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Gazing into the Abyss: Michael Rawdon's Journal

Passing on the Old Car

Well, today I sold my old car.

As you recall, I bought a new car last month, and then dragged my feet on donating the old one. Well, Subrata put me in touch with a friend of his who was looking for an old, crummy-looking but good-running car to run errands with from work. She and her husband came by on Friday to see the car, and made me an offer today, which I accepted.

After lunch I ran home to grab the vehicle title and other information they might want, and after work I passed on the big hunk of metal to them. Unless we need to take it back to the garage where its alternator is under warranty, I will likely never see it again. (In fact, I told her that even if the car turns out to be at the end of its lifespan and I refund her money, they have to keep the car!)

It's kind of sad, but I've had enough time to get used to my new car that I've gotten over the sadness of seeing another piece of my past sail into the sunset.


Well, the end came tonight as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox 6-1, ending the Sox' hopes of their fourth consecutive decade with a World Series appearance. The Sox scored a measly 8 runs in their four losses to the Yankees (and 13 in their one win), and I think that's all that need be said about why the Sox lost the series.

What's most upsetting about this loss is that not only have the Sox been eliminated, but the three remaining teams - the Yankees, the Mets, and the Braves - comprise perhaps my three least favorite teams in baseball. Well, okay, I don't have anything against the Braves specifically (unlike, say, CJ, who loathes them if only for their fans' execrable "tomahawk chop"), but this being their eighth consecutive year in the postseason, I find them just plain boring.

As a result, I think I will not even bother to watch much of the World Series this year.


Tonight we played Bridge at Ben's place, which was a fairly productive session for me. I had a few bidding problems, but they were all educational, and only one was an outright disaster. And we had a few hands which were worthy of much discussion as to how they would be bid.

Boy, it sure is exciting to pick up a hand and hold the A-K-Q-J-10 of spades (not to mention A-J-x-x-x of hearts).


I've been using Internet Explorer's "Subscriptions" feature, where you can tell it to check specific Web sites to see if they've been changed since last time it checked. It's pretty good, but I finally realized that it computes a checksum for each page, meaning it reduces all the data to a single number, and compares it to the previous checksum to see if the page has been changed.

However, because it uses a checksum, this means that any page which displays a hits counter will almost certainly have changed since the last viewing! Which makes Subscriptions basically useless where such pages are concerned! How stupid! I'd figured it would ask the HTTP server for the date the page was modified, which - since most counters work in such a way that the actual page file isn't changed - seems like it would be much more reliable.


(I realized this when Trish told me she used IE Subscriptions on my journal page, and that it always came up as having changed. Sheesh.)

Links du jour:

  1. Diana Rowland writes an interesting article on her 'pepper spray exam' during training to become a sheriff's deputy.

  2. Read about the modern ghost town of Centralia, PA. Maybe he'll add some more pictures sometime soon.

  3. I used Sherlock to find some Web sites which list peoples' names and their etymology, figuring they'll be useful if I ever start writing again. Good-looking sites I found - which appear worth browsing in their own right - include The Etymology of First Names, Surnames: What's In a Name?, and SurnameWeb.

  4. I also thought The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names was interesting.

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