Inside the house

Living space

So here’s the view from the hallway looking forward. The place is beautiful. There were some minor problems that came up during the inspection – the showers don’t drain that well, the water shut-off is kind of hidden behind the washing machine . . .

But nothing they can’t fix. And parking wasn’t too bad. I don’t know what I’m going to do before I get my car registered in DC, though. It’s 2 hour parking unless you have a sticker. I guess I’ll have to do that sooner rather than later.

The drive wasn’t bad, either. I came from work, although I left work at 2:30, so traffic shouldn’t be bad. But it wasn’t bad coming home at 4:30, either. People say traffic in the city is bad, but it’s really not the city. It’s the suburbs where the traffic will kill you.

You have no idea how excited I am to move.

Bad mood + too much tv = uncontrollable ranting

You know what I hate?  No, the other thing.  I hate Cox Communications‘ annoying mascot “Digital Max”.  I just saw a commercial that thankfully didn’t feature him about how wonderful Cox’s customer service is.  I can’t believe that’s true, but since I haven’t had to call them, I can’t really say it isn’t good.  Their prices sure aren’t very good, but neither are anyone else’s because of the barriers to competition in the cable tv market.

Anyway, for me, the best thing they could do to make me happy as a customer (Which I’ll only be until I move – I think DC is Comcast) is make a little flash game called “Dismember Digital Max” where I could choose from a variety of weapons and then chop Max up into little tiny bits.  Extra points for creatively gory animations.

It would probably be for the best if I didn’t watch any TV tonight.

I cringe at the thought

The Police reunite for Grammys –

The band, known for such hits as “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take,” has never performed at the annual telecast for the music industry’s most prestigious awards that are given by The Recording Academy.

If you add in anything from Jane’s Addiction, that’s the list of “songs I hate most in the world”.  I understand that they’ve been hugely influential and lots of people love them, but, for me, listening to Sting is about one rung up from fingernails on a chalkboard.  And one rung down from the sound of my alarm clock.

Luckily, I don’t have to watch the Grammys.

Ads for ads

The Super Bowl ads have gone too far.  It’s not enough that many people watch the game just for the ads.  Although it supports the point that Techdirt makes all the time – make ads interesting and people don’t mind watching them.  Now we have CareerBuilder advertising that they’re going in a new direction with their Super Bowl ads (I did like the monkeys.  Although I often forgot what was being advertised), and Rolling Rock pretending to apologize in advance for a commercial about men wearing thongs.

In any event, it suggests something fundamentally wrong with us as a society when we have advertisements trying to get us to watch other advertisements.  I suppose they always have to push it one step further – eventually even the most shocking thing gets to be normal, so you have to take the next step.  But this is a step that I think we all will soon be regretting.  It’s like Christmas decorations before Halloween.  They keep expanding the holiday.  And the Super Bowl is not that different.  It’s just like Christmas, except without the whole religious aspect.

Inspection tomorrow

We’re doing the home inspection tomorrow. That gives me a chance to get in and take some pictures of the inside of the house. I’m looking forward to it, and I think friends and family are, too.

It’s going to be my first opportunity to experience the drive from work to the house, although I’ll be leaving work around 2:30, so I won’t get the full effect of rush hour. Still, it should give me an idea. Which reminds me – I need to figure out the best way to go. I still have time.

I’ve been doing a little reading about the neighborhood. Our councilmember Jim Graham says that Ward 1, which includes Columbia Heights, contains DC’s most diverse neighborhoods. That’s pretty cool. Maybe it will give me a chance to brush up on my Spanish. I’m really looking forward to the neighborhood. Yes, it can be a little sketchy. Yes, there’s more crime than there is in Falls Church. But we can walk places. There are people outside doing things all the time. I can’t wait.

Why would none of your plates be microwave-safe?

I was just down at Target to buy a cheap plate to use at work.  I don’t want to take one from home and leave us with an odd number, and I don’t want to use paper plates because that’s not environmentally-friendly.  So I picked up a cheap plate, Target’s Home brand.  Not microwave safe.  I picked up another, and it said the same thing.  The only plates that ARE microwave safe at Target are the big heavy ceramic ones.  I just want this so I can microwave my lunch on the occasions that I didn’t pack it in the same tupperware I’m going to eat it from.

A coworker mentions that this seems reasonable to him because, after all, “No one uses microwaves these days”.  That coworker, obviously, was being sarcastic.

Anyway, Target, you suck.  I know I’ll come crawling back next time I need kitty litter, but right now I’m mad at you.

Mmm. . . delicious cupcakes

Strict Vegan Ethics, Frosted With Hedonism – New York Times via Accidental Hedonist

“Punk taught me to question everything,” Ms. Moskowitz said. “Of course, in my case that means questioning how to make a Hostess cupcake without eggs, butter or cream.”

Should we be eating animal products? I mean, you can’t tell me that it’s nice to the animals to kill and eat them. I think it’s a natural part of life – human beings evolved as omnivores. But it’s not a necessary part. I like the attitude here that the focus shouldn’t be on meat substitutes. Some of the best vegetarian stuff my wife cooks doesn’t have any meat substitutes.

I don’t know that I could give up meat, though. I’ve pretty much given up red meat and poultry at home (I was never that crazy about chicken anyway), sticking to vegetables and seafood. But could I give up the occasional bacon cheeseburger at a restaurant? Could I give up sushi? I don’t think I could.

But tasty vegan cupcakes? I’m happy to eat those.

YouTube finds great method to create the next YouTube

YouTube Finds Step 2 1 In Profit Plan: Will Pay For User Vids – Gizmodo

YouTube rolls out profit sharing plan where they reward uploaders with shares of ad sales based on number of views. The ads will come in the shape of short clips in place of the actual YouTube video, which you presumably have to watch before getting to the meat. The videos may be at most three seconds long, but the details are still being worked out.

The day people have to watch a video ad before they watch the YouTube video is the day that YouTube is no longer relevant.  Unless Google makes it not just illegal but physically impossible to create a free user-content video sharing site, this is doomed to fail.  You can’t just take a service that everyone loves, make it less valuable to the audience by adding commercials, and expect people to stick around.  Sure, it might help get more and better content.  But that wasn’t really the problem, was it?  Have you ever NOT found what you were looking for on YouTube?  This strikes me as catastrophically stupid.

About this blog

Just over twenty-four hours ago, my wife and I had our contract accepted on a shiny new condo on Harvard Street, right in the middle of the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC. We should be moved in by the end of next month. We are, obviously, very excited.

So, this blog is a few things. First, it’s a test of Typo, blogging software written in Ruby on Rails. I’ve been meaning to try it, mostly because Ruby is more fun than PHP, which is what WordPress is written in. This is a trial run for switching all of Complaint Hub over to Ruby.

Second, it’s preliminary motivation to get more involved in the community. I’m moving into the city, into a real community, and I don’t want to sit around and watch. I want to be a part of my new community, and this is to start the ball rolling.

So, we’ll see what happens. I plan to update the layout here and play around and do all sorts of geek stuff. With all of the house-related stuff, I don’t know how quickly that will happen, but it will happen.

Anyway, keep watching this space. My next post will be more substantive.

Should DC get a vote?

George F. Will – Voting Rights Chicanery –

For Speaker Pelosi, two questions about the possible scope of your majoritarian abuse: Given your disregard of the unambiguous language and clear intent of Article I, Section 2 — which uses the word “state” eight times to designate the only entity from which a member of the House may be chosen — do you acknowledge any impediment to using your majority to give “Committee of the Whole” voting power to a delegate from, say, the AFL-CIO?

My mom pointed me to this article, wondering what my take on it was. As you all know, I’m not a big fan of Nancy Pelosi. But I think here she’s just the easy target. I wonder what George Will’s take on this would be if the five non-states that the Democrats want to give House votes to were likely to vote Republican instead of Democratic? Or, similarly, whether Pelosi and the Democrats would still be on board with letting them have a vote.

This gets back to my point that I’ve made before – too often politicians ask “What can I do for my party?” rather than “What can I do for my country?”. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are always right. Neither is always wrong, either. But dividing the country into two vaguely defined groups and then governing based on what works to the benefit of the leaders of those groups is just stupid. I wish we could stop it. I wish there was a better way of running the country.

How about automatic impeachment after six months if a representative has not made an earnest effort to compromise on at least half of the bills he or she has been asked to vote on? “I’m sorry, you plainly have your own interests in mind ahead of those of the country. Please accept your severance package of a swift kick in the butt and get the heck out of here.”

As for the issue – should DC, Guam, etc., have a House representative who can vote? Well, it’s pretty clear in the Constitution that this right is reserved for states only, so I think it’s going to have to be an amendment if it happens. As a resident-to-be of DC, I’d like a rep with a vote, but I knew I didn’t have one when I decided to move, so I can’t very well complain now that I don’t have one.