Friday talkies.

Down in the comments yesterday, Sue, one of our resident Cheeseheads, made reference to northern pike as “foot-eaters.” It’s safe to say that seven years after being bitten by one of these freshwater barracudas, I finally feel vindicated.

Longtime readers have heard this story, so I’ll try to make it brief:

One summer day in 2001, Alan and I were at his family’s weekend cottage at Coldwater Lake. I’d just finished mowing the grass and was hot and sweaty, so I stowed the mower, walked down the lake, and plunged in for a little refreshment. I surfaced, shook the water out of my eyes, and was enjoying the cooldown when something with very sharp teeth grabbed my thigh, shook it once, and was gone.

“Something bit me!” I squealed. Some of our neighbors were sitting on the shoreline, and offered alternate theories; I’d rubbed against a submerged branch, or no, it was a turtle. If it was a branch, it had disappeared, and turtles don’t even have teeth. So I waded out, looked down, and saw this (minus the tape measure; that was part of my forensic evidence-gathering):

fishbite2.jpg

The guy who’d said it was a turtle gaped in astonishment. The bruise hadn’t formed yet, but the parentheses of the bite were clearly visible.

And so began my long quest to find someone to acknowledge this had happened.

Oh, the evidence was clear enough, which is why I took the picture. And certainly, within moments of seeing the bite, and making sure I was properly cleaning the abrasion, my husband had removed a fly rod from the rack and was casting a streamer off the dock, hoping Mr. Big Teeth hadn’t left the neighborhood. (In my romantic fantasy, he was after revenge.) We pegged the fish as a pike because it was the only possibility in that lake, and through the CSI-approved technique of taking a mounted one out of my neighbor’s attic and matching the gaping mouth to the mark on my leg — a perfect match (and a trophy-size fish). But even though everyone said, hmm, yes, well, obviously you were bitten by something, you could see the doubt in their eyes. The DNR officer I e-mailed the picture to said such an incident was unprecedented in his career. Longtime anglers had been bitten by pike when trying to remove hooks from the fish’s jaw, but no one had ever heard of a swimmer being attacked. One thing freshwater swimmers can count on in Midwestern lakes is: No sharks.

It being 2001, internet resources were limited, but nothing I could find said they were known to bite swimmers. (Although I learned the fun fact that their saltwater cousins had been known to hit coke spoons hanging from the necks of stupid Key West snorkelers.)

At the end of the day, the best single observation was my neighbor’s, who said, “I guess he knew well-marbled meat when he saw it.” Wiseass. Although dead-on, I’m sorry to say.

So, Sue, you helped make my day. Downstate pike and muskie might not be as big as the whoppers from the higher latitudes, but they have teeth, and they’re not afraid to use them.

Now I can retire that story for another seven years. But I’m never getting rid of the picture.

Since it’s Good Friday and half of you have the day off (and hence, won’t be wasting company time surfing the web), a few tech-related questions for the crowd today. Feel free to answer any you might know:

Why do those sneaky pop-unders cause my laptop’s fans to go crazy? I assume it’s because they’re making some part of the processor work extra-hard, but which one and why? At night, when I’m working and websurfing at mad-crazy speeds, I have to stop at least twice, hunt those damn things down, and close them all. It’s not unusual to find six to nine ads for Netflix and the Economist hiding under everything else. Bastids! When I’m hunting down news for my employer’s clients, I usually have two browsers running, with about five tabs in each. That’s nothing, however. I was talking to a colleague, one of our true Search ninjas, and he said there have been times when he’s covering breaking news for up to three of our biggest clients — essentially running a private wire service customized for their companies — and he has had up to 27 windows and tabs open simultaneously, hopping between them all. Which is to say, I know I’m working my CPU hard when I’m doing this stuff. But the fans all shut down when I eliminate the pop-unders.

Do iPhones or BlackBerrys make one’s life simpler, or more complicated? My friends with so-called smart phones say they’re the sort of technology that makes you wonder how you ever lived without it. Considering the increased cost, is the new world of possibilities worth it? Or is it just a pretty new leash? (Note: I lived without a cell phone until 2003, and think I could probably live without one nearly as easily. The bigger the city, however, the more essential they are. But my life is pretty simple now, and I never use even close to my minimum minutes.)

If you’ve given up your CD collection, how’s that working for you? I only know one household that’s fully committed to files on a hard drive for all their music needs. (It’s my tech-genius friend, J.C. Burns.) They have everything on a single multiply backed-up hard drive, and play music around the house by plugging their iPods into various amplifier devices. I’m envious of their shelf space, and their generosity, because once everything had been burned to the hard drive, they gave their entire CD collection away. And the longer I’m alive, the less crap I want cluttering up my house. This is terribly tempting. Discuss pros and cons.

And all the rest of you, have a good Easter. I’ll be shoveling snow, or so I’m told.

Posted at 8:35 am in Same ol' same ol' |
 

73 responses to “Friday talkies.”

  1. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 8:52 am

    You have to keep the CD’s. We all know the artwork is not as good as albums, but some of the collector’s edition CD’s have very nice booklets that are full of pictures, photos, lyrics and fun facts. I could never part with them.

    But I am rapidly moving towards having everything backed-up in both non-lossy and high-quality lossy formats. The former is for the household digital jukebox (you need to have full-fidelity for house speakers, IMO) and the latter is for the bike rides when lossy files have enough fidelity for listening through earbuds.

    I don’t consider my ears to be great, but I can tell the difference in A/B comparisons between full-fidelity and lossy MP3’s when using house speakers, car speakers and head phones. Can anyone else here?

  2. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 8:55 am

    As painful as it is for me to see the Democrats in distress (oh wait, these are tears of joy, not pain, my bad), I must drag something political into today’s comments because, you know, it’s important and all that.

    I don’t know if anyone is going to care about “passportgate” as it seems like the Obama folks are latching desperately onto anything that will change the subject from race. And they better do it quickly because Obama could be heard on the radio yesterday, sans teleprompter, calling his grandmother a “typical white person.”

    I’ll give you three guesses as to what would happen if one of the white presidential hopefuls referred to Obama or Rev Wright as a “typical black person.” And the first two guesses don’t count.

  3. Emma said on March 21, 2008 at 9:02 am

    We have our music on three (three? Yeah, I think three.) hardrives. But I’ve still got shelves of records in the basement and about a dozen CDs I should get rid of, but haven’t. We still burn CDs occasionally, filling them with Mp3s and playing them on a portable stereo downstairs. But that only happens on those days when you want to hear David Bowie and nothing but for the entire day.

  4. Sue said on March 21, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Actually, I’m a transplanted flatlander (meaning I’m from Illinois). Both sides of the border are very careful to make these distinctions. If you are from IL, even if you’ve spent years in WI, you will still be considered a flatlander. Someone from WI living in IL will always be a cheesehead. And you must heap abuse on the other state’s sports teams. Re your last sentence: you will indeed be shoveling snow – we’ve got it big time and it’s heading your way. Just keep telling yourself that at least you’re not flooding.

  5. brian stouder said on March 21, 2008 at 9:41 am

    But that only happens on those days when you want to hear David Bowie and nothing but for the entire day.

    I once painted the living room, hallway, and 11/2 bedrooms in the course of a long Saturday alone, while listening to non-stop Pearl Jam and Sheryl Crow (on shuffle play)

    I heard the ““typical white person” sound byte, and it made sense to me. He was talking about his rural Kansas grandma, and indeed we have several “typical white people” in our extended family, who could be counted on to hold and express fears and anxieties – just as I have typical fears and anxieties (whether spoken or unspoken), mostly to do with comfort-zone (or discomfort-zone) things; for example, I almost certainly wouldn’t stop for an icy cold Diet Coke at the gas station on South Anthony and McKinney – it goes without saying.

    Leaving that aside, I really liked this

    “Something bit me!” I squealed.

    (my money is on the pervert from the other side of the lake….he rented some scuba gear, and was all set!)

    I recall that, the summer before the catastrophic attacks in New York and DC and PA, the news went on and on about shark attacks. Remember that? (other than sharks and Chandra, there wasn’t a lot else to be worried about)

  6. ashley said on March 21, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I’m not a 100% MP3 convert. I have all of the CDs in a Sony 400 disc carousel jukebox. With the exception of a few booklets, I trashed all of the CD booklets and jewel boxes. Lots of space, and still good sound.

  7. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 9:46 am

    This just in!

    Dateline: San Diego – My coworker is one of the many surfers here in So Cal. And with surfing often comes partying and casual recreational drug usage (though not in the case of my coworker).

    Well, he just got a call from one of his surfing buddies who had to take his dog to the vet because the dog got into his stash of marijuana and ate it. Apparently the dog was twitching and really out of it.

    When the vet saw the dog, he asked if there was any chance that the dog had eaten some pot. Well, yes, in the surfing communities of Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach, I’d say there is an excellent chance that Fido got in to the ganja. And the vets in these areas know the malady and the remedy (induce vomiting) on sight.

    My coworker said this guy’s fiancee was super pissed at him and was giving him the severe evil-eye at the vet’s.

    BTW, the dog is fine now.

    Surfers…. Tsk, tsk.

  8. alex said on March 21, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Another possibility, Nance, is that you were attacked by a gar. Not that they’re known to attack humans any more than pike do, but they do have quite a set of teeth and they’re not uncommon in the shallow waters of this part of the country.

  9. Sue said on March 21, 2008 at 9:51 am

    ‘“Something bit me!” I squealed. Some of our neighbors were sitting on the shoreline, and offered alternate theories; I’d rubbed against a submerged branch, or no, it was a turtle. If it was a branch, it had disappeared, and turtles don’t even have teeth. So I waded out’
    That does not make sense, Nancy. Not that you were bit, but that you stayed in the water long enough to have a conversation about something that might be circling in for another nibble. If it were me, there would have been a grotesque parody of those cartoons showing someone running on top on the water; or else I would have been standing next to the neighbors before they even finished the first sentence.

  10. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 9:51 am

    I heard the ““typical white person” sound byte, and it made sense to me.

    Maybe you didn’t hear the whole sound byte then. The part immediately afterwards where he not so deftly tried to dig himself out of the hole. What he was intimating was that “typical white people” are afraid of black people and use racial slurs. What he was doing was using a racial stereotype.

    Maybe you should listen to it again.

  11. jcburns said on March 21, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Oh, ok, let me in the interests of precision, explain:

    We ripped all 650 or so of our CDs into iTunes in Apple Lossless Format (AAC) so they’re the exact same quality as the originals.

    And, in an attempt to be legal-ish, we didn’t sell or give away our CDs…we boxed them up and loaned them on a very very very long-term basis (maybe, hey, 3 decades or so) to friends in upper Michigan.

    And we can thus play them through any Mac in our house (four, including the Mini hooked up to our TV, our main stereo/multimedia thingie) and then we really only use the iPod for out-of-house musical sojourns.

    (By the way, it’s fairly fast/easy to have iTunes convert a chunk of larger Apple Lossless files to significantly smaller AAC or MP3s BEFORE you put them on the iPod…and then delete those small copies after you’ve put them on the pod. Result: many more songs on the iPod, full-quality on the big speakers.)

    We have no iPod speaker-addon-dude, although we talked about getting one for when we’re up at the U.P., ironically across the road from our 650 CDs in their new home.

    And, backup fans: we have the CD hard drive backed up on another hard drive in a bag on the shelf. Hard drives are cheap.

  12. Laura said on March 21, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Before we get rid of our CDs, I need to convince my husband to unload our 1000+ LPs. I’m working in baby steps here.

  13. alex said on March 21, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Danny, the right-wing media must be churning out some extraordinary agitprop if they’ve gotten you this worked up. I haven’t seen anything from credible sources to suggest Obama has any problems.

  14. Harl Delos said on March 21, 2008 at 10:19 am

    1. I suppose the fish at Coldwater have good taste.

    2. My computer’s fan goes crazy without the popovers. I think it’s demonic possession.

    3. Electronic doodads can keep you at work all the time – but on the other hand, your office now spans 24 time zones. You can always “forget” the doodad, leave it home.

    4. I love having all my CDs on hard drive. I never have to search for a CD, and never have to bother putting them back in their boxes and reshelve them.

    I haven’t given them up, but they now are in a box in the basement instead of taking prime bookshelf space. There’s still 2 shelves for LPs, though.

    Someone would develop a device with a turntable that can detect when one song ends, another one starts. You’d start the LP playing, then type in the catalog number of the LP. Your puter would look up the name of the artist and album, and the names of all the cuts. You’d also have some electronics to quiet the hiss.

    Expensive device, I imagine – but stores could rent it for $35/week, and you’d never have to touch your LPs again, ever. I’d rent it for a week or two.

  15. Jonathan Arnold said on March 21, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Yeah, you can’t legally give away the CDs, any more than you can photocopy a textbook, keep the copies and give away the book. As a software developer, I’m very keen on keeping things legal.

    That being said, I can’t ever see going all MP3. Listening through my stereo is the only way to go.

  16. nancy said on March 21, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I never knew you couldn’t legally give away CDs. Really? Even after you’ve paid for them? I’d think selling them would be the greater crime, since you’ve cut the artist out of the equation.

    As to textbooks, one of the most interesting things I noticed at UM three years ago was the “course pack.” Far fewer classes required a bunch of textbooks, but quite a few required us to go to a campus bookstore and pay to photocopy and bind 100 or so pages of assorted readings. I always figured they had some system in place to protect everyone’s i-property rights, but I never could get a straight answer from anyone.

  17. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Alex, I am just tired of the double-standard that keeps us from healing racial divisions in this country. And since the Democrats toil so diligently in the garden of racial politics, I lay a lot of this problem on their doorstep.

    You may see it differently, but you’d be wrong.

  18. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I never knew you couldn’t legally give away CDs. Really?

    Nancy, the detail you are missing is that JC has perfect digital copies of his songs which most view as “fair use” (not the money-grubbing RIAA though) with a standard English reading of copywrite law. But whoever he has given the CD’s to can be listening to the same songs as he is. At the same time. In the same exact bit-by-bit quality.

    Murky our digital age is.

  19. nancy said on March 21, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I am just tired of the double-standard that keeps us from healing racial divisions in this country.

    But that’s what Obama was saying! We want to put all the blame on one side, and there’s enough to go all the way around.

    And since the Democrats toil so diligently in the garden of racial politics, I lay a lot of this problem on their doorstep.

    Please, please, please don’t go there. I mean: Just. Don’t.

  20. Harl Delos said on March 21, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Putting “typical white person” in context:

    The speech:

    I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

    These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

    The interview on WIP610 with Angelo Cataldi:

    She is extremely proud, and the point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person who, you know, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know, there is a reaction that has been bred into our experiences that don’t go away and sometimes come out in the wrong way…

    That’s the nature of race in our society, and we have to break through it. And what makes me optimistic is you see each generation feeling a little less like that, and that’s pretty powerful stuff.

    Dan Gross of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote on his PhillyGossip blog: “We doubt this story will have legs, but wonder if Hillary Clinton referred to a ‘typical black person,’ would we ever hear the end of it?”

    Perhaps the difference, Dan, is that Barack Obama is talking about his own race, and your example would be of Hillary talking about another race.

  21. Harl Delos said on March 21, 2008 at 11:11 am

    I never knew you couldn’t legally give away CDs.

    You can legally give them away, and you can legally sell them.

    You can also legally make copies for your own use, either for archival purposes, or to get them into a more convenient format.

    What you can’t legally do is to give them away or sell them AND yet keep a copy for yourself as well.

  22. Bruce Fields said on March 21, 2008 at 11:24 am

    On coursepacks–there was actually a local case about this a few years ago. Hm. Googling for “Princeton University Press v. Michigan Document Services, Inc.” gets you a decision and some analysis.

  23. brian stouder said on March 21, 2008 at 11:36 am

    if Hillary Clinton referred to a ‘typical black person,’ would we ever hear the end of it?”

    If she was talking about her typical black grandmother, it would be just as innocuous.

    As for copyrights – I have a buddy who is big big big on that (he works at a local university, and his job is to keep them in compliance) – and he tells me that you are in technical violation if, for example, your kids & their friends are having a sleep-over, and you let them pop Snow White into the dvd….this would be an unauthorized exhibition of the copy that you own

  24. ellen said on March 21, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Re the class texts photocopied at Kinkos or whatever copycenter: Yes, the university is supposed to prove to the copycenter that they have some sort of copyright/fair-use permission to use those texts (if they need it). Otherwise, the copycenter could be part of the lawsuit.

    This is helpful.

    How was Obama supposed to get through the election without talking about race? Of course, trying to have a grown-up conversation about an important issue is impossible in an election campaign, because if you don’t speak in concise 15 sec soundbites and pull-quotes, your words are bound to be misconstrued.

    And John McCain must be so happy that his nom is already decided and he can go off on a very presidential-looking tour of foreign capitals, where the video footage shows him being welcomed like a presumptive head of state….

  25. Cliff Ward said on March 21, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Nance,

    National Geo. channel ran a program a couple nights ago about “Monster Fish,” which included a vignette about a Minnesota man who was bitten by a pike in shallow lake water. So you are not alone! I think the program is still running this week, so, as they say, check your local listings.

  26. Jason T. said on March 21, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Danny, you live in a more enlightened community than I do.

    We’ve got a couple of cities down here in Western Pennsylvania that are dying because of continued “white flight.” People are walking away from perfectly good homes. Abandoning them.

    And when you ask people why, they tell you “the neighborhood changed.” Oh, yeah? What changed? Gravity? The amount of rain?

    When I ask my white friends why they don’t shop at certain places, or why they’ve stopped going to certain churches, they tell me because they’re worried about “the kind of people” around.

    I’m pretty sure they’re not talking about the left-handed, or Swedes.

    I don’t know what a “typical white person” is any more than I know what a “typical black person” is, or a typical left-handed person.

    But I suspect that if Barack Obama says his grandmother is a typical white person, he’s not aiming a slur at his grandmother, or white people. He’s just calling it as he sees it.

    And frankly, I can understand where he’s coming from. I don’t get followed around department stores. Some of my black friends do. Why is that?

    So I’m glad you live in a more idyllic place, but Obama’s comments resonated for a lot of us.

    Yeah, he was pushed into giving that speech this week, but the fact that he gave that speech instead of just condemning Rev. Wright … well, damn, is all I could say. The man’s got some guts.

  27. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    But I suspect that if Barack Obama says his grandmother is a typical white person, he’s not aiming a slur at his grandmother, or white people. He’s just calling it as he sees it.

    Jason, I guess we’ll see if he remains on grandma’s Christmas card list.

    But in the meantime, Nance, you admonish me not to go there and for support trot out 13-year old ad that crazy old Jesse Helms ran? Even Barry Goldwater thought he was nuts.

    With the Democrats and racial politics, one does not need to cull from history nor to go to the fringes of the party. It’s mainstream, like a major plank of their political platform, here and now. Today.

    You see it in how Obama and Hillary are mired in it now. Most of this firestorm could probably be sourced to Hillary’s minions stirring the pot. You also see it every time you have Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton getting media attention. You see it when in order to suppress rational discussion of the illegal immigration problem, Democrat activist scream racism.

    It’s racial politics and it is wrong.

  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Laura — So this means you’re with my wife on wanting me to get rid of all my cassettes? The ones i’m afraid to play for fear they’ll break this time?

    At least the albums are packed tight in a box tucked under the stairs, y’know, just in case.

  29. alex said on March 21, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Danny, the illegal immigration issue was of absolutely no concern to the GOP just a few years ago. It’s a wedge issue that was concocted just like the gay marriage issue to get angry white piss-ants to head for the polls. And it totally plays to racist sentiments without having to resort to name-calling, aside from “Lawbreaker, lawbreaker.”

    I guess you think it’s only “racial politics” when the Dems react to the Republicans’ bait.

  30. Julie Robinson said on March 21, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Indiana University used those coursepacks way back in the dark ages of the mid-70’s. You bought them at the IU bookstore and they were already copied and stapled. I always wondered about the legality of it.

    The ripoff that is college textbooks is ripe for some clever person to revolutionize. They change editions almost every year now so you get nothing for them after the semester. And now they are boosting the prices further by putting CD-roms in the back of the book.

    There’s no reason it couldn’t all be done online or on a reader like the Kindle, not that I’m pushing them. But college is so pricey these days, wages for kids are so low in relation to tuition, and student loan rates have been raised. I don’t see how the next generation will have a chance for the middle class life.

  31. Jason T. said on March 21, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Well, Danny, if Obama’s grandma is like my grandma, she knows that I say a lot of dumb things.

    You’re right, though, I can’t remember the Republicans ever exploiting race as an election issue. And it’s certainly never been a major part of their campaign efforts.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/13/AR2005071302342.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC9j6Wfdq3o

    http://archive.salon.com/politics2000/feature/2000/02/19/poll_scandal/

    Those wacky Democrats!

  32. Harl Delos said on March 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    As for copyrights – I have a buddy who is big big big on that (he works at a local university, and his job is to keep them in compliance) – and he tells me that you are in technical violation if, for example, your kids & their friends are having a sleep-over, and you let them pop Snow White into the dvd….this would be an unauthorized exhibition of the copy that you own

    He’s mistaken. Private performances in your home for noncommercial purposes are exactly what you are licensed to do.

    If your kids and their friends were having a sleepover at the school or the church, it would fall under different rules, but it still might be legal under 17 USC § 110. Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays

    One of the gems of the internet, one that nobody seems to know exists, is the Legal Information Institute at http://www.law.cornell.edu. You can search the US constitution, all federal laws and the code of federal regulations, plus, for most states, the constitution, laws, regulations, and legislation currently under consideration.

  33. Dexter said on March 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    harl: I tried to email this but your e-addy access from your blog is blocked to the unlogged-in visitor. So I’ll be brief. I was taught in school that “big” was to used to measure size, and “large” was to be used to measure quantity. “Small was also used to measure quantity, while “little” was to be used to indicate size. You can email me at coold1949 at yahoo dot com.

  34. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Alex, we’ve been bearing the brunt of the economic, criminal, educational, medical and social consequences of illegal immigration in California for many, many years. Believe me, it’s not a recent issue for us, artificially concocted to create a wedge.

    The rest of the country is just getting tuned in because of the recent attempts by both parties at ramming amnesty through congress.

  35. ashley said on March 21, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I love being a professor. I claim “Fair Use” on absolutely everything. Part of my research. In other words, the Peter Venkman defense:

    “Back off man, I’m a scientist”.

  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on March 21, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Alex — you’ll find plaints and complaints about the Bush administration back when they were running in 2000, let alone after coming into office, and well before, scattered across conservative websites like National Review Online. Whether the GOP front office, such as it is, has had much to say on the subject i don’t know, and their website isn’t amenable to searching that far.

    But fulminations about the feddle gov’mint not fulfilling a core responsibility in securing the borders and maintaining citizenship standards has been a football in conservative politics since the first “English Only” flaps of the late ’80’s. I think most “English Only” initiatives have been racist at heart — i remember the time and passion because i was arguing against them and taking major flack for it in my first church during seminary, where most of the elderly Indianapolis residents who were the “old guard” of church leadership were for it, and wanted it promoted in worship and our newsletter.

    OTOH, much bilingual programming is IMO not in the best interests of immigrants (legal or otherwise), but a great way to pick up easy Dem votes and keep people needing government to care for them. But being opposed to bilingual mandates and against indifference to learning English in school doesn’t add up to “English Only” white supremacist support.

    I do know GOPers in the border states whacked away at the Clinton administration for porous borders and liberal pro-illegal immigration groups — again, i recall it well because clergy of my denomination were going out into the desert to place water drops and put up signage for border crossers. Now there’s an ethical dilemma for you . . . i still don’t know if you’re helping the desperate or encouraging illegality, but my clerical brethren and sistern sounded awfully eager to get as many folks across the Arizona border as possible, so much so that i give them the “credit” for creating the equally unsavory “Minutemen” who went out as volunteer border guards.

    Anyhow, it isn’t an ’08 tactic. It’s a problem, with no simple solutions, and well worth debating in full.

    A blessed Easter to all, and may it not snow on our park full of candy-filled eggs for the kiddies of Buckeye Lake tomorrow! See youse all Monday, “Little Easter” to some, especially exhausted clergy!

  37. MichaelG said on March 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    There’s a lake in Northern California that has been infested with northern pike. It’s Lake Davis out east of Quincy. For years the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has been trying to eradicate them. They’ve drained the lake. They’ve poisoned the lake. They even tried a scheme to electrify the lake and kill the pike that way. I think they have another poisoning try on deck for this year. The pike have survived it all so far. The thinking is that some numbnuts imported the fish for his own purposes as I gather they are supposed to be fun for fishermen to catch. The problem is that the northern pike is voracious and a prolific breeder and will quickly wipe out native populations. The fear is that they will escape from Lake Davis one way or another (maybe even another numbnuts) and spread to other areas with disastrous results.

    michaelj: I’ve followed Riverbend for years. She is everything you say and more. What a delightful, provocative and ultimately saddening read she is. I have been checking her blog every week since her last post on 10-22-07. This post came just after she and her family escaped from Iraq and relocated to Damascus. I hope she’s OK and that she resumes posting.

    I don’t mean to go all California on you, but I was at the farmers’ market last Sunday. Greens were weak but there was lots of other stuff. A friend gave me a large bag filled with 10-12 pounds of gorgeous fresh, fresh asparagus. Delicious. I’m still eating it. I bought all the veggies and herbs and stuff and my garden goes in this weekend.

    I was raised in the “Chicagoland Area” as the TV weather people used to call it and vividly remember the “Hawk”. This was in the days before wind chill, and lake effect snow and when ice was just “ice” not “black ice”. Even without all those add ons it was cold and snowy and slippery and windy. I sympathize with all you cold people.

  38. 4dbirds said on March 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    I really have to wonder if all illegal immigrants were from Russia and/or Ireland if anyone would care. As for democrats being in trouble, puleeze. All anyone is taking about is either Obama or Hillary. John who? When the democratic nomination gets wrapped up, branding will have made them a superstar. Recent history has shown that tough primary fights produce winners in the general election.

  39. sue said on March 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Actually, 4db, each nationality or religion has taken its turn being most-hated. At the beginning of the last century, it was common to post “No Irish Need Apply” with your help-wanted sign, because, of course, the Irish were lazy and would steal you blind while drinking all your liquor. Russians and Eastern Europeans were “anarchists” frequently caricatured as being bearded and holding bombs; Italians were fiery-tempered and dangerous to good girls everywhere;Catholics were determined to turn the country into a theocracy (but at least the girls were safe, not because the priests were after boys but because THAT’S WHAT THE NUNS WERE FOR); and Jews, well, they were worst of all, of course. One of the reasons I have been so depressed lately is that I notice we don’t seem to have come very far.

  40. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    I really have to wonder if all illegal immigrants were from Russia and/or Ireland if anyone would care.

    Subtext: You are a racist.

    See, this is a very good example of why a complete discussion of this issue is very difficult. Whether 4D meant it or not, this sort of snide, race-baiting innuendo makes it nearly impossible.

    And the answer to your question is, “yes.” Twenty million illegals from any country would be onerous and unwelcome.

  41. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Not so fast, Sue. Apples and oranges there. The examples you give are of racism. Illegal immigration was not the issue with people coming legally through Ellis Island.

  42. sue said on March 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Good point, Danny. I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the discussion. However, I am not willing to agree that illegals, simply because they are illegal, are somehow more deserving of the same behavior and attitudes that pervaded this country 100 years ago. Apples and crabapples, maybe. Or oranges and tangerines.

  43. Harl Delos said on March 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Alex, we’ve been bearing the brunt of the economic, criminal, educational, medical and social consequences of illegal immigration in California for many, many years.

    What economic, criminal, educational, medical, and social consequences occur with illegal immigrants that don’t occur with legal immigration?

    Maybe we ought to install vending machines at the border. Deposit 50c, and get a visa, deposit $1 and get a green card, deposit $2 and get citizenship papers. Would that solve everything?

    The fact is, immigration (combining legal and illegal immigration) is occurring at only about half the rate that it occurred in 1900.

    It’s not that immigrants don’t want to be legal, it’s that the US government doesn’t process the paperwork in any sort of reasonable amount of time. In some districts, it takes an average of 8 months to get a 6-month renewal for a green card. In 2006, they only processed the paperwork for 5000 Mexicans to legally reside in the US.

    In 1950, we had a lot of Mexicans in NW Ohio, and I was warned not to go into “Little Mexico” in mid-day because I would surely be killed in a knife-fight. These days, those same Mexicans have bought homes, have built businesses, and are community leaders.

    Incidently, because businesses are reluctant to hire immigrants, many immigrants are forced to start their own businesses. Small businesses are responsible for something like 90% of all job creation in this country. You remember when Magnavox split in half, with the sonobuoy half staying in Fort Wayne, and the Odyssey half moving south? It wasn’t because labor was cheaper down there. It was because there weren’t enough small companies willing to subcontract manufacturing.

    The reason Social Security is in trouble is because Baby Boomers haven’t figured out how to make babies. The system depends on people working, to support those who’ve retired. It’s too late at this point to make more babies, but we can import workers that are in their 20s, 30s and 40s that will pay into Social Security, and what’s more, they require a small fraction of the government resources that new babies do.

    But it’s our choice. Those people can work here, paying taxes, or factory owners can build factories in Mexico that will employ them. Wouldn’t it make more sense to import taxpayers than to export jobs?

    Catholics were determined to turn the country into a theocracy

    And we ended up with one anyway, with not a catholic to be seen anywhere.

    (My email, FWIW, is my first name at my blog’s domain.)

  44. 4dbirds said on March 21, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Danny, I don’t care if you’re a racist or not. I determined you were a troll long ago. The goal is to not ackowledge trolls. I failed today.

  45. brian stouder said on March 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Subtext: You are a racist.

    See, this is a very good example of why a complete discussion of this issue is very difficult. Whether 4D meant it or not, this sort of snide, race-baiting innuendo makes it nearly impossible.

    Danny, you began this discussion with the very same sort of subtext, inferring racism from Senator Obama’s remark about his ‘typical’ grandma.

    I agree that any discussion of the subject of race in America will indeed be difficult; this is precisely why Senator Obama deserves credit (rather than derision) for addressing this issue – and indeed exposing his own racial attitudes – forthrightly.

    NOT having these difficult national discussions are arguably just as racist (in effect) for all that the silence (tacitly) allows, without comment.

    Unless the Constitutional requirements for President of the United States, in addition to being 35 and native born, are ammended to add “male” and “apparently caucasion”*, this day had to come….

    *Dr Prokopowicz, in his book Did Lincoln Own Slaves, gets the question “Was Lincoln black?” – and he gives an interesting answer, more or less asking Who is to say? He points out that your drivers licence doesn’t refer to you as “shortl” or “fat” – but instead gives an objective measure, such as 5’8″ and 190 pounds…but it will call you “white” or “black” – despite that no one is really white, or really black; we’re all a mix.

  46. sue said on March 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Danny is not a racist. I don’t think he’s a troll, either, because he actually argues his points and doesn’t get personal. C’mon, 4db, let’s not fight.

  47. 4dbirds said on March 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Sue, again, I don’t care if he’s a racist or not. I stand by troll.

    “An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.”

    Danny brings a thinly disguised agenda to his comments. He wants us to know that although he is a ‘nice/good’ conservative/republican he must bring it to our attention that Obama/Hillary/Bill/insert any democrat/liberal is wrong or bad or whatever because insert talking point of the day. Of course we know he has no dog in the fight and he really likes rock and roll (because he tells us ALL THE TIME) so he can’t be all bad.

    There is no fight. He bores me and I will say no more.

  48. sue said on March 21, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Maybe I never considered Danny a troll because I watched a serious infestation of trolls bring Time magazine’s “Swampland” blog to a standstill a few months back. If Danny’s a troll (and I still don’t think so), he’s a serious amateur. But nuff said. I too will say no more. Happy Easter folks.

  49. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Brian, when one says “typical (insert race) person,” one is engaging in racial stereotypes. Typical and stereotype are related. And he didn’t say, “‘typical’ grandma.” He said, “typical white person.”

    So how else could one read it other than racial stereotype? Especially when you know that if a Clinton or McCain or Geraldine Ferraro said anything remotely like that, they would be in trouble. Agreed?.

    Harl, no time to respond to your many questions. It’s all well documented in the news (and has been discussed here over the years). Google will have to be your guide.

    Sue, thanks. The jig is up. I really am a troll. I just used a Jedi Mind-Trick to fool you. Sorry.

  50. Harl Delos said on March 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.

    IMO, Danny is a True Believer, having bought his opinions pre-formed in the large economy size package, and he wants to convince us all of The Truth.

    In order to have a discussion at all, there needs to be different points of view. However, in order to have fruitful discussion, one has to have an open mind. Danny refuses to discuss issues; he simply makes pronouncements.

    If you think refusing to engage in fruitful discussion is disruptive, then he meets the definition of troll. If you think it’s mostly white noise, then he doesn’t.

    Labeling a party to a discussion as racist or troll, however, is likely to result in emotional posts that are disruptive of conversation, isn’t it?

    Ms. Derringer has the ability, the right, and perhaps even the duty to remove inappropriate posts. Stewardship requires a webmaster to be a good editor. Besides, when one of us posts inappropriately, she’s be doing us a personal favor by removing that post; a good editor makes a writer look a lot less foolish better than he really is.

  51. michaelj said on March 21, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Music? Seems to me there’s a lot to be said for selecting intentional context. Sometimes, we do the lazy thing and hit shuffle, and marvel when something perfect for our moods comes on. Frequently, the shuffle produces something on the next cut that’s perfect.

    That said, don’t people understand that arranging albums used to be part of an artistic process?

    Albums beat sound bites, all to hell. I’d suggest Shine on Brightly by Procul Harum as a perfect example. Every song builds towards the musical intention of making a point with In Held Twas in I.. In the PowerPoint for idiots version, does somebody think A Day In the Life ended last because they tacked it on?

    How long do movements in spectacular music by Mozart, or Beethoven, or Eric Satie, or Ravel (These are just personal favorites, amd I know they just sound like some fratboy choice, but it’s what I like). How long do they last? Do you pluck them out of the air compared with what they’re implicit in?

    Is artistic elitism something we insist upon because we know the artist was right, or at least had the right to claim how to judge? Nobody on the face of the earth could convince me that When the Levee Breaks shouldn’t have come last.

    I suppose I’m saying these guys thought these things through. You take these things as you find them. If you move the movements <rroica around on your Ipod, you may think you’ve rearranged. You’ve trashed it.

    I’m not saying idiot disconnected hook-ups are useless. The idea that ALBUMS are passe is not a good indicator for the future of mankind. Being controlled one moment at a time.

    If you like albums with plots, try Gary McFarland America the Beautiful, or any album by the Kinks.

    No joke nancy Do you get Ray, or are you dumb? You’re call. Holy shit I care about this place. I wouldn’t intrude.

  52. Danny said on March 21, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    If you think refusing to engage in fruitful discussion is disruptive, then he meets the definition of troll. If you think it’s mostly white noise, then he doesn’t.

    Harl, how’s that discussion going about it being okay to kill women? Fruitful? What do you want to discuss next? Whether the sky is really blue or whether water is really wet? I don’t have that sort of time to waste.

  53. brian stouder said on March 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    Harl, how’s that discussion going about it being okay to kill women?

    On that point, I agree with Danny; Harl lost me at the bakery, with the Father Knows Best (who shall live and who shall die)

  54. basset said on March 21, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    OK, then. All of you involved in this rapidly deteriorating thread:

    You’re 100-percent right. Illegal immigration and racism are everywhere and explain everything.

    You are the brightest person in the room. Nobody else should be allowed to speak, mainly because they’re all wrong.

    All of us bow, no, genuflect before your awesome intellect and incomparable powers of persuasion.

    Yes, I mean you.

    Now STFU and let the rest of us get back to talking about fish-bites.

  55. Harl Delos said on March 21, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Harl, how’s that discussion going about it being okay to kill women? Fruitful?

    Yes. I was asked to explain myself more fully; I did. I was asked by Linda what the evidence was, that she was having sex in front of the kids. She was very gracious in asking what I thought to be a very reasonable question, and I tried to be equally gracious in answering it. Someone, I can’t remember who, asked about killing the Goldman kid. I don’t defend it; I have no reason to believe that it’s justifiable in any way.

    Danny, the laws of all 50 states allow a man to kill in order to protect himself or his family. In Indiana, the law says he can even legally kill to defend his property against an intruder as well. There’s not a single state that says you can only kill a man, not a woman, who is abusing your children.

    And given that the courts decided that custody of the children belonged with OJ, not with the Brown family, apparently the courts thought he was a fit and proper father.

    Most of the people here are more intelligent and more literate than average, and they actually engage in thinking, if one is to draw conclusions from their posts. You say they have never experienced a “decent” church. It occurs to me that they know what a decent church is. You seem to think that a church is led by the pastor, instead of the pastor being an employee of the congregation. You seem to think that the function of a church is to provide a place where you are passively entertained every Sunday, instead of being an active community which requires participation to fully benefit. You seem to think that a sermon should have little to do with everyday living, but instead focus on a bible which advocates the owning of slaves and the pimping out of daughters in order to keep an unruly mob from entering your property.

    You’ve every right to hold that opinion, but if you simply engage in insulting everyone with your drive-by postings of boilerplate, you’re probably not convincing anyone; you’re just wasting your time.

    I don’t have that sort of time to waste.

    Well, if you say so. You might instead try following Genesis 1:28.

  56. michaelj said on March 21, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    And I’m long gone. Mostly, because the attacks on Hillary’s campaign are orchestrated. It’s my personal belief most of this is Gov. Dean’s revenge on the DNC. Now he’s the DNC.
    So he causes trouble. And who let this ahole loose? Progressives.

    What’s the deal with Hillary’s phone reord’s? How ‘ bout Rove,s if you care? Asshole did away with something like drbrtsl million. How ’bout Obama’s with Reznick? Who the hell cares, in the long run, let’s have Kommisr Karls’s records, amd his emils, but he deleted them.

    The deal with about investigating Clintons, first Robert Fiske did. He said there was nothing there. Voyeur Ken Starr spent another $60 mil. Nothing. Tell you what. Is Obama claiming Hillaty had Bince Foster killed? I doubt it, but his campaign is certainly tryingto bring this shit up.

    It’s a grossly unfair canvass on which this campaign is being waged. If a reasonable wuestion about anything Barrack says is raised, it must be racism. If you raise racism at the drop of a hat, as with the former President, who obviously isn’t a racist, shouldn’t you have to deal with it?

    So there’s a speech that Olbermann thinks is more affecting than either Jack or Bobby, and approaches MLK. Jeez Keith. Jack maybe, MLK in a milliion years, Bobby, I know you’re not a self-aggrandizing tool. Keith, when did you become Goerring for the cult of personality?

    Excuse me? What he said is that there’s a racial divide. No shit asshole. That’s revelatory? How stupid are Americans? Raygun went to Philadelphia, MS and talked bout states rights. That’s as divisve, and nd that’s as disgusting as you get. It’s OK for Barrack to channel that but Ferraro is offemsive.

    I think Barracks campaign has been spectacularly misogynistic. And opportunistic. They make up attacks that probably weren’t ever coming and screw over attackers that never existed. And they’re allowed to get away with these attacks scot-free.

    Let’s here Barrack on the subject of the three guys in the bayou. Raygun is a transitional figure. No. Barrack. We was a racist SOB.

    I know that there are a gigatic number of Catholics in this country. We don’t take wackjobs like like Rev. Hagee seriously But wjat about Bob Jones and other nutcase purveyors of hatred that nitwit jerks like McCain suck up to for cash? Are comparisons between Ferraro and Hagee even anything but stupid?

    All dreck and the architects get away scot-free. I wouldn’t go on so long, but I know you’ve all packed it in.

    It may sound silly, but seems like a more intelligent group as far as getting allusions, etc., so it’s sort of fun.

    Love may fail, but courtesy will prevail. I’ll let that be my guiding light, since I’ve intruded importunely.

  57. michaelj said on March 21, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    Buying the lies? Everybody thought Ollie North was a patriot and not a war criminal. C’set la vie. I aways thought he was a war criminal.

  58. del said on March 21, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Alex nailed it at 12:40 when he called the immigration issue as being a concoction of the GOP. It tends to unite the majority. Like Falwell’s moral majority.

    michaelj, why so down on Dean? In the runup to Iraq he was the only politician I could stand listening to.

  59. Jolene said on March 22, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Actually, I would grant Danny’s point re “typical white person”, at least in part. Obama was, in fact, thinking in terms of social categories when he used that phrase. It’s impossible for humans not to think in terms of categories, whether we are thinking about other people, chairs, hors d’oeuvres, or dogs. Just think about what a multitude of creatures of various sizes, shapes, colors, talents, and temperaments is contained in the category “dog”. Without the ability to categorize entities and experiences, we’d be unable to function.

    We want to be treated as individuals, but we also define ourselves in relation to groups; we are members of political parties, churches, sports teams and, yes, ethnic groups. As observers, we have to exert real effort to think and speak of people we do not know well as individuals–at least “in the instant”, when we are making snap judgments and the kind of unguarded statement that Obama made in referring to his grandmother.

    Our propensity for categorization exists absent greed, fear, or the desire for power. And, of course, those fine motives are never really absent. And we never enter any interaction without our individual and cultural histories of categorizing others. So, we need all kinds of devices to guard against the downside of our highly functional cognitive apparatus and our unavoidably human desire to best each other: religion, law, manners, and the disdain of others, just to name a few.

    And when small problems arise, such as Obama’s reference to his grandmother, we need good will and a sense of humor. Is it plausible, really, to think that Obama dislikes white people as a category? If not, then why not let it go? If one were there, it would be possible to say, “You just said ‘typical white person’. What did you mean by that?” Since that’s not possible for us, why assume the worst about him?

  60. Dexter said on March 22, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Prince sang us a song about “When Doves Cry”. Here’s an explanation about when fish fly. By Michelle Tsai.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2187114/

  61. michaelj said on March 22, 2008 at 2:27 am

    A friend of mine has a more or less political blog. She’s got an underdevolpped attitude, she seems tp me tp have excellent visual taste, keen eye for the news. So it struck me that there are sidebars and politics that clog Nancy’s suburban byways (if you could actually call the Grosses suburbs)

    Well , what I thought was that some of the political nonsense, of which I’ve never taken part, well, gentlemen could remove to that site for philosophical and political discussions and leave more bandwidth (whatever circle of hell accounts for that) for Nancy’s estimable musings, especcialy since it’s spring and all.

    I don’t know if this is OK. Is there a something I need to get John Yoo to sign off on? Old-time Nancy Nall folks seem to have gotten kind of uncomfortable with the traffic. And being the pompous bore I’m inclined to when confronted with the internets, I thought of this.

    My friend Jen has a gorgeous website, and she loves to talk politics. She also thinks Raymond Douglas Davies rules, has an absurd memory for music trivia (that doesn’t remotely touch my own) and has a photo of herself with Johnny Thunders ( and she looks like a babe). I’d pick Sonic Smith, but most of y’all may be hardcore Fort Wayne and never heard of anybody but Ian Hunter, who definitely said Cleveland Rocks, (but where do you go in Indiana?)

    I saw plaintive posts about when this used to be easy to read through. I thought, apparently foolishly, that Nancy made money for how many people visited. But so I thought, take some of these discussions elsewhere than email.

    I don’t know if this is kosher. Visit my girl’s website (Well not my girl, my actual girl would be annoyed at that charaterization, and could I sound like a more pompous ass?). You’ll find her intelligent and quick. Probably more of both than you are.

    Is this alright Nancy? It just struck me as a good idea. Or, I’m a dumbass. Qwell surprise. French, what a halfway great language. (But Stendahl managed, well, and so did Victor Hugo and Voltaire. A function of editing? How many words did Tom Wolfe send to Maxwell Perkins, and where the hell did Max get off? I sort of get the idea you think editing is slash and burn. How about translating? Like Gregory Rabassa?) Total number of words en francais, 40thou: en englais, 200thou and counting, and nobody was counting pneumoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

    I enjoy editing, except editing myself. If I wrote the word, I must have meant something, and if I edit properly, I end with nothing but stray verbs. Rendering unreadable and incomprehensible drivel concise and instructive. Does Gregory Rabassa edi when h’s translating Autumn Comes to the Patriarch.

    Yata hey.

  62. Dexter said on March 22, 2008 at 6:36 am

    Ophiophagus. Congratz to any brainiac who knows what THAT is.
    I certainly never did until I got a computer.
    I spent some time in Nha Trang, Vietnam, now known as a beach resort and when I was there , hardly known as any sort of hot-spot of the war.
    We had many occasions to swim in the waters of the South China Sea. One day I was certain I had seen a sea serpent. My companions laughed and accused me of partaking of the strong marijuana of the area. They were in unison in knowing sea snakes were figments of Jules Verne’s mind.
    Ha. Decades passed and I only rarely had a chance to regale people with my account of the giant serpent I saw in the waters off Nha Trang. My little grandchildren scoffed at my foolishness.
    Then I got a computer. So many search engines to confirm my claim that sea snakes are not only real, they have been infesting sub-tropic seas forever, it seems. Vindicated, I researched just a tiny bit. Sea snakes , six meters long, are off the beaches of Nha Trang , in shallow waters (like where folks swim, of course), and likely have been there quite a while.
    Now I read of sea kraits. Most people have heard of kraits, truly dangerous vipers . I had not heard the vipers had adapted, and are now swimming in shallow waters, too!
    So Nancy, I read your story with great interest, and was glad Coldwater Lake is, at least for now, a freshwater lake.
    And I stopped researching, intentionally, before I discovered how frequent or rare poisonous serpent bites occur to humans.

  63. basset said on March 22, 2008 at 10:51 am

    >>Old-time Nancy Nall folks seem to have gotten kind of uncomfortable with the traffic.

    the amount of traffic, anyway… but the larger issue for me is that a lot of the newer conversation on here is not real different from talk radio.

    if I want to hear Obama this, Hillary that, conspiracy something else, there are plenty of other places to get it.

    and, on another issue, if you’re too high to even type on the right row of the keyboard, that’s usually a pretty good sign that you should keep quiet, at least till whatever toxins are coursing through your bloodstream wear off a little.

  64. Suzi said on March 22, 2008 at 11:21 am

    Well, yes, in the surfing communities of Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach, I’d say there is an excellent chance that Fido got in to the ganja.

    That explains all of the very mellow pooches up and down Newport Avenue.

    When I was a kid in Point Loma, my surfer brother brought me a kitten from OB (Ocean Beach), don’t know if she was exposed to any ganja, but she was mellow, too. Probably just the OBcian way.

  65. Suzi said on March 22, 2008 at 11:35 am

    “. . . remember when Magnavox split in half, with the sonobuoy half staying in Fort Wayne, and the Odyssey half moving south? It wasn’t because labor was cheaper down there. It was because there weren’t enough small companies willing to subcontract manufacturing.”

    Harl, wasn’t the move also a result of Philips setting up its trust to manage the defense biz? At that time there was still a lot of military radio production at MX that continued until Raytheon tore it up and sent production to Largo Fla to the former DOE superfund facility and also a to region of supposedly cheaper labor.

  66. Suzi said on March 22, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Nance, your pike story brought back a bad memory that’s been submerged for years. sometime back in the mid-80s I dated a guy who lived outside of Bloomington and one hot summer day we went swimming in a beautiful little woodland lake in the area. I couldn’t understand why it was so deserted until I climbed out of the water and found several leaches latched onto my legs!!! Yeccch!

  67. Danny said on March 22, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    When I was a kid in Point Loma, my surfer brother brought me a kitten from OB (Ocean Beach), don’t know if she was exposed to any ganja, but she was mellow, too. Probably just the OBcian way.

    Toooootally, Suzi. (said in best surfer voice)

  68. Harl Delos said on March 22, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Suzi, it appears that the timetable works differently than you propose. I had to do some research, though, to make sure I had it right. Damn this mad cow disease!

    North American Philips bought Magnavox in 1974, and according to Arthur Stern, the DOD required that Magnavox keep NAP in the dark about almost everything (except capital requirements), from the very start. US production of TVs had cratered because of costs by the time NAP bought Sylvania from GTE in 1981, so they built a new highly-automated plant in Tennessee. They said the biggest single factor in rejecting Fort Wayne as a site for the plant was a lack of production subcontractors.

    N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabrieken made NAP a wholly-owned subsidiary in 1987, and because they were in serious financial trouble, they set up CEIC on January 1, 1989 to own non-core businesses, such as the defense operation, Genie door openers, Selmer musical instruments, etc. The March 6, 1989 issue of Electronics News said Philips was trying to sell their defense business.

    It was 1993 before the Carlyle Group bought it, for $165 million. It’s amazing what a bunch of Reagan and Bush41 administration officials did to revive the fortunes of a defense contractor. They sold it to Hughes 2 years later for $370 million.

    There’s a really interesting (well, at least to me, it was) interview with Stern on the IEEE website:
    http://www.ieee.org/portal/cms_docs_iportals/iportals/aboutus/history_center/oral_history/pdfs/Stern175.pdf

  69. Ricardo said on March 22, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    MP3s take up half the disk space of the .wav files that comprise CDs. My ears notice the difference of the compression of MP3s and the lower quality. I won’t be switching, in fact, I want to get the Tascam DVD A burner and move upscale. The has more than double the quality and about 4 times the capacity over CDs. I just keep thinking that as soon as I get it, something better will come along.

    I just took my Pioneer DVD/CD 5-disk player in for an estimate for repair. $240. I could buy 4 new ones for that cash.

  70. michaelj said on March 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Ricardo: HIGH FIDELITY is pretty much a myth. The song remains the same.

  71. Suzi said on March 22, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Harl, thanks for the Stern link, I’ll read it tomorrow when I’m awake.
    As I recall, a handful of MX veeps made out quite well financially when Carluccie, Baker, et al bought the joint. The FW Raytheon site has made a really nice comeback in the last couple of years, following layoff bloodbaths when Raytheon was trying to manage its 9 billion dollar debt after its huge buying spree. Also intersting how Don Willis, former MX VP, made a fortune with the sale of his command & control SW company to GD a couple of years ago.

  72. Harl Delos said on March 23, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Ricardo said: MP3s take up half the disk space of the .wav files that comprise CDs. My ears notice the difference of the compression of MP3s and the lower quality.

    Depends on what quality of MP3 you choose to convert to. At 32 kbps mono, a CD can be stored in 14MB. At 320 kbps stereo, it takes 148 MB to store the same amount of music.

    Those are averages, of course; some music compresses more than others, just as two 1600x1200x24bbp pictures I pulled from my camera today compressed to 429 KB jpg and to 1202 KB jpg.

    Actually, your playback equipment is significantly more important than the compression. I get much better sound running 128kbps MP3s through my stereo than I get listening through earphones plugged directly into the CD drive. And while my stereo was fairly good 30 years ago (it’s a Sony pre-amp feeding a Kenwood 40 watt amp), audio technology has improved over the years.

    My mother was a professional musician, so I grew up with someone educated ears, although a skilled musician or piano tuner is obviously going to have better ears than mine. I can tell the difference between 56 kbps stereo and 128kbps stereo MP3s, and I know many people cannot. On the other hand, I can’t tell the difference between 320 kbps stereo and the original WAVs, even in songs which feature brilliant treble.

    But if you can tell the difference, why convert the music to MP3s in the first place? Keep them in WAV format! It takes a little more space, but a 400 GB drive only costs about $100 and it will hold more than 500 CDs. Is 20c per CD too much to pay?

  73. Dan said on March 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Getting rid of my Blackberry last fall was the best thing that I could have done with it. I hadn’t noticed how often I was checking it until it wasn’t around. After a week or so of withdrawal symptoms, I’ve been free ever since.