Weather Forecasting

I was looking up forecasts, and tripped over a short-range (i.e. 3 months) map of “temperature predictions”: for Canada. The second map on the page is the one that amused me; it’s a map of historical accuracy. Most of the map hovers around 50%.

In other words, they’d be just as well off flipping a coin :-)

posted at 8:51 pm on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on Weather Forecasting

Dead Fridge

I suspected the fridge wasn’t working. So I stuck a “Thermochron”: into it for a day:

temperature graph

(Those units are degrees Celcius; not good, in other words).

Time to go shopping, I guess…

posted at 8:22 pm on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 in Personal | Comments Off on Dead Fridge

‘Abstaining’ Teens Still Get STDs

I land firmly on the “sex education good” side of the fence, so I like seeing study results like these :

CBS News | ‘Abstaining’ Teens Still Get STDs

bq. Teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage have the same rates of sexually transmitted diseases as those who don’t pledge abstinence, according to a study that examined the sex lives of 12,000 adolescents.

bq. Those who make a public pledge to abstain until marriage delay sex, have fewer sex partners and get married earlier, according to the data, gathered from adolescents ages 12 to 18 who were questioned again six years later. But the two groups’ STD rates were statistically similar.

And the kicker:

bq. The problem, the study found, is that those virginity “pledgers” are much less likely to use condoms.

I’ll have to go dig up the other study I found that showed that self-described “abstainers” were, in fact, having lots of sexual contact (with multiple partners); they sidestepped their “vow” by redefining “sex” as “full penetration”. Well surprise, surprise; you can get STDs other ways :-)

posted at 4:52 pm on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 in Health | Comments (2)
  1. Michelle Levesque says:

    Awesome. Hadn’t seen that. Thanks for the link.

  2. Jeff K says:

    Well actually the thing I like the best about the study, is “88% of [those who pledge to have sex after marriage only] have sex before marriage”. ..and I’ll bet the other 12% are still lying about it!


At the request of “a loyal reader”: I’ve reintroduced comments on the main page and in the RSS and Atom feeds. Enjoy.

posted at 1:03 pm on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 in Site News | Comments (1)
  1. Reid says:

    Thanks Harald! Btw, my web site is just these days. :-)


Of course, since I drive to work now, I don’t have commute-time for reading anymore, so I should really get off the computer and go read one of those books I just bought. But Firestarter: Rekindled is on in two hours :-)

posted at 8:06 pm on Friday, July 23, 2004 in Books, General, Personal | Comments Off on Time

Small Book Stores…

On the way home the other night I stopped at the huge Chapters big-box bookstore at Bayview Village. Sadly, they only had _one_ of the many books I was looking for. This wasn’t obscure stuff, either; it was all recent mass-market SF&F paperbacks. I was quite surprised; the store’s SF&F section alone is larger than some small mall bookstores. Naturally, the computer said that all but one of the books were available at four _other_ big box stores. But I was _in_ Bayview Village…

So today on the way back from Lenscrafters (Charlotte whacked me in the glasses earlier this week, bending them), I stopped into the small Coles store in Fairview Mall. They had all of the books I was looking for (except the Diane Duane ones), and three more besides that I didn’t know I was looking for. This in an SF&F section about one-tenth the size of the one in Bayview Village!

Sure, I could order this stuff online. However, with the cheaper selections I get no discount at, a 5% discount at, and a 10% discount in store, so I like to get stuff in store when I can.

posted at 8:05 pm on Friday, July 23, 2004 in Books | Comments (2)
  1. Jeff K says: can do in-store availability checks.

  2. Harald says:

    Ya, that’s where I generated my list from. Nowadays the in-store computers just refer you to the website, with a little (easy to miss) counter in the upper right telling you how many copies are in the local store…

Soy Bad, Soy Good

bq. From a nutritional standpoint, you should think of soy in two categories: soy that is non-fermented, and soy that is fermented. The troubles I’ve documented on this site are associated with using primarily processed, non-fermented soy foods such as soy milk, flour, nuts, baby formula and the many soy products that have been flooding the market recently.

bq. However, studies have shown traditionally fermented soy–which is the form that is wildly popular in many Asian cultures–aids in preventing and reducing a variety of diseases including certain forms of heart disease and cancers.

(More at Soy Bad, Soy Good: What You Must Know When Considering Soy-Based Foods)

posted at 8:57 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 in Health | Comments (1)
  1. szilvia says:

    I was wondering if all those soy products on the market could use fermented soy? I wrote the companies and they said the tempeh uses fermented soy but none of the other products. I wonder why not is it not possible or they just don’t care? They just think of the money and market those products as healthy?

Caffeine Aphasia?

bq. A cup of coffee each morning may wake you up, but a new study suggests caffeine might hinder your short-term recall of certain words.

bq. Caffeine made it harder for people to find a word that they already knew – the “tip-of-the-tongue” phenomenon.

(More at BBC NEWS | Health | A coffee can make you forgetful)

posted at 8:53 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 in Health | Comments Off on Caffeine Aphasia?

Bottle Cap Tripod

Japan has come up with “an expensive version”: of a bottle cap tripod for your camera, but you can “build your own”: with a trip to the hardware store…

posted at 2:24 pm on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 in Links | Comments Off on Bottle Cap Tripod

Food Quotes

bq. “Food is an important part of a balanced diet”.

— Fran Leibowitz

bq. “Vegetables are what food eats”.

— Andrew Flint

(I may add more :-)

posted at 4:35 pm on Friday, July 16, 2004 in Humour | Comments Off on Food Quotes

Good News

The low-carb fad is apparently dead, or at least dying; woo hoo!

Yahoo! News – Americans Abandoning Low-Carb Diets -Survey

(via “Teal Sunglasses”: apfn)

posted at 2:37 pm on Friday, July 16, 2004 in Health | Comments Off on Good News

Home Depot

It’s fun walking through Home Depot with two (yes, only two) 4-foot lengths of rebar (steel reinforcing bar, for concrete). People do look at you strangely, especially the staff…

We use them for kiting. Specifically, for supporting those fiberglass telescoping fishing poles used for displaying banners, spinsocks, and the like…

posted at 9:40 pm on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 in Personal | Comments Off on Home Depot

greylist results

It’s been a week since “I installed postgrey”:


My spam volume has droppped back to manageable levels; 10-20 per day (maximum). Even better, I’m no longer getting 10s of those encrypted ZIP file viruses every day; greylisting stops them all dead (at least so far :-).

I suppose the spammers will eventually figure it out, and start runing mail queues, but (in theory) it should be easier to pick those up via DNS block lists…

posted at 2:36 pm on Wednesday, July 14, 2004 in Site News | Comments Off on greylist results


A “mesmerizing animated gif”: for your enjoyment…

(via “defective yeti”:

posted at 10:11 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2004 in Links, Odd | Comments (1)
  1. Reid says:

    Actually: (a) it’s an animated JPEG (huh?), and (b) it’s from Board Game Geek, which is cool, as I play Tigres and Euphrates on there a lot. [See our game, already in progress] […as of this writing].

Sad But True

bq. “Journalism, like all commodities, is subject to the laws of supply and demand. As the demand for skeptical reporting dropped, the supply fell back to match it.”

– John Cassidy

(via the “Quotation of the Day”: mailing list).

posted at 1:47 am on Sunday, July 11, 2004 in General | Comments Off on Sad But True

Messy Desk

Wow; the “ultimate messy computer desk”:! My Ivar isn’t nearly as bad!

On the other hand, I do have friends whose desks are almost this messy! I wish I had known the contest was running; I would have taken a picture of my father-in-law’s office…

(Click on the arrows to see the rest of the collection of messy desks :)

posted at 11:21 am on Saturday, July 10, 2004 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on Messy Desk


Spam volumes have been rising continually around here. I started my foray into automated spam filtering a couple of years back; at the time, I was receiving about 100 per _quarter_. Now I’m getting almost 100 per _day_.

I needed an excuse to upgrade my “postfix”: install to the new “2.1 release”:, so I decided to install “postgrey”:, a “greylisting”: daemon. So far I’m using it after all of my other spamtraps, but it seems to be working reasonably well. I’ll be watching the logs for a while to make sure…

In a nutshell, greylisting relies on the fact that spammers use dump-and-run tactics, while legitimate email gets queued at the sender. So, when a new, previously unknown client connects, the mailserver sends a “temporary deny”. If that connection is a spammer, they’ll probably not return; the reject means the spam was refused. If the sender was legitimate, it will retry, and our server will allow the retry through.

Pretty cool, if you ask me :-)

posted at 9:40 pm on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 in Site News | Comments Off on greylist

Still More

I’ve put a temporary patch on the drain pipe, so that the kids can use their bathroom. A piece of rubber and a hose clamp will seal the leak until I have time to do the heavy lifting (and until I can invite a friend over to help :-)…

posted at 9:20 pm on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 in Personal | Comments Off on Still More

GPS Drawing

In the People With Too Much Time On Their Hands Category, We have GPS Drawing and the new, more challenging, “GPS Drawing in the air”:

posted at 5:41 pm on Sunday, July 04, 2004 in Links | Comments Off on GPS Drawing

Plumbing Part Three

ABS < -> Copper fittings are 7.5″ long. The drop from the floor to the existing copper elbow is only 6″so, I can’t use an adapter on the vertical run. Suspecting this in advance, I purchased everything I need to replace the DWV piping all the way back to the “closet” (a plumbing euphemism for toilet, apparently): adapter, straight pipe, elbow, closet flange, and a new wax fitting (with bolts).

So now I have to remove the upstairs toilet, replace all of the DWV plumbing, and re-install the toilet. I’ll probably have other parts to replace in the process; the water inlet piping, for example, is old and will probably need replacing.

I’m really hoping that it stops there. Minor leaks like this too often mushroom into massive renovations, and I _already_ need to re-drywall the downstairs bathroom when this is all done…

posted at 5:34 pm on Sunday, July 04, 2004 in Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    Oh boy, plumbing inside walls is no place to learn the trade. I had a similar problem and it took the plumber 3 cracks to get it right, and he’s a good plumber.

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