Archives for April 2005

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Live-Blogging City Hall

This afternoon I attended a City Council Budget & Finance Committee Meeting, and live-blogged it. You can find both my live-blog and my post-meeting summary over at blogdowntown. I thought I'd come over here, though, to post my comments on the whole idea of live-blogging.

Starting with the tech: I brought my laptop, bluetooth adaptor, and cell phone. Cingular's EDGE network gave me connectivity with 1000ms ping times and fairly low packet loss. Both phone and laptop lasted through two straight hours of connectivity, though the phone battery was about done afterward.

I basically blogged the contents of the meeting raw as it happened, filtering a little but on the whole recording wholesale what I found interesting. I was IM'ing with Alan during the meeting, and noted that I was probably getting a little too in detail. He agreed, and said looking back a lot of the specifics probably wouldn't be that important. To me, though, it seemed best to record everything and then summarize it later. My summary's probably still too in depth, but oh well.

All in all a fascinating experience. I was amazed at how much I could type during a two-hour meeting.

I wouldn't doubt that this was the first live-blogging ever to be done from inside Los Angeles' City Hall. I doubt that will be recorded in the record books anywhere, but I figure that more times I say it the more google will pick it up.

Power Stayed On

I guess the generators must have worked just fine. Power stayed on all morning. I'm glad I chose not to shut things down during the projected downtime.

I blame Vegas for no posting over the weekend.

Need Some Temporary Power

There's a sign downstairs saying that Monday morning they're going to be testing the building's emergency generator -- please turn off your computer. This creates an issue for someone like me, whose computers never turn off. It also creates an issue for this site, which would go black with the building.

That got me thinking... I have a laptop that's perfectly capable of running the site for a couple hours, but the problem is that my DSL bridge needs power for that to even matter. I guess what I really need is a little UPS that could give juice to just one 18 watt device for two hours. If anyone who reads this happens to have one handy, I'd love to borrow it.

Of course a setup like that wouldn't give me any sort of generalized protection... I'd need to know the outage was coming to get the laptop up and serving (and enough warning to rsync current data onto it), but I don't care about generalities. I care about Monday.

More Biking Stuff

I posted yesterday that I had ridden the fifteen or so miles from JPL to Downtown on my bike. I forgot to mention that this also gave me the chance to try out my new front light and rear flasher. First, though, I had to settle out my battery situation. I had been complaining to Alan earlier in the afternoon that I had gone to the JPL Store and bought AA batteries without taking the time to realize that my rear flasher needed AAA. Oh well, though, for my little ride I wasn't going to be needing lights. Of course then I decided to make my little trip a big one. When it started to get dark I pulled into a liquor store in Highland Park and bought AAA batteries. I grabbed my front light out of my bag and... it didn't turn on. It had worked a couple days ago, so somehow it must have gotten turned on and drained its batteries. Conveniently, though, I had the AA's I had bought by mistake. In the end my lighting worked out perfectly.

Yesterday after my ride I felt great. Today, though, on the way up the hill from Pasadena, I realized that I had in fact gotten a workout. My legs are feeling it. I still think I'm going to do the big ride again this evening. It's just fun.

I Hate April 1st

Every year it's the same things: