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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Blogging Madness!

My wife and I did yesterday's Sunday New York Times crossword. We downloaded and printed it. We completed the puzzle in record time, 70 minutes. Although we got one cell incorrect because "A place for reeds" was "FEN" rather than "FAN" as we thought.

Amazing. We're very proud.

PS "Bath set" is "TELLY" and "Brief shower" is "COURTTV". Yeah, we hated them, too.

My first birthday present

My birthday is coming up. My mother sent me my first birthday present of the year, a subscription to the New York Times Crossword Puzzle online!!! This is a cool present, because it allows you to download the crosswords and run them on your PC by yourself. You can save them, partially filled if you prefer, or you could print them (blank, filled, or with all the answers!) For the most part, you need "Across Lite", available at http://www.litsoft.com.

You can even collaborate with someone else who has a subscription, solving the puzzle in real-time. Oh, man, that's cool stuff.

The puzzles are stored on your pc with a .puz file extension, so if you aren't ready to do today's puzzle, you can download it.

There are old crossword puzzles stored online, as far back as 1996, and there are bonus puzzles, including extra crosswords you won't see in the newspaper and a couple of other types of crosswords.

This promises to be a great present! Thank you, mommie!

PS: Download Across Lite, and then check this out, for what might be the coolest crossword puzzle ever: http://barelybad.com/xwdthemes_110596.htm

Monday, September 27, 2004

California Votes To Keep Third-Party Candidates On The Ballot

Check this out. It's California Proposition 62, being put to the California state voters this November.

http://ca.lwv.org/lwvc/edfund/elections/2004nov/pc/prop62.html

The basic summary is: "A YES vote means that, beginning in the primary election of 2006, voters can vote for state or federal candidates (except President and party committee) regardless of party affiliation and that the top two vote-getters appear on the general election ballot."

At first glance, this also seems like a nice alternative to the current voting system, realize this means that fundamentally this means that the top two political parties alone will be represented in final elections.

Amusingly, also on the ballot this year is Propsition 60:

http://ca.lwv.org/lwvc/edfund/elections/2004nov/pc/prop62.html

A basic summary is: "A YES vote means any political party that participates in a primary election would have the constitutional right to have its nominee on the subsequent general election ballot."

Which means I have two fights to keep alternative candidates on the ballot.

I'm beginning to occasionally fear that it would be nice to remain ignorant.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Stupid Nokia Phones

I get what I pay for.

Got a Nokia 3590. After a year, the 9 button stopped working. This meant that I couldn't call my wife at work very easily, nor could I call many people (however, I was surprised to find that there are fewer people with a '9' in their phone number than I originally expected. In part, this is probably due to moving from a 973 area code to a 323 area code.) So I ditched the phone for my stepfather's (only slightly) used Nokia 3595. All this crap about being able to copy your phone directory from one device to another? Crap. I had one entry of three phone numbers under my wife's name. Now on my new phone, for my wife, there are six entries of one number each. One for each of the phone numbers under the old directory listing, and each of them repeated for good measure. To boot, this phone has the opposite problem of my 3590. That is, when I press buttons, it registers them multiple times. This does wonders when I'm trying to listen to my voice mail. Thank god I don't do banking by phone. (for many reasons, I now see.)

I have to unload this phone, but I just don't know yet which phone I will replace it with. Any suggestions? I want a phone that is not going to break. I want a phone that, when I press a button, will register that I've pressed it, and register only once. I want decent battery life. No need for a camera; no need for internet access. A speakerphone would be nice. And by now, I want to synchronize my phone numbers with my PC, be it Outlook or a CSV file. I don't care. And I want it cheap.

I feel better.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


This is a picture of my wife Beth at Dodger Stadium. We were there to watch her nephew, Brent, who was playing in a special event. Tommy Lasorda was on hand to watch four teams of teenagers play against each other, fundamentally, I think, to scout out the young talent.

There were about 80 of us in the stadium. We were part way up the first-base line, not far from home plate. As you can see by the empty seats surrounding Beth (and in her eyeglasses), it was a very empty stadium. Pretty cool. I never want to go to Dodger Stadium again, it would ruin the experience.

PS Dodger Dogs Suck. Posted by Hello