the gilmer man

I tried to get caught up on Terry Gilmer’s site today. If you like reading about men in small Texas towns as they eat moon pies and snow cones, I don’t think you could find a much better site. It’s actually more than just that though. It’s also about life as a security guard, pop culture, and a lot of other stuff. Since Terry got a digital camera, the site’s also gotten a lot more visually interesting. If you’re like me and you’d much rather see pictures of poor Texas towns than see them in person, check out the site.

holy shit, my magazine got mentioned on the usa today
I don’t suppose it would mean anything to anyone, but the USA Today website makes mention of “Crimewave USA.” If you don’t believe me, just click here. There’s not a review or anything, and I think the only reason we’re mentioned is because the reporter copied out of the Washington Post, but it’s still kind of cool to get mentioned in the “paper of record.” (I know the New York Times is the “paper of record.” I was just trying to be slightly amusing. I’m tired and I want to go to bed.)

toilet takeoff
I heard a man today in the stall next to me buckeling himself in to some kind of harness or restraint. If I’d closed my eyes, I would have sworn that I was sitting behind the pilot of a fighter plane preparing for takeoff.

daddy, i want a bar money
I read about this on BoingBoing and had to see it for myself. It seems as though a group of students got together and built what it essentially a robotic bartender. Actually, it’s not that sophisticated. It’s probably more an alcohol vending machine. With just sixteen ingredients, the machine can make close to 200 different cocktails. Brilliant… It’s called the Bar Monkey… Let’s see North Korea turn out one of these.

Here’s a clip from their site. Read it and be inspired.

The Bar Monkey, simply put, is a vending machine that serves mixed drinks. It houses 16 reservoirs which currently contain the following ingredients:

Vodka
Rum
Tequila
Whiskey
Gin
Amaretto
Triple Sec
Kahlua (or coffee liqueur)
Midori (or melon liqueur)
Orange Juice
Pineapple Juice
Cranberry Juice
Sour Mix
Cola*
Tonic*
Grenadine*
*Ingredients currently under consideration for replacement

Using these 16 ingredients, a total of 188 different drinks can be made, with the included ability to add ounce increments of each ingredient to customize (or create) a drink. The drink database is easy to update and nearly infinitely expandable.

Customers of legal age sign up for a user account, for which they are assigned a unique, 5-digit, hexadecimal PIN. The account is debit-based, with each drink charging the customer at cost for the drink they are purchasing, automatically deducting from their account balance.

All told, the project took about 3 months and $235 to complete.

more momentum against suvs
I got this at the CBS Market Watch. It’s an article about how SUV owners may soon have to pay more for insurance because of the fact that their vehicles are more likely to kill or inflict damage. Here’s a quote”

Have you noticed that some SUV drivers have developed a certain arrogance about their position on the roadway? It’s that “I bought this vehicle for safety, which means I’m gonna crush your sorry little self if you come anywhere near me, Toyota Echo!” Of course, none of them would do intentional harm (so we hope), but the fact is, their vehicles cause more property damage and bodily injury to others than that of smaller cars. And the insurance industry is getting around to accounting for that fact. In growing number, insurers have been raising premiums on the liability portion of SUV drivers’ policies, and more are studying just how much extra their SUV customers should pay for the added safety they enjoy by virtue of the added damage their vehicles inflict.

Here’s the article, in case you’re interested.

Oh, and here’s my favorite part. I find it creepy and morbid.

“You’re going to pay less for medical payments and more for liability, but since liability is a much greater share of the premium, if you’re an SUV owner, your policy is going to cost more,” Hunter said. “The SUV policyholder will pay about $40 more than a typical car for liability and medical payments combined for occupant protection in and out of the car.”

If I’m reading this correctly, the article is saying that you’ll save a bit on insurance because it’s less likely that you’ll get hurt or injured, but that you’ll pay more for liability because you’re more likely to inflict damage.

another good article on iraq
“MIT Technology Review”

The U.S. has other information that it has not yet revealed, either to the United Nations or to the public, presumably including the location of suspected clandestine sites. This is what likely gives President Bush his confidence. Despite demands from pundits, he is wise to hold such information close, while the U.N. gathers additional information. When he finally releases U.S. intelligence, the inspectors will go to the suspect sites, and war will likely follow quickly…

A new and important stage in the confrontation began this week, when the U.N. started using six helicopters, three American and three Russian. These allow swift inspections of remote sites, and they will probably be used in the last pre-war inspection. That may not take place until the U.S. is war-ready. This inspection will be directed at a secret site, perhaps an underground facility, perhaps a remote palace, a location that the inspectors previously ignored. We can anticipate that Saddam will not let them in. His rhetoric will be intense. He will claim that the inspectors were trying to…

I’m very tired and need to sleep now. Is that enough for tonight?

Oh, here’s the link to the article. You should read it, unless you’re tired. Then you should sleep.

Good night my invisible friends.

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