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Tuesday, February 28, 2006 2 comments

Oh, when will they ever learn?

Lobster called from work, wondering if we were going to pick him up. Um... no. He really must think that nothing I say has any actual content. Mrs. Fetched got a bit squeamish the last couple of days about letting him fend for himself — I was half-expecting her to let him come back and to #3|| with what I wanted, at which point I would have packed up and left myself — and even The Boy, who is not exactly fond of Lobster these days, tried to talk me into letting him come back. I figured he could fend for himself at least one night, then see if he suddenly got enlightened about how one should treat people who let you stay in your house for months on end, etc. etc.

Well... shades of the Summer of Discontent. Guess who took him in? Yup, Big V. She picked him up from work, hitting a deer along the way (serves her right for poking her nose into things again, she can’t see at night anyway). Then she brought him here to get his clothes, and came in herself. Words were exchanged with Mrs. Fetched, as usual, with me (futilely) trying to get a word in edgewise, until Big V did one of her typical eight-cylinder-huff exits.

The way Lobster has been acting, he hasn’t learned a thing: he did zip/nada to find another place to stay, then tried to tell me a couple of nights ago that I had to give him 30 days’ notice (WRONG). Tonight, he whined about not being able to go back to school (the school policy is that you have to live at home; they bent it to let him stay with us)... although from what the principal told us, he hasn’t doing anything but warming a chair lately anyway. Hey, he said it himself: he’s 18, he doesn’t have to answer to anyone, he can do what he want and go where he wants and come back when he wants. Fine, he just can’t do it at FAR Manor.

Obviously, Big V hasn’t learned a thing from the previous episode either. Her and Lobster both think the universe was created solely for their benefit... so I expect things will blow sky-high before too long. I doubt it will even last the 2-½ weeks The Boy and M.A.E. stayed there. I give it 10 days.

This is one of those times when I would really like to have a second place far away from here. I’d be there, with everything valuable that I could carry with me, right now.

Friday, February 24, 2006 No comments

VoIP... coming to an office near me

One of the IT folks came by my cube this afternoon, with a brand-new toy: a Cisco VoIP phone. Ain’t it cute?

Unfortunately, they don’t quite have them enabled yet. It came up, told me it was downloading a software update, then showed me this plaintive whine. The IT guy told me their plan was to roll the phones out to everyone, make sure they were doing their job, then cut everyone over. Presumably they’ll come to pick up the old Nortel PBX phones.

After looking at these pictures, all I can say is: my cellphone camera really sucks.


Google is starting to take notice of Mac users, finally. They’ve released three DashBoard Widgets, of which I installed two: the Blogger widget (I’m using it for this post) and the Gmail widget. I had to rearrange my Dashboard a little — the Gmail widget in particular is pretty big, especially for the iBook’s 1024x768 display — but change is good.

Thursday, February 23, 2006 2 comments

What FAR Manor and a Dozebox have in common

Answer: neither one are very secure.

I’m working at home today. Before I was even able to grab some breakfast, Mrs. Fetched was telling me we had to go down to the old place because the renters couldn’t get the furnace started. Turns out they were trying to light the control box instead of the pilot (for which you have to open the hatch), and they had the gas turned off (instead of the pilot setting). I didn’t say much, but I sure thought a lot.

Of course, my own personal brain-fart had gone off and I hadn’t noticed yet. Mrs. Fetched was going to take Mrs. Renter to eat breakfast out, drop her off at her job, then pick up my BP prescription refill. I noticed when she locked the door going out to the garage when we left, but hadn’t thought about my house keys, sitting on top of the dresser. Of course, I thought about it as soon as they were gone... and sure enough, all the doors were locked. $#¡+!!!

Once in a while, the door from the porch (where the cats live) into the living room doesn’t latch, but no such luck this time. My first thought was to get the extension ladder and go in through one of the upstairs bedroom windows: The Boy often pulled that stunt when he was out tomcatting around or whatever last summer. Unfortunately, I put an end to that nonsense by locking the ladder under the house last week. What to do, what to do... stepping off the porch, I was right at eye level with the window to Mrs. Fetched’s video editing room.

Sure enough, the window slid open. I got the small stepladder out of the garage and raised the window. All the windows at FAR Manor are these once nice metal framed things. Every single one is broken in some way or another; there’s a spring-latch mechanism that’s supposed to hold them up, but they don’t stay up anymore. Fortunately, there was a piece of shelving within convenient reach inside the room, and I used that to prop up the window while I crawled in.

Mrs. Fetched is suddenly more amenable to my suggestion that we replace the windows one at a time, as we can afford it. I guess I need to buy some dowels in the meantime, to help keep closed windows closed. And always carry my keys.

The Boy’s Hot Time

Night before last, about 9:30, I caught The Boy checking his glucose — something I don’t often see him doing without prompting.

“What’s your level?” I asked him.

He looked. “212... I figured it would be high, I think I’m sick.”

Yipe. I did the usual parental feel the forehead thing; this time it was warm. “Yeah, you feel hot,” I said. “You might want to go to bed.” And that’s just what he did, confirming to me that he truly was sick... he would have just shook his head at me otherwise.

One thing about The Boy: when he gets a fever, it spikes up pretty quickly. By the time we got him some tylenol and found a thermometer, he was around 103. The tylenol didn’t seem to be helping, so we gave him some ibuprofen and it came down overnight. Mrs. Fetched and I swapped beds with Daughter Dearest, in the other upstairs bedroom, so she could check on him through the night.

Morning came, she took him to the doctor, who said he has strep throat. Seems like we get hit with that more often than the flu.

We had choir practice last night, so after work I spent a fruitless hour at a hobby store looking for bookbinding supplies then went straight to the church. Afterwards, I came home with DD to an empty FAR Manor — The Boy and M.A.E. were nowhere to be found. Whatever... I hadn’t eaten supper, and it was like 9:30, so I was in no frame of mind to give it much thought. Mrs. Fetched was chatterboxing with some of the other choir ladies, and got in about 10:30. She immediately called his smellphone, get the voicemail, and left him a message telling him to not come home (which pretty much completes Project Honey I’m Home without my help). When you stay up most of the night taking care of someone, it’s understandable if you get cheesed when that someone takes off instead of resting up.

I hope he doesn’t infect M.A.E. and all his friends. Running around loose when you’re sick doesn’t strike me as a very intelligent thing to do.

Monday, February 20, 2006 4 comments

Project “Honey I’m Home!” continues

The Boy is next in line on the launching pad. After this morning’s rant, I went to get The Boy up to help me pick up the trimmings from the butterfly bushes. He rolled over, looked at the clock, and asked for 20 minutes (11 a.m.). OK, it wasn’t anything that needed to be done right away. I gave him 45 minutes (almost 11:30).

And of course, he didn’t want to get up at 11:30, either. He wanted to not have to do anything (even a half hour worth) until it was time to go to work (i.e. until it was time for me to take him to work). I finally told him that if all he wanted to do here was eat and sleep, giving us nothing but disrespect in return, he could follow Lobster right out the door. While I was picking up the trimmings, the girlies returned from the chicken houses and Mrs. Fetched helped me get the rest up while I let her know what was going on. Afterwards, she jumped in the shower and I did a couple of other things then woke M.A.E. up about 1 p.m. to vacuum the floors.

After Mrs. Fetched & Daughter Dearest got out of the shower, we decided to go out for lunch (we’d planned to do something since we had a day off, although I would have preferred more than just a lunch). The Boy had to find a ride to work: he can’t get up to help me, why should I be arsed to drive him around? We weren’t where we could drop everything and come back for him anyway. After lunch, we picked up Lobster then went in the store to grab some garbage bags. M.A.E. called Lobster and (according to Daughter Dearest) was complaining that I woke her up at 1 in the afternoon, the horror! When we got home, the two went outside (one at a time, but right after the other)... y’know, for two people who profess not to like each other, they sure do stick together. Wife sent me out to “putter around in the garage” while they were out there; they kept their voices too low to hear but I did manage to find a coax cable with F-connectors (I swear I looked in that box last week and didn’t see one!) and a soft-sided cooler. The former went to the outbuilding for future photography needs, the latter in the trunk of my car.

So Lobster gets to stay through the end of the month. I’d just as soon give him the $30 rent, pro-rated for the rest of the month, and tell him to hit the road... but whatever. As long as they’re out of here. Eight days, then they really can be independent. Eight more days.

All I can say to this is...


Throwing Back the Lobster

A while back, we made it pretty clear to Lobster — as well as The Boy and M.A.E. — what was expected from each of them individually and all of them as a group... and if they didn’t want to live up to those expectations, they knew where the door was.

Lobster is kind of a special case at the moment: he’s the only one actively in school. The Boy started flinging the “this school is stupid, I’ll be able to do better at the private school” (that he couldn’t wait to get away from last year) crap. Fine, whatever, as long as he finishes, right? So we started making the arrangements to get him back in the private school. We figured there wouldn’t be much of a problem — especially since the preacher at the church told Daughter Dearest that they would try to make some arrangements if they wanted to come back — and The Boy just jumps and expects the soft landing to be there anyway. The upshot is, he quit the public school and the principal at the private school said “I prayed about it and it’s not the best thing.” I’ll spare y’all the obligatory potshots at pentecostals.

So ever since, Lobster has been whining and complaining each morning that he has to get up while The Boy just lays there. We’re trying to arrange a home school program for The Boy so he can finish up (as if he’ll put any effort into it, but he won’t be able to say we didn’t give him the chance), but these things don’t happen overnight. None of them have any sense of responsibility, it seems... as if we didn’t know that already.

President’s Day weekend rolls around, under the unskilled aegis of the worst president ever. Daughter Dearest & even your humble correspondent get Monday off. But not Lobster (nor Mrs. Fetched, because chicken houses never rest, but anyway). That private school has some good points, but they’re seriously weird in others. The Boy and M.A.E. decide they want to go to a movie, along with Lobster. Since it was 8:30, I figured they could go, be home by 11, and I’d be able to get Lobster off to school. I fiddled around, did a little exercise (been slacking on that lately, bad FARfetched, bad!), and called Lobster’s smellphone around 11. No answer. I told him he needed to be home ASAP to get to school the next day.

Around midnight, still haven’t heard anything. I called his phone, he picked up & hung up. I tried it again, same result. The third attempt went straight to his voice mail, and I left him a rather pointed message. About five minutes later, I tried again, got the voice mail, and started leaving a real happy note when he called. “Oh, we decided to just come home around 6 and you can take me to school.” I told him at that point to not bother coming home, he could get a ride to school with whoever was carrying them around.

“But what about my bookbag and uniform?”

“Not my problem,” I told him. He whined about my trying to “control” him, and I told him it had nothing to do with control and everything to do with responsibility. After some more whining on his part, I just hung up, turned off the phone, and went to bed.

So of course they don’t show up at 6... it’s almost 8 a.m. sharp when The Boy calls and says, “we’re outside, can you unlock the door?” The three of them came in and all of them, including Lobster, got in their beds. Uh-uh, Lobster, you’ve got school. I said I’d take him there but not bring him back; he could find somewhere else to live and whoever takes him in can come get his stuff.

On the way to school, I told him I really do hope he succeeds at whatever he decides to do, but we obviously can’t help him take the next step. He wants to be his own person, it’s time for him to step out on his own, and The Boy and M.A.E. will be gone just as soon as he gets his car legal. He just grunted, as if I expected anything different. Now Mrs. Fetched starts criticizing me about how I shouldn’t have said anything about the others leaving, and Lobster has paid rent through the end of the month, and M.A.E. still owes us $270... and that, in a nutshell, is why I haven’t made much effort to play much role in what goes on around here: when everything you do and say gets criticized or negated, why bother? I told her as much, and she clammed up after a couple feeble attempts at self-justification. As far as M.A.E. is concerned, there’s such a thing as cutting your losses.

So that’s my day off. Now I need to get The Boy up to help pick up some brush trimmings....

Saturday, February 18, 2006 2 comments

Dude... you got a discount

We got a company-wide email a couple of days ago, announcing that we were now part of the Dell Employee Purchase Program (EPP). We can get up to 12% discounts on Smelly Dell consumer models, plus a free download of XP Home.

ooooooooooooooooohhhhh... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

The funny thing is, we’re in a de-Dell-ification process at work; people needing new computers are getting IBM/Lenovo ThinkPads. I’ve suggested to those who are waiting for their Smelly Dells to finish flaking out to “accidentally” drop them on the way to a meeting or something so they can get to the front of the line. Just trying to be helpful....

From experience, when people ask me what kind of computer to get, I tell them two things: 1) Don’t get a Dozebox. 2) If you ignore #1, don’t get a Dell. Then they get a Dell, have all sorts of problems with it, and I get to say I told you so. :-P I’d take one if they gave it to me, but I’d install Linux on it and use it for a music/video jukebox.

Weekend Cinema

Having missed Friday Night Cinema due to playing catch-up and other distractions, we bring you a Saturday Night Special. Hat tip goes to VoodooMike, who serves up tonight’s double feature.

Feature #1 is a whimsical selection called Musical Roundabout.

Feature #2 is rated NSFW. It’s a rather interesting Deleted Scene from Star Wars.

I would have been in bed earlier...

...but I found my old website from my Nyx days in The Wayback Machine. The home page proudly states that its last update was November 7, 1998... in Internet time, that’s like gaslight and 2400 bps “high-speed” modems. It even has the lost episodes of Chicken House Hell, which I may scarf up and repost here if I’m feeling sufficiently disgusting. Anyway, I spent way too much time looking at stuff I wrote over seven years ago. I thought I’d had a detailed analysis of the Concept virus there, which is why I tried to find it in the first place, but it either didn’t get archived or I put it on some other page (it might have been an internal corporate site).

If you’ve been around a while, long enough to abandon a web site or two, your old sites may well be gone but not forgotten. If you can remember a URL, punch it in and see what happens.

Now I’m going to bed. Maybe I can get over this and sleep....

The End of Innocence

We knew it had to happen sooner or later: now Mac users have the Leap.A trojan to worry about. Something like 50 people, total, have been hit by this... but judging from the press coverage, you’d think it was Apocalypse Now. Just don’t accept any files called “latestpics.tgz” from iChat and you should be fine.

Way back when transferring files meant schlepping them around on a floppy, Mac viruses were fairly common. I kept a fairly extensive collection of disinfectant software and had a fairly detailed plan for cleaning up the department Macs when we got hit (which only happened twice in five years). Later on, the primary viral focus shifted from floppies to Microsoft Word files; you could write viruses using Word’s macro language, and they ran on both PCs and Macs. I remember the first Word macro virus; it was called “Concept,” and it was simple enough that I took it apart and analyzed it. It was rather chilling to see a routine called “PayLoad,” which contained only the comment “this should prove my point” — and indeed, it wasn’t long before more destructive macro viruses (that mostly only damaged PCs, fortunately for me) appeared.

After that, malware activity on Macs faded away gradually and those disinfectant utilities withered for lack of need. Lordy, it’s been 7 or 8 years since there’s been anything beyond breathless pronouncements, quickly debunked. Part of it, of course, is the sheer number of Dozeboxes in the world... and the larger part is how easily it has been for malware to infest those Dozeboxes. Macs represented too much effort for too little return, so we have enjoyed a long period of innocence which may well have come to an end this week.

If you use a Mac, grab the Free ClamXav malware scanner if you haven’t already. I think it’s already been updated to detect Leap.A, and it’s a good idea to use it if you transfer files to Dozeboxes... you can’t get infected by their viruses, but you can be Typhoid Annie and transfer them. Be a good citizen and avoid doing that.

While Leap.A is probably not a serious threat — you have to accept an incoming file transfer, unpack the archive, double-click the executable (that tries to disguise itself as a JPEG file), and enter your password to allow the installer to do its thing (and if a JPEG file wants your password, it’s probably not a JPEG) — it represents the straggly first weed in your putting-green lawn. Time to get the shovels, rakes, and implements of dee-struction... and keep them safe in the garage. For now.

Friday, February 17, 2006 1 comment

Nice winter days

The only thing you can say for certain about January and February on this planet is that the days steadily get longer. I noticed yesterday that there’s now more light at 6:30 p.m. than there was at 5:30 p.m. at Christmas. Spring training is about to get under way, another sure sign that winter really is not permanent. I don’t follow baseball nearly as much as I used to, but to me baseball is still a metaphor for summer nights, the voice of which is Ernie Harwell calling the play-by-play for the Tigers on a static-y AM radio:
For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

I mean, really. The announcers for the Braves are OK, but nobody can do “swinnnnnnnng an-a miss!” like Ernie. God, I miss him. Maybe that’s why I don’t follow baseball these days; my personal Voice of Summer is now only in my head.

So yesterday, I didn’t feel like fixing lunch, and I needed a little exercise. I stepped outside and ohhhh yeahhhhhh, sixty-some degrees, the sun was shining, and you can’t enjoy a day like that in a car! Off to the Kroger Grill to get some grilled chicken, to be consumed at an outdoor table with some baked beans and a Diet Cherry Coke (an indulgence I allow myself once or twice a week). I walked quickly, both to save some time and so I could count it as my day’s exercise. Just to have a little fun and make it a bit more aerobic, I took the shortcuts through the weeds in the back of the office park and the parking lot of the building where I used to work.

And... the grill wasn’t open? WTF!?? A day like this, when people are going to want to have lunch outside, perhaps for the first time in months? Sheesh! There are plenty of other restaurants close by, but nothing I particularly want (or need, given I’m trying to limit sodium). But wait! They have a sushi bar inside! I asked the chef on duty about sodium, and he showed me their booklet that has all their nutrition info plus other neat sushi facts (not to mention all the groovy things they’ll sell you, including a complete DIY sushi kit for $37.50... yum). The Shoreline Combo looked like a pretty good match of moderate sodium and low cholesterol, so I grabbed one. Since I was there, I picked up a six-pack of ramen since I was out. The cashier actually asked me if I was from California. Um, no... but Lord knows this planet could stand to be a little more like it.

Turns out that little soy sauce packet they give you has more sodium than all 12 pieces of sushi combined, so that went in the trash and I just spread the wasabi over each piece. It was a very pleasant meal, and I had the entire outdoor dining area to myself. I saw another (full) soy sauce packet on another table, so it looks like someone else may have had the same idea before I did. Walking home after a very satisfying meal, I had to take my coat off and carry it. Mid-February can be like that, or it can be cold steel rain, or slush storms. You just make the most of the good days.

Just think... in a few months, we’ll be wishing it was cold again. But for now, it might snow again tomorrow night. sigh

When Computers Go Bad

Saturday night, Daughter Dearest came in with her laptop and said “it’s doing something really weird: it gets all these pretty colored lines on the screen, then it goes black and freezes.” I held down the power button to force a shutdown, then restarted it. It got to the "Welcome to MacOS X" screen, then did exactly what DD said it did. I shut it off again, jotted down her serial number, and looked it up. Whew, all of three weeks left on the warranty! Thank God it wasn’t three weeks after.

It’s not unheard of in the G3-series iBooks (maybe the G4s too) for this to happen. It’s either the cable the runs from the screen to the motherboard (new cable) or the graphics chips (new motherboard). DD is jonesin’ for her laptop, and using mine some nights (which partially explains why I haven’t updated much this week). The bright spot is that she might get a G4 motherboard out of the deal, a nice little upgrade.

Since she had my laptop, I picked up Bedbug, an old (as in 100MHz Pentium) NEC Versa laptop running Debian Linux. Some time back, it had gone sour after an upgrade, and I’d never gotten around to fixing it. Without getting all geeky on you (that’s coming though!), the upgrade had lost the network (and other) drivers, which turned its network into a not-work. The old kernel (the central piece of the OS) was still on the hard drive, along with its drivers, so I told Bedbug to drop back to the old kernel. Presto! Well, not quite. It now realized it had an Ethernet port, but the hardware was acting like it didn't work right. It might be the cable I was using; we’ve strung it through more than a few doors in its day and it might have finally broke. I’ll try it tomorrow with a good cable and see if it does any better.

...and we got an offer to extend the warranty on DD’s computer for another year, for $148. Mrs. Fetched and I had the same thought: if it flakes out again, we’ll be way ahead on that deal. Now where’s that checkbook....

M.A.E.: You’re Fired

How romantic. Valentine’s Day rolled around, and M.A.E. was scheduled to work at Arby’s. A lot of her co-workers were taking the day off, which gave her the opportunity to get some needed hours on the job. She decided that she wanted to spend the day with The Boy instead of working too... and depending on whose story you believe, she either called in or she didn’t. Either way, the result was the same — terminated for no-call/no-show. So much for being responsible.

There’s a bright side: the business at Arby’s has been a bit slack as of late, and M.A.E. had recently been lucky to get in more than 16 hours in a week. Given that she still has to get her driver’s license back, and has no car anyway, Mrs. Fetched has been providing transportation. Yes, M.A.E. has been paying for the gas, and it was a noticeable chunk of her take-home pay. She applied for a job at a resort about two miles from FAR Manor, and with any luck she’ll get that job. But it’s always best to hang on to what you have until you can grab something better... something I’ve had to start reminding The Boy about lately.

Sunday, February 12, 2006 No comments

Snowy morning

The Boy, in a rare role reversal, rousted us out of bed this morning so we could take him to his job. It snowed again last night, and everything was covered up. I got a few pictures while it’s there, because it will probably be gone again by late this afternoon. Mrs. Fetched and Daughter Dearest ran over to the church this morning to sweep the floor downstairs, and they said there was hardly any snow at all over there.

The dogs don’t seem to mind the weather too much (a nice way of saying they don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain). They have the option of crawling under my out-building to snooze and stay warm, but they’ll lay out in the snow or ice just as often.

Since I got an ourmedia account to stash my podcast(s), I decided to put the camera in video mode and take a slow pan across the front yard as well.

Saturday, February 11, 2006 No comments

Podcast from FAR Manor (#1)

I don’t know if I’ll do this often, or again, but I thought I’d give it a try.

I kept it fairly short, about 6 minutes. Give it a listen.

Friday, February 10, 2006 No comments

Um... okay...

Caught at a stoplight on the way home from work yesterday, this is what I saw.

I can’t think of anything to say.

Friday Night Cinema

No money? No time? Let’s try this again.

Tonight’s feature is rated RL for Rude Language, the kind of stuff you would hear in junior high hallways. But once you get past the profanity, you’ll find out why this poor schlub is swearing and has the Worst Job Ever.

Thursday, February 09, 2006 No comments

Worth a listen

I subscribed to O’Reilly’s Distributing the Future podcast a few weeks ago, but have just now gotten around to listening to the first one. The one I listened to on the way home from work today, Attention Span, is really worth 25 minutes of your time. If you don’t have 25 minutes, at least listen to the first part — the part about Continuous Partial Attention. It is soooo true. The second part, “What Business Can Learn from Open Source,” is pretty good as well and is not tech-heavy stuff.

Just in case you don’t know, you don’t need an iPod to listen to podcasts. Just click the link and listen at your desk if you prefer. Like I said, this one is worth a listen.

Trivia fodder

I’m more than a little cheesed about Friday night’s posts getting eaten. Nothing puts a writer off his feed faster than losing work. Anyway....

Here’s something to regale trivia buffs with at the next opportunity: Benito Mussolini had five children. His youngest son died last week at the age of 79. What did he do for a living?

I swear, you just can’t make this stuff up.

Crossing fingers

Maybe Blogger has stopped eating posts now....

Thursday, February 02, 2006 1 comment

The Lobster Crash

So yesterday morning, Lobster dragged himself out of bed and headed on to school. I’ve always been a little leery of the turn into that school (the private one where the kids went last year); it’s just below the crest of a hill on a fairly busy highway. So Lobster is waiting to turn left into the school/church lot, with the sun in his face. He went for it... and some goober in a big pickup pulling a boat, came wailing over the hill and clipped Lobster in the rear, totally destroying Lobster’s truck bed.

Nobody hurt, fortunately... just a couple grand worth of repairs that nobody can pay for. Of course, Lobster got the ticket because he was doing the left turn, but he’s going to ask for an investigation because the guy was traveling at a pretty good clip in what should be a school zone.

One more expense for the kid. I’m not much inclined to cut him a break; his attitude of late is that he is entitled to do what he pleases, regardless of how we feel about it, and to live here basically for free. I kind of think his living here is compounding the problems he’s having with his own parental units — both sides may feel like they don’t really have to work out their differences because he can just come here instead.

I’m not sure whether it will take a crowbar, or those new mini-nukes they want to drop on Iran, to get the extra peeps out of FAR Manor. Maybe I should grab an axe like in The Shining, yell “Honey, I'm home!” and chase ’em outta here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 3 comments

State of the County

We had a town-hall meeting for our county district tonight, hosted by the church I go to. I’m sure it was far more interesting than any collection of talking points the pretendersent might deliver. I’ve found in general, when you miss TV, you don’t miss much.

The hot topic (and I do mean hot) was the county commissioners having a study... well, commissioned... to see if we would benefit from a “general aviation” airport. You could build a gays-only wedding chapel in this arterial-blood-red part of the planet and not get people stirred up as quickly as just talking about an airport. The problem is, Atlanta’s aviation authority owns a large tract of land in the county, and (after bulldozing it level and cleaning up a highly radioactive spot, which I may talk about in another post) could put a commercial airport on it. The FAA tells us that building a smallish airport (i.e. a place where individuals and businesses could hanger their planes) would overrule any larger airport in the area, so it seems like a case of the Lesser of the Two Evils. But you can’t tell these people that....

Other interesting topics included road building. This part of the county is still mostly (51%) dirt roads. I asked about bicycle routes, which have been talked about in conjunction with other highway building projects before. Cyclists have marked out a couple of routes already and (even at this time of year) are out & about on weekends; I get nervous for those guys on our narrow roads with drivers who don’t always pay attention. The road guy is going to get back to me about the status of the bike routes. He did say they (with the DoT) are working with some cycling clubs, so maybe something will happen. I hope so; the way things are going, the bike paths will get used pretty heavily before too long just for transportation.

The really interesting part is that they have a zoning plan for 2025 (20 years from now) — our area is expected to be “exurban residential,” and it’s primarily agricultural right now. I don’t envy the first developer who starts building out here.

My father-in-law told someone he wants me to run for the county commission. I said I’d do it on the Green Party ticket. Actually, I think Greens could actually do well in this area if they describe their platform in the right words. People like to fish & hunt; you need clean water & healthy forests for that. They prefer the government keep its nose out of their business. And above all, they don’t want a lot of (or more than a little) development out this way. All Green positions. I’d do it, but it would be such a hassle if I actually won....


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