Archive for November, 2011

Thoughts on Bills/Jets

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Because I hate myself, I watched the Bills drop a fourth in the row to the Jets, 28-24.

  • Spiller looked a lot better than I expected. He’s still averaging under three yards a rush, and he’s never going to be a between-the-tackles runner like Fred, but he’s stopped with the “dance until you lose five yards” routine. It’s a start.
  • We finally found an ideal spot for McKelvin – apparently returning kickoffs and gunning for the punt team is his calling. Great place for a first round pick.
  • Not that it matters, looks like he’s crippled anyway.
  • I loved the Maybin-Spiller pushing and shoving. “I was a bigger waste of a Bills first round pick!” “No, I was!”
  • Nice tip and catch by Brad Smith.
  • That was the game winner, Stevie. Are you going to blame God for this one, too?
  • Urbik did pretty well at center. He managed to snap the ball to Fitz and everything.

Tuition Guarantee

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Buffalo schools are hoping to announce in a few weeks that they’ve reach a partnership deal with “Say Yes To Education”, a non-profit group that helps to solve problems in urban school districts. Among other things, they will secure funding to pay college tuition for graduates of the BPS.

Though the tuition guarantee is the most surprising aspect of the deal, it might not be the most important. From the article:

Syracuse School Superintendent Sharon Contreras said that Say Yes has introduced a new way of bringing the city and county together to support children.

“The children are no longer simply the responsibility of the school district, but we all own them and we are all vested in their success,” she said.

She credits the efforts of Say Yes for many improvements.

The district now has one social worker for every 200 students — a significant improvement from its previous ratio of one social worker for every 500 to 700 students, which is about the current ratio in Buffalo.

Legal clinics throughout the city provide free support to families on custody issues, housing and more.

Every elementary school offers two hours of enrichment activities after classes. About 60 percent of students participate.

Tutors — 360 of them, many from Syracuse University — work with students both during the school day and afterward on their academics.

Every elementary school will have its own mental health clinic, staffed by an outside agency, by the end of the school year.

“It’s a collective commitment to the future of children in our city. Everyone’s at the table, in one form or another,” said Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor, who has been playing a lead role in the Say Yes efforts in Syracuse.

Hopefully this will work out as planned. Heaven knows the old techniques aren’t doing it. Look at our sub-50% graduation rates for that evidence.

Thoughts on Bills/Dolphins

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

A few thoughts on the epic 35-8 beatdown the Bills just suffered at the hands of the “Andrew Luck Sweepstakes” participant Dolphins.

  • So, we’ve got our third-string quarterback and our second-string running back split out as wide receivers? Uh, might be time to sign some more wideouts.
  • Was McKelvin benched? I don’t think I saw him all game, but rookie cornerback Aaron Williams was out there. Good thing, too; he was giving up plenty of yards, picking up where Leodis left off.
  • “Buffalo Bills Football, brought to you by Acme Air Cast! Acme, because Terrence McGee’s legs are made of glass.”
  • Putting JP Losman in at the end was about the best F-U I’ve seen from a coach in a LONG time.
  • This was the first time in a few weeks I was home on Sunday afternoon to watch the game. I wish I hadn’t been.

The wheels have officially come off of the Bills bandwagon. Everybody off.


Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

From a post on the Interesting People mailing list:

Craig S Wright says: “I was contracted to test the systems on a Boeing 747. They had added a new video system that ran over IP. They segregated this from the control systems using layer 2 – VLANs. We managed to break the VLANs and access other systems and with source routing could access the Engine management systems.”

Grease Thieves

Monday, November 14th, 2011

No! That’s Willy’s retirement grease!

Apparently grease thefts like this are becoming more common – the stuff is worth a lot of money to processors who make it into biodiesel and other products. I saw in the paper this weekend that it’s even beginning to eclipse copper theft as the go-to strategy for meth-abusing dirtbags who need money in a hurry. This truly is a land of opportunity.

Ride in style. Rest in peace.

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

I was at a funeral this weekend and it always gets me thinking as to how I want to go out. I think this would work well. Or maybe something that requires four people to pedal along side like pall-bearers.

Honey, Where’d You Come From?

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Some somewhat shocking (or not, depending on how much of a conspiracy theorist/ corporation hater you are) news about honey: Turns out about 3/4 of the stuff you buy from a grocery store cannot technically (or legally, in most of the world) be called “honey”.

“According to FSN, the lack of pollen in most conventional “honey” products is due to these products having been ultra-filtered. This means that they have been intensely heated, forced through extremely tiny filters, and potentially even watered down or adulterated in some way prior to hitting store shelves.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the position that any so-called honey products that have been ultra-filtered are not actually honey. But the agency refuses to do anything to stop this influx of illegitimate “honey” from flooding the North American market. It also continues to stonewall all petitions to establish a national regulatory standard for verifying the integrity of honey.

Assuming that there is any real honey at all in the phony honey products tested by FSN, the removal of pollen and other delicate materials via ultra-filtering renders them medicinally dead. Raw honey is a health-promoting food that can help alleviate stomach problems, anemia, allergies, and other health conditions. Ultra-filtered honey is nothing more than a health-destroying processed sugar in the same vein as white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.”

Everything sold by Trader Joes and procured at roadside stands passed the honey test. Yet another reason to support your local farmer stand or food co-op.

Election Day 2011

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

After work yesterday, I walked to my polling place to cast my votes. I’m still disappointed about the Scantron nature of the new democracy, but what are you gonna do, right?

I was handed a Scantron ballot with one corner missing. Apparently, the poll worker did not tear it cleanly out of the booklet. And when the voting machine wouldn’t read the mangled thing, apparently the procedure is to just write VOID on it and hand me another one. That’s okay, guys, I don’t mind if you all look at my filled-out ballot because this county apparently can’t afford shredders. What the heck?

Columbia FOG

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

An interesting, DARPA-funded project over at Columbia: FOG allows for false documents to be created which then “beacon” a message back to the originator when they are opened. Clearly, the intent is twofold – to seed places like Wikileaks with false information, and to ferret out people who are trading in stolen documents.


Friday, November 4th, 2011

I went to the dentist earlier this week, and for the first time ever, I had a male dental hygienist.

And I was surprised to find that I was really unnerved by it.

I don’t really think of myself as a sexist – there are plenty of women at my college who are deans or VPs, and I know male nurses and female doctors. Never bothered me. But for some reason, this was really odd to me.