July 27, 2005

14 Happy Years

Oh, by the way...

Today was the 14th anniversary of my marriage to the most wonderful, beautiful, intelligent woman that I could ever hope to link up with in this world.

Here's looking forward to the next 14 years, and more.

Posted by JohnL at 11:39 PM | Comments (4) | | TrackBack

Quirky Japanese Site

I work for a Japanese company, so I appreciate the occasional treasure trove of offbeat Japanese culture.

The mission of the site proprietor is to highlight the areas of Japan that are off the beaten path of the typical gaijin tourist.

I know I found this link thanks to someone else's blog, but for the life of me I can't remember the source and didn't note it when I copied the link. So, whoever you are, thanks!

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Geek Cred

My computer geek score is greater than 49% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Via fellow wannabe Owlish.

Posted by JohnL at 08:32 PM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

Scuba Tragedy

Gunner links to an amazing and captivating tale about an extreme diving mishap in South Africa. I could not stop reading until I got to the end.

Others describe the tale as creepy. I just see it as tragic.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by JohnL at 11:33 PM | Comments (3) | | TrackBack

July 25, 2005

Carnival of Music #8

Rob the Llamabutcher has done a fine job hosting the eighth Carnival of Music over at the butcher shop. Drop by and leave some tasty bits in the Llama Butcher mailbag to let Rob know how you liked it.

Next week's carnival will be held at Musical Perceptions. Check the archive page for future hosts and previous entries in the carnival.

Posted by JohnL at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack

July 24, 2005

I'm Back

After finally getting through to an executive complaint hotline regarding our dissatisfaction with the 1-week response time Comcast told us to expect, a technician came out to the house yesterday.

It turns out our sprinkler guys had cut a cable, but we couldn't tell since Plano is one of the few cities still using a two-cable delivery system. We still had TV, but no Internet. The technician was polite and had the problem temporarily fixed in less than an hour. A crew will come out in the near future to bury the temporary cables (which are currently running across the surface of the lawn).

Long story short, the outage was our fault. Apart from dissatisfaction with the initial response time, Comcast handled the situation great.

Posted by JohnL at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack

July 20, 2005

Connectivity Issues

Comcast is experiencing service issues in our area and I will have limited access to the Internet until it is resolved.

At our old house, we had Comcast cable internet for more than 2 years with only one or two disruptions in service, which were resolved almost before we noticed them.

In our new house, we had one minor issue registering our cable modem after we moved, but until today we haven't had any other issues. However, Comcast can't explain the current outage problem. The best they can do is roll a truck to our house, but not until next week. My wife is up in arms and ready to switch to Verizon DSL. Now. Or Yesterday. Substandard technology notwithstanding....

Now, I have a long and deep-seated prejudice against DSL, going back to my early telecom contracting days. Technically, you get a small slice of dedicated bandwidth at $30 a month (DSL) versus a variable slice of monster bandwidth at $50 a month (cable modem).

Anyone have feedback on the relative merits of the two? I can review comments from my work computer at lunch time, so I'm looking forward to some suggestions.

Needless to say, this will cut into blogging around here until resolved.

Posted by JohnL at 05:43 PM | Comments (4) | | TrackBack

July 18, 2005

Carnival of Music #7

This week's Carnival of Music is being hosted at Podcast Bumper Music. The site's proprietor, Prent Rodgers, has assembled a fine collection of tuneful bloggy goodness.

Our submissions were still low this week, but we had some late entries that really rounded things out nicely. If you have written or read an interesting post about music, please send the link to our Carnival drop-box. As always, check the archive for future hosts and to browse earlier carnivals.

Posted by JohnL at 09:24 PM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack

July 17, 2005

Thoughts on Immigration

Eric has posted a very good 1000-word essay on immigration. He does a good job laying out a libertarian position on immigration close to my own. Key points: our current illegal immigration situation is a result of the laws of economics and our misguided minimum wage laws and even a police state environment would not be able to keep out illegal immigrants who wanted in. Read the whole thing.

Posted by JohnL at 03:28 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

July 15, 2005

My Battle Cry

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Hark! Who is that, rampaging through the steppes! It is John, hands clutching a mighty sword! And with a booming bellow, his voice cometh:

"Ares, God of War, be praised! I shall traumatize the entire planet!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

Cool, I always liked Mars.

(Hat tip: Michele).

Posted by JohnL at 10:27 PM | Comments (3) | | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

Fractal Fun

I love fractals. Here's a page with a little java app that lets you interact with the fractal-derived image, or you can just sit and watch it evolve without input.

At the same domain, different page, it looks like you can download a tool to generate similar fractal images on your own. I may have to try that...

Posted by JohnL at 11:18 PM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack

July 12, 2005


Don (whose blog is a continuous Carnival of Music in its own right) found this site with a link to an amazing animated video of a Neil Peart avatar performing one of my favorite rock instrumentals, YYZ. I especially like the drumstick twirls, which are a nice touch.

(For you non-Rush fans, the basic motive of the piece is based on the morse code Y-Y-Z, which is the international code for Toronto's airport).

I'm sure Jeff, who pointed me to the P.E.A.R.T. drum robot, should really dig this.

Posted by JohnL at 11:53 PM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack

New Lanius Homestead

Fellow Munuvians Howard and RP have posted pics of their new homes, so I thought I would join in the fun (click for larger):


I wonder if Pixy will put up a shot of his new digs?

Update: The picture looks all washed out since I couldn't get the lighting right. I'm no Photoshop expert, so I just jacked up the brightness and added some blue to restore the sky color. The perfect lighting for a house picture will not exist, unfortunately, for another 7 months or so. I figure that at around 3:00 in the afternoon late in the month of February will be just about right. But I couldn't wait ;-)

Posted by JohnL at 11:37 PM | Comments (8) | | TrackBack

July 11, 2005

Carnival of Music #6

Fred Himebaugh has put together a fine Carnival of Music this week.

I particularly love the Sci-Fi theme. Great job!

We have hosts lined up for the next 3 weeks, but we need more submissions of musical posts. You can submit your own post, or send along a link to someone else's post about anything musical.

Read more about the carnival's purpose, check out past carnivals, and look for future hosts here.

In the meantime, get over to Fred's place, and leave him a comment.

Posted by JohnL at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack

July 10, 2005

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (The Red Arrows)

As a tribute to our good friends in the UK who have suffered much this week, this week's cheesecake serving features some images of the Royal Air Force's Red Arrows aerobatic team:

Red Arrows.jpg

Red Arrows 1.jpg

Red Arrows 2.jpg

Posted by JohnL at 09:34 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

July 07, 2005

1000 Words on the UK Bombings

What can I say that this picture doesn't?


For the first time in US history, a foreign flag has the honor of flying above the Department of State.

Via Publius Pundit (via Instapundit).

Update: Yes, we are all Brits, for now.

Posted by JohnL at 10:50 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

House Move in Progress

I emerge from a pile of cardboard boxes and packing paper to announce my re-connection to the Internet.

I hope to get some pics of the new Lanius Lair up soon.

Forecast: continued intermittent blogging.

Posted by JohnL at 09:40 AM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

Carnival of Music #5

The house move has kept me offline this week, so I am only now able to link to this week's Carnival of Music, over at Sissy's blog, And What Next.

Go check it out. Also, get your submissions in so that Fred can put on a good Carnival #6 next Monday.

As always, consult the archive page to read earlier carnivals and to volunteer to host or to submit a post.

Posted by JohnL at 09:07 AM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

July 03, 2005

Sunday Aircraft Cheesecake (B-36 Peacemaker)

Made only in Texas.

Part prop, part jet.

All badass.

The B-36 Peacemaker:


For an idea of just how frickin' big this plane was, check out this side-by-side photo, which makes the B-29 bomber look like a toy:


(Image found here).

Neat story describing the experience of a low flyover.

Loads of interesting history here. (Double-take: Nuclear propulsion testbed?)

Even more history here.

Posted by JohnL at 10:15 PM | Comments (2) | | TrackBack

July 02, 2005

Supreme Court Shuffle

With Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retiring, the blogosphere is abuzz with speculation about whom the President will name as her successor. I have previously posted my criteria for what I would want to see in a justice, and a "short list" of potential nominees I would like to see. Of course, none of them are within the Bush circle (all are too libertarian, and not conservative enough) so it's just a fun speculative game.

Other posts that are more useful:

Professor Randy Barnett provides a helpful guide to following the debate, with the most insightful [to me] comments critiquing conservatives:

LESSON ONE: Watch the switch from a list of ignored textual provision to good and bad results.

This debate should not allowed to be turned into a debate over results. It should instead be a debate over constitutional method and the restoration of portions of the text that have long been discarded. This includes challenges to judicial conservatives who, like Justice Scalia, would continue to ignore the Ninth Amendment or Privileges or Immunities Clause because they fail to meet his standard for a "rule of law." Ignoring portions of the Constitution because they fail to conform to your theory of the "rule of law" is no different than ignoring portions that fail to conform to your theory of "justice."

(Emphasis mine). Of course we libertarians often share much common ground with "conservatives" in critiquing the excesses of past activist supreme courts that abandoned original intent. So the most interesting debate to me is the one between the libertarian and conservative philosophies. Read Barnett's other two lessons here.

Nick at Crime and Federalism has a list of questions he would like to ask.

But the best post I have found so far was Annika's Freakin' Idiots Guide to the Supreme Court. The choice cut is her handy cut-out-ready pocket guide to the court, which describes Scalia thus: "Anthony Scalia: The first Supreme Court Justice to score perfect 18's in intelligence, wisdom and dexterity on the LSAT. He carries a short sword, is skilled in the use of the bo staff, has 36 hit points, and is also a 13th level Palladin [sic]. The ABA rates him as: good.

My predictions about candidates below:

I expect that Bush will seek to put forward a Hispanic candidate rather than a woman, since Ruth Bader Ginsberg remains on the Court. I hate tokenism, but that's the way they play the game these days. Two Hispanic front runners are Al Gonzales and Emilio Garza. Gonzales is a close Bush friend, which I think gives him an edge over Garza. He was also a Texas Supreme Court justice, whom I remember to be moderately conservative. Expect major distortions of his record (like what happened to Priscilla Owen).

If Bush goes with a woman, I expect him to pass over the far superior Janice Rogers Brown and go with Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones.

We'll see what happens next week. No matter what, I expect the political left to howl in indignation.

Posted by JohnL at 11:14 PM | Comments (1) | | TrackBack

July 01, 2005


Jeff Goldstein nails MSNBC's Brian Williams, just like our patriotic forefathers did with their blunderbusses loaded with nails and glass at the Battle of Bunker Hill (which, when you get right down to it, is not all that different from the nail-and-rat-poison methods of the modern-day minuteman, right?)

Posted by JohnL at 09:59 PM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack

Heinlein Quote of the Month (July 2005)

Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.

- Mr. Dubois in Starship Troopers.

Posted by JohnL at 12:27 AM | Comments (0) | | TrackBack