Wednesday, June 27, 2007


We are off to East Bearskin for a few days of much-needed time out of the city.... We'll be back with pictures!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New web pages

I have bought to go along with and The idea is that I am going to separate my art work from my design ideas with being art and 1mile being the business. It will make both easier to design, navigate and maintain.

Right now they both go to the same place, but look for some changes in the near future!

Oh and our DSL rocks. the speakeasy speed test says we have roughly 6 megabit service down and 1 up which feels really great. Now we can watch our YouTube in peace..

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Booooo, boooooooooooo!!!!

Boo on Rep. John Lesch, who says he plans to introduce a bill that would ban five dog breeds (Akitas, Rottweilers, pit bulls, wolf hybrids, and Chow Chows), or "mixed-breed dogs with any of the above traits."

Here are my favorite points on the above-linked article:
  • good luck getting the government to reliably identify "pit bulls". Can you?
  • even better luck getting the government to reliably identify "mixed breed dogs with any of the above traits". What traits? If it has sticky-up ears, does that make it part Akita? If it howls, does that make it part wolf? Who gets to decide?
  • "The dog that attacked Brianna was previously declared "potentially dangerous" by city inspectors." And why was the dog allowed to get into a situation where it could attack again? Because, the city stated, they don't have enough resources to follow up with people who have dogs that are deemed dangerous to ensure they are following the rules (using muzzles when in public, etc). If they can't enforce existing laws (which would have prevented the recent attacks that Rep. Lesch is using to promote his bill), how will they possibly enforce an even more stringent law?
  • "But you do hear about the pit bulls, who are responsible, according to Minnesota statistics, for up to one third of the vicious attacks in this state in the past five years." Here is a the major flaw- the dogs are the ones attacking, but are they the ones responsible? I would place responsibility on their owners, where it belongs. It is owners who are either not training and socializing their dogs properly, training their dogs to be aggressive, or not controlling their dogs if they know they have an aggression problem. It's rare to see a story of severe aggression in a dog that has never exhibited aggressive behavior towards humans or animals before... Dogs don't attack out of the blue. Some human knew, and didn't take responsibility. Why punish the dog and let the owner of the hook?
  • "A half-dozen members of a group that finds homes for neglected or abandoned Rottweilers, pit bulls and other nontraditional breeds criticized the proposal as too difficult to enforce and unfair to responsible dog owners." Uh, 'non-traditional breeds'? Is anything other than a lab or a golden 'non-traditional'? It's not like owning a Rottie is a sign that you're a social delinquent... According to the AKC, in 2006 Rottweilers were #17 in terms of number of dogs registered. They beat out collies, corgis, huskies, dalmatians... American Staffordshire terriers (one of the breeds usually considered a pit bull) ranked higher than Jack Russells. How are these breeds non-traditional?
  • Take a look at other cities and countries where 'dangerous breeds' have been banned... Have the bans had any effect on bite statistics? Our behavior professor said no for European bans, and apparently they haven't affected statistics in the states either.

Breed bans turn a handful of breeds into "dogs that bite" and all the rest become "dogs that don't bite". People who don't deal with dogs often end up assuming that anything that isn't a rottie or a "pit bull" is safe to pet or safe to own. Our neighbor was upset that some people in the building were violating the apartment's banned breeds list, but that didn't mean she was upset with Winnie, because "obviously she wouldn't bite." People quit using common sense when they think about dogs in a "dangerous/not dangerous" light- of course in reality, anything with teeth can bite. In 2000, a Pomeranian killed a six-week-old baby, and the only dog at daycare that has bitten an employee badly enough to need stitches was a poorly-socialized land-shark of a Miniature pinscher. I understand that some breeds have physical characteristics that make them more potentially dangerous, but if you want to make a pre-emptive strike on all potentially dangerous dogs, I think you'd have to go ahead and ban the whole species.

Death by dog attack is terrible, especially when the victims are children... but considering that about 10 children die per year by dog attack, that number is relatively small. Lord knows how many kids die in car accidents every year. An average of 10 children per year die in school bus accidents. 826 die annually at the hands of caregivers (usually family members). 25 die per year drowning in buckets. I think I shall ask Rep. John Lesch to introduce some anti-bucket legislation next year.

Rep. Lesch is also ignoring the fact that dog attacks have been decreasing in recent years... Frankly, the only reason dog attacks seem like such a threat is because they make good news, and I think it's terrible that some people are willing to be so fleeced by the media that they will support the deaths of thousands of well-behaved, well-adjusted pets to try and catch the handful of poorly-socialized dogs in a breed ban. Responsible owners with good dogs will comply. Irresponsible owners (who are the whole reason these attacks occur) will not, and the only ones who pay the price will be the good dogs.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

DSL monday

We are getting DSL on monday! Theoretically honking fast 7 megabit DSL too, thanks to the fact that we are just 2 blocks away from our routing station. Right now we are on "Multiband" for free thanks to their 60 day promo. They are the folks who wired (ie monopolized) this building so you can just plug right into the ethernet in the wall, no modem required. However, it says a lot how good their internet is when we are willing to end our contract with them before the freeness is over to get DSL. Yes, it is worse than free. I just ran a test and since it is the weekend and there are lots of people on, I got 38.8 KB a second down and 3.9 KB a second up! Is this 1997 or 2007? They want to charge us $32 a month for that too. So for just $10 more a month we are getting 20x the speed. Wohoo!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Best. Summer. Job. Ever.

I almost ended up collecting ticks all summer. I almost ended up testing samples of calf diarrhea for bacteria. Instead... I am doing this!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Iron Pans

This past weekend we completed our collection of cast iron cookware for now. I am still on the quest for their mythic non-stick properties and taking care of them as if they were pets! Or at least plants. Clean them gently as to not remove the budding non-stick, and coating them with a little olive oil after to keep them shiny. I found a good article in the New York Times that writes out the hassle and the benefits pretty well. Short version - once you get them seasoned they are great! But you have to take care of them really well. So now we have a 12'', a 6'', and a grill pan. Things do cook very well (hot even heat that lasts) and they are fun to use! The whole set cost $20 so thats good too!

The dark humorists at have their own take too...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Where been?

Well I guess bloging has dropped off a bit in the past few weeks. I have started my job at Macalester and things are going great. A lot of change happening there, and they have the energy and the support to make it happen too, it's great!

I am still working at St. Olaf too, and the drive is already wearing on me. My contract expires Aug 31st but it is going to be a hot summer of driving to contend with. Its still good though, not much to complain about.

To get things rolling and in the spirit of car talk, (it is still complicated, more later) I found this video of the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend that had an unusual canadian contestant.

The race here is between a 800+ hp Toyota F1 car and a .01 hp marmot


As you can see in these publicity shots, the marmot and the F1 car share similar aerodynamic qualities, and although the marmot is much less powerful, it also weighs far less and has the added benefit of all paw drive. Lets see how things turn out in slow motion...

Monday, June 04, 2007

One car?

Now that life has settled down a bit as far as jobs and summer, Chris and I are back to seriously discussing going down to one car. It's a little silly to need two cars when I work two blocks away, we are on a "hi frequency" bus route, and school is less than 2 miles away. We also recently discovered that parking at the lofts might get tight now that everyone has moved in, as there are 167 lofts and only 133 parking spots. People can just park on the street for now, but come winter with snow emergencies, etc, it would just be less hassle to only have to worry about one car. Not to mention we would pay less for gas, insurance, etc........

Thoughts? Encouragement? Discouragement?