Digital Archaelogy

I’ve got a bunch of five-and-a-quarter floppies from the eighties that I’ve been hanging on to. Even if I could muster up an old drive, with a mobo with an interface and a cable, what are the chances that they’re still readable? I hate to throw potential data (and personal history) away. I’d love to be able to hoover them up on a hard drive.

On The Anniversary Of The First Tea Party

The Tea Partiers have won a great victory:

Speaking now on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) says he is “sorry and disappointed” to announce that he does not have the votes for the omnibus spending package. Instead, he will work with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) to draft a temporary continuing resolution to fund the government into early next year.

Reid says nine Republican senators approached him today to tell him that while they would like to see the bill passed, they could not vote for it. He did not reveal the names of the nine. A top Senate source tells National Review Online that “it looks like Harry Reid buckled under the threat of Republicans reading [the bill] aloud.”

Mr. Smith has come to Washington, again.

[Update a couple minutes later]

More links from Instapundit. “Brave Sir Harry Ran Away.”


[Update a minute or two later]

I should note that I haven’t had much to say about the horrible NASA appropriations in this bill (three billion dollars for SLS and MPCV — how in the world would they have sensibly spent $1.8B on a heavy lifter in 2011, with only nine months left in the fiscal year?), because I wanted to wait and see if it was actually going to pass.

I think that we will be on continuing resolutions as far as the eye can see, at this point, or at least until 2013, and the big battles over the NASA budget will be what goes into rescission bills, starting early next year. The job of people who really want to see progress in space is to make sure that the SLS is on the top of the chopping block, at least restricting it to studies in the next couple years instead of pouring hundreds of millions into obsolete technologies.

You heard it here first.

An Exciting Night

I power washed the patio, balcony and stairs on Sunday, and didn’t get the washer put away, leaving it on the patio (which is upstairs, above the garage — our living area is upstairs and the bedrooms down).

Early this morning, about 1 AM, Patricia was awakened by noise on the patio. She thought she heard someone testing doorknobs, and there were other noises. Suddenly, the security light at the bottom of the stairs came on.

I got up to see what was happening, looked out the kitchen door, and saw a fire on the patio. I ran outside in bare feet, turned on the hose, and put it out. What you see below is the charred remains of the power washer.

Patricia called 911 while this was happening, and they sent a fire truck, even though it was under control. The firemen came, looked at it, and we all stood scratching our heads trying to figure out how it had seemingly spontaneously combusted. But the fire was out, and they shrugged and left.

After we got to bed, I think I figured out what happened. He or they were probably kids looking for an easy house to burgle, couldn’t get in, saw the washer, wondered what it was or how it worked, and picked up the nozzle and pulled the trigger. I had left it plugged in, and the power on. Even with power on, it doesn’t do anything unless the pressure in the hose drops when the trigger is pulled. Unfortunately, there was no water hooked up to it, because I’d turned off the hose and disconnected it when I finished spraying on Sunday, so probably the motor started running attempting to pressurize the non-existent water, which also acts as a coolant. I’m guessing that they held it on long enough that the motor overheated and caught the plastic case on fire, at which point he/they panicked and ran down the stairs.

I’m guessing they won’t be back any time soon, though I suppose we should report it to the police, just for statistical purposes. Normally, it’s a pretty safe neighborhood. This is the first burglary attempt of the house while we were home, as far as I know, in the almost twenty years that we’ve lived here.

[Early afternoon update]

Patricia points out that I’m understating the noise level (I was still half asleep). We actually heard things being shoved around up there, and the patio table was definitely in a new position. If it wasn’t burglars, it was very strong, aggressive and curious raccoons. I’m still going with human-caused disaster.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

Switch to our mobile site