Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, May 29, 2006 12:35 pm

Random question

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 12:35 pm

As phrases go, is "$90,000" in the freezer" going to be the next "Snakes on a plane!"?

Sunday, May 28, 2006 10:09 pm

More shameless promotion of my employer’s Web site

Filed under: News & Record — Lex @ 10:09 pm

Over at my work blog, a review of lawyer/blogger Glenn Greenwald's new book, "How Would a Patriot Act?"

You need to read that book.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 6:27 pm

Important medical news …

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 6:27 pm

… delivered in serious, straightforward fashion.

(But if you're eating, you really, really don't want to click that link.)

Monday, May 22, 2006 8:19 pm

What happens when you run a movie backwards?

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 8:19 pm

You get a whole new movie!

A large shark finds and returns a lifeguard's bullet and oxygen tank. The shark then goes on to to rebuild a boat, and give birth to several humans through his mouth. The shark, its good deeds done, returns once more to its deep blue home – the sea.

(Via MeFi)

Review THIS

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 8:18 pm

Says here that "The DaVinci Code" is a hit despite bad reviews. I enjoyed the book as the mindless trash it was, but I don't know that I'll rush out to see the movie. (I don't actually rush out to see movies, unless they focus on a particular adolescent wizard. I haven't even seen "Goodnight and Good Luck" yet. Yes, I suck. I know.)

But for this I might make an exception, reviews be damned.

Technical question

Filed under: Geek-related issues — Lex @ 8:05 pm

I've just had a piece of digital video mutate into The Monster That Ate My Hard Drive, and I'm not quite sure why.

I started with a 2.9-meg Windows Media clip, 29.9fps, stereo, about 2 minutes, 40 seconds in length. I imported it into Adobe Premiere to convert it to QuickTime. I then exported it as a QuickTime clip — single audio track, 16kbps sampling; single video track, 320×240 pixels, same as in the original; same pixel ratio.

And the resulting file was 350 megabytes.

Obviously, he understated, I am doing something wrong. Anyone got any idea what that might be?

Thanks in advance.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her what it meant

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 6:04 am

Last night I was reading bedtime stories to Hooper when Victoria comes bouncing into the room all excited and says, "Daddy! Tomorrow is Victoria Day in Canada!" before heading off to her own bed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 8:39 pm

Voting machines: Same old same-old

Filed under: Black-box voting — Lex @ 8:39 pm

Once again, Diebold screws up. Once again, Diebold lies about its screwup. And once again, David catches them at it.

You know what? Screw it. Just forget trying to make secure electronic voting machines. Just go back to paper ballots, counted at each precinct and again downtown, out in the open where anyone who cares can watch.

I know it's heresy for a journalist to say this, but frankly, if paper ballots would give us a more secure, transparent, auditable voting system than what we have now with DREs — and they would — I'm willing to wait a few more hours, or even a day or two, for accurate vote counts. As public policy goes, giving the voting-machine companies chance after chance after chance to get it right, only to be disappointed every single time, just strikes me as idiocy, if not insanity, at this point.

Monday, May 15, 2006 6:32 am

Weekend in Charleston

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 6:32 am

My cousin’s daughter got married in Charleston on Saturday, and her folks decided to turn the event into a family reunion. Boy howdy, what a party, more on which anon. Saturday morning, Frank and I took our kids to the USS Yorktown, now at permanent anchor on the east side of the Cooper River. This photo shows the kids (Frank’s 3 and my 2) and me at a 40mm twin-mount antiaircraft cannon on the decommissioned carrier’s flight deck. This Yorktown was launched in 1943 to replace the Yorktown that was sunk by the Japanese at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. (And if you’re thinking that was a quick turnaround, you’re right, but that was characteristic of the entire U.S. war effort: The Charleston shipyard, at that point in the war, was going from keel-laying to launch on a destroyer in less than 90 days and on some landing ships in less than a week.)

As an amateur student of WWII, I’d love to revisit the Yorktown at my own pace.

Source: Original photo by my brother Frank
Platform: No idea.
Settings: Ditto.
Date: May 13, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006 9:29 pm

Behind enemy company lines

Filed under: Black-box voting — Lex @ 9:29 pm

Regular readers know of my longstanding interest in fair, accurate, transparent voting. My friend David Allen has an even longer standing interest and a much lengthier history of involvement in the issue, including service on a special legislative committee that looked into the issue of touch-screen voting machines.

David recently took his involvement one step further by volunteering to be a field troubleshooter for one voting-machine company during North Carolina’s recent primary election. (Well, the company was paying him and he was going to turn the money over to charity, but now he’s just refusing it outright.) He has a report up on his voting site,, on his recent experience, what it says about North Carolina’s recent, positive changes in the law regarding voting machines, and where the potential problems remain. It’s surprisingly upbeat — astonishingly so if you actually know David, who’s the only friend I have who consistently rivals me in terms of darkness of outlook. :-) It’s also interesting and informative. Check it out.

The revolution will be blogged …

Filed under: Blogroll — Lex @ 7:26 pm

starting right now.

Thursday, May 4, 2006 3:37 pm

An end and a beginning

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 3:37 pm

Hooper marches in with his preschool class for commencement (earlier still photo here).

My little guy will be marching off to kindergarten in a couple of months.

FWIW, this is the first piece of video I’ve posted to the blog. Now that I know it can be done, there will be more.

Source: Original analog VHS video
Platform: JVC GR-AX410
Settings: Auto-mode
Capture: Click2DVD v2.4
Editing/Export: Windows Movie Maker v5.1 (I’ve got Adobe Premier, too, but got MM to work first.)
Taping Date: April 28, 2006
Production Date: May 4, 2006

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Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 9:08 am

TO: Trolls and other would-be commenters
DATE: 5/4/2006
RE: Trolling v. commenting

Short version: No trolling. No exceptions.

Elaboration: This is my personal blog. It’s a hobby, something I do for my own enjoyment. (If anyone else enjoys it as well, that’s great, but it doesn’t really factor into my thinking.) I’m not representing or speaking for my employer here, and I have no patience with anyone who wants to pretend otherwise. Further, I’m not going to put up with stuff I don’t like just because someone else thinks I should. Because some previous commenters presumed that they had a right to post whatever garbage they wanted here — in particular, one former local law-enforcement officer who posted both here and at my work blog under a variety of pseudonyms and false e-mail addresses, apparently under the impression that I didn’t know how to check IP addresses — I now moderate comments. I regret this, but a lot of big-name blogs don’t allow comments at all, so it could be worse.

If you want to argue with me, fine. Just be factual, logical (in particular, don’t pretend I said things I didn’t say) and polite. I don’t have to be polite back, although I do practice a no-first-use rule regarding rudeness. If you persist in misstating the facts even after being corrected, I may or may not continue to post your comments. If you persist in illogic, ditto. If you’re rude or personally insulting, I’ll post the comment but give you a warning. Any further rudeness will get all your future comments spiked without publication.

Also: Disagree with anything I say, but please do NOT assume you know why I’m saying something. I’ll treat you the same way. That is, I’ll deal with your arguments on their face without trying to assume a motive you haven’t expressed; please do the same.

I understand that there’s something about the substance and/or tone of my blogging that just makes a few people’s heads explode. There are one or two cases where I think that’s funny, but by and large I really don’t. On the other hand, I can’t help that, and I’m not going to spend my blogging life cleaning some idiot’s hair, skin, skull fragments and sorry excuse for a brain off my blog. If you don’t like it here, there’s a new blog being created every second — go visit one of them.

Monday, May 1, 2006 5:55 am

Pomp and cookies

Filed under: Hooper — Lex @ 5:55 am

Hooper marches at his preschool graduation. (He and most of his classmates actually will continue attending until late spring or early summer, but they went ahead and held graduation now because a couple of classmates will be leaving soon.)

Source: Original photo by Ann
Platform: Konica/Minolta DiMage Z-10
Settings: ISO 200, f3.2 @ 1/60 second w/autoflash
Date: Friday, April 28, 2006

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