January 20th, 2009


For the record - Dear USA: You had your chance.

I didn't strictly need to wait until now to post this, as the conclusion was screamingly obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than room temperature - in Sarah Palin's backyard - in December. But FWIW:

Dear USA,

You had all the chances in the world to impeach Dubya, to hold him (and Cheney and Rummy and the rest of those Nixon-era throwbacks) accountable for his war crimes, to maybe redeem yourself just one tiny little bit. Which is not to say that anything could ever bring back the thousands of dead that the war in Iraq created. A war that you helped Dubya create, and for no fucking reason at all.

But you didn't even try.

And now it's official. Now... you can never even attempt accountability. (Again, not that anyone in DC has any interest whatsoever in actual justice.)

You had your chance. And you totally fucked it. And you'll never be able to unfuck it. Some things are forever.

Bye. Have a nice empire. As soon as I reasonably can, I'll be off to my safe, clean, happy little island. And for the rest of my life, I'm going to laugh at you.

You earned it.

No love (not now or ever again),

I need a bicycle light that doesn't utterly suck.

Since I often ride home after dusk (programmer hours being what they are), I'm legally required to have a bike light on my bike. This is more for cars to see me than vice versa. (My eyesight may be less than perfect, but even in the dark, bicycle speeds present no challenge.)

I went by Target today and looked at bike lights. All of them run on AA batteries, which is beyond pathetic. The packaging even cops to this, as if their puny run-times are something to be proud of - "5 hour battery life"! Yeah, I'm REALLLLY impressed that I'm going to have to change out 4 batteries every two weeks. At that rate, you could practically run a heavy metal mine out of my garbage.

I know some of you who read my LJ are SRS bikers, so maybe you know of a bike light that doesn't suck? I was hoping to find something that ran on "C" batteries. At 8000 mAh each (even rechargeables are 6k mAh - double what the most expensive AAs can do), I should be able to go a long time with a three- or even two-cell setup.

I could, of course, solder together a perfectly working light myself in about two minutes with parts from Radio Shack, but A) I'm lazy and B) my version wouldn't be very watertight.

So, does anyone have personal experience with a bike light that doesn't suck? I'm talking 20 hours of constant run (not blinky) here. That way I'll only have to change the batteries every 3-4 months. If a generator is a better solution, just say so. And if you know a good one of those, I'd love to know about that too.

Edit: Screw it. I bought cheapy blinkers powered by CR2032's¹. Not even worth the trouble of going any further, at least not yet. One thing about these little blinkies that would be really cool - integrate a MEMS accelerometer chip into it, so it "notices" when you start riding (because the frame starts shifting around relative to gravity) and turns itself on. And after two minutes of no movement, it turns itself back off. Saves you the trouble of pushing the buttons on the head and tail lights when you get on or off.

¹ My favorite battery. Anyone know/guess why? ;]