Monday, July 28, 2008

Media Matters - The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth

A very enlightening study. Media Matters - The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth:
"Americans are progressive across a wide range of controversial issues, and they're growing more progressive all the time."
and it concludes:

As all the data presented in this report make clear, whatever Americans choose to call themselves, on issue after issue -- economic, social, security, and more -- majorities of the public find themselves on the progressive side. And on many of the most contentious "culture war" issues, the public has been growing more progressive year after year. Much of the news media seems not to have noticed. But the facts are too clear to ignore.

In a similar vein, this post gripes about how bad Democrats are at politics. It rings so true. The poor state of Democrat PR has become a running "joke" between some friends of mine. The democrats are atrocious at promoting their agenda - it's like watching the Generals play the Harlem Globetrotters.

Being the FAIR-y I am, I'd like to blame it on the corporate media (which the first study does seem to support), but a big chunk of the blame has to lie with the Democrats, who are a horrible "alternative" to Republicans. The Democrats appear to be just as corporate and out of touch with the population as the Republicans. Congress' approval ratings are somehow worse than Bush's, and it's not because they're not Bush-like enough, it's because they're not doing what people want.

In a time where Bush's approval ratings are incredibly low, and McCain is (for all intents and purposes) an extension of Bush's failed policies, you'd think the Obama would be a shoo-in, but recent polls (as of this writing) have Obama ahead by only 5-9%.

So much for wanting a change.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I loved Legos growing up, this is a really cool set of short videos showing a tour of the factory.

Exclusive: Inside the Lego Factory

Slick Idea

Miles pointed me to this cool product - a memory card with WiFi, allowing you to automatically upload pictures from your camera (either at home or at various hot-spots). I don't think I'm going to get one (I just bought a nice 8GB card - which is 2000 photos with highest resolution). However, if we were to travel much, this would be a really easy way to keep track of where and when pictures were taken.


Simone's Favorite Thing Right Now watching this video. She giggles non-stop while watching this (adding sound effects where appropriate).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Side

Yet another look at what the administration has done. This is a short interview of Jane Mayer, asking 6 questions in regards to torture.

Six Questions for Jane Mayer, Author of The Dark Side

Monday, July 21, 2008

How reliable is DNA in identifying suspects? - Los Angeles Times

Interesting article showing how DNA is not the panacea we've been led to believe it is.

How reliable is DNA in identifying suspects?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Simone Pics (Mary too)

Some more photos from using the new camera. Pretty self explanatory.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Simone Pics (July 2008)

Simone looks like a big girl in these pictures, amazing how people can change their look with an outfit (methinks it's the hat).

Camera Take Two

Carrots and a Camera

With the fit bowl winnings, I bought a camera. I am taking more and more pictures of Simone, and figured it'd just be nice to have a real camera - as opposed to just my camera phone. I chose a Canon PowerShot SD890 IS. Sam and Mom both have Canon PowerShot cameras and they're small, easy to use, and pretty powerful. The 890 has the most powerful lens of their current "top" SD cameras, which is why I got it.

Anyway, I took a couple of test pictures, this carrot is one of them. I think these carrots are awesome. The photo is just so-so (I'm no Ansel Adams), but I think the color of the carrot is just amazing. Here's another:

While they look like they've been soaking in beet juice, the carrots taste like regular carrots.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chickens In The Coop!

So many things to give an update about. But the chickens are in the coop.

I can't believe it's been nearly three months since the last update. Progress was slow and spurty - I get stuff done, but not very quickly. That also happens to be my stock answer when I (occasionally) get asked if I ever want to be a chef.

Wow, looking back, the last time I posted there wasn't even a floor on the coop. So that's the next thing I did.

The coop floor. Note it's one piece of plywood, cut out around the vertical supports.

Simone is checking out the detail put into the linoleum floor, one piece - no seams.

Here you can see the nest box, and some of the diagonal bracing (helped with rigidity).

Simone striking a pose, amidst the roof bracing.

Simone doing some chin-ups.

Simone peeking through the egg door, she's not sure she'll fit through.

Mom and dad came down to help one day - we did the hanging screen door on the east side.

Hanging out of the feed door.

The egg door, not quite hanging flush.

Side door into the coop.

Houston, we have roof.

The only piece of the coop that is recycled - an apple branch for the roost. Also notice the aluminum threshold (for easy cleaning - covering all the seams.

The other end of the roost.

Simone thinks the storage would make a great play house.

"Let me out!" The chickens are outgrowing their temporary housing.

Dolly says, egg door works fine for me.

This way Dad!

Screen door is on.

Fine attention to detail - a bead of caulk to help when we wash out the coop with a hose.

Caulked seams and threshold.

The whole package. The whole east side is mesh for ventilation.

Simone thinks the latch isn't quite right.

Much better now that she's tightened it up.

All west doors are in place.

Singles are on, only one real aesthetic mistake - can you spot it? Also notice the ventilation gap just under the eaves.

A better view of the ventilation gap, and the flashing on the roof.

The northern doors are on, the egg door and the main utility door are hung and latched.

Mary seals the inside of the coop.

I think she's considering moving in.

The storage area gets a coat of primer.

The coop in it's final resting place, all painted.

Why not yet another picture?

I'm not sure what Simone is doing, but it involves the drill.

Rays from the sun, the coop is done. The chicken door is on, and the ramp is attached.

Of course, it turns out the chickens don't like walking down the screen. They can walk up it just fine because their three toes clamp on very easily. However, going down, they're very uneasy having just one toe(?) keeping them from sliding down the ramp. I will add more cross pieces and move the screen to the bottom (to keep them from falling through).

The chickens check out their new home.

As usual, they just peck at everything.