Selling the bike roof rack

With the new car, we went to a rear mount rather than a roof rack, so I’m selling the latter.

Thule 599XTR Big Mouth, which I bought back in 2000 and ran a few trips back and forth to Minn. It holds 2 bikes, including mountain bikes.

Thule website

Cost me something like $200+. I’m selling for $60.

You’ll need an existing roofrack. The fitting components were for a Mazda MPV 2000, but it should work for a variety of frames. This unit attaches a new crossbeam in the front.


There are rubber “cushions” for the wheel tie-downs. You need four, but I lost one and so only have three. Some rolled up cardboard does a fine job protecting the wheel. Can always order a new part from Thule if aesthetic requirements are important.


My internet reading list

I subscribe to a variety of reading material. A good cross-section of newspapers from around the world, and a just basic good readings lists. Here is my current main list of links.

Even better than newspapers are RSS news feeds. These are internet-based sites that will “feed” a list of articles to your “inbox”. I find these much more efficient.

I use google reader as my reader. It is all you need.

(*) for links I really like
(RSS) for news feeds

KC Pitch. Kansas City underground paper
KC Star
Concert reviews. Music scene
Concert reviews. Music scene (RSS)
Gary Lezak weather (RSS)

International News
NY Times
Google news (great streaming. Also check each country’s front page)
Time magazine
Christian Science Monitor
Jerusalem Post (liberal)
The guardian
Spiegel (German) (*)

Fortune mag
The Economist  (*)
Financial Times
The weekly standard
Emanuel Derman (quant thinker)(RSS)
Pileus (conservative, not right-wing)

Slate. (Liberal but analytical)(*)
The Atlantic(*)
National Review Online (right-wing)
David Gergen (best opinionator *)
The New Yorker (*)
Reason foundation
Daily caller
Ill Doctrine (intelligent black male) (RSS) 

South Africa
Cape Town daily newspaper
Durban newspaper

KU / Lawrence
Lawrence journal world
KU Sports

Science / Computers / Tech
Scientific American
CNET (computers)
Danger room (great military blog RSS)
Techmeme. (Computer link gatherer)
Cocktail party physics: Personable and cool (RSS)
CSS Tricks (only if you know what CSS is)(RSS)
Dead reckonings (obscure math)
Discover magazine (*)(RSS)
Paul Graham (tech thinker)(RSS)

Link Gatherers
Slashdot. The original
Boing Boing
Daily Beast
2leep (the best trashy stuff)
Anarak (even better trashy stuff)
Metafilter (*)
Mashable (RSS)
The Browser (general interest reading (*)(RSS) (general interest reading(*)(RSS)
Longreads (general interest reading(*)(RSS)

PhD. Piled higher and deeper

Joe Posnanski (sports)(RSS)(*)
Lifehacker (DIY lifestyle)(RSS)
Playbook (techs sports)(RSS)
Dan Savage (sex advice column)(RSS)


UPDATE 8/21/2012
Removed Newsweek. If Tine Brown is going to turn it into the daily beast, might as well read the daily beast. One week Romney is a wimp; the next Obama is no good; the only common factor a magazine desperate for attention.

Mardi Gras Indian Funeral Photo Album

My brother-in-law, Michael, is a funeral fanatic in New Orleans. If there is a Jazz Band, he is there. A few years ago, his two boys made the front page photo of the newspaper as they ran through a graveyard following a parade. His wife was quite surprised to see the picture, seeing as how the boys were supposed to be in school. Needless to say, things got “straightened out” in the Rovaris household. But Saturday funerals are fair game. And when a Chief Mardi Gras Indian died this summer, we were there. Several hundred people showed up for the parade. No Jazz Band – just tambourines, drums, singing voices, and costumes. The Mardi Gras Indian costumes are works-of-art. The Indians spend a year creating them to wear once. Sometimes, 80% of one’s salary goes into the costume.

mardi gras indian funeral
mardi gras indian funeralJun 12, 1999Google Maps Location Photos: 16

Rob Gillaspie – Corporate Slave

Back in 1993, I was working an hellacious job at the refinery in El Dorado. (Hell Dorado, as I called it.) Monday through Friday in the plant, home for weekends. Lousy project. One bar in town and these were the days when you needed a “membership” to enter. I wound up eating most of my meals in my motel room.

Anyway, I was back in Lawrence for Art in the Park, and I ran into a very talented kid (high school senior) who was displaying his work. His name was Rob Gillaspie. One image in particular caught my eye: Corporate Slave. Surprise 🙂

I told him I wanted to buy it and how much would he sell it for. Nice kid, he was stunned, and eventually came up with “five dollars”. I talked him up to ten dollars with a lecture about how it was going to cost me twice that to have it framed. Anyway, we parted company and I never saw nor heard from him again. Periodically I google and FB his name, but nothing yet. So now at least his name and his art work are in google and perhaps he can find me.


Rob Gillaspie
Corporate Slave

Update: My google trick was successful and he finally showed up. You can find him at  Mal Content google user

backing up important files to google docs? How to?

I back up my computer. Duh. I have a 650GB external drive and a 120GB internal drive. The 650GB gives me long term incremental backup of my hard drive. The 120GB drive lets me store critical “cannot lose” files for those brief periods when I am recycling my 650GB drive. (If I lose everything during the backup, I am still ok.)

But if my house burns down, I am screwed!

I can live with losing most of my computer storage, but I cannot live with losing my archived photos and critical documents. This is currently < 20GB. I have over 1TB of archived video, but one must draw the line somewhere. If have a 10GB website. Good for transferring files, but not enough for storage. I just noticed google’s pricing for online storage:
$5/yr for 20GB.

I can afford that.

So I bought some storage from google. Now I’m going to backup/archive my files to my account. I’ll continue to keep these files at home, and the odds of both my house burning down and google losing my data are acceptably low.

What are the requirements?

1) I have certain things that are “one-time” archived. For example, when I complete a photo (or group of photos), I will burn them to a DVD. Same with archiving. These files won’t change. It would be nice if my computer would monitor a particular folder and automatically upload the contents, but it isn’t critical. Generally speaking, I’ll be selecting files locally off my hard drive then “dropping” them into google docs. The process will take hours to upload, but I can handle doing this one at a time.

I’m also not terribly concerned about security. Meaning that google can see my photos if they want to. And that I can see my photos when I browse google docs.

2) I have other files (such as tax returns) that need to be protected from everyone but me. So they have to be uploaded and stored encrypted. I don’t need to view these files in google docs. I just need to be sure they are backed up. So I want to select a folder on my hard drive and specify that it be synchronized with google docs in encrypted form.

For this, I would really like a tool that monitors certain folders on my hard drive and automatically syncs them with google docs. It should use rsync because it would be stupid not to.

3) This is strictly for home use. Business backup is nice, but not my concern.

4) I do have some very large files, but I don’t mind breaking them up into smaller chunks, if the tools require it. I think google docs has a 250MB size limit.

I could probably script all this with cygwin and rsynch. But I’d much rather download some free tool to do it.

And … I immediately hit a wall. No free tool seems to do all this for me. Google’s file upload works on only files. You cannot drop a folder onto it and have it recursively upload all the files. grr.

The long-fabled “GDrive” (where your google docs appears as a virtual drive on your computer) is not here yet.

This might be a good reason to learn the google docs api. I could write a little java app to do this 🙂 Hmm, Like I really need another computer project that I’ll have to support.

Surely, surely, someone has a tool to do this. Isn’t it such an obvious niche?


Sharing the blog with FB: First problems…

Seemed so simple! Just add your blog to the facebook notes. Of course, good luck finding the “Notes Setting” box in your Notes section.

Ok, so we search FB for “import blog” and we find this page:
Unfortunately, FB fails to import my blog:

Import Failed

We couldn’t find a feed using the URL you provided.

So we dig a little more and find this is a common problem:

And so we try the idea of installing a FB app to handle the task. Don’t like to give strange FB apps permission, but no way around this. “RSS Graffiti” seems to be the most popular choice.

And with that, I think we’re off and running. Well, I don’t actually see anything happening in FB yet…