Monthly Archives: September 2008

The end of the LeBaron

 

Here's the LeBaron after I introduced it to a telephone pole

The LeBaron's remains

Lately I’ve been driving the LeBaron quite a bit (instead of the Jeep) because of its superior fuel economy. Unfortunately, yesterday on my way into work, I hit a telephone pole and totalled the car. I had looked away from the road for a second and the car drifted to the edge of the road. Once the tired touched the edge, the edge drew the car towards the pole and there was nothing I could do. 

Don’t worry, I’m fine and no one else was hurt. It’s been 29 hours and I have no lingering pains, so I’m quite thankful. I feel stupid for the massive waste of the car, but I’m quite glad to be allowed to go on living, for now.

Additionally, I’m quite blessed that Melissa and I still have two vehicles available to us, that our insurance (State Farm) will cover the cost of the pole without a deductable. Several people from the area stopped and checked on me, to be sure I was ok. The policeman that arrived at the scene was both helpful and friendly. Even the tow truck driver was friendly and helpful. 

Lastly, I’d like to thank my wife for being very forgiving. In spite of my stupidity both costing my family money and putting myself at risk, she was very very nice to me about the entire thing. Thank-you hon.

Radio 2.0

I have an idea for a radio device. It would be able to tune into the entire FM band in one shot and pull out all the audio streams. It could then separate the streams into songs and identify the songs, similar to how the iphone app can identify what a song is based on how it sounds. 

It would buffer up these songs and present them to the user, one by one. The user interface would just be 3-5 buttons that correspond to how much the listener likes or dislikes the current song. If the dislike is strong enough, the radio will move on to the next song. If the user likes the song, it will play till the end. In this way, the radio would then remember which songs the user likes and which stations the user likes. This information could be used to improve the playlist generation in the future. It’s also possible that this information could be valuable to groups that collect data on what people are listening to.

Another feature could be the ability to make micropayments to the radio stations for what songs you listened to and actually enjoyed. This would offset the “lost revenue” from you not listening to advertisements.

The major shortcoming that I see with it is that it would not be easy to allow the user to listen to things other than songs in this system, without some sort of metadata available on what the programming is. Talk shows, news, long techno sets and like would all confuse a system like this without additional work.

International Buffet, Review

There’s a Chinese Buffet near Washington and 465 called “International Buffet”. Avoid it like the plague, because that’s exactly what it is. Their food all had the appearance of being out on the buffet for too long while some of it tasted distinctly rotten. Emma was smarter than Melissa and I were, she would not eat much of anything. We all ended up with various forms of intestinal distress in the wake of it.

Now I just have to decide if I should call the health department.

Palin NOW

I listened to NPR on my way into work this morning. They interviewed one of the higher-ups in NOW (National Organization for Women) about their upcoming endorsement of the Obama/Biden ticket. Apparently it’s unusual for NOW to endorse a candidate in a general election but NOW felt that this election warranted special attention.

The issue that the representation focused on was abortion. With Palin being against abortion of all types (Even in the cases of rape and incest, the rep pointed out somewhat indignantly), NOW obviously does not support her ideas. Am I the only one that finds it odd that an organization defined by the gender of its members doesn’t support the ideas of someone of that gender? You’d think that if an organzation’s defining quality for it’s membership was gender, then one woman’s ideas and ideals would be of equal weight as the next’s, let alone a woman running for VP of the USA.

Additionally, the NOW rep was quick to point out that only 42% of American women and 32% of single American women support Palin, as though that were bad. Doesn’t the current congress have only a 9% approval rating? 42% seems pretty strong in today’s political climate!