Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Friday 29 September 2006
He knows he's being bad. He just can't help it.
Friday 29 September 2006 14:09:30 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#
Thursday 28 September 2006

Anne found this really cool link to a live webcam pointed at an African watering hole. Or maybe it's CSPAN, given the number of baboons on display.

Thursday 28 September 2006 10:03:06 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cool links#
Our fur-covered pirhana sometimes attacks objects by category, like yesterday's "things that oppress the puppy" spree.
Thursday 28 September 2006 08:08:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#
Wednesday 27 September 2006

Last week, my puppy Parker chewed through a laptop power cord. The fortunate part of this was that he munched on the DC lead, causing the laptop to shut down immediately when it detected the short. Had he gotten through the AC lead it might have been a lot worse.

In due course I ordered a new adapter from Dell. In my haste I ordered the wrong adapter, which I didn't realize until I opened the package. So I got in touch with Dell by email to request an RMA and shipping instructions.

Here's the great customer service part. Even though it was my fault that I got the wrong adapter, they're sending me a pre-paid UPS shipping label and eating the shipping costs. When I wrote back to customer service to say, no, really, my fault, I'm happy to pay for the shipping, I got this reply:

Dear Mr. Braverman:
Thank you for your reply.
I understand that you have placed the order for the wrong item erroneously however, please be informed that the pick is already scheduled with ups carrier and the tracking number is also generated.
I request you to wait until the carrier comes and picks up the package. I am elated to serve an esteemed customer like you and customer satisfaction is our main priority and I assure you it is our hope that you have a positive experience with our company in future also.
Mr. Braverman, I hope this takes care of your concern, please feel free to contact me for any additional support.
Thank you for choosing Dell.
Respectfully,
Shemochi_K
Customer Care Specialist
ABU Customer eCare
Dell Inc.

I am so happy to have such an elated customer-service rep. That just doesn't happen every day. It does, however, show why I buy from Dell.

Wednesday 27 September 2006 08:52:36 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Business#
I took 95 photos of the puppy yesterday while we were outside; here's one more.
Wednesday 27 September 2006 07:37:07 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#

The Daily Parker is now, officially, http://www.thedailyparker.com/. The old address (http://blog.braverman.org/) will continue to work indefinitely, but the new address is cooler.

Tuesday 26 September 2006 19:18:52 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Blogs#
Tuesday 26 September 2006

Anne is now a contributor to Jargon, a Chicago news and events site:

So, what does a conscientious consumer wandering into Marsh - er, Macy's - need to watch out for? Fur and leather are just the beginning. Just as vegans are more restrictive in their food choices than most vegetarians, eschewing eggs, dairy and honey in addition to meat, so are they more discerning about their choice of fabric. All animal materials are off-limits, including wool, silk, cashmere, angora, shearling, mohair, down, and feathers.
Thankfully, the choices that remain offer a lot of possibilities: cotton in all its forms (denim, corduroy, sateen, jersey), linen, rayon, and even such unglamorous-sounding fibers as nylon, acrylic and polyester, all of which - in the hands of the right designers - can be transformed into some amazing styles.

Perhaps she'll cross-post to Vegan Fashion Scout?

Tuesday 26 September 2006 15:33:22 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | #
Today we had people working inside the house and on the roof, so I had to keep Parker occupied. I got almost no work done—bringing the book outside with me was wishful thinking—so I went back in and got my camera. Here are some of the results.
Tuesday 26 September 2006 14:03:06 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker#

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, today is the first day since March 17th with less day than night. Yes, Friday was the autumnal equinox, when the earth's axis was perpendicular to its orbital plane. But because the atmosphere refracts the sun's light about 0.85°, days are always just a little longer than nights on equinoxes.

You can get sunrise and sunset information for your location at Weather Now.

Tuesday 26 September 2006 06:47:44 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Weather | Astronomy#
Action shot. He often got the tennis ball away from Anne's friend Lisa, but he never quite understood that Lisa had some say in the matter.
Monday 25 September 2006 20:02:36 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#

Not content with being a contributor on The Daily Parker, Anne has created Parker a Dogster page.

Competition for TDP? Woof.

Monday 25 September 2006 19:41:29 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker | Blogs#
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#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is the Chief Technology Officer of Holden International 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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