In "Curious Gimpy George:"

My knees have been bad for the last decade or so, too many years of skydiving, contact sports, and just generally abusing them. I had the left knee replaced about nine months ago. Now my surgeon avoids my calls, because I will not leave him alone about doing the other one ASAP. I wish I hadn't waited so long. The pain for the first week or two post-surgery was bad, and I got a little too fond of the opiates, which the docs were perfectly happy to hand out like Easter candy. I was walking with a cane after the second week, without the cane after the second month, and without a limp after six months. Now, nine months post-surg, I consider my good knee to be the titanium and plastic one. Yes, I can predict weather changes, and it does twinge from time to time, but nothing like the bad one still does. My advice: do it. You'll be happy you did.

In "Happiness is contagious:"

I had someone IRL ask me yesterday "do you have to be so fucking happy all the time?!?!?" Why yes, yes I do! :-)

In "Tricycle Program Gets Rolling"

SF is a completely schizophrenic bike town.
San Diego is pretty much the same, though we have less hills. Our current mayor is a former cop and a good Republican who wants everyone to be scared all the time, stay home, and watch their televisions like good little consumers. The latest thing is that the Streets department has directed the street sweepers to avoid brushing against the curbs so as to lessen the need for repainting them. Of course, the result of that is that all the crap in the street gets brushed into the bike lanes, which were pretty messed up already. Oh yeah, and the cops won't enforce the bike lane ROWs downtown any more, too busy, you know. Lots of donut shop crime these days, and all.

In "Anonymous, George: Facebook Nightmares"

Alice Reynolds planted a mushroom in your garden! Click here to plant a fucking mushroom in one of your friends' gardens! Ben Tucker just sold you an ounce of high grade cocaine! Click here to sell one of your friends' some cocaine!
Wait, 'shrooms and blow? I am clearly Doing It Wrong on Facebook.

Perhaps I'm not seeing it, but... how would re-establishing a relationship with this person benefit you in any way?


Last night I was sitting on the couch, listening to his acceptance speech, and I had tears rolling down my face. Hope. This is what it feels like. It's been so long that I'd forgotten. I like it, and I hope it lasts.

In "Cops illegally taped nursing home sex."

Oops, smiley didn't come out. No offense meant, nor any taken.

that the name Higginbotham is still around.
And with a slight change in spelling, even among you here at monkeyland! You makin' fun of my name, Capt?

In "Cuil"

I don't think Google has much to worry about yet. Cuil's algorithm needs some major work. A search for "electric car" on Google does exactly what I'd expect: the first hit is for Wikipedia, then, then Zapworld, and a bunch of news sites. On Cuil it gets you a movie trailer site first, several small electric car companies that are not leaders in the field, and and some links to a PBS documentary. The Wiki and news entries are conspicuously absent. There's a similar problem search for my last name (which is a rather unusual one.) Google finds my personal and professional sites, some blog comments, and incidental links to some of my less connected relatives. Cuil's first result is to a exchange on BoingBoing in which I was discussing my sexual preferences with Xeni. (I wonder if I should tell potential "friends" to Cuil me instead of Googling? It might save some time!) The second Cuil result is a single line in an obscure genealogy database that lists my late father. A search for "hicinbaby" returns a half dozen Monkeylinks as expected (there should be about 100.) The listed results are linked to pictures that have nothing to do with the Monkeytopic. The really weird thing is, it also returns a few Middle Eastern sites where my nick doesn't apear at all. All in all, I'd say "not quite ready for prime time."

In "Curious George. "

I've just started another pass through my collection of Robert B. Parker's "Spenser" series and the Stone/Randall derivatives. Lovely summertime beach reading, and it gives some insight into the evolution of a popular American author over the space of 30+ years.

In "Mofi has seemed to be fading for a while,"

Howdy, y'all. I've been around here approximately forever (has it really been four-plus years already?) but I've never been much of a FPP-er and I seldom comment. I'm going to say some critical things, but please don't take them as criticism. I love you all, and it's a testament to the MoFi community that this place is still on my list of daily stops, and yes, I still wear my tee shirt. I have to agree with Kamus' second post in the thread: I often get a feeling of Farkness (love that term!) in the threads here, and discussions are often overwhelmed by silly comments. That said, many of the people who used to annoy me have gone away or been banhammered, but I still mostly lurk. Odd, that. On the plus side, the usual MeFi sniping and flame wars are so rare here that when they happen, we discuss them with wonder. I love that. There are three things I'd like to see changed: 1) Do away with the "one post a day" policy. There are some people here who can come up with multiple FPPs in a day; turn them loose and let them have at it. Some people surf the web all day long and can find good links, unlike me who is perpetually a week behind the latest meme. 2) Revise the policy of eeking anything that's ever been posted before. Four-plus years and almost 16,000 posts is a lot of stuff, and the MoFi search function isn't the best. If it's a repeat on the front page, eeek it, but if it's something that happened two years ago, let it live. I realize that would upset a small subset who love to find eekage excuses, but eeking a wonderful link because it showed up a year ago is a problem. That both provides negative feedback to the poster (who invariably says "but I searched for it!") as well as preventing those who have joined during that year from benefiting from our wit, wisdom and humor. :-) 3. As long as I am pretending I am king, it would be nice if there were fewer of the quick, off-topic comments that litter so many threads. They turn off the newbies, casual visitors, and people who aren't part of the clique. Anyway, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. I shall now switch back into lurk mode for the next six months.

In "Southern California besieged by wildfires."

> "Staging" being the operative word? Damned if I know exactly what they're doing, but there sure are a lot of them. They're busy little bees, at least from nine to five. They're coming and going constantly. They moved in a couple of trailers as temporary offices. Supposedly they're going to go away as soon as their facilities in the downtown federal building are properly equipped. They were apparently planning to move in a bunch of the infamous FEMA trailers as temporary housing for the folks whose houses burned. Turns out nobody wants them. Pretty much all anyone wants is money and help smoothing the way through the bureaucracy.... like they'd be any good at that. The most annoying thing? Our employees are used to parking in the nursing home parking lot at night, and the feds have stopped that. Some of our folks might be terra-ists, you know. So they're pissing people off mightily and they haven't even started doing their actual work yet.

No problems in Mexico, Tracicle. Because of the winds, the Harris fire (the southern one) moved east and north, not south. Now that the winds have changed, it's burning back to the east but still not south. The Tecate border crossing was closed all week but will reopen tomorrow morning. And unlike we foolish Americans, the Mexicans haven't built bedroom communities in the eastern desert.

FEMA sure is doing a great job. This is from this morning's AP feed:

WASHINGTON – One way to get decent coverage in this rough-and-tumble city is to arrange to have your own employees interrogate you at your news conference. That would seem to be the strategy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago. FEMA scheduled an early afternoon news briefing on only 15 minutes notice to reporters here Tuesday to talk about its handling of assistance to victims of wildfires that were ravaging much of Southern California. But because there was so little advance notice for the event held by Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy FEMA administrator, the agency made available an 800 number so reporters could call in. And many did. But at the news conference itself, some FEMA's agency employees played the role of reporter, asking questions of Johnson, The Washington Post reported in Friday's editions. Questions were described as soft and gratuitous. “I'm very happy with FEMA's response,” Johnson said in reply to one query from a person the Post said was an agency employee, not an independent journalist. Asked about this, Mike Widomski, FEMA's deputy director of public affairs, said, “We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute.”
And yes, they're here in San Diego now too. A bunch of them have commandeered the parking lot of the nursing home next to my lab for their staging area.

Thanks for all your good wishes. But I hear that the Shrub is coming tomorrow for a look-see. Isn't one disaster enough?!? Please pray for us.

> I hear that FEMA is doing OK this time? Earnest > wishes that everyone who needs it is getting help. As far as I know (and I was over at the main evac center at Qualcomm Stadium this morning) FEMA hasn't shown up yet, but we locals are doing what needs doing right now. Perhaps I'm being overly cynical, but it makes a big difference that the affected population here is mostly white, wealthy, and politically active. This won't be allowed to turn into another government-run fuckup like New Orleans. I have a rant coming about how little the powers-that-be have learned about fires in the last four years, but I'm not ready to let it out yet.

Hicinbaby and company evacuated briefly to the sea on Monday night, but we're back home now. As far as I know, I'm the only San Diego-area monkey extant. I'm not in regular communication with the LA monkeys, but I think most of them are urban hipsters and the city centers are safe. Things here in SD County are rather a mess, as your usual news sources are telling you. For some reason, they've been drastically under-reporting the level of destruction. More firefighting resources are arriving, and the winds seem to be dying down, but it isn't over yet. On preview: no, San Diego is not on fire. That's exactly the sort of over-the-top bullshit headlines we don't need. Parts of San Diego county are on fire. It's mostly bedroom communities, rural, and semi-rural areas that are burned and/or threatened. San Diego city itself, most of the tourist areas, and the seaside communities are just fine. The other major city centers like La Jolla, El Cajon, La Mesa (where I live) and most urban areas are safe. I'll try and post some more later. Right now I gotta go out and go for a walk and get some lunch-- my stress level is through the roof.

In "Happy"

Linda Ronstadt is... Linda Ronstadt is the... Linda Ronstadt is the De... Damn, I can't do it. Hey did you know she used to date Governor Moonbeam, who just got elected as attorney general of California?

In "Curious Bread Making George"

Nal: that's a remarkably insightful observation on the "dust catchers." Could I get you to come over to my house and smack me upside the head everytime one of them shows up in my Amazon Gold Box? I'm rearranging my kitchen and I've realized I have an entire cabinet full of small appliances that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I only use them once or twice a year. My breadmaker isn't one of the ones in the cabinet, though. I'm gonna wear that sucker out.


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