tue 30 oct 01
reuters: adobe lowers outlook, to cut 5% of workforce.
reuters: new york times servers shut down by apparent attack.
reuters: seaweed for pimples and dandruff.
reuters: boston strangler reburied after tests.
cnn: 'prescreen' frequent flyers?
aw, man ... what a great name for a weblog: "too tired to be root."
just a tiny observation ... everyone's sold out of pumpkins by october 30. but i found a keen plastic one, with an electric light inside. i feel so bourgeois ...
why wasn't i smiling? 'cause i was wearing a thin shirt under goretex; my teeth were chattering by this point. i misjudged the speed with which the sun was to heat the atmosphere ...
another teaser of images to come [much less dangerous than it looks]:
5:43, and the last of the sun is fading already. this is the hardest time of year; between now and december 21.
if you're contemplating a dance with windows xp, broomeman.com has set up a congregation of links.
booksonline.uk: history of britain, the british wars.
forgot to post the link to cirque de soleil's "o" earlier. done. flash required.
bbc: postal workers unions are getting up in arms. with all the media opinioneering the 'preferential treatment' of congress over postal workers, this is bound to become more serious.
bbc sci/tech: the tunguska event, solved?
cnet: amazon saves millions with switch to linux.
macworld: ipod first look.
freshmeat: dataminer [dig in that mysql database].
reuters: new 'fusion' aids drug.
bin laden's special song. see colin powell sing calypso ...
and now, back to work. and working my little tail end off so i can do it again. as i stated below, working on the image galleries (and a more cursive diary) as i have time.
then, sadly, drove home. one really needs two weeks away to really relax, but i made a pact with myself that i need to make weekends more fun and relaxing than they've been. holding out for a big vacation is fraught with perils.
[an observation: german tourists are in *great* shape, compared to the average american. what do you folks do over there, run up and down the alps all day?]
but the canyon, is the canyon. walked the rim trail, instead of taking the tram. it was unusually hot for this time of year, but got a good workout. started to go down the bright angel trail, but after passing three or four over-equipped over-weight would-be hikers (yelling into those motorola walky-talkies), we decided other areas would be *quieter*. woke for the dawn, walked the rim trail, walked bright angel, walked down some trail near hermit's rest, stayed for sunset. if you walk, it is easy to find solitude ... especially now that they're using buses. on the rim trail, the areas that should be quiet are now really quiet. you can get a real feel for the massive silence of the canyon, waiting out the years ...
grand canyon national park is in the midst of transition, from cars to trams/monorails. you can no longer drive to sections of the park. they've gathered a gaggle of what seem like mass-transit nightmares [but are really natural-gas powered buses], and now run according to a very loose schedule. the drivers get a shock-absorbing seat; you don't. the new visitor's center is built, and a model of display signage ... though how well it will deal with the multitudes, i wonder. but all the print materials need to be updated, and it'll be somewhat confusing for the first-timer for the next couple of years, i'm sure.
from casa blivet, drove to grand canyon, and stayed there two days.
so, stayed a night on mount charleston (uneventful), and then visited "casa blivet." thanks hal, audrey, and ian for the hospitality to weary travellers! hal is *exactly* what he seems here, and a spectacularly dry sense of humor. audrey is looking very well after the birth, extremely bright and quick. and ian is cute as a button. his hair is coming across as rather dark in online pictures, when it's really quite blonde. he looks healthy as a horse, and has a powerful set of lungs (as reported previously). the family group is more calm than i would expect, given the experience of most new parents. it was great to finally put a 'reality' behind the 'virtuality.'
after vegas, checked out the valley of fire, just north. unfortunately, the vacation coincided with the 'nevada state holiday' ... little did i know that nevada makes such a big to-do about the anniversary of their statehood. all the campsites were taken. but if you're travelling the area, the campsite is to die for. huge red sandstone formations, and you get to camp practically in the middle of them.
paris has this great little shop that contains a 130+ year old press, and they're printing solid-ink reproductions of old famous parisian posters. no screens. gorgeous, and expensive.
the new 'european' theme hotels come off pretty well, bellagio best, venetian a distant second, and paris a distant third. most look best from the outside. the venetian has an indoor 'grand canal' with gondolas plying the short waterway. for a price, you can be paddled and sung to ... though, i have a feeling anyone spending more than ten minutes around the canal would kill the gondoleers (?) if they heard "volare" or "santa lucia" again ...
all that being said, however, it was great fun. obviously, i went over to see madame tussaud's wax museum, the guggenheim at the venetian, the imax at luxor ... but the single most amazing thing was cirque de soleil's "o". i don't care what else i do in vegas, when i go back ... every time i'm going to book to see "o" again. i won't ruin it by giving you bad reviews or piecemeal explanations ... it's just impossible. pay the money, go see the performance. it's european in flavor, assymetric, and my mind is still reeling from the performances even now, a week later.
the really cheap buffets seem to be a thing of the past. time was, you could really do vegas on the cheap. $1.99 breakfast 'all you can eat' buffets are gone. the slots are not as 'loose' as previous; but then, the casinos have to pay for all this glitz, right? just as an aside, i bet $15, lost $15. i would have gotten into some serious poker or blackjack, but the smoke was just too dense. i didn't know there were this many smokers left in america, much less all congregated in the same city. if you go, don't bother with contacts. wear your glasses. voice of experience talking.
las vegas seems both smaller and larger than last i was there. (10 years ago). i used to think caesar's palace was a whacky place; it's been eclipsed many times over. staying at the bellagio was first-rate, and i like it better than any of the other options ... even though it charges some of the highest rates. the pool is to die for (my favorite hangout. sit on your rear, have drinks brought to you. and charge to the room, please ...). when i get my image galleries up, i'll have more to say about the individual casino/hotels i deemed worthy of a shot or two (heh).
so, how was vacation? too short. but some interesting things went on. it's amazing who reads 'dangerousmeta' on a daily basis. i'm always willing to oblige a fan or two:
and, of course, the grand canyon was grand as always (just after dawn, about 6:15 a.m.):
a lot more pictures to come, when i have time to segregate and annotate them. still catching up on laundry, and emails ...
admittedly, some of these links may be old news to some of you. i found them interesting in spite of their 'age'. but not much in the news is sticking to the old cranium today. still enjoying the 'glow' from vacation.
nasa earth observatory: autumn foliage may affect air quality.
bbc sci/tech: fashion for the digerati.
bbc sci/tech: digital photos endanger the pictorial historical record?
evolt.org: using apache to stop bad robots.
wired: terror investigation detainees: do they have civil liberties?
freshmeat: another update to sandstorm.
osopinion: mac os x, the o.s. for the post-windows world?
amdmb.com: general fan performance guide. 'course, this would be more useful if they included an efficiency rating for 'case-off, box-fan-pointed-at-naked-chassis' ... (grin) ...
my one change in routine, in response to anthrax, is to open my mail outdoors on the windy side of the house. i have family who mail things through the trenton facility, so i wipe down those envelopes with disinfectant, disgorge the contents, and throw the envelopes away immediately. and wash my hands [as per governmental instructions]. it's actually a nice break from the work day, and gets me outside. a hint for l.l. bean and other catalog-mailers: use bags from now on. bags that don't tear. wired magazine in the bag has a decidedly gritty texture by the time it reaches me ...
that being said, everything seems to have stayed in a state of stasis for the last week. there's been no reported progress on the anthrax investigation and new cases continue to surface (who did it?), bombing continues in afghanistan (get used to it), and we continue to receive bad economic indicators (get used to it).
i have to say, being 'disconnected' for the last week was a wonderful thing, and a bad thing at the same time. i enjoyed the extra time i had, but seriously missed the more authoritative news one can get via the internet. the television news media is into 24-hour fearmongering; if that is the sole news source for most americans, i would not be surprised to find most hiding in their closets with their smith & wessons, waiting for the mailman to drop a load of death in their mailboxes. the all-hour news services need to find a new paradigm, i think.
times of india: u.s. and israeli forces training together to prepare to seize pakistani nukes if musharraf falls.
ny times op-ed: once again, the 'trojan horse to reduce the top rates' is back. supply-side doesn't work, it never did work, it never will work. where are the strong democratic voices right now, voicing facts and figures? i'm beginning to believe we need a viable third party more than ever.
ny times op-ed: 'either we get rid of our minivans, or saudi arabia gets rid of its textbooks.'
new york times: how islam won, and lost, the lead in science.
new york times: ari fleischer, team player.
new york times: underneath the rubble.
new york times: ashcroft warns of attacks. this is becoming a weekly event. the justice department did this right before i left for vacation last week. check the url. coincidence? synchronicity?
international herald tribune: hiking's triple crown, on 6,000 calories a day.
international herald tribune: time up for cave defense?
had way too good a time. now the phone's ringing off the hook, and i've got a thousand or so emails to crawl through. i may not be as 'prolific' a blogger over the next day or so.