The hard streets of Columbia Heights

I was out with the kid on a trip to DCUSA for a few pictures frames this evening. She got mad when I stopped to look at frames in Bed Bath and Beyond, so I thought I’d take the long way home and give her a chance to settle down. I was heading south down 13th NW, about to cross Harvard, when there was a bit of a commotion. It looked like someone driving north on 13th was trying to turn left onto Harvard, which is one way in the other direction. There was plenty of honking. “What an idiot,” I thought. “The signs and the honking aren’t tipping him off?” Then a man got out of the car, which was now stopped in the middle of the intersection. He was holding a shotgun. Now, at this point I was a little nervous. The kid was sleeping, which I suppose was good, but her big fuzzy winter outfit is not, in fact, bulletproof. Then I saw all the police cars. More arrived as I stood there. The man with the gun was DCPD. That was mildly comforting. More officers poured out of the cars, at least a dozen. They quickly went up the walk to the northwest corner of Harvard and 13th and banged on the door. At this point I decided I was going to take my daughter and get out of there. Before I left, the police had entered the building, and I could hear them yelling at someone to get down. I’ve never seen the police break down a door. And in truth, I didn’t actually see them open the door. But I don’t think anyone let them in. I’m going to watch the Columbia Heights forum to see if anyone knows what happened. Hopefully the police got whoever they were after and no one got hurt.

Real authors doing Novel Writing Month

One of my favorite authors, Charles Stross, is going to do Novel Writing Month this year. Stross’ Iron Sunrise is one of my favorite books, and those of you paying attention know that I’ve met him over delicious beers at the Brickskeller. I know Nanowrimo is not quite the same for someone who makes a living writing novels as it is for someone who just wishes he had the motivation and dedication to make a living writing novels (You’ll notice I don’t say I lack the skill – I have the skill until I prove otherwise). But it’s cool to be writing along with someone who writes really cool stuff, who is successful doing professionally something that I do now and then as an amateur. Now I just have to figure out how to get my daughter to sleep for a few hours in the evening so I can actually write my 50,000 words.

Experts Exchange sucks

If you’re a programmer, you’ve probably come across Experts Exchange while searching for help on some programming problem. Today I was wondering if sqlldr could generate a table for you, or if you had to make the table, then run sqlldr. It’s not important. Unless you know the answer. Anyway, the first result for whatever it was I searched for was from Experts Exchange. This sucks, because while they let you read the question, you have to pay (or start a free trial) for the answer. So they often come up on Google, but the question is never helpful. Yes, I could pay for the answer. I won’t, but I could. What I’d really like to do is never get results from their site when I search. Can you do that with Google? You should be able to.

Great moments is passive-aggressiveness

Originally uploaded by thetejon

I know this may seem slightly ridiculous coming from a guy who runs a blog called Complaint Hub, but doesn’t it make you laugh when someone goes to a whole lot of trouble to publicly complain about something they could (and should) just fix themselves?

Please toss out old food


I think it should be a law – if you put out a request for volunteers with a sign-up sheet, your name should be first on the list. The laziness here is really astounding. Well, not really, I’m never really surprised by how lazy people are, but it should be astounding. Not only has the sign-maker not actually done any cleaning, but he or she didn’t even put up a sign-up sheet.

Twitter will kill us all

I thought this was idiotic when Gizmodo mentioned it, but now Slashdot says that this is actually the US Army. This is terrifying.

A chapter titled ‘Potential for Terrorist Use of Twitter’ notes that Twitter members reported the July Los Angeles earthquake faster than news outlets and activists at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis used it to provide information on police movements.

Do you know what else is both ubiquitous and super dangerous? AIR. It’s highly flammable, and it’s friggin’ everywhere. I pray every day that no one tells the terrorists. And you know what else is really dangerous? WATER. It makes us drown. Think what could happen if Al Qaeda found that out. And the Earth is over seventy percent water. I hope Osama Bin Laden doesn’t read my blog. You know why education and health care in this country is always short on money? It’s because we pay people to conduct studies like this.

Not just for chicks, this thing is going to save me

Despite the implication from the website that it’s for women only, our Moby Wrap is maybe going to save my November. This is my seventh National Novel Writing Month, and I’ve only failed to finish once. But I was afraid I was doomed to failure this year. It’s one thing for the wife to roll her eyes and go about her business while I write, but it’s quite another for me to say, “Sweetheart, will you take care of the kid for a little longer while I write my yearly novel?” They’re home together all day, and I know the wife looks forward to being able to move around on her own for a bit when I get back. But with the Moby, I can write AND watch my daughter. In fact, I’m doing it right now while the wife is out running an errand. I’m sitting here, typing away, while the kid is sleeping happily in her Moby. It has taken a little getting used to – it slightly hard to sit and type while wearing it. But it sure beats listening to the kid scream, or dumping all parenting responsibilities on the wife. And everyone says wearing your baby is great bonding, although I’m not sure how useful it is if she’s just asleep the whole time. Note to Moby Wrap – put a guy on your front page! It’s already hard enough to overcome parent/gender stereotypes without you pitching in to reinforce them. These things are great for fathers, too. And not just because women think that guys wearing their children are sexy (Trust me, I’ve walked through Dupont and Adams Morgan wearing her, and I’ve never gotten so much attention from women in my life). Wearing your children is great for you, too. It keeps your hands free AND puts the kid to sleep. That means you can drink a beer and watch the game and still be a good dad. And if your wife is like mine, the more you watch the kid, the more she cooks and cleans. Everyone wins!