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This is the archive for February 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

This is just anecdotal evidence, but I have to wonder if the economy is really going gangbusters lately. I can't swing a dead cat around here, (Tucson, AZ), without seeing a help wanted sign. I passed a movieplex on my way home from work, and the marquee was flashing, not movies, but "Now Hiring".

I switched jobs myself about a year ago, and in the process had put my resume on Monster and Dice. It was no bites, and no dice respectively back then, but in the last several weeks, I've gotten at least two phone calls and emails each week about specific positions (usually up in Phoenix). I'm in IT, one of those laid off in the endgame of the Dot Bomb, and have seen the the industry slowly picking up since about 2002, but this and the help wanted signs everywhere is remarkable.

Is it just my area, am I imagining things, or is this happening all over?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I've been seeing this guy soaring through the neighborhood quite a bit lately. I have a dry wash running right alongside the house, and his favorite spot is right on top this telephone pole, looking straight down along the wash.

Sorry for the picture quality, I was shooting almost straight into the sun on max zoom with a medium-level digital, and Photoshop can only do so much.

He (or she - I saw a pair of them flying around together, only once, about two weeks ago) is really hard to catch in the air. Three times I've seen him going about his business, flying past me as close as 20 feet. It's one hell of an impressive sight - I put the wingspan at a conservative 3 feet, but it could be more - but I couldn't get to the camera in time.

I'm guessing it's a Ferruginous Hawk, but I can't be sure. If so, that three foot estimate for the wingspan is probably way too conservative. In any case, I'd like to offer him an all you can eat pass to my back yard. Those prarie dogs are cute and fun to watch and all, but I don't need quite so many of them.

Edit: What do you know, I was just poking through these links and discovered that them little buggers I've been calling "prairie dogs" are actually Harris's Antelope Ground Squirrels, listed as one of the favorite foods of my Ferruginous Hawk. Learn som'n new every day.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The latest annoyware plague on the blogosphere is Snap previews. If a site has them, hovering over the link pops up a window with a thumbnail of the site the link goes to. There's really no point to it - the thumbnail is too small to read anything, and there's no other benefit I can think of. It just gets in the way. I can hover over a link, or read the text before and after the link, but not both when the damn popup blocks whole paragraphs.

It's a fairly minor annoyance, but it provides absolutely zero value. Some sites have it disabled by default, but not all. It can be disabled for all sites accessed by your machine here:

The only problem is that it relies on a cookie being present to block the popups (it's malware: opt-out, not opt-in). I tried editing my hosts file to send any requests to their site into the ether, but it wouldn't take in Firefox for some reason.