Sunday, February 25, 2007

Universal Truth

I've learned since being here that this sort of thing doesn't just happen in a cubicle farm:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New Photos on Flickr

We have photos up of our new room, and a recent sunset picture as well.


Cough, Cough, Hack (snert)

I ran out of one of my asthma meds a couple weeks ago. I've been doing ok without it until Monday. It rained all day, and it has been cold and damp ever since. That triggered something that keeps me coughing continuously and sucking on Albuterol like it was water. I called my old doctor in Michigan to see if I could beg a phone-in here in Arizona. They never called back, so I'm not sure if that is good news or bad. I guess I'll find out later this morning when the pharmacy opens.

In any case, a little light reading from Fred Reed I stumbled across at 1am between coughing fits. We recently flew back to Michigan to take care of some paperwork. I can tell you first hand that the constant nattering not to leave your luggage unattended, not to leave your car unattended, to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior, that the president has elevated the threat level to mauve, is enough to make me want to blow up every airport in the country just to shut up the stupid announcer guy. And, as Fred and Jerry Pournelle both point out, none of it does anything to make air transport safer.

But it does make a lot of low IQ people feel powerful and important. I guess there is always that.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Cameron Curtis Hurd

Some brighter news from Michigan. I received the following e-mail and pictures from my nephew yesterday:
I'm sure you've already heard, but Cameron Curtis Hurd was born on Sunday Feb 11 at 11:09AM (9 minutes after I pulled up to the door at the hospital) He weighed 8 lbs and was 21 inches long. I've attached a few pictures. Enjoy!

Bad Day

Right this minute, I could easily pack our crap into the Durango, drive off, and die happy having never seen Arcosanti again. The fun started last night when Debbie checked the schedule for working the cafe register and found her name crossed off the shifts she signed up for. Today I was stopped by the manager in charge and told that Debbie was basically fired from working the register. Debbie can only work Saturday lunch or dinner, or Sunday lunch. (We reserve Sunday afternoon for us; I figure working six and a half days a week for Arcosanti is more than adequate.) Someone else that has been here longer wants those same shifts. So far, no big deal. But here is the twist: Debbie is trying to get in her required volunteer time, and the other person is paid. There are other shifts during the week that the other person could easily work. So basically, a volunteer was fired to make room for someone getting paid. This from an organization that complains about how much it costs the foundation for the residents keeping their rooms above 50 degrees.

The next surprise was when I went down to check on the pool and found the bottom covered with rocks. This is the third time someone has thrown rocks into the pool. The other two times, it wasn't a big deal; just a couple rocks that I was able to dig out with the skimmer. This time, it was dozens of rocks along with handfuls of gravel. The only way to clean it out is to actually get into the pool, which I have no intention of doing (the water was 45 degrees this morning). I'm assuming it was one or more of the minor residents who had the day off school yesterday and spent the day running around unsupervised. In the real world, when kids have a day off school, the parents have to either stay home themselves, or arrange for someone else to care for them. At Arcosanti, they just run loose interfering with people trying to work and being destructive.

My third happy event was an almost-shocking experience. I had been doing some electrical work in the bakery, then was dragged off on other projects for the last three or four weeks. Today, I was finally able to get back to it. Luckily for me, I'm paranoid and never touch anything until I've confirmed the lines are dead. Some Arco retard had turned the breaker back on. There is absolutely no reason for it to be on. Anything running off that circuit has been plugged into other places because we knew from the beginning that the renovation was going to take some time. So either someone knows that I'm working on that line and turned the breaker on anyway, or someone that doesn't know a damn thing is messing around in random breaker boxes.

What a great place.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Now I'm going to bore everyone to death by talking about backing up your data on your PC's hard drive. Almost no one does it for the simple reason that the amount of information you can store on a typical hard drive is many times the capacity of any standard media installed on a typical PC. For example, I have about 30 GB of data between photos, MP3's, and other random data files. That translates to a half dozen DVD's. Worse, without spending significant cash, the process of splitting up the files and tracking what is on what DVD and when it was last backed up is a manual process. I use the internet for some backup by, for example, storing a copy of all my digital photos on Flickr, but there really isn't a way to have a consistent, up-to-date backup in one place.

I've heard rumors of companies that sold space on their servers for you to back up local files to over the internet. But it wasn't cheap or easy. This appears to be both. The cost is less that what you would pay for media to back up to DVD's once a week (bare minimum), and the software is fully automated. I'll be digging into this a little more over the next few weeks.

But right now, I have to get to bed.

Learning from Founders

Arcosanti management needs to read this. Maybe I'll get a dozen copies of Founders at Work and leave them at strategic locations around the site. I've spent the last two days on a job I could have done by myself, even taking my time, on a Saturday afternoon. And it still isn't done.

At least I'm paid by the hour.

Well, It Finally Happened

Blogger has been nagging me for months to upgrade to the new version. Today, they made it mandatory. If you want to post or leave comments under your blogger ID, you must update your Blogger ID to a Google ID (this does not have anything to do with reading the blog). I expected this would happen sooner or later, but I figured I would have some warning. Sorry if this causes anyone a bunch of hassle.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


We made a fast dash back to Michigan to rid ourselves of the last of our assets that we left there. We couldn't have picked a better week, at least if the goal was to remind ourselves, in as forceful a way as possible, why we left. The high temperatures were in the single digits with blizzard conditions the entire time we were there. It was -7 when we flew out of Saginaw on Sunday morning, and -13 in Minneapolis when we arrived for our connecting flight. We are now back in Arizona, loving our sun, the 60-degree temperatures, and having feeling in our feet.

Debbie is in Phoenix this week, so we won't be doing much in the way of decorating our new space. We do have a window that is a bit of a problem. It gives people out on the deck an unobstructed view of my white, hairy butt every morning when I get dressed. A typical curtain isn't an option as the window is triangular (yes, as I've mentioned before, living in a building designed by a bunch of artsy types is a real hoot...). I'm seriously considering getting some small jars of paint in the same colors as the silt-casting on our ceiling and giving it a faux stain glass treatment. Cheap, easy, and if anyone doesn't like it, five minutes with a razor blade makes it go away. We also have a round window that is about twelve feet off the floor that may get a similar treatment. Not that anyone can really see into it, but if the other window works out, I may just do it for effect. I think the artsy thing may be rubbing off on me.

Well, I have to check e-mail, then get my sorry (white, hairy) butt into bed.