News, Web

Track Your Politican’s Voting Record

I don’t have a clue where I found this anymore, but you can track any politician’s voting record through the Washington Post. There are even RSS feeds to integrate into your favorite reader.

I’ve already put all of my representatives in my reader, and have noticed two things. First, they vote a lot. Maybe it’s just because the session is winding down, and they rush everything important through to say they actually did something. Second, the meanings of each bill don’t really mean much to me. I think this service would be much better if it used plain English instead of something like this:

Question: On the Amendment.
Bill: S 3930
Vote description: Levin Amdt. No. 5086; In the nature of a substitute.
Result: Rejected, 43-54, with 3 not voting.
Elizabeth Dole voted No.

Huh? In the nature of a substitute? What does rejecting it mean in terms of the bill?

Anyway, I think this is a great service as it makes it easier to track what your representatives are (or aren’t) doing in Washington.

[tags]Politics, Washington Post, Voting[/tags]

Travel, Web

Farecast

If you’re going to travel soon, but haven’t purchased airline tickets yet, check out Farecast. You enter where and when you want to travel, and it tells you if now is a good time to buy. For example, if you are planning to travel from, let’s say, Newark to Greensboro around Christmas, Farecast says that prices are holding steady. And they have 80% confidence that you should buy now.

The flight selection interface is similar to Kayak. For just comparing flight prices I would go with Kayak. But with the fare forcast, I would give Farecast a shot too.

[tags]Farecast, Kayak, Travel[/tags]

Home

A Quick Rant

So I’m killing time here at Panera waiting on three things to be be done to my car: an oil change, an inspection, and a cable replacement on the emergency brake. When we first moved into the house, the car sat on a hill quite a bit, and stretched out the cable, so the car won’t pass inspection now.

I call VW on Monday, and made an “appointment” for Wednesday. I rattle off the three things I need done, they ask when I want to come in, I tell them Wednesday. I inquire how much the cable would cost, and I’m transferred to the parts department. Everything seemed fine, and I went on my way.

Of course, it hasn’t been so far. I get to the dealer, and they don’t seem to have any idea what I am talking about. I repeat what I need done. It’s not a big deal as it’s not very busy, so I give them my info and I’m off to Panera.

After reading about the sad state of the Justice Courts in the NYT (it was a very interesting read, read all three parts), I get a call, and they tell me that they don’t have a cable in stock.

Wouldn’t it make sense to find out if that part needed is in stock before making me waste my afternoon? Now I need to repeat this whole bit on Friday, when when they actually have the part. I can understand it if there is an unexpected repair, or they are not sure of what they need. I would think that by making an appointment, and with them knowing what they needed, the parts would be here.

Quite the concept, making parts to service appointments. What am I missing here?

[tags]VW, Volkswagen, Service[/tags]

News, Travel

New TSA Rules

I’m glad to see that the TSA has finally come to their senses and started allowing shampoo and toothpaste back in carry-on luggage. It’s also nice to see that they are allowing people to bring liquids that are purchased after going through security.

But there’s some oddities too. Like it all has to fit in a quart-size “zip-top” bag. Where did that come from? I mean, it just makes sense that you would want to keep all that stuff segregated anyway, in case something leaks. But to mandate it? Weird.

[tags]TSA, travel, zip-top bags[/tags]

Random

A Picnic

We went on a picnic yesterday at the park, and attempted to put Julia in a swing. Naturally, she didn’t take too well to it.

While on a walk, I notice a bunch of blue lockers near a trailhead. I looked a little closer, and there were bikes inside, apparently provided by Dasani. It sounds like a great idea. You give them a deposit, and you can take a Trek Criuser bike out all day.

After a little bit more research, this program isn’t very widespread. You can check out Dasani’s website, but it’s all flash, so there’s no links from here. All in all, it looks pretty neat.

[tags]Dasani Blue Bikes[/tags]

Home

Site Redesign

So I’m finally happy (for the most part) with the site redesign. I’ve bumped up the size of the thumbnails. And with the new theme, the shadow doesn’t have that annoying line in the bottom right corner.

What do you think? Any comments on what does and doesn’t work?