One Year Later

A year ago, Pasadena and the surrounding communities were layered in smoke and ashes as the huge Station Fire burned acres upon acres.

Fire above JPL

The Station Fire in the hills behind the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Photo by Bill Westphal.

One year ago, this is what the hills above my workplace looked like.

Even though I lived through it, it’s still hard to believe such a monster fire was so close.

Babies, Babies, Babies!

Kim and I had a bit of a surprise one morning, a couple of days after Christmas. We came downstairs to find that our fish had proliferated!

fish

We have eight little platys swimming around now. I’d thought that some fish either kill or eat their young, but so far, these guys seem to be doing ok! They’re very small and hard to see. I thought we had six for a while, then saw a seventh, and Kim spotted the eighth. I wonder if they’re able to even eat the regular fish food flakes?

We have three adult platys right now, one of whom still looks rather big. I suppose it’s possible that we might have even more babies soon. Maybe I should have asked the pet store for males!

Lakers can't close it out

All I heard on sports talk radio yesterday was how the Lakers would get it done last night in Game 6 against the Rockets. Cowherd, in particular, was an idiot. All the LA hosts yesterday afternoon before the game were predicting a blowout, only they had the winning team wrong. I don’t mind a confident, cocky commentator, but it was rather ridiculous. They all look like morons now.

Not too mention how the Lakers actually played. Do they care?

Yay, filter spam in GMail by country

I’ve been waiting for this forever. Filter email from Russia or China in GMail!

  1. Click “Create Filter” located at the top of your Inbox
  2. In the “Has the words:” field, enter: lang:Russian
  3. Select “Delete it” within the Action List, and (if you have existing Russian Spam) select: “Apply Filter to Conversations below”
  4. Click “Create Filter”

Of course, if you expect to receive legitimate email in Russian or Chinese, don’t do this. 🙂 But I’d say 80% of my spam is in Chinese…

Truro, please call your local math teacher

From the Cape Cod Times comes a story of counting votes gone awry. From the article:

The exact count of the vote — 136 to 70 —had town officials hitting their calculators yesterday. The zoning measure needed a two-thirds vote to pass. A calculation by town accountant Trudy Brazil indicated that 136 votes are two-thirds of 206 total votes, said Town Clerk Cynthia Slade.

Brazil said she used the calculation of .66 multiplied by 206 to obtain the number.

But using .6666 — a more accurate version of two-thirds — the affirmative vote needed to be 137 instead of 136, according to an anonymous caller to town hall and to the Times.

Almost makes me cry. “A more accurate version of two-thirds”? What?

Quick, pull out your calculator. Two-thirds of 206 is 137.33 (with repeating 3’s), which means you actually need 138 votes. So the town accountant and the anonymous caller were both wrong. Err, so do you think they changed the results of the vote?