With the news that the Loudoun Planning Commission recommended the approval for the Broadlands Regional Medical Center (BRMC) to the Board of Supervisors, it’s come down to whether the BoS will finally, at long last, approve the facility to be built. If you’ve read this blog for any legth of time, you know my views on it.
With all of this in mind, it’s time to ask the HoodaThunk? readership. What do you think? And if I’m asking, that means it’s poll time!
(Poll removed from this post.)
This poll is also over there in the sidebar. Let me know what you think and we’ll see where this goes.
Update: Hmmm, apparently the WordPress polls can either be on the sidebar or in a blog post but not both. Oh, well, go look at the sidebar and you’ll find it.
Well, it’s almost 10:30 at night where I’m sitting and you’ll notice there wasn’t an entry all day. There was a reason for that: I was working on my house.
List today included: finished up installing new shelving in a bedroom closet, sorted out stuff in the basement storage area to be sent out to the curb next trash day, installed 2 fluorescent “shop lamp” fixtures in that storage area to permit us to see better when we are working down there, assembled and placed 2 new 5-shelf utility shelving units, disassembled a large desk, moved upstairs into spare bedroom and reassembled, began re-arranging items in storage area to take advantage of new shelf space, dragged 2 trees (1′s small), ornaments & assorted Christmas decor out of storage area to be put in place tomorrow after church.
After all of that, I determined that the 2 shop lights weren’t sufficiently safe plugged into opposite sides of an incandescent lamp extender socket so I’m going to take the entire lamp fixture down tomorrow and replace it with a 2-plug receptacle. Then we can get serious about picking the remaining crap… ah, er.. the remaining very important household items up off the floor and putting them on the shelves.
Home ownership – sometimes ya just gotta step away from the keyboard and – like the man says – git ‘er done!
Good morning, folks, from HoodaThunk? mobile, reporting in from the parking lot of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church. I’m standing watch over our Knights of Columbus Christmas tree sale, day 1. Not too bad outside although the wind has picked up.
There’s a pleasant fire, the smell of some wonderful pines, and the knowledge that I’m working for charitable causes in the Spirit of Christmas. Not a bad start to the Christmas season, not bad at all!
Some time back I rather stumbled across a fascinating site filled with videos of 10-15 minute long talks on a huge variety of topics. The site is called TED.com and it’s worth a look or two. You’ll find people talking about politics (yes, there’s an Al Gore video about climate change), science, math, psychology, business, and technology. Today, I ran across this one by Jeff Han regarding a new multi-point touch-screen tech he’s been working on.
The screen allows a truly intuitive control of the interface and permits multiple points of touch. This, in turn, permits a user to form more complex gestures than a simple touch or drag. It’s just about 9 minutes long and it’s a pretty cool look into the future. I’d love to have one of these myself right now!
I put up a new poll, by the way, and this one’s got nothing to do with politics. (Unlike the previous ones about the VA Attorney General race or what computer operating system people use.) This one’s all about cars. Electric cars, that is.
So the question isn’t a matter of whether electric cars are becoming available – they are. The question is a matter of whether you’re going to buy one. Or, more specifically, why you won’t be. If an electric car was available for purchase, what’s the most likely reason you’d hold off buying one? For this poll, you can actually choose more than 1 reason, so feel free to select all that apply. You can find that poll here or right over there in sidebar.
The company phone I’m issued is a PDA phone allowing us to have access to our full company directory, our e-mail (in real time), and to access parts of our company’s intranet. Oh, yes – it also actually makes phone calls. The IT department eased carefully into providing this capability, at first supporting exactly 1 model of phone. When it became obvious that the only people impressed with their choice of the model was the IT staff, they ran a project to identify a number of new models and that’s the series of devices available now. When I blog on-the-go (HoodaThunk? Mobile™), I’m using my company-issued Motorola Q to get the job done. It’s way better than the 1st project’s device, to say the least, but it’s sure not as good as what we’d like. The largest problem is the company’s use of GoodLink, a software suite that allows connections from PDA’s to company e-mail assets in a secure and supposedly consistent fashion.
It’s a resource hog. It locks up the PDA. It slows it waaaaaaay down.
For some time we’ve been poking IT to start offering the capability to use Blackberry devices with the company resources. Well, just in time for Thanksgiving, they just announced that they’re going to do so. The Blackberry devices they’re going to support include the Pearl, the Curve, (another one I can’t recall just now), and – get this – the new Blackberry Storm on Verizon.
Well, based on this review, I’m not sure I’m going to go with the cutting edge:
Well, there’s a new one, just out ($200 after rebate, with two-year Verizon contract), officially called the BlackBerry Storm.
But I’ve got a better name for it: the BlackBerry Dud.
And so begins a litany of complaints about the device. Some are just whining, that’s clear. But many are not, specifically the complaints about the performance:
To scroll a list, you’re supposed to flick your finger across the screen, just as on the iPhone. But even this simple act is head-bangingly frustrating; the phone takes far too long to figure out that you’re swiping and not just tapping. It inevitably highlights some random list item when you began to swipe, and then there’s a disorienting delay before the scrolling begins.
There’s no momentum to the scrolling, either, as on the iPhone or a Google phone; you can’t flick faster to scroll farther. Scrolling through a long list of phone numbers or messages, therefore, is exhausting.
Nor is that the Storm’s only delayed reaction. It can take two full seconds for the screen image to change when you turn it 90 degrees, three seconds for a program to appear, five seconds for a button-tap to register. (Remember: To convert seconds into BlackBerry time, multiply by seven.)
A PDA that performs worse than the one I’ve already got is something I don’t need, that’s for certain. Until I start seeing other information out here – aside from RIM advertising material – that says differently I think I’ll be going with one of the more mature Blackberry devices instead.
As with many people, I have been bombarded over the last couple of days with “last minute” projects and requests by folks who suddenly realized on Monday that there were only 3 work days this week. Well, really only 2½ since most people take off early today. In the midst of all of that, I received an e-mail from one of the VP’s of our company wishing all of us in his division a Happy Thanksgiving calling upon us to remember when Thanksgiving, as an official US holiday, started.
It was October 3rd, 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. The nation was at war, fighting a civil war within our own borders and with our own brothers in our sights. You don’t hear this kind of language from elected officials today and that’s the worst shame of it all. But the Proclamation, boldly and proudly signed by Lincoln, is an uplifting message to Americans in any age. It bears repeating today.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
A Washington Post article this week talks about the incoming Obama administration’s possible move to pull FEMA out of the Homeland Security Department and stand it up on its own again.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration, a tragicomic disaster since Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 — and even before then — looks to be getting a facelift under the Obama administration, sources tell us.
First off, the likely plan is to break off the agency from the Department of Homeland Security, a move that would in itself help restore the pride FEMA folks felt when it was an independent agency.
Second, there’s increasing talk that former director James Lee Witt, who took over the then-troubled agency at the start of the Clinton administration and left it eight years later with a much enhanced reputation for getting things done, is coming back in from retirement to run FEMA for maybe six months to a year and whip it into shape.
This is not unexpected. The inclusion of FEMA into DHS has long been a point of contention among various groups with the primary argument being that FEMA was designed to provide federal oversight and coordination of first responders to natural disasters. I would briefly address the snarky “tragicomic” reference by reminding our esteemed media colleague that FEMA was never intended to be a first responder, responsible for handing out blankets and water bottles. FEMA was supposed to be a communications hub and a funding source. Their mission has somehow changed in the public perception and their response to Ike and Gustav this year was widely praised. (It would have been nice for Mr. Kamen, the author of the WaPo article, to have mentioned that as prominently as he references Katrina. Especially since Katrina is 3 years old, now, and Gustav happened this year.)
I don’t know whether this would be a good idea or not but I don’t think that removing FEMA from DHS would damage either party much. FEMA’s capabilities would still be available to DHS in a time of need, it’s just that FEMA’s management structure wouldn’t be answering to DHS’s management. (Something many I have spoken to would argue isn’t happening as it is, anyway.) I guess we’ll see after January 20.
Well, I’ve left the poll up for around a week and it appears that Ken Cuccinelli is supported 2-to-1 in his VA Attorney General bid by the readers here. More to come.