This Space for Rent

Feb 29, 2008

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


Dust Mite is working in the shop today.

Trolley Photo of the day


Orange/Green scoots under the Ross Island bridge on its way south into the South Macadam “more swimming pools, mule!” development.

Photo of the day


Clouds piling up at noon for the afternoon rainstorms.

Feb 28, 2008

Cute baby photo of the day


Silas points out something amusing on a PowerPoint presentation at Llewellyn School tonight.

New Code! (two in one day)

Postoffice has been rolled up to version 1.4.6 with the addition of one additional configuration option; the new option trusted= lets you define a trusted host that will be treated as a relayable local host regardless of MX settings.

It’s sort of like the localmx setting, but sans MX tweaking.

I’ve also slightly modified the way I search for MXes so that I don’t attempt to look for wildcard MXes when checking for localmx.

There aren’t any bugs here – at least none that have bitten me yet – just new features, so it’s a perfectly good New Code! candidate for my afternoon code release.

New Code!

Discount has been pushed up to version 1.1.2 with the addition of one missing part of the markdown language – I’d managed to completely miss the line and example where it said that link titles could be quoted (like this) – and with the addition of a few more configuration tweaks to, hopefully, make it work better on MS-DOS + mingw (I no longer have a MS-DOS system easily at hand now that I’ve been absorbed into the Cult of Apple, and I never did get around to getting a copy of git onto those laptops in the first place. So it would be a pain for me to test it myself.)

I did manage to introduce a core-dumping bug when I took the getpwuid() handling out, but I believe that I’ve corrected it in time for this release. So listen to the dinnerbell going ring ring ring and come get a heaping serving of New Code!

Feb 27, 2008

Stratovolcano picture of the day


When I was walking home, the alpine glow on Mount Hood was kicking into full effect just as I reached the McLaughlin/Holgate intersection. I grabbed this picture, then scooted for the Milwaukie overpass to try and get a less-cluttered one, but by the time I got there the glow had faded away into sullen twilight.

Trolley picture of the day


Looking down at the OHSU expensive medical center while the #19 bus heads for home.

Feb 26, 2008

Picture of the day


Sunset and swirly clouds over OHSU.

Feb 25, 2008

And that’s why they pay him the big bucks

So. You pay a head PR person millions of dollars a month to run your campaign, and the best thing that he can come up with is to find a picture of your opponent dressed in traditional Kenyan clothing and leak it to the Evil Party PR organs?

Gosh, I can’t think of any reason why brilliant campaigning like this would tend to depress interest in your candidate. After all, accidentially enriching Mark Penn beyond the dreams of avarice for his spectacular job of expensively auguring your “sure thing” nomination into the rocks (DESPITE the teeny detail that you are probably the best qualified candidate for the job) would show an almost B*shian disregard for detail, and if there’s anything the Democrats aren’t they aren’t B*sh.

And that’s because B*sh is a Republican, and the Republicans have functional smear campaigns.

Update: The Clinton campaign has denied that they released the photo. I see no reason to disbelieve them, given their truculent comment was along the lines of “what’s so damned divisive about wearing traditional Kenyan clothing?” I suspect my dislike for highly-paid PR parasites (a dislike I developed when the highly-paid PR parasites drove the Dean campaign into the rocks, and which has been reinforced by some of the dimwitted campaign discussion that came from the PR parasites in the Clinton campaign early in this primary season) has made me jump to a conclusion that is completely wrong. Mea culpa, Ms. Clinton, mea culpa.


Photo of the day


It’s a grey cloudy day in Portland. Well, it’s a grey cloudy day in Portland if you’re on the west side of the Willamette River; the east side of the river is bathed in sunlight, as you can see when peeking under the Front/Naito viaduct.

Feb 24, 2008

Practical applications of scrappy projects

Look, it's being used on a bed!

Any bedroom looks better with a riot of color on the largest object in it. And we’re staying warm at night AND not getting goose down all over the damned room anymore.

Railroad picture of the day


EPT 1810 & 1010 have either been sold or leased, because they’ve just been painted up in SFGX colo(u)rs and are parked on the enginehouse running track waiting for the paint to dry (or something.)

The grey and blue paint scheme isn’t much of an improvement over the red+white scheme that 1810 used to have (last picture on page,) but 1010 looks a lot better now than it looked in faded Southern Pacific colo(u)rs.

Feb 23, 2008

Picture of the day

two clouds catch the setting sun

A couple of clouds catch the setting sun near the Ross Island bridge.

Feb 22, 2008

Up goes the big top

Up up and away!

The Cirque du soleil is back in town, and they started putting up the tents today. It’s nice how they managed to place the circus close enough to the Ross Island bridge so that I could take pictures of the ongoing project.

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


Dust Mite has discovered the last of the Christmas candy.

Universal health care, unless you’re a gurl.

While attending a recent event honoring the twentieth anniversary of the all-important Morgentaler decision here in Canada, I came upon some disturbing news: doctors in Canada are denying pap smears to women citing religious objections.

(–RH Reality Check)


Okay, I was thinking that the United States was leading the white european crazy brigade, but this takes the crazy to a whole new level. Isn’t the whole “we refuse to treat icky girls!” schtick the sort of thing that the (*spit*) Taliban does?

This is the problem with those odious anti-choice “conscience clause"s – once you’ve managed to put the camel’s nose under the tent for one thing, the whole rest of the camel comes thundering after. Start with "no birth control for you, slut!” (even in cases where it’s not actually birth control, but anti-choicers wouldn’t be the brightest people on the bus even if the bus was filled with shiny pebbles) and it slides gracelessly over to “if you’ve got cancer, we’re not going to tell you, because you’re a slut.”

The proper solution to any anti-choice asshole who pops up with claims to some “conscience clause” should be to say “fine. We’re pulling your license to (practice medicine|dispense drugs), but we invite you to find some other work that’s more suited to your barbaric religious beliefs.”

And while I’m at it, I’d like a pony.

Feb 21, 2008

I’ll bet it was a barrel of fun.

The city of Portland has had, for a few years now, a policy of encouraging people (by the simple expedient of relaxing zoning) to build higher-density housing on major throughfares. It’s a sensible idea, because if you get people living close to major thoroughfares, you’ve actually got a fighting chance of making mass transit into a reasonable alternative to the now-traditional American custom of tossing a wad of automobiles into the already impressive (by Portland standards) rush hour traffic.

North Interstate Ave, which used to be a major throughfare years ago, has a new(-ish) trolley line running down the middle of it, and so the city wants to let people take advantage of it. About half of the area around Interstate Ave has already had zoning relaxed to the point where there’s not really any zoning at all (zoned to allow 100ft buildings is still zoning, but 100 feet is still quite a large building; it’s pretty short compared to the huge condo towers that are going in (and being snapped up like a particularly yummy dessert) south of the Ross Island bridge (a place that’s only adjacent to a major thoroughfare in that you can look out your windows and see the traffic back up on I-5) but those buildings are right next to downtown, not across the river and a mile and a half north of the Steel Bridge,) and now the city is moving to relax zoning on the other half of the area around Interstate Ave.

For some reason, the word hasn’t gotten out, and the clock is ticking down to the make or break decision from the planning committee.

This is not a particularly good thing, because Portland contains a small, but very yappy contingent of anti-trolley lunatics, and when they catch wind of something that might actually put more people onto the trolleys they go absolutely apeshit about it. And they’ve started to catch wind of this proposal. At the last minute. Which makes it a CONSPIRACY!

The (last?) public meeting was supposed to have taken place tonight (I didn’t got because I don’t live up there – *my* neighborhood is along the “it will cost A MINIMUM OF US$266 million/mile to build” proposed trolley line.) and I’m wondering what happened. I wonder if the kooks were out claiming that relaxing the zoning was an EvIl CoNsPiRaCy™ to *force* people into moving next to the trolley line (this appears to be one of the standard libertarian planks, because zoning is BAD if it’s used to protect farmland, but GOOD if it’s used to keep density down to the point where it makes it difficult to get a good return on investment on a trolley line,) or if they did a measure 37 and brought in some Elderly Widow™ to complain about how the horrible state was making it possible for her to sell her property and make a fortress out of US$100 bills?

Sure, people can rant about zoning on weblogs (*cough, cough*) and they can lie to the local anti-transit newspaper about how the neighborhood board hates those evil trolleys, but it doesn’t have quite the same impact as actually watching the spittle-flecked tirades about how streetcars steal our precious body fluids. I wonder if anyone brought a lawn chair and some popcorn to watch the fireworks?

Picture of the day


Honey, I shrunk the tugboat!

Feb 20, 2008

Picture of the day


Earth’s moon, eclipsed by the earth.

The new math

After 10 straight victories, Obama’s camp claims wide lead and urges Clinton to quit

A wide lead, eh? When the score is 1336 vs 1251 (because, of course, Florida doesn’t count. Who needs that 27 electoral college votes anyhow?), I’d describe that 85 delegate lead as “narrow”, but perhaps this is the month when Mr. Obama has decided to try on the Mark Penn-tailored cloak of inevitability which has been working out oh so well for Ms. Clinton.

1 comment

Now *that’s* backwards compatability for you

At work, I use the linux lvm code to “speed up” backups by the simple expedient of building lvm snapshots, then doing the backup from inside a chroot jail while the rest of the system charges ahead blissfully unaware that there’s an rsync chugging along in the background. I built the structure for doing this up with lvm on the 2.4 kernel (back when sistina was a standalone company and not a part of chapeausoft) and was very happy with it up until the point where I started rolling systems over to the (new! more bugs! almost as reliable!) 2.6 kernels, where I found myself having to do a bunch of work to get the old functionality back.

Just yesterday, though, I found a wonderful failure case with the new! kernel (and the new lvm code, because chapeausoft decided to take previously working code and rewrite the whole thing) when I was using a 2.6 kernel on an unconverted lvm partition that had been built with a 2.4 kernel.

The 2.6 lvm says it’s backwards compatable with the 2.4 lvm, and I can mount a lvm1 volume and read and write to it at will without any sort of complaint, but when I did a simple lvcreate --snapshot[…] on that lvm1 volume, it grunted “invalid lv in extent map” 5 or 6 times, then it irrevocably ate the entire lvm configuration and made 200gb of lvm go away forever.

That’s, um, pretty impressive.

I guess the lvm maintainers just didn’t want to bother to be backwards compatable, and decided that it was just too much trouble to add in the bit of code that says “no, we don’t support lvm1 snapshots. convert to lvm2 and they’ll work for you again, thanks!”

It’s not as if you might ever have anything valuable on your old lvm1 volume that you might not want to have just vanish when you take your next snapshot.

It’s not as if Linux isn’t the second most successful Unix out there, or is being used in places where people might not want to have unexpected surprises like this happen to production systems (like the poor bastards I spotted when doing web searches for “invalid lv in extent map” who posted, to various technical mailing lists, variations on “I got this error message and when I rebooted my 100gb/500gb/1tb/20tb of data was gone; can anyone tell me how to get it back?”, followed, a few days later, by “hello? Anyone out there? Heeeeeellllp!”)

I didn’t think that anyone could beat the FreeBSD “ho ho, we’re going to pretend to overwrite the good disk on your raid set!” lvm failure case, but this makes the horrible FreeBSD software raid look robust in comparison.

1 comment

Feb 19, 2008

Ready to help the “people of Cuba realise the blessings of liberty” ?

Really? Um, which blessings of liberty might these be, Mr. Maximum Leader? Death squads, nonstop carpet bombing, a ruined economy, or the hometown favo(u)rite of major-league government corruption and looting?

This is pretty rich coming from a country that has a deathcamp illegally placed on Cuban land. I suppose the previous “blessings of liberty” were the 900 or so attempts to assassinate Mr. Castro, because nothing says “liberty” like a string of incompetent assassination attempts.

1 comment

MacOS annoyance of the day

automounted nfs connections not only don’t reliably survive hibernation, but about half the time they end up going zombie on me.

This is extremely annoying, because we keep all of our important files parked safely off on a FreeBSD machine in the basement where they’re backed up every day. And, no, time machine is not a suitable replacement because it doesn’t give me offsite backup. MacOS isn’t Linux 1.2.13 (I’m not sure what Apple used to serve Appletalk shares from in their Cupertino office) but it would be awfully nice to be able to set up a nfs (or, *gag*, samba) connection to my home server and be able to close the lid of my laptop without having to reboot the bastard when I open it up the next time.

Picture of the day


The Ross Island Sand & Gravel tugboat pushes up a large bow wave as it ploughs north on Monday afternoon. The psychedelic color pattern in the water is an artifact of me taking the picture through the rear door of a #17 bus.

Feb 18, 2008

Picture of the day


The crane at the Ross Island Sand & Gravel plant at the north end of the Portland Traction branch.

New Code (the sound of the other shoe dropping edition)!

Like Jason, Annotations has staggered out of the graveyard to present the world with version, which fixes the (recently?)-broken rss2 and atom generators. (rss2 support was fixed by applying discount 1.1.0, but the old 0.3 Atom format appeared to have fallen completely off the face of the earth, leaving xml files that looked pretty while they produced hundreds of thousands of error messages.)

Those have been fixed, along with a couple of other small tweaks to the codebase:

  1. Store the version# in the variable VERSION[] (in version.c) and generate that file as part of the build process.
  2. Add a linksok field to the comment structure so I can hand-approved comments with links in them.
  3. The definition for rss and atom syndication feeds have changed, thus invalidating my feed generators. Update them.

    • Use Atom 1.0 instead of 0.3 (the schema for Atom 0.3 has vanished)
    • Format markdown input with MKD_CDATA instead of using ![CDATA[]] to encapsulate html data
    • Don’t use the rss2 schema that <> links to.

I’ll just put on my biohazard suit, grab the glowing package, and present this New Code to anyone foolish enough to make a grab for it. The management disclaims all liability for brain damage, mutations, or small-scale nuclear conflicts that may arise from operation of this code.


New Code!

Discount has been rolled up to version 1.1.0 with the addition of one new feature, a few tiny tweaks, and a small bugfix.

  • The bugfix involves breaking the published interface, but in a good way; in version 1.0.0, I published the string containing the version number under the name version[], which, although accurate, is a much too generic name. In version 1.1.0, this has been renamed to markdown_version[].

  • The tweaks are

    1. I modified the behavior of \\-escapes so that they will only escape characters that might have special meaning to the markdown language. This means that other escapes, like \n, don’t need to have the \ doubled anymore.
    2. The entity &#0; has been redefined to be a zero-width token break, so I can write 10½ (10&#0;1/2) without having to resort to writing raw html entities.
    3. The internal EXPAND() macro has been restructured to explicitly order code execution, at least with compilers that attempt to compile C as C code.
    4. now attempts to detect the presence of gcc, so I can attempt to work around gcc redefinitions of the C programming language.
  • The new feature is the addition of the MKD_CDATA output flag, which tells discount to attempt to produce output that can be used as data inside an xml document (rss and atom feeds in particular; the syntax for feeds is distressingly fluid and it appears that ![CDATA[]] blocks don’t escape as well as they used to.) If I set MKD_CDATA, all <s expand to “&lt;”, &s expand to “&amp;”, >s to “&gt;”, "s to “&quot;”, 's to “&apos;”, and all non-ascii characters are silently dropped on the floor.

Discount still passed the standard markdown test suite, and it doesn’t appear to blow up when I use to to regenerate html pages and write articles in this weblog, so it’s New Code! for one and all to play with on this grim and horrible monday morning.

Feb 17, 2008

Cute baby picture of the day


Russell and Silas at Tryon Creek State Park.


Project of the day

A scrappy quilt

In the decade or so we’ve been living in the Big Yellow House, I’ve been collecting interesting bits of fabric almost every time we’ve gone to places like SCRAP and the Trillium Artisans shop out on Foster. These fabric bits have been collected with a vague justification of “maybe I’ll make pillows or quilts or curtains!” but, until fairly recently, they have just piled up because “making pillows or quilts or curtains” requires sewing, and sewing large items by hand is more than I even want to start thinking about.

But I was given a sewing machine, and after a year or so I finally got it to work, so I’ve actually been whittling away at the huge pile of fabric scraps.

This winter saw one of our older comforters finally start falling over the edge; it was a cheaply made down comforter, and the fabric finally wore down to the point where it was just disintegrating if you looked at it funnily. I’d patched it a bit on the edges to try and cut down on the torrent of goosedown, but it just encouraged the comforter to start developing a donut topology instead.

So, out came the mighty Singer Featherweight. I spent about 6 hours today sewing fabric samples together to make a nice 6'4" quilted sheet, which is going to replace one of the sides of the evaporating comforter fabric. (The other half; well, we’ve got some sheets that have developed rips and aren’t being used as sheets anymore; they will be an ideal backing for the thing.)

1 comment

Feb 16, 2008

Why am I not surprised?

No need to threaten the American dictator!

Saudi Arabia’s rulers threatened to make it easier for terrorists to attack London unless corruption investigations into their arms deals were halted, according to court documents revealed yesterday.

(–via The Guardian)

And it is any surprise that the enforcer who delivered the “That’s a nice country you’ve got there, and it would be a shame if something happened to it” threat to Tony Bliar turned out to be the B*sh junta’s dear friend Bandar?

I feel sorry for the poor conspiracy theorists. It must be so hard for them to keep up with reality.

Maybe there’s something to be said for image stabilization


A natural light photo of Big Pink at dusk, taken from our Prius as we rolled south on 99e towards home.

Feb 15, 2008

Picture of the day


The clouds were clearing at sunset and a lot of the sky turned firey red just as I was getting off the bus at SE Gibbs & 17th Ave. I couldn’t help but take advantage of the situation.

1 comment

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


Waiter! There’s a Dust Mite in my bagels!

Feb 14, 2008

A brief pause for uncontrollable drooling

a macbook tablet?  Yum!


  1. Unix.
  2. A gui that’s not based on X11.
  3. Unix.
  4. tablet.
  5. Unix.

I think I need

  1. Lottery ticket.

Good for Australia

I move:

That today we honour the indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were stolen generations - this blemished chapter in our nation’s history.

The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia’s history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.

We apologise for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians.

We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country.

For the pain, suffering and hurt of these stolen generations, their descendants and for their families left behind, we say sorry.

To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry.

And for the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry.

–Australian PM Kevin Rudd apologizes to the Australian first nations, via The Age

(This isn’t all of the apology; Mr. Rudd’s speech is over 28 minutes long and I didn’t want to quote all of it. My link to The Age is to a recording of his speech, and it’s well worth listening to.)

Feb 13, 2008

Trolley picture of the day


Blue/Red passes the one-acre wood just north of the Ross Island bridge.

Après moi le déluge?

A chirpy little article in the (AGW-denialist) Investor’s Business Daily talks about the solar cycle, and excitedly says:

Tapping reports no change in the sun’s magnetic field so far this cycle and warns that if the sun remains quiet for another year or two, it may indicate a repeat of that period of drastic cooling of the Earth, bringing massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere.

Okay. There is some debate about the condition of the sources for this article (basically that they’ve been deliberately edited to contradict what they actually say,) but that’s not what I find interesting about this article. No, the interesting thing about this article is it gives off a distinct air of “woo-hoo, it will mask global warming until we’re long dead, which means we can keep on spewing CO2 without any alterations to our lifestyle, and to hell with our grandchildren!

That’s very nice, isn’t it? It’s the classic conservative “Screw you, world, I’m going to Disneyland!” motto writ without shame or subterfuge. So what if we harm the planet so that it warms up by a few °C and lays waste to much of the agricultural land it’s got? It’s not going to happen while we’re here, so it doesn’t matter!

Perhaps they expect that their grandchildren will be living in space colonies by then, so it won’t matter if the earth has become a (larger) garbage pit?

Feb 12, 2008

Trolley picture of the day


Looking south at high noon while the #19 bus headed towards home; this was the last bit of sun before the clouds and rain rolled back in again.

Who remembers the Armenians

Armenians? Armenians? Didn’t they commit genocide against the turks?

Well, no, it was the other way around. But at Mount Doom on the Potomac, the goddamn B*sh junta is hoping that if they simply invoke Godwin’s law it will cause people to agree that doing a Soviet-style show trial against some people who they tortured into confessing that they are responsible for the rotation of the earth was just like the Nuremburg trials, and nobody will twig onto the teeny detail at at Nuremberg, the torturers were dragged before the dock, tried (in a real trial, not the sort of staged for political benefit stunt that the Evil Party is doing to bolster their electoral chances in the 2008 “election”), convicted for crimes against humanity (things like torture, unprovoked aggressive warfare, genocide, and the rest of the checklist that the B*sh junta is hurrying to finish up before they decamp from the smouldering ruin they’ve made of the United States of America.)

The Bush administration has instructed U.S. diplomats abroad to defend its decision to seek the death penalty for six Guantanamo Bay detainees accused in the Sept. 11 terror attacks by recalling the executions of Nazi war criminals after World War II.

I’m sorry, but it’s not legal in this country for me to fully express my ongoing displeasure with these scum. So I’d like to take this opportunity to express, to the Coward in Chief, the rest of the B*sh junta, their stenotypers in the media, the brownshirts that make up the Evil Party, and the quislings in the Stupid Party who are enthusiastically supporting this ongoing festival of Nazi-style evil, that you go fuck yourselves with a running chainsaw.

I’m just waiting for the “We’re stopping the Holocast!” argument in defence of the ongoing Iraqi bloodbath. Oh, wait, the sadistic sociopaths at Mount Doom have already done that stunt.

--via Lance Mannion

Feb 09, 2008


bogg2008_1 bogg2008_2

Captain Bogg & Salty played a benefit for the Llewellyn Foundation this afternoon, and I was the foundation’s photographer for the show. So while they played, I scampered around the theatre taking pictures of the ongoing show.

bogg2008_3 bogg2008_5


I took a few pictures with a short zoom and a flash, but the vast bulk of the pictures were taking with my 50mm f1.2 prime lens (manual focus, which meant that the vast bulk of those pictures didn’t have much in the whole focus department.)

1 comment

Feb 08, 2008

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


On cold winter nights, Dust Mite likes to keep its tiny feet warm by hanging out on the stovetop. Unfortunately, Dust Mite is filled with pillow stuffing, which means it doesn’t have the brainpower required to figure out that it’s hard to keep your feet warm when the stove isn’t actually being used.

My personal 50-years-of-lego celebration

For their christmas present to themselves, the bears took some of their college money and spent it buying the Lego Town Plan set, which shook me out of my “must-build-SHIPs” mood (I’ve been thinking of ripping Pipeline apart and building a Mundane-SF-style expedition-to-Mars spacecraft, but that project is stalled because I’m not sure how to build a convincing habitation ring on the thing. A ring can be spun up for artificial gravity, but legos aren’t that good at curvy shapes PARTICULARLY when I’m trying to do minifig-scale crew quarters) and into the easier-to-imagine field of architecture.

One of my character flaws is that I’ve never been one to follow the instructions for pretty much anything I do. This holds for Legos as well as anything else; The Town Plan is very nice, but it’s someone else’s design, and after building the Lego-style Minifig Museum of Modern Art, I wanted to do a somewhat grander building.


The Owl Building is a two-story Romanesque pile that’s somewhat reminiscent of some of the downtown buildings that used to be fairly common in towns in southwest & south central Wisconsin (not this one, though Richland Center does have buildings that feel like the Owl Building.) It’s arranged to sit on a street corner, hopefully facing into the town square like the commercial buildings that sit around the Lancaster town square, and it’s got 6 offices, a fancy entryway, as well as space for an essential-for-business coffee shop.


The side street facade is not quite as fancy as the front facade; it has the same massive pillars and inset windows, but while the front has super-huge 3-pane windows on the ground floor, the side has slightly smaller 1-pane windows instead. An alley goes down the other side of the building to a courtyard, so the facade only carries in part of the way and then is dropped in favor of plain red brick walls.


I’m somewhat obsessive about interiors, so both floors are built up (they aren’t actually furnished, because the bears have been too busy doing lego Star Wars battles to cater to my obsessions; the only things furnished are the lobby, the coffee shop, the boiler in the boiler room, the bathrooms, and the food storage on the first floor.)

This building is smaller than my SHIP, but it still fills a 40x40 baseplate. It’s probably not the best thing for play purposes, because you have to pull out a lot of pieces to excavate down to the ground floor, but it’s pretty, it looks like a downtown building should look, and it’s solid enough to survive the depradations of the bears, at least for a while.

Feb 07, 2008

(aerial) tramway photo of the day


South pulls out of the down terminal of the aerial tramway and heads up to Dr. Haber’s office OHSU. Artsy effects courtesy of my lensbaby and the layers of dirt on the bus window.

It’s a whole new definition for “body count”

At the same hearing, focused on threats to U.S. interests around the globe, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden publicly confirmed for the first time that the agency’s interrogators had used a simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding on a total of three al-Qaeda detainees in 2002 and 2003.

After the hearing, Hayden told reporters that the information obtained from those detainees amounted to a quarter of all the human intelligence the CIA gained about the terrorist organization between 2002 and 2006.

–the Washington Post, via POGGE

In the article at POGGE, the author wondered just they measured this 25% so accurately, and how much came from torture. I don’t; I’m guessing it all came from torture, and when they say “human intelligence” they mean “word count”, and they got this word count by counting the Brazil-style transcript and holding meetings to decide how many words were in each scream. This way they get not just a bogus statistic that they can use (presumably they did the wordcount before they handed the transcript off to the Coward in Chief, otherwise the spooge-stains would have rendered the document unreadable,) but the whole process of “information”-gathering could be used as a gangland-style initiation-by-murder to rope more people into the whole criminal endeavor.

I’m going to need a lot of soap to wash these stains off my soul.

(Yes, yes, I’m aware that the leadership of the Democratic congressional caucus are leaping up and down in the back proudly shouting “we knew about it, but we didn’t tell because we loooooove Dear Leader!” Thank you for your input, but you can sit down and shut the fuck up now.)


Attorney General Michael Mukasey is back on the Hill today, testifying to the
House Judiciary Committee. Paul Kiel is covering it at TPMmuckraker.

So far, he’s dropped two big bombshells. DOJ will not be investigating:

  1. whether the waterboarding, now admitted to by the White House, was a crime; or
  2. whether the Administration’s warrantless wiretapping was illegal.

His rationale? Both programs had been signed off on in advance as legal by the Justice Department.

David Kurtz @ Talking Points Memo

Follow the bouncing ball here.

  1. The B*sh junta decides it wants to torture someone, so they
  2. get a bagman to apply some whiteout (to satisfy the “if it doesn’t say torture, it’s not torture!” criteria) for them, which is
  3. the excuse for the next bagman to not do anything about either of these high crimes.

In short, the Coward in Chief is claiming “l'état, c'est moi!” I’ll not hold my breath waiting for any complaints from the Stupid Party congressional caucus (the Evil Party caucus is, of course, a complete waste of oxygen and will complain about tyranny starting the day after California falls into the sea) because they’ve already shown that it’s more important for them to be loved by the beltway dinner-party crowd than to actually govern. How fortunate for them that the United States has a dictator who’s more than willing to free them of that awful burden.

Feb 06, 2008

Brain-twisting photo of the day


Gibbs St, shot with my lensbaby, then “improved” with the iPhoto “magic wand” tool.


Quelle fucking surprise

CIA Director Michael Hayden testified before Congress on Tuesday that government interrogators used waterboarding, often described as simulated drowning, on three suspects captured after the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001.

But don’t worry! The United States “Doesn’t Torture™”, because the crack fascists at Mount Doom on the Potomac are standing by with their spraycans full of whiteout, ready to editorially make torture into not-torture in accordance with the Evil Party editorial policy (which is “if you don’t call it ‘torture’, it’s not torture, because if it was torture we call it something else!)

*spit* Will no one rid us of these war criminals?

via Hairy Fish Nuts

Feb 04, 2008

Picture of the day


Random equipment and material in the shipyard by the Ross Island Bridge, lensbaby-style.

Feb 03, 2008

trolley photo of the day

Make way for streetcars

Blue/Red takes advantage of the very long light at fifth & market.

The bodyguard


When we have to drive downtown, we try to park the prius within the protective radius of the local giant hammered copper statue.

Feb 02, 2008

That’s the way you do it

I post a lot of pictures on TSFR, and because this is the net, the search engines come along and index all of them so other people can look at them. Occasionally someone comes along and likes one of my pictures so much that they want to use it on their weblog. Most of the time, though, they want to use it on their weblog but they can’t be bothered to either credit me or ask my permission to use it.

So usually when I catch wind of one of my pictures being used somewhere else, it starts a procedure that ends with me sending a “this is my picture, these people didn’t get permission to use it” notice to the ISP that’s holding that picture, followed quickly by the picture vanishing from that site. So, when I noticed that a Ziff Davis webpage had one of my pictures, I immediately thought the worst.

In this case I was pleasantly surprised. They didn’t ask permission to use it, of course (this is the net, so this is pretty typical), but they credited me in the body of the article and they provided a link to another page on their site to let people discuss the picture by itself.

That’s pretty classy and it makes this photographer very happy.

That’s the way to do it.

1 comment

Sin on a plate


The fifth fruitcake of the season is an irish whiskey cake (from the Moosewood book of Desserts, of course), which redefines “feast of cardiovascular doom” and makes the previous four fruitcakes look like diet food. If the three cups of dried fruit and ~1 cup of bourbon (the last irish whiskey I had in the house was a single-malt, and that vanished down my gullet several years ago) isn’t enough to haul up the vessel in distress flags, the six eggs, cup and a half of butter, and two and a half of sugar should be enough to get the rescue helicopters into the air.

I wonder if it will survive the weekend?

Feb 01, 2008

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


Still life with rose, vase, and Dust Mite