December 2005


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Archive for December 9th, 2005

Freaking the Mundanes

Posted in Life on December 9th, 2005

Feeling the urge to scribble, but nothing recent worth scribbling about, so here’s this instead:

Many years ago, sometime around the time I was three and my brother was six and starting school, I proudly announced to Mom that my invisible friend and I were enrolling in Sword School. Mom, being the understanding soul she is, took it in stride. She was not surprised, however, when I later found and joined the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Lucky Dog Dave, a friend of mine in high school shared a French class with me. I had a knack for the language and Dave had a knack for hearing my nearly-inaudible whispered hints, so were fast friends. (He got the name from a dog food commercial he could immitate to hilarious extent.)

Anywho, a few weeks into the class he suggested I come down to the Rennaisance Faire that was to be held soon and check out the club he was in. He described it as “D&D-like” and thought I’d get a kick out of it. Sounded like fun to me, so I went.

My hometown of Grants Pass (knowne in the SCA as Myrtleholt) is a small shire, and there were only a dozen or so folks hanging around, but it was a good bit of fun. People walking around in funny clothes, speaking in funny accents, and actually putting on armor and beating on each other. I was wearing a loaner tunic and doing my best (horrible) King’s English accent in minutes.

Later, Dave and some others dragged me to the after-revel at the Seneschal’s house. (A Seneschal is a government official in the SCA.) Then they truly sunk the hook in my cheek: they had sexy bellydancers, and one of them was my age!

Within the next two years, … Read the rest of this entry »

Google Loves us better

Posted in Geekery on December 9th, 2005

Google, the penultimate search engine, has been dipping it’s toes in many varied waters recently, as you all know. One of the more useful to me has been Google Maps, which I use every day to find where many of my customers live. Today, they released the beta for Google Transit, a service to help you plot a path on public transport to your destination.

This is really a happy mash-up between Maps and your local transit provider’s schedules and route maps. Enter a starting point and destination, it gives you a route and several time options. Add an ETA to your query, and it will give you more narrow results based on that. A truly nifty idea.

The best part is that our beloved Portland is the first city to get the service. Go Portland! I’m guessing this is primarily because our transit system rocketh mightily, and Tri-Met already had a ton of info available on the ‘Net.

Of course, there is going to be the oddball thing showing up. In looking up Tri-Met’s website just now, I find the following:

It all started on the bus

Fifty years ago, Rosa Parks (1913–2005) was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. TriMet is commemorating this historic event and Rosa Parks’ legacy.

Bus service changes effective Dec. 4

Schedules were adjusted on 8 bus lines as of Sunday, December 4. Line 83-Park Blocks was discontinued.


Ok, this is obviously just one of those unhappy coincidences – line 83 wasn’t getting enough riders to justify the expense, and it just happens to go through the Park Blocks, and Rosa’s last name just happens to be Parks.

Timing is everything.