Date posted: June 28, 2015 | Filed under finn | Leave a Comment »

In a rare bit of good news, the Supreme Court ruled on two huge cases this week.

The best of the two is that they ruled in favor of same sex marriage nationwide, which is so huge and overdue and fair and right, that it restores a little bit of my faith in the creaking, rotted system we call our own. It’s about fucking time we extend unalienable rights to everybody.

They also ruled that federal tax credits are good in all 50 states, thereby striking down another challenge to the Affordable Care Act. While I’m not shocked that half the government has been trying to dismantle it, it’s reassuring that voices of reason have stood up for it.

Please, let this be the beginning of some positive momentum.

Date posted: June 26, 2015 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

Until today, whenever I had a passenger ride with me, I (usually) had to get out and lift their door from the outside in order to get it to close. This was annoying. Recently, the latch on the inside disengaged from the linkage, meaning I’d have to get out to let my passenger out.

The girls took a trip up to Philly today, so I was on my own. I made a quick dinner and pulled the Scout out of the garage, pulled the panel off the door, and took a look. The plastic retainer clip broke in my hand as I took it off, so I raided my stash to find a spare. The two doors I’ve got and my spare linkage are from a later year, so the clip is a grommet/steel combination that fits into a larger hole. I drilled out the hole and fit the clip, and that was that. Then I figured I’d look at the door itself.


I put some bracing under the door and loosened the six hinge bolts on the door itself. Then I tightened the middle bolt on the bottom, pivoted the door upwards, and readjusted the bracing. Then I cinched the middle top bolt, loosened the bottom, and pushed it in 1/8″. After tightening everything down, I tested it, and I got lucky: it closed as well as the day it rolled out of the factory.


→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: June 26, 2015 | Filed under Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Panel Gaps

From the ever-informative Kottke.org, a Medium article with 9 excellent book recommendations on information visualization that aren’t written by Tufte. My Amazon budget for this month is blown.

Date posted: June 25, 2015 | Filed under art/design, shortlinks, WRI | Leave a Comment »

Mammatus Clouds over Catonsville 1

We had a fearsome storm blow through the region last night, knocking power out for about 800,000 houses (luckily we kept ours) and dropping the temperature 30˚. After it passed, a weird yellowish light filled the sky and we looked up to see Mammatus cloud formations, something I’ve never seen in person.

Date posted: June 24, 2015 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »

I would have to agree with the author of this Lifehacker post: Carrying around a Moleskine note book for the last five years has saved me hours of grief and gray hair. I may have to try Field Notes next, because I’m not happy with the small Moleskine notebook–it’s too thick to lay flat and be useful as a sketchbook, which is what I ask of my notebooks about 50% of the time.

Date posted: June 23, 2015 | Filed under drawing, productivity, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

What can I say about the weekend? We did a lot of work outside the house to clean up the yard–Bro was at a music festival, and thus could not wander over to putter behind his Dad’s mower like a slack-jawed baboon. I pulled my dusty mower out of the back of the garage, emptied out the gas tank, sharpened the blade, and fired it up for the first time in two years. I’d forgotten how little I like to mow my own lawn, and I’m shocked at how much higher the roots have pushed through the grass.

After mowing I edged it for the first time in months, trimmed the hedges, and cleaned out the brush behind the greenhouse. It looks like a whole new house. Did I mention the dumpster is gone? Yep, they hauled all of that stuff away–even after the neighbor threw about 80 feet of panel fence on top of the concrete. It left four deep divots in his driveway. I shudder when I think of what the overage charges might be. And, the garage seems to be waterproof! My hasty repairs are holding steady, which is a relief.

Once the yard was mowed we took a ride to the Home Depot in the Scout and loaded up on cedar mulch and topsoil, bought some pressure-treated fence pickets and a hose reel and headed home. The cedar mulch went in the swingset enclosure. The topsoil covered erosion up front from where our helicopter-clogged gutter overflowed last month. And the pickets got cut up for Finn’s playset–new panels for the climbing wall, some repairs to the ladder, and a replacement deck plank.

In the evening some friends from Kindergarten came by and we grilled out in the backyard. I had such a good time I didn’t bother to take pictures.


Sunday we decided to fuck around for the day, and Finn wanted to go shopping in Ellicott City. So we parked in the public lot and strolled the street, stopping in each antique store to find her clip-on earrings. She brought a bag of coins with her, with the intention of buying something, but I decided to make it a teaching moment. (Before you get mad, I’ve been taking her yardsaling all spring. She always brought her money, but almost without exception, the people selling would just give her things). She found a pair of earrings priced at $20 but I made her stop and count her money, going so far as to give her the remaining $1 bill in my wallet. She got upset, wanting me to buy it for her, but we explained that if she wanted to buy something, she would need to have enough money for it. It was a hard lesson for her (and I felt awful about it), but we want to teach her the value of money, and also that she shouldn’t just buy the first thing she sees.

I did, however, buy my pretty wife a lovely new purse and a cool T-shirt with a day of the dead skull print.

We watched the first episode of True Detective last night; I would describe it as “damaged characters do stupid things.” It’s a lot more formulaic than the first season, which contrasted the two approaches of its main characters to the job they do (brutal honesty and habitual lying); this season has at least one main female character, but she seems to be as one-dimensional as the rest. It’s hard to nail a pilot episode as well as the first season did; maybe this season will gather steam as it progresses.

Date posted: June 23, 2015 | Filed under finn, general, photo | Leave a Comment »

I just got word last night that the Carbon Emissions interactive we built won another award– Best Entry from a Small Newsroom Under 25 People from the Global Editors Network, in their 2015 Data Journalism Awards.

Date posted: June 19, 2015 | Filed under shortlinks, WRI | Leave a Comment »


Date posted: June 17, 2015 | Filed under finn, photo | Leave a Comment »

I’d have to agree with the author, there’s no way this Scout is worth $175,000, but it is an interesting, and (somewhat) valuable footnote in the saga of IH’s demise. Body cladding will only go so far.

Date posted: June 14, 2015 | Filed under shortlinks | Leave a Comment »