Thursday, March 17, 2005

Andre Norton, RIP

Science Fiction/Fantasy author Andre Norton died today at age 93 at her Tennessee home. (CNN has another story, also worth the time.)

Along with Robert A. Heinlein, Andre Norton was my introduction to SF and Fantasy literature. The Zero Stone, Uncharted Stars, Star Man's Son and Sea Seige and many others all kept me company as a young boy. I'll still occasionally pull one of her books off my shelves and reread it, even though her work was primarily meant for a younger audience.

I can do this because her books were well researched and well written. As I have grown older, I have found that her books have some extra meaning, as if written on multiple levels. I don't know if that was on purpose, but I like to think so.

She'll be missed, but she'll live on through her work. That seems a fitting tribute.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Once more, we venture into the realm of the professionals

Last night I brought you the only man in the room professional enough to have a gun. Tonight, we do a local blog post bringing you Asheboro, NC's finest and their discovery of...

...a guy collecting the elements in the Periodic Table. I'm not making this up! Judging from descriptions, they must have emptied every closet, the refrigerator, everything that contained anything that looked like a chemical. And I love the line about his personal belongings left in the yard under blue tarps (thieves, please help yourselves). Oh yeah, and he's being evicted. Plus the bills for legal representation.

Best of all the quotes:

At least one company, the Red Green and Blue Co. Ltd., based in London, sells boxed sets of the elements on its website . One set contains 81 elements - all of the non-radioactive elements; two other sets, one with larger samples than the other, contain all 92 naturally occurring elements, including the radioactive ones. The least expensive set sells for $724.26, the most expensive for $1,689.94.

Dude, it would have cheaper to just buy one.

The original story was a Big Hairy Deal. Every TV station in the area had the story; it was front page in all the papers. "First meth lab in Asheboro discovered!" (Like it's a triumph of some strange sort?) The local paper doesn't archive online items, and I expect the above link to go quickly as well, so laugh at it while you may.

I can remember getting a chemistry set, a big one, for Christmas one year. Even had an alcohol burner in it. I can't help but wonder what the police would make of that these days.

UPDATE: I was wrong stating that the Asheboro Courier-Tribune doesn't archive articles--they do, and I simply missed it. Here's a link to the original article, which makes the whole story even funnier. A night-long stakeout and when they finally decide to make their grand entrance:

The officer responding entered the apartment and immediately recognized a cache of chemicals as the components for the manufacture of methamphetamine...

Maybe we need to introduce Officer McGruff to Officer Friendly.

Spend a pleasant evening

Discovering Forgotten NY.

I stumbled across this site, oh, maybe two years ago. I'd forgotten about it since then, but stumbled across it tonight. It's obviously a labor of love.

The thing that I like about it is how it shows the New York that non-New Yorkers (and I suspect many New Yorkers) don't realize exists. It's a great site full of great sights. He does tours; maybe some day I'll get to take one.

Monday, March 14, 2005

If this guy is a professional...

Here's Officer Friendly giving a class the "evil gun" lecture.

I wonder if he'll get expelled for bringing a gun to school?

So you think you know your gun trivia?

(Via The High Road)

I got 7 of 10. And I was lucky.

Blasted sinuses!

Or perhaps they need to be blasted--out. I finally went to the doctor last week, was sent to the specialist, who prescribed antibiotics. Works for me--and it has for 20ish years. Started doing better, got out and enjoyed the beautiful weather we had this weekend--even working in the yard was a pleasure.

Then last night-bang! The thing is back with a vengeance. I didn't feel this bad when I went to the doctor. By 3 AM, I knew that going to work wasn't going to be a happening thing--IT work and fogginess caused by lack of sleep DO NOT MIX. (Trust me on this one--I hosed production files once while in this condition; I like to learn from my mistakes.) When I'm like this my subconscious specializes in asphxyiation dreams--drowning, suffocation, buried alive; you name it and I'll dream it. Then I get to wake up gasping for breath. Truly entertaining.

Called the docs again today. Different antibiotics, big-time decongestant, and steroids (Oh my, do you suppose Congress will subpoena me?). I suppose this will either kill the infection or kill me.

Those of you who don't know the joy of allergies and/or sinus "issues" should rejoice. You really don't want to know what you're missing.


(Via The Federalist Patriot)

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress. ... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.

James Madison

Sound like any country you know?