Friday, February 28, 2003

Global Warming?
Apparently the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska won't go through Iditarod this year because there isn't enough snow. However, having just dug out from the snowiest February in history here, I am inclined to suspect odd ocean currents rather than global warming.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

An Old Friend Comes Home
A friend of ours from Austin was visiting recently, and mentioned that he had drunk some Celis in a bar there. It seems that, several years after Celis went out of business, The Michigan Brewing Co. has bought the recipe rights from Miller and brought Celis home for the holidays. I don't expect it to reach Pittsburgh any time soon, however.

Billionaire Infighting

Last year's fight between the baseball players and team owners in the US was one in which the degrading spectacle of millionaire players fighting millionaire owners left a lot of people unable to decide which of the lesser of two evils to support. This year it looks like Formula One has raised the stakes and has started Billionaire fighting instead. On one side are the team principals, particularly Ron Dennis of McLaren and Frank Williams of BMW-Williams. On the other is Max Mosley, President of the FIA. Following inaction by the teams last year, the FIA "reinterpreted" some of the competition rules. This prompted Dennis & Williams to send a letter to Max expressing their dismay. Max replied with his own letter and it now looks like the off track action this year will be more competitive than the racing!

What's in a Name?

David's Blog, while terribly descriptive seems to lack a certain zing. But I'm damned if I can come up with a better name. I am quite attached to my name, of course -- having had it for several years -- but it is hardly unique. In fact among men of approximately my age (born in the last half of the 1960s) it sometimes seems like every Tom, Dick, and Harry is named David. This seems to spread across the anglophone world as well, since I got my name in the UK, and this observation holds true in the US as well. I even have friends born into Spanish-speaking families called David. Anyway, if I can come up with something better, the blog name will change without notice. But the address (composed of half of each of my dogs' names) is unlikely to change any time soon.

In Praise of the IRS

Not the most common sentiment, but I am rather impressed at their web-savvy. I e-filed my taxes at the beginning of the month, and have been eagerly watching my bank account since to see when our anticipated refund would be deposited. The window was 10-16 days, and 20 days (or 14 business days) have passed now. So I went to the IRS website and right there on the front page was a "Where's my refund?" button. All I had to know was my SSN, my filing status, and the amount of the refund, and they told me to look for it to be deposited on Friday -- the 16th business day after I filed. That seems to me to be excellent service from a traditionally moribund government agency.

OK, I've pushed this a little more, and I am fairly happy with how easy it has been to add the additional features that I wanted -- a counter (there's optimism for you!), comments (that now match the color scheme), and a couple of other doodads. Blogger still kills all the tag content every time I try to edit my template, though. So I guess it's going to stay fairly static from now on. I did get smart, however, and grab a copy of the vanilla HTML so that I can cut and paste all of the values back in whenever I do the editing. Still, this should be my last observation on the blogging process for the moment.

UPDATE: Owing to a fight between Webwasher and blogger on my browser, I accidentally wiped out the blog this morning, and eventually brought it back from backup. So the comments are lost (not that there were many) and the timestamps are a bit wonky.