Welcome to Mike Grusin's

“A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away.”
-Barry Goldwater

Boulder, Colorado

Filed under: Ephemera — mgrusin at 1:23 am on Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things I will miss when I move away from Boulder Colorado:

  • Driving on Cherryvale road, past the old house with the man on the porch who waves back at you, Peter’s Pumpkin Patch, and fields with the Flatirons in the background and deer and hawks and late summer wildflowers.
  • Being lucky enough to live in a light, airy treehouse on a creek and a bike path.
  • Being able to ride your bike most places in town without entering traffic.  And at certain times of the day, being able to get across town faster on a bike than in a car.
  • The pair of juvenile owls who learned to fly and hoot in the big cottonwoods just off our porch.
  • The Parkway Cafe, with the aquariums and great waitresses and the best Eggs Benedict in town.
  • My mom.
  • Birthday dinners at my aunt’s house.  My uncle’s perfectly-grilled steaks.  My cousin’s X-box.
  • Dropping by the Tropical Bird Farm and handing out nuts to everyone.
  • The human-scale housing developments (I can’t afford to live in them, but it’s encouraging to see them).
  • Skiing in whiteout powder that has blocked the arriving crowds and makes you laugh out loud.
  • J.B. Saunders, the best electronic parts store in the state within walking distance of my home.
  • Camping.
  • The International Scout.
  • The Boulder Outdoor Cinema.
  • All the science going on in the area, and the people who understand it.
  • People who see something they can do to make things better, then actually do it. (Community Cycles!)
  • People who think up completely oddball ways to have fun, then actually do it. (Ignite! Thursday night cruisers! Nerf wars!)
  • Having the resources of a major university just down the street.
  • Colorado Space Grant, birthplace of the next generation of explorers.
  • Growth limits, which have made this city beautiful (but expensive).
  • Summers when the bulk of the students are gone.

Things I won’t miss when I move away from Boulder Colorado:

  • The weekend the students return.
  • Growth limits, which have made this city expensive (but beautiful).
  • The abject wealth.  Friends saying “we’re selling our house, you should buy it!” when it’s listed at 1.2 million.
  • 28th street turning into Anymall America.
  • Pearl street turning into Upscale Anymall America.
  • RIP the beloved local places that have come and gone: Tom’s Tavern, The Last American Diner, The Hoffbrau, Daylight Donuts, Double Nickel, Philly Junction, Aria, etc.  (Most forced out by outrageous rent inflation and replaced by national chains that can operate at a loss.)
  • The completely insane building department, which lets everyone get away with murder except you.
  • Whole Foods, where people’s brains shut off as they enter the building.
  • RIP Annual Trash Day, where people used to put anything and everything out by the curb for city pickup and great scrounging.  (Permanently canceled due to liability and funding.)
  • RIP the old recycling center, which had better parking, tolerated scrounging, and had a more community feel. (Replaced by a “modern” recycling center which is poorly designed and doesn’t allow scrounging).
  • Complete respect for your constitutional rights, as long as you agree with us.
  • The moral high ground.  We’re all sinners.

Ho Ho Ho

Filed under: Ephemera — mgrusin at 11:42 am on Friday, December 22, 2006

When I was growing up in suburban southern California, I had to go see Santa at the local mall every year. I remember dreading that event, trying to get out of it, and the mounting horror as you got closer and closer to the front of the line, hearing the shrieks of terror from the children before you…

Which is why I was delighted to find this collection of photos people had sent in of the same situation. It’s fun to laugh at now, but it does make me wonder – do parents really not get how scary this is for a kid? Or worse, do they realize it all too well?

Happy holidays everyone, and best wishes for 2007!

“A Great Read”

Filed under: Ephemera — mgrusin at 10:59 am on Sunday, October 15, 2006

Back in 1955, generating true random numbers was hard, so the Rand corporation published a book consisting of a million statictically random numbers. A Million Random Digits has been reprinted and is available on Amazon ($20.45).  That’s interesting enough, but the best part is the customer reviews.

Via Bruce Schneier’s Crypto-Gram Newsletter.