Margie Kieper e-mailed me just after noon today, alerting me that, at a press conference this morning about the Minneapolis bridge disaster, NTSB head Mark Rosenker said investigators are seeking “an opportunity to get up close and see how the metal separated… or was cut.” Huh? See for yourself at WCCO, or below:
Oddly, the media isn’t covering the part of Rosenker’s statement where he talked about the metal potentially being “cut.” I’m not sure if he is referring to possible sabotage, or to some sort of construction accident (i.e., accidental “cutting”), but either way, it’s surely newsworthy, no? Yet the articles about the press conference are pretty boilerplate. For example, the Star-Tribune says only:
NTSB investigators today will begin focusing on the north end of the bridge, he said. They have already concluded that the collapse probably did not occur on the south side.
The NTSB us hiring a pilot and helicopter to perform a high-resolution photographic inventory of everything in the area, including vehicles and debris.
“I don’t know how to change a tire. Some people consider that a very important skill to have. I consider a AAA card a very important thing to have.” –Becky
After oversleeping a bit this morning (we’re going with “the baby was sleepy” as our excuse, though I think 3am blog debates may have had more to do with it), we’re finally en route to Buffalo, where we’ll visit Shannon, PJ and Logan for a few days before heading to my uncle & aunt’s cabin in the Adirondacks at the end of the week to visit them and my parents, who are driving up from Connecticut.
I guess I never really updated y’all on our summer travel plans, did I? (I’m sure you were all on the edge of your seats, waiting for the update.) Well, after asking for travel suggestions for this period of post-bar-exam freedom, and briefly dreaming about elaborate vacations to Banff, Iceland, New Zealand, etc., we realized we really just couldn’t afford such an expenditure, what with a baby on the way and all. We flirted with the idea of a weekend in Vegas, but we ultimately decided that a week-and-a-half with our friends in Denver, plus a week with friends and family in New York state, was enough of a vacation for now. And then maybe when we have more money someday, we’ll take our kid(s) to Iceland. :)
Anyway… as I mentioned yesterday, Becky’s car will hit 100,000 miles today. Looks like it’ll happen on I-71, somewhere on the northeastern suburbs of Cincinnati. This will actually be the second time I’ve been in a car that’s crossed the 100,000-mile barrier in Ohio: my parents’ old Dodge Aries hit 100,000 on I-40 in New Paris, OH, en route back from a family vacation to Illinois in 1992. (Yes, I’m bizarrely obsessed with arbitrary milestones like odometers rolling over to 100,000.)
Warning: contains vulgarity.
I figured it was timely. :)
The last four consecutive nights, I’ve watched every Barry Bonds at-bat on ESPN2, not wanting to miss the historic home runs that would tie, and then break, Hank Aaron’s record. But he didn’t hit any. So of course it figures that tonight, when I totally forgot about Bonds and wasn’t watching, he would tie the record.
I’m watching now. It’s the 5th inning. Will he hit another tonight? If he does, he’ll actually tie a Babe Ruth record — the career total for most multiple-HR games — in addition to breaking the more important Hank Aaron record.
Caveat: I don’t like Barry Bonds, and I don’t respect what he’s apparently done to get to this point. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to watch history in the making.
P.P.S. Also tonight, Alex Rodriguez — who might someday break Bonds’s record — hit his 500th homer, becoming the youngest player ever to achieve that milestone.
UPDATE: No #756 tonight. Bonds is out of the game, replaced by a pinch-runner with the score tied in the 8th.
Home run #755 was caught by Adam Hughes of La Jolla.
UPDATE 2: Barry Bonds knew about 9/11! Heh.
UPDATE 3: The pitcher who gave up the historic homer once tested positive for steroids. Heh.
Speaking of which, I thought it was pretty awesome that this ad aired on ESPN2 during the game:
First Steroids Awareness Day, and now this. Ah, the delightful little indignities that Bonds must suffer en route to his unearned place in history.
UPDATE 4: CBS Sportsline’s Gregg Doyel is unimpressed with commissioner Bud Selig’s handling of the situation.
All right, it’s been two weeks since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out, so I’ve decided to scale back the special measures I’ve had in place to prevent people from accidentally stumbling upon spoilers. In particular, new comments on all posts — including “That Which Must Not Be Blogged” — will once again appear on the recent comments page. So if you’re trying to avoid spoilers, I’d suggest steering clear of that page.
Relatedly, it is now OK to post Harry Potter spoilers in comments on some posts other than “That Which Must Not Be Blogged” — but only those posts which contain a spoiler warning in the text of the post. (At present, no such posts exist aside from TWMNBB, but I’ll probably post a few in the coming days; I have a couple of issues related to the book that I want to blog about.)
Basically, I want people who haven’t yet read the book, but intend to do so, to know which comment threads it’s safe to read, and which ones they should avoid like the plague. So please confine any discussion of plot details to posts with spoiler warnings. (And if you’re one of the people trying to avoid spoilers, please steer clear of posts with spoiler warnings, and of the “recent comments” page.) Thanks!
P.S. Apropos of which, a poll:
An interesting argument that “high crimes and misdemeanors” doesn’t mean what we think it means.
(The context is the notion of impeaching Alberto Gonzales, but the writer says, “I am not arguing for impeachment in this diary. I am arguing against specific invalid reasons regularly given for not proceeding with impeachment.” … And yes, it’s from Daily Kos, but it’s a non-batsh*t-crazy Daily Kos post! Might not be right, but not crazy. And interesting.)
Here’s a rather entertaining video from our visit to Rocky Mountain National Park showing the SHA girls — Becky, Shannon, Kristy and V — running away from the terrifying spectre of… a chipmunk.
Note also my girly giggle.
You might hear Becky saying something about “bubonic plague.” The reason is because, during the drive up, I had been reading aloud from a pamphlet outlining the various dangers campers might face in the park, and one of them was the possibility that various creatures, including chipmunks, might be infected with the plague. The girls took this remote risk a little too much to heart, methinks. :)
BTW, I’m sorry for not getting my full gallery of Denver pics up yet.
Maybe later today. They’re online now! :) Of particular interest, the all-important boob picture:
P.S. Aww, ain’t we cute?
Electronic voting machines: still not ready for prime time. Not even close, actually.
This isn’t surprising. The question is whether anyone is paying attention. A recurring theme of recent years, from Katrina to Iraq to (maybe) the Minneapolis bridge collapse, has been the failure to heed clear warnings of impending disaster. Will it happen again with electronic voting? (Hat tip: InstaPundit.)
The last time I updated my PowerBook saga, I said I hadn’t “decided yet whether IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to follow [Apple Genius Mike’s] prognosis Ã¢â‚¬â€ which is to reinstall the OS again…or contact AppleCare and try to press my case through them. The problem is, Apple doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t offer e-mail support, only phone support, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very difficult to explain my list of problems (and the relevant history) by phone. I wish I knew where could send my letter, plus all the accompanying documentation (screenshots, videos, etc.), with confidence that it would get to somebody who could help.” In response to which, a commenter helpfully wrote: “You can send a letter to Apple, and this would probably be the best solution. Send it to AppleCare Executive Relations, 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014. This will get your letter to the ‘God Mode’ customer service people. These people are immediately under Steve Jobs, they WILL get the letter, and WILL be helpful.”
Well, the bar exam put everything on hold, but now that I have some free time again, I’ve decided to follow that advice. So I’ve updated and expanded my manifesto to Apple — it’s now fully nine pages long — and I plan to send it off tomorrow, along with a CD containing various files (video clips, screen grabs, etc.) demonstrating the problems described in my 2-page letter and the accompanying 7-page list of problems. You can read the whole thing for yourself, if you dare, here. I’ve uploaded and embedded some (though not all) of the referenced video and audio clips; for instance, here’s the video showing an instance of the PowerBook’s “erratic sleep behavior” on June 23, just three days after I got it back from repair:
Again, the whole manifesto, with additional video clips, is here, if anyone’s interested.
P.S. On my previous “manifesto” post, Burkeman asked: “Now IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m concerned about buying an Apple for my college-bound daughter. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always had issues with my ipods. Would you still recommend Apple?” My response was: “Burkeman, can I get back to you after this situation is resolved? At the moment, I would say yes, I still recommend Apple, because when their computers work, they work better than other computers; they don’t break any more often than anyone else’s computers; and when they do break, Apple is generally quite good at making its customers happy. It’s that third point, though, that hangs in the balance depending on how this is all resolved.” So, yes: much hangs in the balance. What will happen at the “Infinite Loop”?