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"Murphy was an optimist!"

And I pray that I make it to the end of the day September 30, 2010 2:46 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Of Being Dad
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Today I am wearing a pair of pants which has declare this to be the last day they will ever be worn. This clothing article is in the process of having multiple simultaneous structural failures, none of which have resulted in embarrassment…yet. Think of it like one of your expensive electronic devices whose warranty expires and one day later it quits working. Well, the warranty on these pants must have run out just after I got in the Jeep to drive to my client’s office today.

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Weekend Project – Day 16 September 27, 2010 1:16 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Amy, Birthday, Daily Life, Family, Holiday, Of Being Dad
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Weekend Project - Day 16

After many weekends dedicated to work and bad weather, we’ve resumed construction on Amy’s birthday present, the playhouse. Last weekend the overcuts on the roof sheeting were corrected and the roof sheeting completely secured. This weekend, the porch railing was added making Amy very excited as it gave a more finished look to the playhouse. We’ve completed 12 ½ steps out of 27 but at this point each step will have an significant outward impact on the appearance and a feeling of nearness to the end of the project.

Now I just need to buy a table saw.

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Postcards from the Pledge September 24, 2010 7:56 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Politics, Touchy Subjects, United States
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As the Republicans prepare for a battle to reclaim some power in Congress, they have announced a pledge discussing what the Republican party will do for this country. Jon Stewart with the Daily Show covers this very artfully! This is a must watch.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Postcards From the Pledge
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party
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Random Memory September 23, 2010 9:27 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : History, Kenner
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As I drove home a vivid memory from my early teen years struck me. I lived 2 miles from the New Orleans airport. I used to ride my bike down to the westmost runway that ended at the swamp and lay down on the levee at the end of the runway to watch jets landing just over my head. There was a white box with a tinted window in the top right at the end of the runway I’d put my head over and imagine the controllers in the tower would see strange imagery on their screens. That may explain my Swiss cheese memory.

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Segregation in Knoxville September 23, 2010 1:34 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Touchy Subjects
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Based on 2000 census data, this is how Knoxville is segregated. Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, Gray is Other, and each dot is 25 people. [Source, Flickr – Eric Fischer, Race and ethnicity]

Race and ethnicity: Knoxville

And here’s Memphis:

Race and ethnicity: Memphis

And Nashville:

Race and ethnicity: Nashville


[Source, Atlantic Wire, Mapping the Segregation of U.S. Cities]

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Quote of the Day September 22, 2010 10:03 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philosophy, Quote
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You can lead people to knowledge but you can’t make them think. [Source, Chicago Tribune, How to spread ‘dumb-ocracy’]

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So why does the ice melt? September 22, 2010 9:45 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Economy, Environment, Politics, Touchy Subjects, War, World Politics
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The country that brought us Chernobyl will now be floating 8 nuclear power plants on top of the world. Granted, the United States had Three Mile Island and I’m told by an old timer that apparently there is was a reactor meltdown in Oak Ridge in the 50s that was buried physically and by public relations but I cannot validate that. Let’s not forget who is the world leader in exploded nuclear bombs. As the arctic ice shrinks and exposes more land, a battle is brewing for the possible gas and oil reserves previously hidden by the ice. The major players will be Canada and Russia but other countries could try to stake claims. With these ships that could supply power to 45,000 for 12 years at a time..that’s 12 years without needing to return to port..Russia certainly has an advantage.

[Source, BBC, A rare view of Russia’s floating nuclear power station]

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You’d think computers could remind you about birthdays September 22, 2010 8:24 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Birthday, Daily Life, Family, Holiday
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Last week I thought, "I’ll actually send my mother a card for her birthday." Naturally, I considered my brother’s birthday too since both my mother and my brother were born in September. Life, being what it is, came and went and I didn’t purchase or make a card. I decide to call her on her birthday. Only I didn’t call her on her birthday; I called her on my brother’s birthday. Her’s is 8 days later! It would have been fine and dandy since it was a good excuse to talk to the folks. Only, I never called my brother…

Happy Birthday Dean!

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And the doctor said, go forth, and rest upon the beach September 21, 2010 3:08 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Health, Mental
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For 2 weeks I fretted over an incident. During this time, my blood pressure spiked 20 to 50 points higher than normal and remained there. My doctor and I discussed a medicine change but he suggested that I wait a couple of weeks first. Today my blood pressure registered the lowest since I started tracking it. I think clearly my blood pressure has far less to do with physiology and far more with a need to sun myself on the beach of some tropical island for 3 or 4 weeks.

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Oh, so that’s what I’ve been doing wrong September 17, 2010 9:33 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Transportation, Travel
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It took me nearly 2 years to get a freeze plug installed back in the engine and two weeks to change the brake calipers. Now I understand I should have dismantled the whole Jeep!

Props to Cathy for finding this on Makezine.

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Time to reboot the feed reader September 16, 2010 11:37 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Software, Technology
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I used to love SharpReader. I was using it before RSS was vogue. The difference between consuming information by going to individual webpages vs using a feed reader is like riding a bike on the Interstate versus driving a Ferrari. I had to give up SharpReader because it was tied to a single box and I’m not. I work anywhere and everywhere and I need to be able to access my data from any device. I switched to Google Reader and have never looked back. Unfortunately, I lost all the articles in SharpReader that I’d marked as a favorite during the transition.

As I scan and read in Google Reader I use the star to mark my favorites so that I can return to the article and read it again (not that I ever do). I rarely but once in a blue moon add an item to my shared items.

I’ve come to a point where my feedreader more resembles bookmarks rather than a useful way to consume content. Many of the feeds are dead or stagnant. I have some like Fark that I don’t read anymore. Some have changed hands and are actually spam now. I’m going to drop my entire feed list. I’ll export the entire list first and probably publish it somewhere for reference. My one concern is losing my favorites. I can find nothing that talks about whether or not there is a way to save my favorites and whether or not removing a feed that had something marked as a favorite will also delete that favorite. I’ll experiment with it this weekend and figure it out.


Kindle vs iPad September 15, 2010 6:17 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest
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Our family has both a Kindle and an iPad. Two different devices intended for two different purposes and both are awesome. However, this commercial does ring very true!

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Protected: Deep End September 13, 2010 6:28 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Health, Mental
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No Fear September 13, 2010 11:10 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philosophy, Quote
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There is nothing more painful than regret.

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Joys of home ownership September 9, 2010 8:04 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, House, Of Being Dad
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Tonight, I am not a computer programmer. I am a washing machine repair man!

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