Friday after I got home from work we decided to go down to the Chautauqua County Fair. It’s a pretty good deal, since you pay one price and have access to everything, unlimited rides, grandstand admission, you just have to pay extra for food and games. We all had a great time, the girls got to ride on a bunch of rides. Gillian was about half an inch too short for some of the rides, but there were still a bunch of rides she was able to go on. Isabella went on a few rides by herself, but mainly wanted to ride with her sister. Surprisingly, Gillian was very intrigued by the motorcross that was going on that evening. We didn’t watch it for long since it was pretty loud and smelly and we were all tired after being at the fair a few hours already. All in all an excellent time. One funny note, fair parking cost $3 but you could pay $5 to park over a block away on someone’s lawn.
Here’s Bella and Gillian on the train:
Bella and Gilli on the cars:
Here’s a shot of Bella and Gilli, you can kind of see where Bella lost her 2 bottom middle teeth (the second one fell out just a few days ago):
I read in the Sunday Buffalo News that King George wants to sell arms to Saudia Arabia and other Persian Gulf nations. He also wants to increase aid to Israel by $30 billion and Egypt by $13 billion. This makes me mad on many levels. First and foremost, doesn’t anybody in Washington remember selling arms to our friends in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union? Yeah, that turned out really well. For Bin Laden and friends but not for us. Secondly, I can think of another nation that could benefit from $43 billion in aid. It’s a little nation called the United States of America. Until there are no people living in poverty, until everyone has decent housing, until everyone has health care coverage, and until everyone has access to quality public education our government should be taking care of its own people first. Before we go interfering in other countries we should fix the problems here. I am not against humanitarian aid, but these initiatives are purely military. We should not be helping in any way the further militarism of the world.
McAfee Site Advisor has released a Phishing Quiz to see how you do spotting fake websites. (link via Lifehacker)
I got an 8 out of 10. Something like this does a fairly good job at highlighting the fact that it can be quite easy to fool you into thinking you are putting your information into a legitimate site. They do a nice job explaining the answers at the end as well.
What is social bookmarking? Why would I want to share my bookmarks with the world? What is tagging?
These are all questions I asked myself when I first heard about del.icio.us. I started using it in earnest in March of 2006. I found that an internet-based bookmark system suited my immediate needs of being able to access my bookmarks from any computer. Soon I was using the browser buttons to easily add and tag sites to my del.icio.us. Tagging serves two purposes in my mind. First it helps me remember/search/find my bookmarks. Second it helps other people find content they are looking for.
Being able to access my bookmarks from any computer was what got me started. The ability to share, search, and collaborate is why I still use it. Who knew that bookmarking could be a social thing? Obviously Joshua Schachter and now Yahoo!. Now that I’ve been using it for almost a year I wish I had been using it for longer. If you are not using it for your bookmarks I would highly recommend it. If you use something else, let’s hear about it in the comments.
del.icio.us/lordbios – my bookmarks
I had to renew a domain recently and figured I’d check again to see if a taverna domain was available. As I expected they are all taken. What is new this year is that not one of them (com, org, net, us) hosts an actual website. They are all just squatted. It used to be the com, net, and org domains actually had websites on them and just the us one was a squatter-den. But now all four of them are non-legitimate. This practice should be illegal. The one that really gets me is the us domain, it redirects to a com domain that is up for sale by a German company. This German company should never have even been able to get a US domain.
I did a look up on who owns these domains and perhaps the org domain will have content on it soon, since it seems to be owned by a person. However the other ones are held by various domain resellers as they call themselves or filthy fucking cybersquatters as I call them. And the registrar I used to search is no better than these slime balls since it offered to assist me in purchasing these illicitly held domains for $59.99 + commission. How can this be a legitimate business model??
However, since I was searching I noticed that taverna.name was available, so I grabbed it before some squatter did. So now http://christopher.taverna.name will be redirected to this page. This will also give me some flexibility in securing domain space for my family, just not in a top level I had hoped for.
Isabella lost her first tooth this evening, which made for a very exciting evening. I think the only reason she’ll be able to get to sleep is because she knows the tooth fairy can’t come while she is awake. ^_^
I’ve mentioned before that I am originally from the “forgotten borough of NYC” Staten Island. Although I am happier in my chosen rural setting I still feel bad for my hometown. I have been following Anil Dash‘s posts on How to Visit New York City and was glad he mentioned that there is more to NYC than just Manhattan. However I was disappointed, but not surprised, that Staten Island made his list of places you can skip on your visit. It seems whenever SI makes the news it is in a negative light. Most recently was the so-called “peacock pummeler.” There are historic/tourist things to do on the Island, most notably Historic Richmond Town and Sailor’s Snug Harbor. Historic sites can be a huge draw, as exampled by Old Fort Niagara in New York or Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. SI doesn’t seem to be doing much to promote or attract their share of the NYC tourist trade. However, as a counter-point to the brief reason not to visit SI, I found an article on Visiting Staten Island.
Today was a rainy and gray 4th, but Karen and I had a wonderful day together. Since the girls are away we went for a drive today. We went to Midway Park to play some skee-ball and eat junk food, then we went to the Chautauqua Institute for a bit. Then after we had a fun day we went out for dinner and came home. It’s weird being without the girls for so long. But we got to go into shops we normally would avoid if the girls were with us and we had a nice relaxed meal.
We needed the rain here, so I’m glad it rained. I did feel bad for all the kids at the park who had a very wet day ahead of them. But it did clear up in the afternoon. We didn’t get enough rain to add water to our pool though. That has been a frustrating experience getting our pool open this season.
The ironic thing for the day was on the radio they played a “Patriotic 3-in-a-row for the 4th” which they lead off with Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. As soon as they announced the patriotic theme I thought to myself wouldn’t it be funny if they played Born in the USA, and then they did. Not as ironic as Ronald Regan using it for his campaign, but still it made me chuckle. If you are not familiar with the song it is a look at the shameful way in which Vietnam Veterans were treated after returning home, but the upbeat repetitive chorus of “born in the USA” makes it one of the most misinterpreted songs ever.
I read an interesting article on the water bottling industry on FastCompany.com. (link via Anil Dash and The Knowledge For Thirst)
I drink a lot of water. Probably between 5-8 liters a day. However, I use a polycarbonate bottle that I fill from the tap at home or the water fountain at work. I do drink bottled water, usually when traveling (I buy the gallon jugs and fill my bottle from that) or when it is provided at events. I particularly dislike venues that prohibit outside water and then charge you $3 for a tiny bottle. But that is not really the point of this article. I never really thought about the global impact bottled water had. I have well water that is filtered for drinking now, but everywhere else I have lived I had city water. The tap water was always fine to drink. It is hard for me to imagine places in the world that don’t have good tap water readily available. It really makes you think about buying a bottle of water. Especially when “24% of the bottled water we buy is tap water repackaged by Coke and Pepsi.” I’ve never heard of Fiji water, but apparently that is a high-end bottled water. Another quote from the article “Fiji Water produces more than a million bottles a day, while more than half the people in Fiji do not have reliable drinking water” is interesting to me since it makes the point that we are importing water from a place that does not have reliable water. It is also mentioned that the company is piping water to some villages, but obviously not to all of them. Water is something we tend to take for granted, so it is hard sometimes to remember that it is a finite resource and we are lucky to have readily available clean water to drink.
I went on a long drive today for my birthday. Not out of any kind of soul searching see the world experience or anything. My mom is taking the girls for the week, and since we live about 500 miles apart we each drove about 250 miles and met halfway. We had a nice lunch and then turned around and went home. I drove most of the way on Rt. 17, which is also know as the Souther Tier Expressway since it cuts along the southern tier of NY. It is actually a very nice drive. The scenery is beautiful along the road. When people think of NY they often think of NYC, specifically Manhattan. It is easy to forget, or not even realize, how rural most of NY is. The rolling hills, the farmlands, the creeks and rivers. It is very relaxing. Of course I moved to a very rural part of the state, so it isn’t a surprise to me, but I know from experience that a lot of people do not realize there is more to NY than Manhattan. It is worth the drive just to experience some of it. It was interesting to me to see how in a rush people were. I usually drive no more than 5 miles above the speed limit, I guess I got all of my rushing out of the way 10 years or so ago. So in the construction zone I was actually doing the posted 45 MPH, much to the chagrin of the people behind me I’m sure. But really, do you really need to do 65 on a tight one lane section of highway? Even with going “slow” I made it home in about the time that google maps estimated. What would speeding have gotten me? An expensive ticket? An accident? Not worth the risk to get home 5 minutes sooner if you ask me. Thoughts like that make me feel old, but then I realize it’s just practical. And maybe that’s the same thing. Being a little wiser, being more practical. It’s all a part of being older.
It’s not that I feel old, but it’s hard to imagine that I’m well into my 30′s already. Karen mentioned she’s seen all of my birthdays since my 22nd. That’s what is hard for me to believe. 10 years. It went by so fast. I spent up until 21 in school, so although classes were different and locations changed it was really all the same stuff for 17 years of my life. Then all of a sudden the real world comes along. And it’s hard to believe how much has been packed into the last 10 years. So many different experiences. It is truly amazing.