Public Service Announcement for Dekalb County Homeowners

Effective January 1st, homeowners in DeKalb County that receive the benefit of homestead exemption may also apply for a property assessment freeze to help offset future increases in property value. This freeze does not affect school, city or state taxes. Homeowners who currently have homestead exemption must apply for this freeze, however new applicants applying for an exemption will receive the benefit of the freeze with their exemption. Residents must qualify for this freeze by March 1st 2007 by mail, online or in person at the Tax Commissioner’s office.

4 minutes and counting…

How much can I post in the < 4 minutes I have left in the workday? --- Stamps. Why can't I print media mail stamps online at I can post certain types of priority mail, but not media mail. So the recepients of a couple paperback books are just going to have to wait until I can get stamps at the post office. --- It looks like I'm going back to Juarez the week of March 5. I'm sure the frequency of trips is going to subside soon. I'm sure. Sortof. Perhaps my mistake is having a good attitude about it. --- Uncle Grampa's this weekend... a rare show without Matt Horgan as Larry. Chris Blair is subbing in as Buffalo Tony, who is my favorite Chris Blair Uncle Grampa's character. Tune in if you have a kid, by which I mean, show up. --- I'm in TheaterSports on Saturday night, and a coworker is threatening to come. --- Dozens of people coming in this weekend, and no food in the house a'tall. I'm on grocery duty after work. And with that, I'm off.

Book Log – Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman

The first point I should make is that I read this on my new (refurb) Palm Z22. It came as a sample book with the eReader software, along with Never Eat Alone and some romance novel. I used to read stuff all the time on my old Palm IIIe, and it’s nice to always have a book or two on me, wherever I go. The interface is greatly improved as well.

Previously, I’ve read a Sandman, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), American Gods and, recently, Neverwhere. Good Omens is much beloved by many and I am no exception. But the other three works, done solo, were just OK by my estimation. I didn’t plan on going out of my way to get another Neil Gaiman piece.

But there it was in the Palm. And I’m glad it was.

I really enjoyed these short stories. In fact, the shorter the better. He had a whole collection of two paragraph stories about vampires that were very funny.

Honestly, though, I skipped most of the “poetry”. If it didn’t grab me in the first couple stanzas, I was off to the next thing. I’m a plebe that way.

There’s a funny story about a woman who finds the Holy Grail in a junk store. And one about a guy who looks for bargain priced assassinations. All very creative and fun.

Your mileage may vary

steakums sent me this link, in our ongoing discussions about whether to minivan or not to minivan.

One commenter on this article said : I don’t know why everyone is opposed to SUV’s. I personally love mine, and it gets great gas mileage, contrary to the popular belief. I fill it up once a week, ($30-35) and I can go all week on one tank of gas. (I live very close to work).

Leaving aside the ignorance on how one measures “gas mileage”, this comment dredged up a pet peeve I have about discussing gas mileage. It bothers me to an extent, and probably irrationally so, when I ask someone how their gas mileage is on their vehicle, and they say “Great! It’s about 20MPG!”

While I’ll allow that 20MPG could be relatively “great” for a specific type of vehicle, say a Semi or a garbage barge, I can’t allow that it is empirically “great” for anything.

So, I’m offering an empirical rating chart for gas mileage conversations. You and yours may choose to adopt it, you may not. I offer it as a suggestion, and letting everyone know what I mean when I say “great”.

MPG                  RATING
0-20MPG              embarrassing
20-30MPG             poor
30-40MPG             acceptable
40-50MPG             good
50MPG-100MPG         great
100MPG+              awesome

These will have to be adjusted periodically for technological improvements.

And, of course, one can still use phrases with relative qualifications, such as “My minivan gets 35MPG, which is great for a minivan.” I’ve got no beef with that.

The Neat Germ

So, yesterday, Rocketbro was out running errands and stopped by the do-it-yourself car wash.

When he got home, the outside of his car was so nice, he decided to do the inside… vacuuming and 409ing and so forth.

He was on such a roll, that he then proceeded to vacuum out Stacey’s car, thus destroying a local tourist attraction1.

Crazed and delusional to the point of losing his sense of self preservation, he went on to spit-shine the inside of my car.

Inside, his diligence guilted or inspired (hard to tell which) to knock out the Enormous Tower of Laundry whilst simultaneously baking a chocolate heart-shaped cake from scratch, and me to reorganize the pantry2.

All of which to say is I <3 my brother, and I'm considering somehow trashing his credit so he can't afford to buy a house and move out. 1 Atlanta’s Largest Collection of Dropped Goldfish Crackers.
2 Hey, I was sick. This was a big contribution for me.

Book Log – The Book That Changed My Life

The Book That Changed My Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them Edited by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannessen

71 essays about life changing books. Many were interesting, some were funny, some I just skimmed. Several folks mentioned To Kill A Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye. Amy Bloom cited The Most of P.G. Wodehouse, which I dearly love and read again and again, so I shall pick up some of her stuff at some point.

If the internet comes back. Where is it tonight? Livejournal is working. Lots of other major sites aren’t. Weird.

But I digress.

This is one of the Xmas gift books, for which I thank her again, as it helped pass part of the time happily on my 3.5 hour flight back and forth to El Paso.