Monthly Archives: May 2007

Class Crosstown

I spent the day at a SQL Server Class in Edina, on the other side of Minneapolis. The commute actually was not too bad. That area of the Metro is notorious for bad traffic, but coming from the Northeast I avoided the worst both morning and evening. The really bad traffic was all going the other direction. Still, it was a lot of driving. I would really hate to live in that area and need to drive through it routinely every day. There is something fundamentally wrong about how modern American urban areas are constructed, and at a deeper level, the decision processes by which we got there. We, or our children, are going to pay for it.

Memorial Day

I spent much of the morning working on colgaffneyis newsletter. The hard copy is printed and almost ready to mail. All I have to do tomorrow is buy stamps and mail it.

After finishing that I went by the graves of my grandparents. I took the wrong exit from the expressway and corrected myself, to my surprise, by reconstructing the directions from their old house, rather than from our home in Roseville. I cleared the grass and debris from the grave stones, and afterwards I drove by their house in NE Minneapolis, not far away. The house is being well kept up. Sometime in the past decades one of the owners repainted the trim brown. The contrast with the stucco looks good. Two houses on the block had For Sale signs. I hope that does not mean there is a problem with the neighborhood. Everything I could see looked OK.

I came home and had a sandwich for lunch. Then mia_mcdavid, our son James, and I went to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean. I carefully avoided every temptation to make sense of the plot and just sat back to enjoy the action and the scenes. Of course, I noticed the gear and clothing ranged from c. 1600 (e.g. a helmet similar to the one I am wearing in this userpic) to the mid 1700’s (the infantry uniforms). Some of the wigs were typical of the latter period, but others were more suited to 1690. One of the firearms was quite similar to colgaffneyis grenade launcher (if you imagine it being upgraded to a flintlock) and there was a boarding axe quite similar to one I own. So it actually was rather amusing :-)>

Bottled the stout

After lunch today (possibly the best hamburger I have ever eaten in my life) mia_mcdavid and I went home. We both took a much needed nap, but not before I filled the dishwasher with beer bottles and started it.

When I got up I bottled the dry stout that I brewed back on St. Patrick’s Day. Final gravity was 1.013–higher than I would like, so it may not be as dry as all that. Still, it smelled good, and I expect it will be OK.

Brewed on St. Patrick’s Day and bottled on Pentecost, a very ecclesiastical beer.


mia_mcdavid and I went to the St. Paul Farmer’s market in the morning. A pleasant outing.

We spent the afternoon at a clothing workshop (“camp drill”) for colgaffneyis. It was held at the home of c_nocturnum. A lot of patterns by kass_rants were being used there. I spent most of the time working on a pair of period shoes that I had made last year–just maintenance, repairing some seams. I have a very similar pair of shoes I purchased, but I realized at last weekend’s Scottish Fair that while the workmanship on the commercial pair was better, the homemade shoes were perfectly useable, looked OK, and were more comfortable.

Really Long Term Thinking

Cosmologists Predict A Static Universe In 3 Trillion Years

“When Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter proposed a static model of the universe in the early 1900s, he was some 3 trillion years ahead of his time.”

Via Slashdot.

The de Sitter universe was one of the first cosmological models devised using General Relativity, and is widely discussed in Gen Rel textbooks–I have several in the basement. Nice to see the classics are still relevant :-)>

Poverty, Abortion, and Politics

Abortion rate = 2.06 + 1.71 * Poverty rate (R2= 0.37)

Under that dry title you will read:

….abortion rates went down sharply during the Clinton administration, in spite of his pro-abortion stance. The change reversed in the current administration, in spite of Bush’s anti-abortion stance….

The single most effective anti-abortion activity in the last 23 years was the reduction of poverty

From Monastic Musings.