The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Revenge of the old fogeys who lie about flaming rodents

Yesterday's post about the flaming mouse is apparently so much hooey, says the Associated Press in a follow-up report today:

A small-town rumor that sparked world-wide interest about a mouse burning down a house has been found to be untrue.
"It's really humorous more than anything that a mouse burned down the house," [81-year-old Chano Mares] told KOAT-TV in Albuquerque. The mouse was dead when it hit the burning leaves.
Mares said he trapped and killed the critter and tossed it on the fire.

So This American Life remains the only verified rodent-running-around-on-fire story I have, though there are still two verified rodents flambés on record.

Poor things.

Revenge of the flaming rodents

Update: The following entry may be false. Or maybe the guy just changed his story after the A.P. got ahold of it.

The Associated Press reports today that a New Mexico man destroyed his house when he threw a mouse into a pile of burning leaves, only to have the mouse run into the house and set it on fire.

This reminded me of a segment on This American Life involving a rookie cop and a squirrel, except that the cop didn't intentionally set fire to the squirrel.

Sic transit gloria musi.

Beautiful day in Chicago today

We seem to have gone from November to January to March. Last month was bitter cold and snowy; so far this month, temperatures have been unseasonably warm, and this weekend we actually had sun.

Raymond Park, Evanston, Ill., looking toward the First Congregational Church. Copyright ©2006 David Braverman.

Comment problems?

I've heard that people are having trouble leaving comments on the blog. Please let me know if you try to leave a comment and get an error message. I have an idea why this is happening—Das Blog has some defects in the way it handles multiple time zones—and I need more data.

Thank you.

Hurricane season finally ends--no, for real this time

Even though I previously reported that the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season had ended, it appears my entry of four weeks ago was premature. The season acutally ended today as Tropical Depression Zeta finally dissipated. Forecaster Stewart at the National Hurricane Center reports:

SHOWER ACTIVITY HAS CONTINUED TO DECREASE AND IS NOW LIMITED TO JUST A FEW SKINNY BANDS OF SHALLOW CONVECTION WELL TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER. AS SUCH... ZETA NO LONGER MEETS THE CRITERIA OF A TROPICAL CYCLONE... WHICH MEANS THAT BOTH IT AND THE 2005 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON HAVE ENDED.
I SUPPOSE IT IS ONLY FITTING THAT THE RECORD-BREAKING 2005 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON ENDS WITH A RECORD BREAKING STORM. TODAY... ZETA SURPASSED 1954 ALICE #2 AS THE LONGEST-LIVED TROPICAL CYCLONE TO FORM IN DECEMBER AND CROSS OVER INTO THE NEXT YEAR. ZETA WAS ALSO THE LONGEST-LIVED JANUARY TROPICAL CYCLONE. IN ADDITION...ZETA RESULTED IN THE 2005 SEASON HAVING THE LARGEST ACCUMULATED CYCLONE ENERGY...OR ACE... SURPASSING THE 1950 SEASON. SO... UNTIL THE 2006 SEASON BEGINS... UNLESS ZETA SOMEHOW MAKES AN UNLIKELY MIRACLE COMEBACK... THIS IS THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER SIGNING OFF FOR 2005... FINALLY.

This season was like a Beethoven symphony. Just when you think it's over, he throws another 64 bars at you.

 

And then another.

Yes, Virginia, there is a global idiot

I debated even calling attention to this latest bit of drivel from the mental midget extraordinaire, Pat Robertson. But he had this to say about critically-ill Ariel Sharon last night:

[The prophet Joel] makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who 'divide my land.' ... [Sharon] was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the [European Union], the United Nations or the United States of America.

Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman said, essentially, "STFU, Pat:"

His remarks are un-Christian and a perversion of religion. Unlike Robertson, we don't see God as cruel and vengeful.

So why not post this tidbit? Because it's never good to wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy, but the pig likes it.

Pop goes the hard drive

This morning I've been working in the Inner Drive Technology Comprehensive Testing Facility, trying to read an ancient hard drive I discovered a while ago. I've tried many methods to read this old 130 MB disk. It has two files on it, a "readme" file dated 23 February 1995, and a Doublespace volume with the same date. In other words, this hard drive is a snapshot of what I was doing 11 years ago.

In order to read a Doublespace volume, you need MS DOS 6.22, Windows 95, or Windows 98. I haven't had a Windows 98 computer in years, but Inner Drive does have MSDN Universal—and the IDTCTF. So last week I built a Windows 98 installation out of a computer that was, in 1997, my Web server, but has since 2001 collected dust somewhere. Too much dust, apparently.

It turns out that this computer has a bad disk controller. So, Plan B, I plugged the Windows 98 hard drive and the ancient Doublespace drive into a different computer, reconnected the power cord, and got a spark, a pop, and a wisp of smoke from the 11-year-old drive.

There are very few things less common or more totally destructive inside a computer than an electrical arc followed by smoke. (Fortunately the disk cage was outside the box at the time, and the two drives were more than 5 cm (2 in) apart, so the damage was localized.) I can therefore report, with unusual certainty, that the oldest hard disk in my possession is now a large paperweight. (I'll have a memorial photo up tonight or tomorrow.)

Goodbye, "WinSwap." I hardly new ye.