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 It's been replaced by the F/A-18 Super Hornet.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.
Sometimes his ears turn inside-out. He doesn't seem to mind.
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:
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.
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.
I also got kind of tired of the old colors.
And, today, I finally had the time to upgrade to das Blog 1.9, which came out just a few days ago.
I may add categories as time goes on, and I'm going to start using sub-cagetories. But at this point, here are the main topics on the Daily Parker:
- Anne. For reasons that passeth understanding, she married me, and now she's the most important part of my life. And now that I've dropped the clever acronym, she can be Topic #1.
- Biking. I ride my bikes a lot. This year I prepared for two Century rides but, alas, my gallbladder decided to explode earlier this month. I might not have a lot to say for the next few months, but next year, I have big plans.
- Jokes. All right, I admit: when I'm strapped for ideas, sometimes I just post a dumb joke.
- Parker, our dog, whom we adopted on September 1st.
- Politics. I'm a moderate-leftie by International standards, which makes me a radical left-winger in today's United States. More than 848 days and 22 hours remain in the worst presidential administration in history, so I have plenty to write about.
- Software. I own a small software company in Evanston, Illinois, and I have some experience writing software. I see a lot of code, and since I often get called in to projects in crisis, I see a lot of bad code. Posts in this blog about software will likely be cross-posted from the blog I'm about to start, Inner Drive Software.
- The weather. I've operated a weather website for more than seven years. That site deals with raw data and objective observations. Many weather posts also touch politics, given the political implications of addressing climate change under a President who's beholden to the oil industry.
This is public writing, too, so I hope to continue a standard of literacy (i.e., spelling, grammar, and diction) and fluidity of prose that makes you want to keep reading.
So thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.
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.
(The story was first broken this morning by Talking Points Memo.)
Pagans and others who celebrate astronomical events have a lot to celebrate today:
- Happy autumn;
- L'shanah tovah; and
- Ramadan mubarak.
It seems, however, there is some controversy about that last one.
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."
Parker loves the camera, and wants to kiss it:
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.