"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hard Rain's a-gonna fall

Dutch Mandel of Autoweek calls it as he sees it.
Times are bad for Detroit, but likely will get worse.


"You’ve got to have a cataclysmic event. “I don’t see the UAW supporting this cataclysmic fix. I don’t see a negotiated long-term fix with the UAW’s participation.”

Hold on, says partner McKinley: “You can’t point fingers at the union. [During past negotiations] the union asked, and the industry gave it to them. Who is to blame: The chicken or the egg?”

What we have cannot continue. “The parallel is what we’re looking at in the United States in social security: Active employees pay for retirees,” McKinley says. “That is an unsustain�able model.”

This is not an overnight problem. It has been going on for decades. Guys at the top are playing not to lose rather than to win; a not-on-my-watch philosophy has made executives wary and cautious.

“You can’t compete with antiquated industrial facilities, labor structure and work rules,” Camp-bell says. “Without change, our hometown industry will go away—it will move from the Midwest completely—it will go to lower-cost areas. It will continue its move to southern states as have the transplants, and to other countries like China and India.

“Put this on a napkin, stick it in an envelope and put it under your mattress: Let’s look at this in 36 months. As soon as people can recognize this plague and can cut off the gangrenous appendages, the better off we will be. Will it be painful? Yes, but every day you wait, it gets worse.”"

More on DataMining ... by Marketers

It's not just the Bush Admin that is watching you.
Likely, companys like Amazon are watching you much more closely than The NSA.

Good or bad ?
Depends on what you are looking for.
Bombs ... maybe bad.
Entertainment, products, services ? Maybe good.
The ablity of merchants to serve up what they think you will pay for can be good.
That said, I'll admit that, most times, I go to buy, not "shop" (as in browse).

If You Have Kinky Tastes - Forbes.com:

"If You Have Kinky Tastes You might find it creepy how much marketers know about you and what you buy. See Helen Coster's 'Consumer Spy'. Get ready for far more intrusiveness as your shopping migrates from printed catalogs to electronic ones. Now L.L. Bean is going to know not just what you bought but how long your eyes lingered on each image.

Jeff P. Bezos has made this kind of data mining into an art form. Go online to check out a particular massage showerhead and Amazon will suggest that you also consider a Nat King Cole CD, reruns of Moonlighting, and TurboTax. The connections are a bit obscure, perhaps. But this computer is very smart. If you are looking for John Wayne movies, it knows not to serve up a recommendation for Midnight Cowboy."

Friday, December 30, 2005

Wiretap ? or Data Mining

NSA "domestic spying" flap

Personally, there is a difference.
Not concerned that "Big Brother" is listening in on my conversations. Nothing of interest being said.

Data mining basically looks for patterns, not specific conversations ... unless such conversations are about threats to "National Security"
Just like blogs ... most are not worth the pixels that display them.

Defense Tech: You can run... Archives

Here's the source: Spy Agency Mined Vast Data Trove, Officials Report - New York Times

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Motor City Madman's Christmas Carol

While I don't hunt, I respect those who wish to.
Ted seems to have his heart in the right place, balance of nature, respect wildlife, give back more than you take.

Orginal was illustated by Glenn Wolff
link is here to Glenn's Studio and the illustration

OUTDOORS; For Tribe Nuge, Christmas Bounty From Mother Earth - The Archive - The New York Times:

The icicles hanging from my mustache and beard were the real McCoy. No fake decorations allowed in my Christmas tree. And my Christmas tree just happened to be a towering white oak atop a majestic forested ridgeline bordering a stunning southern Michigan swamp.

Instead of a handmade angel on top, this frozen guitar player clung for dear life to the crow's nest branches way up high, bow and arrow in hand, waiting for an American whitetail deer to bring our Christmas dinner on by. On the hoof. For I was bow hunting this frigid evening, celebrating the birth of God's son, doing my own little personal shivering prayer for peace and joy across the land.

The wiser members of Tribe Nuge were snug around the home fireplace preparing a hot meal for the old hunter's return, blue spruce tree aglow in the corner of our home with celebratory decorations aglitter. With the wind chill of minus 30 numbing my bones, I could hardly wait for dark to take over the swamp so I could join them for a Nugent American tradition of grand Christmas spirit. Meanwhile, Old Man Winter was doing all he could to blow me clean out of my tree stand. Motor City Madman, indeed.

Suddenly, he arrived, and a powerful inner instinct overwhelmed the frozen wind and any thought of comfort. I could hardly believe my eyes that such a beast was approaching on this brutal night. He was a great stag, and he was coming my way. I pushed and pulled on my frozen muscles in preparation to draw my bow as does and young deer crunched the icy snow below me, luring the old monarch into range. The magnificent buck paused every few steps to test the wind and my patience, and on he came.

As he turned his head to follow an old doe, I initiated my hunter's prayer, my arrow coming back gracefully, like the Zen ballet of life and death that it is. And in an instant, the razor-sharp broadhead had sliced clean through the old boy's vitals, and it was all over except for the jubilation. He died in but seconds before me, tipping over in the pure white snow of the marsh, just 25 yards away. I looked to the heavens and said another prayer, then carefully descended my icy perch and proceeded with the stirring recovery rituals of such a precious gift.

Balance, biodiversity and perfect protein for the table were the win-win-win of the occasion. With the help of my family, we dragged the amazing animal back to the barn, and soon my frozen garments were replaced with a nice, warm cushy robe, slippers and a hot meal. The Santa Claus of fresh meat had landed.

The American dream is truly amazing any way you choose it, but this hands-on outdoor conservation lifestyle of hunting, fishing and trapping keeps one honest to the cause and effect with the good Mother Earth and all her creatures and resources.

The gorgeous spruce we so joyously decorated together was once again harvested from the thousands of various trees we plant each spring. The natural season of planting is as important to us as the natural season of harvest, and it means so much more to us knowing we personally plant thousands of trees for every one we use. Just as the thriving deer populations prove, reasoning predators will always put back more than we take. The Christmas season is surely a time of giving, but the Nugents don't limit such conscientiousness to a single time of year. We just go a little wilder at Christmas.

The mouth-watering, aromatically stimulating spread on our Christmas dinner table is not only scrumptious, but perhaps the healthiest food available to mankind. Given the tender loving care with which we handle this hard-earned sacred flesh -- accompanied by ample amounts of garlic, butter, Michigan morel mushrooms and sweet onions, roasted over our own apple and hickory coals -- this much-appreciated meal fortifies not only the belly but the spirit as well.

Our wild turkey is pure, organic food, the roasted venison haunch and mallards are a testament to the perfection of God's natural, renewable bounty. We do it every year, and will forever.

Watching my children grow up in such a spiritually connected lifestyle has served them well, and their integrity and quality of life are my proudest accomplishments. They are all giving, loving, caring, independent, resourceful, funny, clever, productive American citizens solidly in the asset column of life. Now with grandchildren at the party, the traditional Nugent family fun factor continues off the charts.

Though the gift wrapping and unwrapping can best be described as a consumer orgy, steps toward practicality are being upgraded every year. We try to provide as many gifts to the United States military families as we possibly can, for but by the blood of warriors can any celebration take place at all.

We celebrate the gift of life, we celebrate American freedom, and we celebrate the holiday.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Wikipedia-osidy... ongoing

Looney Dunes: Wikipedia-osidy

Question : is Wikipedia messy because life and the world is messy ?

"Wikipedia for Grownup's"?

Not that the Times has a vested interest in "Authorative Voice" status.

Continuing discussions, with links to discussions:
Insider Editing at Wikipedia - New York Times

"Mr. Sanger left Wikipedia, he said at the time, because it gave too much power to 'difficult people, trolls, and their enablers.' He says his latest endeavor, Digital Universe, will combine the strengths of Wikipedia with those of a traditional reference work. With $10 million in backing, Digital Universe, called 'a Wikipedia for grown-ups' by The Register, a technology news site, will go online next month (digitaluniverse.net). It will allow anyone to contribute and edit entries, but experts vouching for the accuracy of entries will oversee major areas of content, according to ZDNet Asia."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Eats and Eateries

This will likely be a post that gets later updates

Over the last couple of years, with our (seemingly) annual fall visits to NYC we found some nice, and some extremely nice places to dine

2004 we tried Le Cirque
At the time it was Le Cirque 2000, located within the "New York Palace"
Very nice, but maybe more on atmosphere than fine food.

And we went to The Four Seasons ... for the setting, not the fare.

But had taken Shirley to Lupa Osteria Romana: Restaurant ... simple setting, great food !!!
Her favorite for the year

This year the highlight was Daniel
Maybe the atmosphere/setting is a bit "over the top" but the fare was superb.

Back home, we're headed to Trattoria Funistrada for simple New Year's dinner.
Not fancy, but good food.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Oh No Joe

DenverPost.com - BUSINESS

Indictment of Nacchio likely today

Federal prosecutors are ready to file criminal charges against the former Qwest chief executive, sources say. The government has been focusing on issues of insider trading and securities disclosure.

Why post this?
PCForum story - more here
Note that Blog Blog is just where I collect stuff (generally) particular to blogging...

Monday, December 19, 2005


From an old and dear friend
aka a Gentleman and/or a Scholar (take your pick)

Nil significat, nil oscila

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.

You know you are in Michigan and it's Winter...when

Note that the following should have had this link:
gizmag Article: For the man with everything - the V8 snowblower

Got the orginal via email from trusted contact ...

And yet further "research" ... They'r Canadian
(where they have even more winter than Michigan)
Welcome to V8 Snowblowers.com

For the man with everything - the V8 snowblower
If you're tired of anaemic, one-lung snowblowers with their slipping drive belts, you might consider Kai Grundt's V8 snow blower which raises the bar on the traditional snow blower in every respect.
With electric start, electric block heater, antifreeze heater and eight cylinders, it has no drive belts to freeze up and you'll never get bored with the job as the 454 cubic inch big block Chevrolet V8 produces 412 horsepower, 430 foot pounds of torque and can throw snow 50 feet at just 3500 rpm. Nor will you get cold as the machine has been ingeniously designed to route the engine coolant through the handle bars, with the rear mounted, enclosed radiator keeping the operator nice and cosy.

The first point to make is that this is not a V8 grafted on a traditional snow blower carriage but a purpose-built unit crafted around a motor of this magnitude. It functions very much like a traditional blower by way of operator input and feedback and offers effortless safe operation.

Manouevering the massive beastie (it has a total wet weight of 912lbs) is a snack thanks to the hydraulic-drive 4WD skid steer on independent walking beams which offers a zero turning radius. It's also as fast as you like, with an infinitely adjustable speed range on the drive wheels via dash mounted flow control. At the opposite end of the scale, it has more than enough torque to pull your car out of the ditch before the hydraulic motors stall!

Adding to the well-balanced feel of the unit, just 15 pounds of down force on the handlebars will lift the auger blade off the ground in order to climb stairs/walkways for ease of snow removal. Safety has and continues to be paramount with spring return to centre "fail safe" type directional controls with emergency stop and tether cords.

Safety is one of the key theme, with a flashing blue light (as required by law in many areas) being the least of the safety features. No-one will fail to hear you with those twin throaty exhausts, which come standard with 92 decibels at the controls, though if the rhumba of a V8 exhaust is music to your ears, you can obviously go much louder. Even at the standard baffling,
hearing protection is strongly suggested.

The powerful yard machine lights and a dashboard with backlit gauges complete the package to ease the burden of this normally reviled task

The custom 42 inch, two stage auger has a Chevrolet 10 bolt truck differential with spool and a centrifugal auger clutch with shear pin protection, further adding to the image of this "automotive theme blower."

As each unit is cutom-built, optional extras for the snowblower are both diverse and outrageous as the base unit - there is unlimited auger choices from single to multi stage designs and various motor combinations to suit the religious preferences of the customer (Chevy, Dodge Hemi, Ford) and such exotica as a V-10 or a diesel engine or remote starting can be accommodated.

And if, after a while, you feel you've outgrown the 400 horses, this particular engine is well catered for in the performance modification area, with Lunati camshaft, Milodon Gear drive, Holley and Edelbrock components to name a few, and there's always the fuel injection option too, if you feel you need to throw the snow out of the county or ensure your seat in the "neighborhood blower blingster hall of fame."


John picks up on the Wikipedia flap(s)

John Robb's Weblog: Wikipedia in context

While John Fry covers it here

Wikipedia's Woes to chronical the issue

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Chain Mail

The following was a chain-mail this afternoon

At least the sentiments are right.

Call it "Rules to Live By"

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their
conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you

FOUR. When you say, "I love you," mean it

FIVE. When you say, "I'm sorry," look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't
have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only
way to live life completely.

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile
and ask, "Why do you want to know?"

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great

FIFTEEN. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others;
and responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to
correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your

TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.

Typos Happen

Collection of Print Errors, Corrections and Retractions

Makes me feel better about my own "errors"

Regret The Error

Howler of the year : "Jew Jersey"
Something about the N and the J keys being too close together.

The pending end of Movie Theaters ?

Home Entertainment finally goes mainstream, theaters for "dates?"

Is Mark Cuban Missing the Big Picture? - New York Times

"In the long historical view, the movie theater was a makeshift response to immature technology not quite ready for the home, the first-choice place to enjoy entertainment. Now, however, advances in digital technology offer in the comfort of one's own family room a visual and aural experience that approaches that of the theater. The transition to digital in the home, unlike that in commercial theaters, will result in a huge difference: the incumbent technology isn't very-high-resolution film but low-resolution analog television."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Da Fun Issue

"The Year in Ideas"
The New York Times Magazine

Some good, some not-so-good, some just plain fun
Such as DUI (Dialing Under the Influence) blocker:

The truest words are spoken not in jest but rather after one too many bourbon sours. Liquid courage can turn a normally taciturn individual into a confrontational blabbermouth, eager to tell co-workers or former lovers exactly how he feels about them. The results aren't usually pretty, as has now been immortalized in the popular culture: Paul Giamatti's wine-addled character succumbs to a bout of "drinking and dialing" in the movie "Sideways."

WSJ.com - Redrawing the Lines

This could get real interesting, if they get "critical mass"

CommonCensus Map Project

Right now, only about 30K participants, but if they get several hundred thousand, up to a million or so ...
Then, if hte project is ongoing, spotting trends could be interesting.
Could be a powerful marketing tool as well

WSJ.com - Redrawing the Lines

"Web Site Seeks to Find
Where People Fit In
On the Map of the U.S.
December 14, 2005

CommonCensus.org's new approach to mapmaking may help uncover the answers to many of America's riddles -- where 'upstate' New York begins, why congressional districts look so wrong and where fans of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays live.
The Gimmick

The site was created by Michael Baldwin, an expatriate living in Brazil, and begins with the premise that the boundaries on maps often fail to accurately describe the social and political realities of a region. What would the U.S. map look like if it were redrawn according to peoples' current affiliations, rather than relying on decisions made by generations past?"

Friday, December 09, 2005

There goes the ice

Little "ice volcano" on the beach
Breeze from the south/southwest

Temps up to almost 30, but 25-30MPH breeze brings windchill down to about ZERO
Waves have moved all the ice back to shore
Piling up and some "blowholes" where the water is channeled up in little "volcanoes"
Look close ... there is a spray of ice chunks

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Slow Accretion

Ice slowly accumulating.
Most of the lake is open water.

First signs, early in the morning is when the water seems to move in slow motion near the edge of the ice sheet... like molasses

Further out, there are "normal" waves, but, although not frozen, the waves seem to slow down as they get closer to shore.

Diving ducks still active, but further out...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Martha Muffs it

Shirley and I got sucked into watching "The Apprentice Martha Stewart"

Tonight the project is to promote "Song" Airline
Delta sings its last Song

Note that these shows are taped well in advance

A little ice ...

4:30 and we've been getting a bit of ice
Not much
Some light "slushy" ice on the shore, stable enough to collect snow.
Very thin "skim" ice forming in the cove (the dull or buff surface contrasted to the gloss of open water).

I wanted to catch a moment with snow obscuring the far side of the lake, yet open over the cove.

It's been snowing on and off all month.

Goin to the Dwags

CNN just had a feature on Pet Gifts for the Holidays

Refered to pets, esp dogs as ..."People with Fur"

... huh?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Crystal River - Upstream

I like the full saturation with overcast skys
Same time as the other Nov 30th shots

Looking upstream from Canoe Portage on CoRd 675

One Month Oct to Nov

A little experiment with iPhoto
Not identical positions, but tried to modify to make them as close to identical as possible

First one was 10:15 AM on 10/29
Second was at 3:15 PM on 11/30

First was clear day, morning light, the second was overcast.

Don't know code to get blogger to line them up perfectly

Chip's Ahoy Restoration

Above is late last September
Progress report in pictures :

Chip's Ahoy Restoration - a photoset on Flickr

Coming along.
Should likely be back "right side up" by '06.

Then I expect we'll plan on varnish, likely upholstry

Friday, December 02, 2005

Now This is intereseting ... Lichen's in Space...Panspermia ?

I find the possiblity that, at least basic, lifeforms can survive in "Space"
Though I'm not sure if the conditions are the same outside near earth orbit.
I'd want to see more data ... doubt that it was outside the VanAllen belt.

Universe Today - Lichen Can Survive in Space

"Lichen Can Survive in Space
Nov 9, 2005 - One of the main focuses in the search for living organisms on other planets and the possibilities for transfer of life between planets currently centres on bacteria, due to the organisms simplicity and the possibility of it surviving an interplanetary journey exposed to the harsh space environment.

This focus may develop to encompass more advanced organisms following the results of an ESA experiment on the recent Foton-M2 mission where it was discovered that lichens are very adept at surviving in open space."

More here: New Scientist Breaking News - Hardy lichen shown to survive in space

A Bit More

Woke up with another foot or so...

Damn glad for new snowblower,
although I'd thought that it might
have served to ward off snow...