Monday OpenThread

We're back at work today. Some news:

Barney Frank is retiring at the end of his term.

The feds seized 150 websites as counterfeit.

I haven't bought anything on Cyber Monday.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Nor I. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 01:42:12 PM EST
    I have pondered some outdoor GPS units but there are so darn many and I just don't know enough about them.  

    All the sales excitement has gotten me in the mood to buy something, but what?  I feel like I am sitting home while everyone else is at the prom having a good time.

    love, LOVE my GPS (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by sj on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:06:36 PM EST
    even though the maps are even a little outdated (I haven't updated since I bought the unit.  It is an "almost never" type of issue.  I know of 2 places where construction has changed the roads since I got my GPS).

    Figure out what's important to you:  Is it screen size?  Do you want it to say street names?  Blue tooth?  Traffic updates?  Map update cost?  Ease of programming?

    Just figure out what you want and then let the sales clerk explain the differences and dis/advantages of each.  Also have the sales rep walk you through the process of mapping a destination with each one.  


    I have an Auto GPS. (none / 0) (#5)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:53:48 PM EST
    By "outdoor" I mean one of those units that you use hiking away from roads. A lot of them have digital compasses.

    I am used to mariner type units on the water, but that is different from the units showing the topography of the land, the mountains, the rise and fall of the ground, contours, etc., and being able to backtrack and all that.

    The 4 or 5 hundred dollar models will do anything including giving you voice directions in a car, but will also show you the contours of the earth, valleys, rises, hills, streams, etc.
    I am more interested in the simpler ones that just have what appears to be simple line outlines of topography, lakes, coastal outlines, for 1 to 2 hundred dollars.

    I have to decide (like you said) what I need and want, not what they are offering.  One clerk seemed to know less than I.

    Anyway I am learning about them.


    Oh, I see (none / 0) (#15)
    by sj on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:45:24 PM EST
    A friend of mine has one for geocaching.  It seemed to be alot more trouble to read and program than my portable Tomtom, but OTOH was smaller and easier to carry and held a charge longer than mine.  

    Useful for hiking, I presume, but I take long hikes, not adventurous ones.  I always know where I am :)

    Good luck.


    The GPS will do... (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:14:19 PM EST
    for sense of direction what the calculator did for basic math skills.  Or what the handheld device did for the human attention span.

    I have so many great memories of "getting lost" driving with my parents when I was little...pops would call it a "shortcut", moms would chime in "one of your father's longcuts again", and when we would ask "are we really lost?, moms would say "as long as we're together we can't be lost".  


    I am such a luddite. No GPS here. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:23:24 PM EST
    I love maps. I use them all the time. Road maps for driving, forest service maps for hiking, reading maps is a handy skill.

    And as someone who for decades has railed against velcro shoes and digital watches (omg! we are raising children who cannot tie their shoes or tell time!), I will surely bemoan the end of map-reading as a survival skill.


    I am geographically challenged (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 07:06:53 PM EST
    Before map quest, I finally came up with a way to cut my getting lost down by 60%. When I came to a point where I had to make a decision on which way to go, I would figure it out logically and then turn in the opposite direction. That method reduced the number of times I got lost. ;o)

    I call myself "directionally (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 09:35:06 PM EST
    Challenged.   For example, today I managed to take AirTrain  and E train from JFK to 50th. Then was. Clueless re finding  hotel two blocks away. Something about the size of. hippocampus.  

    That's a logic all its own! (none / 0) (#44)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 07:18:23 PM EST
    Landmarks help. I was blessed with a good sense of direction, but there are times when, if I couldn't spot certain mountain ranges through the clouds, I'd have some problems.

    I have a kind of homing instinct (none / 0) (#48)
    by sj on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 11:53:42 PM EST
    Although I have a real problem with the N/S/E/W and right/left concepts.  It doesn't come naturally to me, and I have to really plan ahead on my next statement if I'm giving directions to someone or I will surely say the wrong direction.

    It was a real shock to me to realize that I had that problem.  My sister just laughed and asked why else I thought she "my side" or "your side" when we first moved to Denver and were exploring the city.

    The homing instinct is a decent substitute for myself, but doesn't work so well for my companions.  It's embarrassing to always be saying that I meant the other left.


    Me thinks... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:44:59 PM EST
    the pirate colony will be quasi-luddite...I like it Cap'n.

    Lets not forget the computerized cash register, and all the kids who can't make change...and the blasted debit cards are only gonna make that problem worse.  



    You need to talk (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:21:23 PM EST
    Zorba son into joining your pirate crew.  It's like he has a built-in GPS.  He never gets lost, and always knows which direction is which, even when he's somewhere unfamiliar on an overcast day with no particularly outstanding landmarks.  Maybe he has a compass in his brain or something, but it has always amazed both Mr. Z and myself, and Mr. Z is no slouch at finding his way, either.  (He is totally unlike his sister, who can get lost going somewhere close by that she's been to numerous times.)  
    PS  I'm not getting a GPS, either.  And I still have my "stupid phone."

    Hey, as soon as I figure out (none / 0) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:49:19 PM EST
    where I put my sextant, the pirate crew will be set.

    As we know... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:57:36 PM EST
    I'm the muscle, I'll churn the butter when I'm not working the human hamster wheel:)

    Ye, you will be the muscle. :-) (none / 0) (#19)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:03:46 PM EST
    After all, we'll be quasi-luddite, not all-in. We'll still need electricity (generated by that hamster wheel), and access to the toobz so we can keep up with our pals here at TL.

    I actually love maps, too (none / 0) (#18)
    by sj on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:01:04 PM EST
    I drove my friend crazy when we visited NYC because I was constantly checking our position against the map.

    But you can't drive and read the map.  And if I hadn't had a GPS when I got to Baltimore I would have either hightailed it back home or become a hermit.  Denver is based on the grid system.  

    Baltimore -- isn't.  It's designed for defense and taking the wrong turn can spit you out somewhere you weren't expecting long after you wanted to be spit out.  DC is even worse in that regard.  And don't even get me started on I-95/I-295/I-395/I-495/I-695/I-795/I-895 thing.  It took me over a year to figure out which 95s I needed to care about.  Naturally, that is how everyone gave directions.

    Now I hardly need it at all.  But I still keep it handy.  I left it at home once when taking a different way home and ended up taking about an extra 20 miles and one hour to get there.


    Try driving in Boston some time (none / 0) (#24)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:25:05 PM EST
    I can get around in Baltimore.  Boston is impossible.  (And the drivers seem to be much more aggressive and are ruder.  I've never heard so much honking as I did there, except for Manhattan, which has a whole lot more drivers.)

    I visited Boston (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by kmblue on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 07:41:44 AM EST
    a couple of years ago.  At the beginning of the trip, my boyfriend and I were stuck in the airport due to one of Atlanta's famous thunderstorms.
    We got to talking to a very funny Boston native about driving.  We said in Atlanta, traffic lights are regarded as just a suggestion.  She said in Boston, obeying them is considered a sign of weakness!

    I've heard that (none / 0) (#33)
    by sj on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:19:02 PM EST
    I have to say that sounds more than a little daunting -- and I'm not a particularly timid driver.  Definitely wouldn't even try without a GPS.  Or human navigator.

    I must have GPS (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 09:05:03 PM EST
    Out West I know my way around and I can see where I'm headed, we don't have this tree problem out there.  Living on the East side of the continent now though, I must have GPS or I'm literally lost forever in the kudzu jungle, dead in the water.

    I love maps (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CST on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:19:10 PM EST
    But I see the use of GPS even if I don't use it as it's intended.  Basically I use GPS to look up an address quickly rather than searching the map for it by eye, and then I use their maps to plot my own route.

    I do find it a usefull tool to find an end destination, I just ignore most of the routing, and having it via GPS rather than just on a map at home means you can constantly look for new places as needed, for a short pit stop or if you get lost.  

    GPS routing in Boston is just terrible.  It gives the weirdest directions that send you a mile out of the way.   Plus it really can't handle anything big-dig/construction related.  Then there is the problem of "which one are you looking for?"  I recently discovered there are at least 3 locations in Boston that qualify as "the corner of Tremont Street and Tremont Street" - silly me thought there were only 2.  There are also at least 5 distinct Washington Streets in Boston.  I'm not talking one long street through different hoods, these are completely seperate streets that do not connect in any way.  And this is why we are terrible drivers.  People can barely figure it out, computers haven't got a chance.


    I replied to sj (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:29:46 PM EST
    before I read your comment.  You are just so correct about Boston.  Streets with the same names.  Streets that change names for no particular reason.  I can (more or less) get around there on the T, but I would no more drive there than I would fly to the moon.  Fortunately, we don't live there, just visit from time to time.

    I dunno (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:34:52 PM EST
    if it's from growing up here or what but I actually have a very good sense of east/west north/south direction.  Because when in doubt, ignore street names and just drive the direction you need to go.  The streets can't be trusted, but if you keep pointing your car in the right direction, you'll get there eventually.

    I guess if I did live there, (none / 0) (#28)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:39:22 PM EST
    I would just have to learn to do as you do.  But it does bother my sense of "order" that the whole city seems to be laid out in a totally random fashion.  Although I love visiting Boston.   ;-)

    I've mostly lived (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by the capstan on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:30:08 PM EST
    near mountains, the ocean, or a Great Lake.  Knowing where they are over the horizon is all you need.  Had a GPS in England the last time: it took us to the right places, but by all the back lanes.

    The back lanes can be fun (none / 0) (#49)
    by sj on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 11:55:38 PM EST
    but maybe not so much if you're on a schedule.

    that's the real issue (none / 0) (#53)
    by CST on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:42:04 AM EST
    "the whole city seems to be laid out in a totally random fashion"

    The city was never laid out period. With the exception of the landfill areas, it just grew up on cow paths.

    But living near the ocean helps.  And with any major city the big buildings can work like mountains for geographical landmarks.


    So much for my thinking ... (none / 0) (#34)
    by sj on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:21:34 PM EST
    ... in my response to Zorba.  If I go to Boston, public transportation it is.  That'll work, right?

    Well, it works for me (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:36:41 PM EST
    I have had the unpleasant experience of driving in Boston with a rental car, and I will never, ever, ever do that again.  I have had no problems using the T, the occasional bus, and maps.  (But then, we normally don't go to "out of the way" places, and if we do, we depend upon our friends who live there to drive us or give us explicit directions.)  We lived in Boston for a few years, many, many long years ago, but we were poor graduate students and didn't have a car.  All of our "getting around" was on the T, buses, on foot, and the occasional ride with friends.  We still use these methods when we visit there.   ;-)

    I was researching getting one myself (none / 0) (#13)
    by republicratitarian on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:41:30 PM EST
    Took a minute (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:13:40 PM EST
    to figure out hwy a counterfeit web site was so bad... but after reading the article i said, "D'oh!"

    In NYC, they sell ... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:36:34 PM EST
    that kind of rubbish on the street.  Everyone knows it fake.  But it costs tuppence.  And it can be a bit of fun.

    I remember in the eighties there was a kind of reverse caché in having a fake Rolex.


    I remember. (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:03:51 PM EST
    I had a used "fake" but it worked!!

    I deliberately got a used one.  I thought it would look more authentic than having a bright shiny one on my wrist, but it wasn't a "real" New York one from inside someone's overcoat.

    I got it in Hong Kong or Macau, I think near where Samsung is.  It is somewhere in an old trunk, I guess.


    I think getting a "fauxlex" ... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:02:13 PM EST
    in Hong Kong or Macau is just as cool as getting one via Trench in NYC.

    Now days they are called Replicas. (none / 0) (#39)
    by JeriKoll on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:54:08 PM EST
    You can buy them for about $200.
    Almost any big name.  Man's or woman's.

    I hit the link... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 02:57:06 PM EST
    and still can't see what is so bad...Little Johnny wants a NFL jersey for Christmas, mom and dad are broke, so they buy the 30 dolla knock-off that looks authentic...everybody wins, even the NFL...another kid marketing the sh*t out of their product.

    OK, whovever is the "officially licensed" seller of NFL apparel loses...me heart bleeds for Reebok:)


    Kdog, it's this concerted effort ... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:58:33 PM EST
    to turn everything into a crime.  I wouldn't be surprised if in a year or two running a website without a license became a crime.

    One Nation Under Arrest... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:41:20 AM EST
    turn everything but financial crimes of the grandest of scales into a crime...I hear ya Robo.

    Don't feel (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:03:36 PM EST
    bad. I thought they were scam sites until i read the article like sites that take your money but don't send you anything or steal your information.

    A 48 year old feud (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:09:04 PM EST
    some football players never let it rest..even when at a charity luncheon.

    Joe Kapp on the left vs Angelo Mosca on the right

    It's Hard to See Barney Frank Go (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by lesaucoin on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:17:45 PM EST
    Barney Frank arrived in Congress two years after I did and quickly became the bane of right wingers with his intellect and razor wit. (His crack about pro-lifers is immortal: "Their commitment to life begins at conception and ends at birth!")

    Barney might have held on if he thought the Democrats would take back control of the House, but I can't of course prove it. He is 71, after all. It's never a good omen when a part loses some of its best talent. The retirement of Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI) in 2010 is another example.

    Congressman Les AuCoin (ret)

    Frank (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:22:35 PM EST
    is a personal hero. The ultimate example of a guy who should not have to buy himself a beer at any bar he ever goes to.

    He's not perfect, but he is smart as hell, completely comfortable in himself and has a heart.

    That's what we want from our congresspeople.  It's a loss.


    Les, i'd love to see (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 05:26:04 PM EST
    you write about more about congress here, since you know that beast as well as anyone!

    Also, thanks for getting us the Javelin. This grunt still appreciates it.


    Javelin (none / 0) (#45)
    by lesaucoin on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 07:24:10 PM EST
    Thanks, Jeff. The Javelin is one of my proudest congressional achievements.

    Les AuCoin

    http://lesaucoin.org/] [THE LES AuCOIN BLOG]>


    I think a big part of it (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by CST on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:37:23 AM EST
    at least what he's said publicy is that redistricting had a big role to play here too.  His new district is almost nothing like his old district so he would have had to really campaign in a lot of new areas, and it seems like he just didn't feel like doing that, especially after the last election which was somewhat contested.

    He's 71, he has a phenomenal record, and I think he's just done.  But we'll definitely miss him.

    I love his quip about how he doesn't "have to pretend to be nice to people I don't like," anymore.  Typical Barney.


    A parting gift (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by CST on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:57:15 AM EST
    of Barney quotes, courtesy of the Globe.

    anyone watching The Next Iron Chef? (none / 0) (#12)
    by desmoinesdem on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 03:35:28 PM EST
    This is the first season that I've watched the show consistently, and most weeks I have disagreed with the judges about who belongs in the bottom two. I definitely think they sent the wrong person home last night. Savory ice creams like what Elizabeth Falkner made are just gimmicks.

    I've watched it (none / 0) (#26)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:33:32 PM EST
    But it drives me crazy.  Like you, I disagree with the judges too much.

    I didn't think Falkner deserved to be in (none / 0) (#41)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 06:02:43 PM EST
    the bottom last night; true, her story could have been better, but they loved her food.  I agree about the ice cream - ambitious, but really - bagel and cream cheese ice cream?  Where the bagel flavor comes from charbroiled bagel crumbs?  How did it not taste burned?

    The one that keeps getting away with murder is Zakarian, who, week after week, just ignores the rules to stay true to himself; all I can say is, his food must be out-of-this-world because it keeps saving him.

    I'll keep disagreeing with the judges, but watching anyway!


    I think Zakarian's food (none / 0) (#54)
    by desmoinesdem on Tue Nov 29, 2011 at 09:55:01 AM EST
    looks awesome.

    If you were hoping (none / 0) (#20)
    by Makarov on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:15:41 PM EST
    for great deals on computer storage devices, you probably had a difficult time finding any. This will continue for some time due to the recent flooding in Thailand.

    Many hard disk drives are manufactured in Thailand.

    True, say spouse's techies (none / 0) (#42)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 06:30:40 PM EST
    at his workplace.  They knew that we were planning to get some new hard drives and grabbed a couple for us, before prices began to soar for some still left in stock.

    Judge Blocks Citigroup Settlement With S.E.C. (none / 0) (#21)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:18:46 PM EST
    Woman claiming a 13-year affair with Herman Cain. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Angel on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:58:38 PM EST
    He denies.  Don't care about the affair, but I do care about the Republican hypocracy.  But, since Newt is gaining or passing Romney, I guess IOKIYAR.