Wednesday, 27th of February, 2008
On other local government news, a bill just passed unanimously in the Missouri State Senate limiting local property tax increases to be no more than the rate of inflation. That sounds great to homeowners, but what's going to happen to all the revenue that the local government will no longer have due to increasing property values? What's going to happen to school districts that almost primarily depend on local revenue, or public services like police? What incentive does a city now have to increase property values by providing better services to their citizens if they do not receive any of the rewards that help pay for these services? I assume here that property taxes would still get adjusted properly when a homeowner sells the house - perhaps they are depending on the traditionally high turnover rate of houses, especially in St. Louis, to keep the revenues somewhat in line with what they always have been.
Monday, 25th of February, 2008
Saturday, 23rd of February, 2008
Tuesday, 19th of February, 2008
Monday, 18th of February, 2008
Sunday, 17th of February, 2008
Wednesday, 13th of February, 2008
Tuesday, 12th of February, 2008
While OS patches and upgrades continue to be important in PC security, do not forget about other potential security holes. As they continue to load functionality into Adobe Acrobat, it's becoming increasingly important to keep that reader app updated for security patches.
Thursday, 7th of February, 2008
Monday, 4th of February, 2008
Sunday, 3rd of February, 2008
Saturday, 2nd of February, 2008
Once I got in there I discovered the first pain - there are retainers that line up all the wires so that they don't cross on their way to the distributor and interfere with each other. While getting the retainer open on the passenger side, I snapped it right off of the mounting bracket. I see, so you're suppose to take it off of the bracket first. At least you only have to open the retainer once. On to the driver's side - take the first wire off the plug. On to the retainers - oh gosh, three retainers and there's less room to work with. They only open up one way this time and they're on there good - one of them is even zip-tied. Gotta take a screwdriver in there to get these retainers open. This side took even longer - by the time I got the wire out and was ready to put the new one onto the plug, I couldn't figure out for the life of me how I'm able to get my hand in there between the brake lines and exhaust manifold to put the wire back on. I somehow had enough room to yank out a plug wire. After cutting up my knuckles for a few minutes, I wonder what would happen if I went from under the car. Jacked the car up, well look at that - it's right there and simple from under the car. Those two first plugs took just as long as the next 6 - it got better from there, though still taking time to be careful yanking on those plug wires without breaking anything with what seems to be a minimum amount of room for hands to go. The plug closest to the driver on the driver's side also has to be installed from underneath, though I came to that conclusion a lot quicker this time. Put it all back together, fired the car up, drove it around, and everything is great. Total work time ended up being 90 minutes with all the messing around and taking breaks - and it got done before it got dark so it worked out well.
I guess with all that effort I should have changed the spark plugs themselves out too, but who knows what challenges I'd run into trying to get a spark plug socket into a place where I can barely even fit my hands. At least I won't have to mess with the retainers when I change the plugs. The next time I work on the Cadillac I think I'm just going to wash and wax it :lol:
Friday, 1st of February, 2008
Tonight's program at the St. Louis Symphony started with Berio's "Rendering" of the sketches of a Schubert D major symphony. The program notes and the conductor's pre-concert lecture help make some sense out of the soft, distant passages between what would otherwise be a normal Schubert work. Haley's explanation still wins: It's the music equivalent of paintings that were never completed by the artist, but someone went in and drew the outlines of what is probably supposed to be there with pencil. As a viewer, I can use those outlines to imagine what the painting would look like if it were complete.
In Rendering, Berio is providing those pencil lines. However, music is a little more abstract than a painting. You'll have to really use your imagination and probably more knowledge of Schubert than I have to be able to translate soft, sketchy notes into an idea of what Schubert might have composed there.
The second half of the program was Rossini's Stabat Mater. The music that Rossini composed is excellent and most enjoyable to listen to. It's unfortunate that the text he used is a bit mediocre and incomplete. It's line after line of sorrow that often doesn't match the rich diversity that Rossini composes. By the time we get to Inflammatus et accensus, it does get particular exciting and things start to make real sense again. All this leads to one of the best Amen I've ever heard, with direct references to notes the work started with one hour ago.