone fixed it up it could have been nice, but it seemed like a sad case of "let's repurpose this building without much regard on what the architecture will look like."

Side note - Gmail doesn't understand "repurpose".

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Viruses get stranger and stranger:
Andrea Thompson Israel & Palestine Hotmail It's out of the question.

I can't in 1837
Neither can I!

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Speaking of alternate BTTF's one for BTTF 2 where they go back to 1967.

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As many of you probably already know, Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies. I got the DVD set not long after it came out, but it's taken me this long (over 2 1/2 years) to actually watch it.

My God, has it been that long? Things have certainly changed around here. I remember...


Anyway, it turns out that several things were different in the original screenplay. A few examples:

- Doc Brown is "Professor Brown"
- the time machine isn't in a car, and uses a homemade nuclear reactor made from "an old furnace, a hot water heater and boiler room parts"
- Einstein the dog doesn't exist; Shemp the monkey does
- to get Marty back to the future, the time machine was going to have to be at a nuclear test site for an atomic bomb test

"Jesus!! Professor, you just disintegrated Shemp!"

I'm thinking they made some good changes...

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Last night we made a trip to the drive-in to see Batman Begins. Coming in I wasn't quite sure what to think, as I'd never seen one of the movies before, and really don't have any special place in my heart for comic books. I thought the Spider Man movies were decent (the second being the better of the two), but I still thought there were comic-y aspects that I didn't care for much.

I read Zach's review a few weeks ago, and would say it's spot on. Yeah, it's still fantasy, but there was still a realness to most everything. There was very little "all this absurd crazy shit happens so we can create this evil superpower." Sure, Batman had some crazy toys, but there was very little (nothing?) in terms of "superpowers". Maybe that just has to do with the nature of Batman itself, rather than this particular movie, but whatever the case, I liked it.

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While I ended up killing my Thanksgiving cactus by leaving it in the garage too long (it froze), the Christmas Cactus racket seems to be going well. It's amazing what a few months can do:
05-07-14-1t.jpg 05-07-14-3t.jpg
05-07-14-2t.jpg 05-07-14-4t.jpg

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Q Scott, earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

MR. McCLELLAN: Those individuals -- I talked -- I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that's where it stands.

Q So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?

MR. McCLELLAN: They assured me that they were not involved in this.

Q Can I follow up on that?

Q They were not involved in what?

MR. McCLELLAN: The leaking of classified information.
And now:
Q: Do you want to retract your statement that Rove, Karl Rove, was not involved in the Valerie Plame expose?

A: I appreciate the question. This is an ongoing investigation at this point. The president directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation, and as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, that means we're not going to be commenting on it while it is ongoing.

Q: But Rove has apparently commented, through his lawyer, that he was definitely involved.

A: You're asking me to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Q: I'm saying, why did you stand there and say he was not involved?

A: Again, while there is an ongoing investigation, I'm not going to be commenting on it nor is ... .

Q: Any remorse?

A: Nor is the White House, because the president wanted us to cooperate fully with the investigation, and that's what we're doing.
More here.

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The city Department of Public Works and the state Department of Transportation are in the process of replacing the plain old incandescent light bulbs in stoplights with new light-emitting diodes, said Bryson and Andrew Dirks, electrical operations supervisor for the DOT's Waukesha-based southeastern region.

Not only do they burn brighter than bulbs, "there's a tremendous energy savings with this," Dirks said. With bulbs, the stoplights at an average intersection use $1,000 to $1,200 a year in energy, but LEDs cut that annual cost to $150 to $200, he said.

Also, LEDs last longer. Dirks said the DOT usually hires contractors to change stoplight bulbs every 18 to 24 months, but it will take about eight years for the LEDs to go dim.
Milwaukee must be behind the times: I've seen them here and in Racine for a few years.

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Programming tip of the day:

When writing shell scripts that use command line arguments, use braces. I found out the hard way today that:


Doesn't work. Well, it works, but instead of giving you the tenth argument, it just gives you $1 with a zero added on for luck. On the other hand, this:


works. I'm not quite sure why that notation isn't used more. It certainly isn't in any of the stuff I've learned from.

Yeah, parsing out $* would work too, but I needed a specific argument and didn't want to bother with all of that.

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Koosh balls seem to be harder and harder to find these days. Some places seem to have them online, but locally it was a challenge to find some. Toys-R-Us had some Koosh people, but no balls. The guy a Dick's (it was a long shot) looked like he had no idea what I was talking about. Finally Wal-Mart (which I really, really hate, BTW) came though with a mere 2.

What gives? Kids these days don't know what they're missing.

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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.