-- Post From My iPhone

Should have called it a campaign donation

State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, lacking political support and out of options, terminated her reelection campaign yesterday after a dramatic meeting with black ministers in Roxbury who urged her to step aside after her arrest this week on federal bribery charges.

[From Wilkerson ends campaign - The Boston Globe]

Because by then they'll have the water fixed?

The Transportation Security Administration is talking about lifting restrictions on liquids carried through airport security checkpoints in about a year.

[From AIRLINE BIZ Blog | The Dallas Morning News ]

No, says TSA, it's just that by then they'll have better X-ray machines. Really. Machines so good they can detect "threat liquids."

Well, I'm all for that, dude. I had a cup of really, really rancid coffee the other day and let me tell you, the trauma is real. Never mind the airports - install the machines in convenience stores. That would do some real good.

I hate multigrain bread

It's just too damn confusing. Anyway, I want bread in my bread, not a bunch of seeds. One grain is OK - well, pretty much required, I guess - or, in extreme circumstances, maybe two. But that's it. There ought to be a law.

Also, I'm no big fan of this "fall back" thing. Every year when it comes time to change back to standard time I figure hey, I can stay up an extra hour tonight. So I never get that extra hour of sleep I keep reading about. Which makes me grumpy. Generally, I stay grumpy until we "spring up" again. Why don't we just spring up and stay up? I'd be Mr. Sunshine all year.

RIP Studs

Louis Terkel arrived here as a child from New York City and in Chicago found not only a new name but a place that perfectly matched--in its energy, its swagger, its charms, its heart--his own personality. They made a perfect and enduring pair.....

"Studs Terkel was part of a great Chicago literary tradition that stretched from Theodore Dreiser to Richard Wright to Nelson Algren to Mike Royko," Mayor Richard M. Daley said Friday. "In his many books, Studs captured the eloquence of the common men and women whose hard work and strong values built the America we enjoy today. He was also an excellent interviewer, and his WFMT radio show was an important part of Chicago's cultural landscape for more than 40 years."

[From STUDS TERKEL: Studs Terkel dead -- chicagotribune.com]

Studs was one of the good guys.

I hope he gets to keep his tape recorder.

If you think things are bad now...

Our two-year presidential campaign now ends with a monthlong vote, followed by weeks of litigation over provisional ballots. After that, the new president is sworn in and given 100 days to accomplish his legislative agenda, after which everyone will start plotting for 2012.

It is a grand system in that great American tradition that has given us the seven-month baseball season and the half-gallon cup of soda. We have supersized the election. And why not? Barack Obama’s campaign budget is now supporting half the national economy. I don’t know how we’re going to get along without it, unless we can convince Mitt Romney to start gearing up instantly for his comeback.

[From Op-Ed Columnist - Our Election Whopper - NYTimes.com]


Scary stuff

I'm on my way home from work and I notice some local radio station setting up a tent on the commons. Broadcasting! Halloween! Live! From Greenfield, MA. How frightening is that?

BTW, speaking of driving home from work, why is it that the cheaper gasoline gets the longer lasts? Have you noticed that? Man, when it was around $4 per gallon I seemed to to be buying gas every day or two and now, hey, a tank lasts all week. Or pretty close. That doesn't make sense.

Hanging on

Hanging on, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


Let's not get overwrought, NPR guy

Driving to work today I heard the local (localest) NPR announcer introduce some composer or other as being "more quintessentially French" that Debussy. I don't know - not to stick my neck out on Claude, I think the phrase "more quintessential" is on pretty shaky ground. Might want to look that one up.

Anyway. After two or three bad ones we've finally had ourself a truly glorious autumn. The colors were spectacular, and even now the road to Northampton is awash in them, albeit in a sort of threadbare way. The brilliant reds and yellows have gone rusty and the trees are beginning to look a little tattered. Still, it's going to be another week or two before the gloom sets in.

So the good news is AT&T has finally (officially) announced free Wi-Fi at its hotspots for iPhone users. The bad news is - well, I stopped on my way to work to invest in a cup of coffee and try this thing out and and it didn't really work 100% well. Thing is, you identify yourself and then they txt you a token good for 24 hours at that location (their web site says), but by the time the txt arrived my coffee was gone and I was outta there. The message noted "can be renewed once every 24 hours," which adds a bit of ambiguity to the whole affair, seems to me. I'll be back in the area tomorrow before the 24 hours expires so I'll see if it works then. In the meantime the lesson is, request a connection right away, don't delay.


Probably filled his tank just before the price went down

NAUGATUCK, Conn. – A man who police said fired gun shots into a gasoline pump on Saturday morning was expected to be charged with three felonies when he's released from a local hospital.

[From Man accused of repeatedly firing at gasoline pump - Yahoo! News]


It's snowing. You have to look really, really hard to see it but it - I'm not kidding here - is. No fair!

I'm blaming George Bush.

-- Post From My iPhone

Why not tomorrow?

Think of it as a metaphsical meditation. Or, OK, procrastination. If you insist. I'll worry about it later.

-- Post From My iPhone

Dessert-worthy FSM makes NYTimes

See if you can find the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the front page of the New York Times web site this morning. (Our ever-alert Midwest bureau chief did.)

No! Really!

Bush looks to lift Republican morale

[From The Raw Story | Bush looks to lift Republican morale]


Surely you wouldn't expect a Presidential candidate to talk about any of this

Nat Hentoff, Village Voice - Over the weekend of September 13 and 14, a historic gathering in Andover, Massachusetts, took place and garnered little media attention. But at that two-day conference, serious plans were laid for a war-crimes trial of the Bush administration. Convened by Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law, the scheduled participants included two people who have been cited as authorities in this column. . .

This was no ranting MoveOn.org event - instead, its goal is a war-crimes trial beyond anything that has ever been attempted in American judicial history, a goal that echoes the words of Jackson himself: "The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men [and women] who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.". . .


It's that time of year again

First, the $700B. Now, as though by magic...

Another 125 billion dollars will be made available for smaller banks under the capital-for-equity program, and [US Treasury Secretary David] Nason said the Treasury could weigh offering similar aid to ailing insurers.

But wait! There's more!

"There are a lot of industries that are coming and saying they need federal assistance, so we are willing to listen."

[From The Raw Story | Gov't pours billions into banks, but real economies tanking]

Trick or treat.


Let's hear it for the talent, boys and girls

Alan Johnson, a leading compensation consultant....predicts the average managing director at an investment bank, a title typically earned around eight years on the job, will receive a bonus of $625,000. That's down from nearly $1.1 million last year, but it is still 15 times the income of the average American household. Top bankers could receive as much as $1 million. Even a bond trader just out of business school could see his or her bank account enriched by as much as $170,000 this Christmas. "The firms have had an extremely difficult year," says Joan Zimmerman, a Wall Street career coach. "But they can't afford to lose talent either."

[From How Washington's Bailout Will Boost Wall Street Bonuses - TIME ]

Keillor says...

Sen. John McCain is a lifelong deregulator and believer in letting brokers and bankers do as they please—remember Lincoln Savings and Loan and his intervention with federal regulators in behalf of his friend Charles Keating, who then went to prison? McCain now decries greed on Wall Street and suggests a commission be formed to look into the problem. This is like Casanova coming out for chastity.

[From Cowboy economics -- chicagotribune.com]

Just wondering


(So I can see where I am when I'm not)

(iPhoned in)

(Ah. So in the river there. A little off. The position was determined by an old 1st gen iPhone - the old one did not have real GPS but a sort of pseudo-GPS obtained by triangulating on cell towers and known WiFi hot spots. I was not near a hot spot when I did this and there are not enough towers in this part of the state to get an accurate fix. On the iPhone display the position is shown surrounded by a circle - in this case maybe two miles across - to indicate the precision, and my actual location was comfortably within the circle. And anyway I already knew where I was. Given that, and given the proximity of the fix, driving instructions from the pin to somewhere else would have been easy enough to follow. All in all, not great but not too bad.)

Tempua digit*

Remember when "swipe" meant steal, as in abscond with? I still get confused when somebody tells me to swipe my card. Why mine?

-- Post From My iPhone

*That would be Tempus Fugit as typed in marginal light with the thumbs.

They do know how to have a good time in Ohio

Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher has expressed interest in channeling his newfound fame into a congressional run against Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur in 2010, he told Fox News on Saturday.

[From The Raw Story | 'Joe the Plumber' for Congress?]


Don't forget

proton Compton wavelength = 1.321410x10-15 m

[From efunda: Fundamental Constants]

This and a whole lot of other completely unintelligible (to me, at least) information - including a nifty base-N converter - from efunda, now appears in our ever-growing work avoidance list.

Still green

(More cellphone pix at http://gallery.mac.com/tcompton)

-- Post From My iPhone

Oh no! The tweets!

Could Twitter become terrorists' newest killer app?...

For years, American analysts have been concerned that militants would take advantage of commercial hardware and software to help plan and carry out their strikes. Everything from online games to remote-controlled toys to social network sites to garage door openers has been fingered as possible tools for mayhem.

This recent presentation -- put together on the Army's 304th Military Intelligence Battalion and found on the Federation of the American Scientists website -- focuses on some of the newer applications for mobile phones: digital maps, GPS locators, photo swappers, and Twitter mash-ups of it all.

[From Spy Fears: Twitter Terrorists, Cell Phone Jihadists | Danger Room from Wired.com]

(Says one commenter:

"If terrorists have actually found something Twitter is good for, they're doing way better than the rest of us.")

Visit Palin in the Oval Office

Pointed out by the Midwest Bureau Asst. Chief (says the Chief). Hey, M!


And with any luck they might get Vista down to just an hour or two

In coming months, the world’s major PC makers plan to introduce a new generation of quick-start computers

[From In a New Age of Impatience, Cutting PC Start Time - NYTimes.com]

(Yeah, well, to be scrupulously fair, it boots up in only a few minutes but then it spends the rest of the week on updates. But what's the rush?)