Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Monday 25 September 2006

The F-14 Tomcat has officially retired:

The F-14, a big fighter with variable sweep wings, was deployed in 1972 to defend aircraft carrier groups against Russian bombers carrying cruise missiles. When that threat collapsed, it was converted to a ground support aircraft covering troops in Bosnia and Kosovo in the late 1990s and, as late as last year, in Iraq. It's been replaced by the F/A-18 Super Hornet.

The F-14 was featured prominently in the 1986 movie Top Gun.

Monday 25 September 2006 08:38:45 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation#
Sometimes his ears turn inside-out. He doesn't seem to mind.
Monday 25 September 2006 08:14:06 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#
Sunday 24 September 2006

Anne and I had company last night: my colleague Cameron Beatley, his wife Sarah, and their two-year-old son Jamie. Parker had never gotten the opportunity to play with a small person before. Cameron apparently got in the way:

Sunday 24 September 2006 16:12:29 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#

Both of my blogs are now up: the Inner Drive Software blog, in which I will write about matters of professional interest (i.e., software, computers, security, and business); and The Daily Parker, in which I talk about nearly everything else.

All of this required upgrading dasBlog on my servers, figuring out which theme to use, customizing the themes, and configuring the blogs. Despite my initial experience with dasBlog when I first started using it, I think the current version (1.9) is really quite slick and usable. Good work, Newtelligence AG.

I shall now do something completely different, like play with the dog.

Sunday 24 September 2006 15:34:39 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Blogs#

I'm David Braverman, and this is my blog.

This blog has actually been around for nearly a year, giving me time to figure out what I wanted to do with it. Initially, I called it "The WASP Blog," the acronym meaning "Weather, Anne, Software, and Politics." It turns out that I have more than four interests, and I post to the blog a lot, so those four categories got kind of large.

Sunday 24 September 2006 13:37:44 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Biking | Jokes | Parker | Politics | Software | Blogs | Weather#

The Saudis and French seem to think so:

Osama bin Laden is dead. At least according to Saudi intelligence sources cited by a French newspaper, which in turn claims to have obtained a document leaked to them by French counter-intelligence services.
The news of the death of al-Qaida's chief was reported in the Saturday edition of l'Est Republicain, a respected regional daily. The French paper cites a memo they claim was obtained from the French counter-espionage agency, the Direction Générale des Services Extérieurs, or the DGSE.

Wow.

(The story was first broken this morning by Talking Points Memo.)

Saturday 23 September 2006 22:52:47 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Politics#
Saturday 23 September 2006

Pagans and others who celebrate astronomical events have a lot to celebrate today:

  1. Happy autumn;
  2. L'shanah tovah; and
  3. Ramadan mubarak.

It seems, however, there is some controversy about that last one.

Saturday 23 September 2006 09:11:04 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Politics | Weather#

Yesterday afternoon, thunderstorms blew through the area, lowering funnel clouds along the way. Evanston tripped their tornado sirens around 6pm as dark roiling wall clouds converged on the city. I felt like Jeff Goldblum in the jeep for a moment, but none of the funnels grew into tornados and the storms left the area by 8pm.

The Tribune reports:

"A National Weather Service certified weather spotter saw a [funnel cloud]," said Kevin Smith, spokesman for the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications. "It was close enough that we launched the sirens."
Smith said the city's more than 100 sirens, which sounded about 6:25 p.m., had not been used for an emergency for as long as anyone at the office could remember. Two people were slightly injured by the storm's winds, but no one was hospitalized, he said.

Or, as my Hungarian flight instructor used to say, "it mights gonna to be a bit vindy."

Saturday 23 September 2006 06:55:09 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Weather#
Friday 22 September 2006

Parker loves the camera, and wants to kiss it:

Friday 22 September 2006 12:57:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker#

The United States Senate having a debate about the merits of torture should, in any but the most insane world, have the same result as the Vatican debating the merits of Satanism. Why are we even discussing this? No! No torture! Bad Alberto! Bad!

The Administration (851 days, 3 hours) apparently things the Gestapo had some good ideas, as Molly Ivins points out:

The White House has already specified "water boarding," making some guy think he's drowning for long periods, as a perfectly good interrogation technique. Maybe, but it was also a great favorite of the Gestapo and has been described and condemned in thousands of memoirs and novels in highly unpleasant terms. I don't think we can give it a good name again, and I personally kind of don't like being identified with the Gestapo.

We can at least change this Senate a bit in 45 days and 15 hours.

Friday 22 September 2006 08:09:36 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Politics#
I believe strongly that slowing climate change and providing broad-based economic opportunity must include substantial improvements in public transportation. I also belive that Chicago's public transit system ranks second in the country for its reach and convenience, after New York's but ahead of San Francisco, Boston, and Washington, which are also pretty good. That said, the CTA still frustrates the ever-lovin' out of me. This week provides a crystal-clear example.
Friday 22 September 2006 07:42:11 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Politics | Chicago#
Wednesday 20 September 2006

Anne just emailed me: "Parker is in the bedroom again." This means our little ball of fur and teeth has probably killed another shoe, or has, in some way, prevented her from working. So far the casualties include an ancient Ikea sofa we were planning to replace anyway, a Dell power cord (fortunately on the DC side of the brick), several throw pillows, and nearly an entire bottle of odor-eating spray-on enzymes.

He's the most adorable little thing about 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time he makes up for it.

Wednesday 20 September 2006 14:48:10 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker#
Monday 18 September 2006
Over the weekend I devoured the aptly-named The Best Software Writing edited by Joe Spolsky. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in software.
Monday 18 September 2006 08:39:06 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Software#
Sunday 17 September 2006

Had I actually ridden the Century today, I would probably be done or close to it. But the return trip would have been worse than I thought earlier today: Winds are now out of the south at 8 m/s (17 mph). That's like riding up a 5% grade without respite. After having ridden 130 km (80 mi) already. Yeesh.

Sunday 17 September 2006 13:58:41 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Weather#

Still one little problem with our otherwise criminally adorable puppy: separation anxiety. He's familiar enough with my office that he feels comfortable re-arranging the rug, but if I step out, he starts crying immediately. So this afternoon we're going to work on that until my nerves fray.

This will have to be after I confirm the building is empty, of course, because our lobby is marble and terrazzo, giving his whining an unbelievable reverberating increase in volume.

Sunday 17 September 2006 11:52:54 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker#
Today is the North Shore Century, a 100-mile bike ride I've trained all summer for. Sadly, I'm not riding today, because a little less than a week ago my gallbladder turned itself green, and my doctors didn't think a major athletic event five days after surgery would be a good idea. But I can't stop wondering, how would I be doing?
Sunday 17 September 2006 11:14:42 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker | Biking#
Saturday 16 September 2006
Here's our boy, tired from his ordeal defending Anne and me from the sofa.
Saturday 16 September 2006 11:53:27 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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