Wednesday, April 26

Word for the day

hypocorism

Pronounciation: hi-poc'-or-ism

Definition: (noun) A name of endearment; a pet name.

Synonyms: pet name

Usage: "Billy D" was the pet name for William the Conqueror

Tuesday, April 25

Knowing what we want

You struke the match - why not be utterly changed by fire?
To sacrifice the shadow and the mist
Of a brief life you never much liked -
So if you'd care to come along we're gonna curb all our never-ending, clever complaining
(as who's ever heard of a singer criticized by his song?)
We hunger, but though all that we eat brings us little relief
we don't know quite what else to do,
We have all our beliefs but we don't want our beliefs,
God of peace, we want you.

- MewithoutYou "Four Word Letter"

Wednesday, April 19

Zillow your home

I just found this site a couple of days ago and I'm not sure exactly what to think. Zillow, the self proclaimed "edge in real estate", touts over 65 million homes in its listings. Elsa and I happen to be looking for another home and this came in handy. Finding a home listing among the 65 million isn't hard, especially if you're living in a populous metro area.

The good thing about this site is the information it gives. The bad thing about this site is the information it gives. Such is my ambivalence. In my limited searching, the listings I found weren't a correct match; right street, right address, wrong house. Still, the site is in beta version and it lists bedrooms, baths, the most recent tax assessed value and tax bill and market value. The tax info is public and easily available at the county assessors office. Maybe this site just makes this kind of information too easy to get for my druthers.

Tuesday, April 18

Topics of interest

First, a passing quote...

In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.

- Herodotus

If more fathers HAD to bury their sons perhaps there would be fewer wars.

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Dateline April 17, 2006; Washington, DC

From the UPI comes news of a former AT&T employee, Mark Klein, who was an AT&T tech for more than 20 years, making the claim that company was aiding the National Security Agency (NSA) in "conducting what amounts to vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet - whether that be people's e-mail, Web surfing, or any other data..."

What you say, or in this case write, can be held against you in a court of law. They're watching, listening and reading.

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Dateline April 17, 2006; New Orleans, LA

The Associated press reports some New Orleanians trying to get their weapons back which were confiscated in the hurricane aftermath are walking away empty handed.

"Natural disasters may destroy great cities, but they do not destroy civil rights," said Alan Gottlieb, founder of Second Amendment Foundation, which joined the NRA in the suit. Percy Taplet, 73, said the national guard and state police confiscated his shotgun from his house when they evacuated him. He said he kept it for protection at his house and adjoining business. Police told him he would have to contact state police about the weapon. "I won't ever see that gun again believe me," Taplet said. "It's gone like everything else in that storm."
Although a few people emerged from the police trailer with their weapons, many others were turned away.
Some found the guns were evidence in a crime and were not eligible for release. Others did not have the proper paperwork to get their guns. And for some the work of tracking down their weapons was just beginning.
Robert Evans, 40, was trying to get the Ruger P90, semiautomatic hand gun his wife surrendered to ATF agents at the New Orleans airport.
"The agent gave her a business card, but he never answers his phone," Evans said.
He came out without his gun but with a couple of new phone numbers.
"That's OK," Evans said. "Those were confusing times. I'm not mad, just trying to get my property back."


I'd be mad if I were him. Funny how the police has conveniences the rest of us don't. Don't return phone calls or lose paperwork or make dead end referrals with some government authority sometime and see what happens.
In the meantime, carry backup.

Monday, April 10

Thought for the Day

"Familiarity breeds contempt. How accurate that is. The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it." - Mark Twain

Although I'm not entirely certain that we lack opportunity as much as effort.

Saturday, April 1

Truer words were never writ

"This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four." - Mark Twain