Thursday, 23 September, 2004
The Grab Bag
I've been very busy here keeping up with work, bicycling, and a few odd projects that have been hanging fire for far too long. I have a whole grab bag full of stuff to write about, but little time to spend serious effort on it. Some quick notes:
- Monday CBS news issued a statement saying that they are unable to prove the authenticity of the suspect Bush National Guard memos. They "deeply regret" running the 60 Minutes segment that started it all. Dan Rather, trying to sound intelligent while removing his foot from his mouth, insisted that the memos' veracity was irrelevant and that the important issue was that Bush shirked his National Guard duties. Seeing as how the suspect memos were the only tangible evidence supporting the case, I'd say that their authenticity is the only issue. Don't choke on that foot, Dan. This case of sensationalism outweighing professionalism illustrates very succinctly the reason I and many others have come to distrust the major news outlets.
- Being an avid cyclist, I follow the local weather closely, but this is the first year I've paid much attention to global weather, especially hurricanes. Since I discovered the National Hurricane Center's Web site a couple of weeks ago, I've been keeping close watch on the storms coming our way. I'm intrigued by the forecast models that they mention in their discussions. I'm also somewhat amused by the meandering track that hurricane Jeanne has taken: coming up from the south Atlantic, dumping on Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, wandering around in the Atlantic for a while and then doing a loop and heading west again. From the looks of things, the Bahamas are going to get slammed on Saturday and Florida on Sunday. Meanwhile, the remains of hurricane Ivan are on the Texas/Louisiana cost and will be dumping rain on me over the weekend.
- The Naval Research Laboratory has a Hurricanes, Typhoons and Tropical Cyclones page that shows active storms and maintains a history of storms back to 1997. It has some good satellite photos and also displays the past and projected track of all active storms. Well worth bookmarking if you're interested in watching the storms.
- I failed to follow up on a couple of previous entries. My truck survived the timing belt replacement (see August 17). It cost me almost as much as the truck is worth, but it's cheaper than buying a new vehicle. Even with General Motors and Ford offering zero percent financing for six years, a replacement would still cost me over $300 per month, plus the increase in insurance premiums on the new car. At those prices, I'll keep driving this truck for another eight years.
- The problem I've been having with ADO.NET (see September 3) appears to be related to a documented bug described in this Microsoft Knowledge Base article. I wasn't able to find any specific mention of Relations in the bug report or discussions of it online, but the symptom (the exception) is the same and the cause (changing a related child key column) is the same, so I'll call it a manifestation of the same bug and hope that Microsoft fixes it with the next service pack.
- The person throwing things out his car window at Debra and me when we're riding (see September 2) struck again on Monday. This time it was another drink bottle that struck my rear wheel. That's four attempts that I know of and three hits. I admire his accuracy, but don't really like being a target. I verified his license plate and called the Sheriff's office again. It's probably a good thing that I'm too cheap to pay the $30 it'd take to run the plate myself.
- Just six more weeks until the election. It won't come soon enough. It's gotten to the point that I dread even looking at the newspaper or any online news feeds. I stopped listening to the radio a month ago. I'm hoping there's a "none of the above" selection on the ballot. It's easy to blame the candidates for focusing on emotional topics rather than offering realistic approaches to real issues, but it's not really their fault. The American people seem to view politics, especially Presidential politics, as some kind of cross between a no-holds-barred football game and the Keystone Kops. I can't figure out if I should be upset, depressed, or amused by the whole thing.