26 June 2008

The state...the state...the state is on fire

We could really use some water, and I don't want to see this motherfucker burn.

Looking outside the window of our trailer, the sky is kind of a brownish gray. It's been like this since Monday, getting steadily worse throughout the week. When you step outside, you can smell woodsmoke. My eyes itch constantly and it's even harder to breathe than it normally is during a Sacramento summer.

There are more than 800 separate wildfires throughout Northern California this week, most of them sparked by lightning. We're already in drought conditions, so the initial fires spread quickly.

I'm still boggling over the people upset that Arnold's considering a ban on fireworks sales this year. In California, only nonprofit organizations can sell fireworks for a couple weeks around the 4th of July, as a fundraiser. I understand that a lot of groups depend on that revenue, but under the circumstances, discouraging people from using potential fire hazards outdoors seems reasonable.

This is one of those times when I wish there were some way to swap weather, because right now, the Midwest rain sounds pretty good.

22 June 2008

Bye, George

You'll be missed.

It seems weird to say "Rest in Peace" for you, so instead, I'll just say, wherever you are:

Party On, Dude.

18 June 2008

Birth of a Meme

I can actually say I was present at the birth of a new meme. I was reading Lawyers, Guns and Money the other night when a troll failed to grasp the "Shorter" concept. He explained:

I am aware of all internet traditions and also of literary conventions

Well, he sure told us! How do you respond to a someone like that, who is aware of all internet traditions?

Here's how.


I downloaded Firefox 3 Tuesday at work to test out, and I was happy enough that I installed it at home. So far, I'm pretty happy: the memory leakage seems somewhat better, and I like the overall look and feel.

The one downside, as usual, is that several of my extensions broke. However, there's a fairly easy workaround:

Updating your Firefox Extensions:

1. On the page for the extension, click the "Versions" link.

2. Right-click on the most recent verson of the extension, and save it to your hard drive.

3. On the saved file, change the "xpi" extension to "zip".

4. Open with your favorite unzipper.

5. Use the text editor of your choice to open the install.rdf file.

6. Search for "Max Version" and change it from 2.0.0* to 3.0.0* and save.

7. Depending on your extractor, you may have to re-zip. WinZip will ask you if you want to replace the file in the archive with the new version.

8. Rename the extension from "zip" back to "xpi".

9. In Firefox, go to File > Open File and browse to the file. Firefox should recognize the .xpi as an installer and bring up the appropriate dialog.

10. Restart Firefox.

Caution: This will work for many extensions, but not all. I was able to use it to update Read Easily, Create TinyURL, Organize Status Bar, and Copy Plain Text, but with Firesomething and Tabbrowser Preferences, something weird happened that screwed up my tab display.

Some related links:

Lifehacker's Power User's Guide to FF3 is useful.

An article on Mozilla's "chief security something-or-other", who's both geeky, good at what she does, and gorgeous.

16 June 2008

Why I Love Her

I love Telesilla for a lot of reasons, including the fact that she often says things so I don't have to. For example, her post on the latest ass-showing moment in SGA fandom. Or her post on same-sex marriages, including ours.

So, yeah. September 5. It's just going to be us, a couple of our friends as witnesses, and the Sacramento County Clerk. We're saving up to move, so we didn't want to try to do anything extravagant, but we wanted to make it all official before November, just in case the ballot initiative to ban our marriage goes through. Don't worry--we'll give our friends plenty of notice before having the big party. :-)

We're not registering for stuff or really expecting gifts this time, but if you know us and want to do something, we've registered here (give it a couple of days before you try) with Equality California’s Marriage PAC, which is working to defeat the ballot initiative.

14 June 2008

My Unpopular Media Opinion

All over the blogosphere, people are mourning the death of Tim Russert, and I'm over here scratching my head.

I do think it's horrible when someone relatively young dies suddenly. My former hairstylist died recently--she was 32 with a two-year-old son. I truly feel for and sympathize with his family, friends, and colleagues, people who knew him and worked with him and loved him.

But I'm not of the school that says it's inappropriate to address the less-than-positive aspects of a public figure's legacy at the time of their death. I was appalled when Ronald Reagan died at the way an ethically and intellectually bankrupt hypocrite was transformed into Saint Ronnie. And so, when I read comments describing Russert as, "the steadiest and most serious inquisitor of the powerful during the darkening period when broadcast journalism was degenerating beyond parody", I have to say, "Huh?"

Russert was one of the Beltway Villagers who repeatedly enabled the Bush administration, never challenging them on the expansion of the unitary executive, or the case for attacking Iraq. Dick Cheney once said that he liked going on Meet the Press because he knew he wouldn't get challenged. And instead of asking questions about policy when he moderated the Democratic debates, it was all about "gotcha" questions for both candidates and getting Obama to "reject and denounce" every black person who's ever said anything controversial ever.

Is it sad that Tim Russert's dead? Of course, as it is any time someone who was by all accounts a decent person dies. But that doesn't mean that he was a journalistic paragon, or that we should pretend he was simply because he's no longer here.

04 June 2008

The Audacity of Hope

This is my great-grandfather. He was the first African-American elected to office in Memphis--and the last, until 1960.

I wish he could have seen this. And my grandfather as well. And my dad. And my aunt and my godfather.

When I called my mother today, she said she'd always hoped she'd live to see this.

And you know what? I agree with Michelle Obama.

For the first time in my adult life, I really am proud of my country.