The Edge Effect

Thursday, October 26, 2006

And By The Way

How come blogger's spellcheck program doesn't recognize the word 'blog?'

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


My older, geekier, more Ann Arbor self...

In my front yard there is an old burned out PC sitting by the shed. Not a car on blocks.

This weekend a word - really a combination of words - popped into my head and I thought 'man that would make a cool blog name.' Not 'man that would be a bitchin band name,' a blog name.

The word by the way was collideoscope. Get it? Like 'collide' and 'kaleidoscope.' Get it?


Postscript - Like every bitchin band name I ever thought of, this blog name is taken. Oh well, live and learn.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry DJ

So it's NPR pledge drive time again. Is it just me or do they seem more demanding and even downright scornful this time?

I was in Arkansas a couple of years ago during pledge drive time. It was really eye-opening to see how differently the pledge drive is handled in areas where the listenership is significantly lower.

As I drove from St Louis, to Fayetteville, to a family get together in southern Kansas, and back to StL, I heard the whole range of approaches. The common theme in Arkansas and southwest Missouri seemed to be to invoke Car Talk as often as possible. They kept saying things like "even if you only listen to Car Talk please support it." They must have listener data that says that it is by far their most popular show (and I imagine it is in Ann Arbor as well), but I found it odd that they would use that line even during news and afternoon talk shows. It was also surprising to hear how low their fund-raising goals were compared to big markets like St Louis or Ann Arbor.

I feel lucky to live somewhere with such a good NPR lineup. In other places where I spend time, you get Car Talk and one or two other weekend shows, but during the week it's usually just classical music and maybe Talk of the Nation or something in the evening. It makes me feel conflicted about where to send my very limited donation. C joined Michigan Radio in my name for my birthday this year, which is ideal since I listen to it constantly. But I sometimes wonder if we shouldn't send our money to the Nebraska Public Radio Network or some place where it is really needed.

I guess once we strike it rich from sales of our DVD case invention we can support as many stations as we want.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The More You Talk

The less people listen.

Just sayin.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Many of you know that I'm on the job market right now. This week I'm hoping to have all of my job letters out.

As it happens, this weekend I already got my first job offer. Yep, kinda early. The only catch is that it wasn't a job I had applied for. It was an offer from a guy who came out to give an estimate on trimming some of our trees. He said he could use some help at his tree-service.

Not exactly the kind of job I'm looking for, but I'm hoping that it's a good omen. Maybe I'm giving off the 'hire-me' vibe in a big way right now.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


That's how many steps there are in the parking garage at South U and Forrest. Don't know why I noticed that yesterday, but I did.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Flavors of Schadenfreude

Here's my $0.02 on the congressional page scandal then I'll be done with it.

There is something truly satisfying about watching the GOP implode no matter what the reason. It is perhaps a bit sweeter that the self-appointed guardians of morality are paralyzed by a sex-related scandal. And I have to say that the media coverage I have seen so far seems to focus more on the fact that the pages involved were minors rather than the fact that they are male; I had not predicted that.

BUT... It is a little bit frustrating to see the death blow for the current election cycle coming from something so tangential to governance. My thoughts on the particular scandal are somewhat complicated. A man in his 50s trolling for teenagers is messed up. But from what I've read, all the boys involved are 16 or above which is age of consent in DC, so the purely legal questions may not be so clear. Any time that a subordinate-superior relationship involves sexual overtones it is improper. For a congresscritter, let alone one involved in child-protection legislation, to use his power to leverage a relationship with a young subordinate is definitely deserving of scandal and punishment. I really don't want to defend any of this.

What irks me is that the Republican party has been handling the legitimate business of government with a deadly combination of incompetence and malice for the past six years. I frankly don't think it's hyperbole to say that the GOP agenda has actively undermined the liberties that the US constitution protects and which make this such a special country. Their party has really been hijacked by some radical elements and become a caricature.

Yet, none of the rapidly compounding evidence to this effect has had much impact. Yes the GOP was in jeopardy of losing congressional majorities in the midterms, but it was still a close call and they were wielding great legislative power just last week. Compared to all of this, Foley's behavior and the House leadership's coverup deserve scorn but seem relatively inconsequential.

If a representative being a lecherous old creep and the House leadership covering it up are what finally bring the reign of error to an end, will they or the nation learn anything? In the 2008 election cycle the narrative will be 'the GOP were a legislative juggernaut until the weakness of one congressman's flesh created a media scandal. Otherwise they were a perfectly legitimate governing body.' I guess somehow it would help my faith in humanity to see people rightly outraged about the Foley scandal, but at least as upset about the erosion of principles of justice that have been with us since the Magna Carta.

Note: As a kid I was both an alter boy and a congressional page at the state level (a much shorter term than the federal pages), but somehow I managed to avoid ever being molested. Am I stinky?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Home Sweet Home

So the other day I was surfing around Google Maps with Margaret looking at our home towns, college campuses, etc. When I was panning between the depleted uranium dump across the street from my elementary school over to my high school, I noticed an odd pattern in the grass (push the "satellite" button after you click the link or you'll just see the map).

I have to believe that there are more spots like this on Google Maps and I imagine that this was done for the benefit of people on the highway rather than the Google Satellite Cam. Would there even be any way to know when your field was likely to be photographed? I can't really say I'm that surprised.