People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Man And His Passion

Steve. Steve. Steve. What in the good name of Christ is this?

Continuing on the theme of federal programs and section 1983 claims

In Caswell v. City of Detroit Housing Commission, the Sixth Circuit held that the plaintiff has no section 1983 claim based on the alleged denial of the benefits of the Voucher Program created by regulations implementing Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937. In reaching its conclusion, the Court applied the FERPA case, Gonzaga University v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273 (2002), argued by John Roberts, that was cited in today's article on Medicaid in the NY Times, discussed below.

Now, when I was young and wanted to impress the chicks, I'd quote muzzle velocities to them of 30-06 caliber bullets with various grain weights from 125 to 210, the relative knock-down power of each and the expected drop in trajectory at 200 yards when using any one of them.

It worked every time.

Mr. Minor seems to have a different approach (or he has targeted a different class of chicks; hard to tell).

If anyone out there can decipher what it is that my favorite blogging attorney has written, please let me know. It looks good though, doesn't it? When I find myself running afoul of FERPA, I'm going to have Steve argue my case.

You can tell, as you read his weblog, that Steve really enjoys this stuff, although the reason for it is completely mystifying.

Exercising The Mind

Brian over at BRIANPATTON.ORG has taken up the study of Linux (as I understand it a Unix-based operating system that many claim is easier to work with than Windows, is less trouble, and whose source code is available for free to anyone smart enough to get involved in such a thing; which leaves me out) .
Now that I have finished the bar exam (took ALL of my time), I have decided to get started back on my “goals” list. Somewhere near the top of that was learning the basics of Linux.
Before you laugh - or deem this to be an indication that Brian is psychotic and prone to the eventual commission of mass murder - I should tell you that I did something similar a few years ago. I took up the study of HTML.

Just as Brian could go out and buy a Dell loaded with Windows XP and not have to bend the brain to use it, I could have reverted to Microsoft FrontPage to produce web pages. But that isn't the point for either of us.

We want to keep our brains from forming cobwebs.

Either that or he's taken a lesson from Steve Minor and this is his way of attracting chicks (see above).

The Candidates, The Roads, A Conundrum

Tim Kaine and Jerry Kilgore (rival gubernatorial candidates here in Virginia) have plans for fixing the roads and highways up around Washington DC and Richmond. They should. Having spent a good deal of time driving around both cities, I can attest to the fact that repairs are desperately needed.

Kaine makes the news this morning with this (as reported in The Roanoke Times):
.... Kaine said he understood the urgency to fix the state's underfunded transportation program and said 2006 "is going to have to be a pivotal year in the legislature for transportation." A recent state-commissioned study concluded that highway construction revenue could fall $2.8 billion short of the state's needs over the next 20 years if lawmakers fail to make transportation funding changes. (link)
And Kilgore's position is stated thusly:
Kilgore, the former attorney general, said Sunday that he would generate transportation dollars by increasing fines for serious driving violations, making greater use of public-private partnerships and allowing regional transportation authorities to control some road-building. He also said he would make transportation eligible for more money from the state's general fund, which pays for basic services such as schools, public safety and health care.
All well and good.

But there may be an alternative that both men are overlooking.

When I was a child, my father told me to never look a gift horse in the mouth, a thought that disgusted me for the longest time, but made sense as I got older. Having finally grasped what he was trying to teach me, I'm reluctant to bring this up but I must.

Many of you know how dangerous stretches of I-66 are up around DC. And I-95 between Springfield and Dumphries. The interstates around Richmond are even worse with secondary roads being particularly hazardous.

Well, guess what. We ain't got no problems with our highways down here in Southwest Virginia. For some reason VDOT keeps paving I-77 when it doesn't need it. Last year a pristine interstate highway was repaved here in Bland County all the way from Big Walker Tunnel to East River Mountain Tunnel. Last week another stretch of the same highway, in remarkably good condition, got a brand-spanking-new coat of asphalt partway between Wytheville and Big Walker Tunnel.

For the life of me, I don't know why.

I told Paula, when they began grinding up the pavement on the Bland side of the mountain, that it didn't make any sense; the highway had been resurfaced not that long ago and didn't need it at all. Now they're "fixing" the Wytheville side. Next year I guess it will be Bland's turn again.

Now I don't profess to be a road expert and God knows those folks at VDOT (and Kilgore and Kaine for that matter) are a whole lot smarter than me. But I know a pothole when I see one - or don't see one - as the case may be. And the million miles I've driven over the years counts for something here. Heck, I drove the interstates around Detroit for ten years and survived; I'm a veritable highway expert.

I also know that our transportation department and the politicians who control it see a bigger picture than I do. I know our congressman is planning on a massive influx of tourists - some day - as is our erstwhile governor, Mark Warner. I suppose they should be applauded for having our highways ready when those folks from Manhattan decide to come down here to see our rocks and bushes.

And it is certainly a gift horse, so I should probably keep my mouth shut, as everyone else around here is doing. I haven't heard anyone - politician or normal person - complain about the waste in transportation funds.

So make of this what you will.

But next time you have to visit the dentist because the fillings in your teeth were jarred loose by your recent journey down I-295 in Richmond, think of me. We're livin' large down here in Bland.

I don't want to rub it in or anything, but would any of you like to buy a mountain of slightly used asphalt? Ha Ha Ha ...

This You Find Newsworthy?

Breaking news from the New York Post:

August 16, 2005 -- ABC News has changed the title of its evening newscast to reflect the passing of Peter Jennings.

Beginning last night, the former "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" is now called "World News Tonight."

Jennings, 67, died Aug. 7 after a short battle with lung cancer ... (link)
We need Karl Rove or Tom Delay to do something. Anything. We have finally run out of news.

Talk About Productivity ...

Yesterday was a busy day for me in the office. I was on the phone the better part of the day setting plans for the coming year. I noticed toward the end of the day that, in the course of sending and receiving email messages, spreadsheets, .jpg's, etc, I had transferred 40 megs of data*. In a matter of 10 hours. A routine day.

I think back just ten years when we relied on the US Postal Service for communication with customers and with the organization's branch offices. My God. How did we survive as a nation?

* My first computer was a Commodor 64. It had a storage capacity of 64 kilobytes or 0.064 megs ...

On Customer Service

Have you ever had trouble with a computer to a degree that required that you called Customer Support for "help"? If so, you can relate to this:

Mujibar was trying to get into America legally through Immigration.

The Immigration Officer said, " Mujibar, you have passed all the tests but one. Unless you pass it, you cannot be a citizen of America."

Mujibar said, " I am ready."

The officer said, "Make a sentence using the words Yellow, Pink and Green."

Mujibar thought for a few minutes and said, "Mister Officer, I am ready."

The Officer said, " Go ahead."

Mujibar said, " The telephone goes green, green, green, and I pink it up, and say, " Yellow, this is Mujibar.'"

Mujibar now works at a ****** Online help desk somewhere near you.