Tuesday, January 31

papa's got a brand new spring

BANG! Either someone discharged a fararm (i.e. "shot sumbuddy") inside my garage or the torsion spring has broken. Fortunately (?), it was the latter.

Just a second or two after I lowered the garage door (Friday night) I knew what happened. Only once before have I heard a garage door spring break, and it's not pleasant. Since I'm frequently as mechanically adept as President Quagmire is at mispronuncifying nuke-u-ler, I opted to call in a pro to replace it. Odds of my losing a limb or two was high.

One of my neighbors already set my expectations for installation cost, and he was only off by a few dollars. I might've saved some money by buying the spring (rather than pay the pro's markup), but the odds of me getting the correct one were slim-to-none.

Now, I should have 3-8 years' service with the Shiny New Spring, depending on how much I use the opener. As the installer explained, it's like brakes on a car. If you don't use them, you'll never have to replace them (apparently the spring is only tense when the door is up). This replacement comes with a 90-day parts-and-labor warranty, which should be just long enough to determine if it suffers from metal fatigue.

unrelated #0/2: It's time to bring out those coat hangers; abortion will soon be illegal again! (see "Senate Confirms Alito to Supreme Court"). If you think Alito has any intention of not overturning Roe-v-Wade, I have a slightly used garage door spring to sell you:

unrelated #0/3: Most entertaining blogpost du juor: The Southern Strategy (Leiter Reports)

Monday, January 30

Dick's Last Legacy

One week from now, I'll be trying to stay awake listening to an hour-long concall. Yes, I'm going back to work, after several months eating bon-bons and watching Oprah.*
* okay, so I never did either of these during my "time off". No, not once. But it does make for a good story.
Unrelated: kudos to Geoff for the pointer to Rachel's blog, including this gem:
What good is it being a superpower with no enemies to fight, no spectres to scare a population with, no justification for liberty-curtailing laws that make it easier to manage people?
Me think's Rachel's spot-on with this analysis. As much as I loathe being a conspiracy theorist, I'm seeing far too many signs to think otherwise. Sure, President Quagmire doesn't have the brains to make ice (see Southpaw's blog for yet another example), but that doesn't mean that RoveCheney aren't pulling His strings, sufficient to manipulate both He and the growing majority of Americans who are undereducated simpletons. Another example of the intentional dumbing down of the populace: Intelligent Design.

Years ago, I held out hope for a bright future for this country. In the past 10 years or so, I've spotted too many indications that we'll not live up to that lofty goal, in part because Those In Power will do whatever it takes to Remain In Power. Like Cheney said with regard to Global Warming: "What do I care? I won't be alive then anyway." Such a legacy.
* Okay, so both the Slate report, and Will Ferrell's piece are fake. You honestly think Cheney would be stoopid enough to document any of this stuff? Time to play the Ominous Conspiracy Music again ...

Sunday, January 29

the In Place, downtown

A couple of us gathered today at the Urban Market and Cafe (downtown Dallas) to chat about ways to End World Hunger. I was feeling sang-froid, as usual.

The Urban Market is on the ground floor of the refurbished Interurban Building, and is like a small version of a Whole Foods market, with fresh meat & fish and mostly healthy stuff on the shelves. They have a large number of tables and chairs and can accomodate quite a few people who want a casual brunch.
While there, I decided to sip on a Bolthouse Farms "Perfectly Protein" (vanilla chai tea with soy protein) which was most delicious. Yummm.
They face the challenges of any inner-city grocery: parking is limited (yet nearby) and the shopping carts are about half (one-third?) the size of those in the `Burbs. The patrons probably shop there several times each week since they're typically space-limited in the downtown lofts.

Although Urban Market's been open several months, the banner on the parking structure (as you enter from Jackson Street) still says "URBAN MARKET - COMING SOON!". Oops .. gotta remember to change that Real Soon Now.

Saturday, January 28

how much grief for "10% off" ?

yes, it's true .. I love a good deal. So when I spotted Trish-Bob's mention of buy.com I moseyed over there. I don't own an iPod (yet) but am a big fan of iTunes, so the Bluetooth headphones can wait awhile (I listen to podcasts on my Palm Tungsten T5).

Somehow I found buy.com's "10% off Amazon" promo; I have a long list of "Wish List" books, and decided to put them to the test. They had most of the stuff I wanted, but their website needs serious work if they hope to compete with Bezos and family.

1- their search engine reeks. Often I'd input a book title, and was told the book didn't exist. On a hunch, I input the author's name instead and voila! - there was my book. Hmmm.

2- Several times, I'd click [Buy] and nothing happened; I would then click [Buy] again. Not surprisingly, it incremented the counter, thinking I wanted multiple copies. I learned to wait for the "final screen" and changed all the quantity 2 and 3 back to 1, rather than fight it each time their server stalled.

3- The Cookie Issue: buy.com suggested I enable all cookies for all websites. Uh, no .. that ain't gonna happen (I spend enough time fighting spyware as it is). I allowed cookies for buy.com itself, and all worked okay until checkout time, when it folded its arms and refused to budge. Argh! I fired up a different browser, fed it the URL and crossed my fingers, hoping it would remember the contents of my shopping cart. It worked!

4- After I ordered the books, I noticed a caveat: "There is an order limit of 5 books per order, per customer." It allowed me to go all the way through my Wish List, and never said anything about this limit during the ordering process. I guess they want to enforce as much grief as possible, by making me artificially split my order into 5-book chunks.

Bottom line: buy.com was frustrating, but I did save 10% over Amazon.com .. so it wasn't a wasted effort. In theory, most will be shipped in 1-2 business days (others are backordered). I didn't have to leave the confines of my domicile, wandering the aisles of Half-Price Books. Woo hoo.

Thursday, January 26

must .. can't .. oogie ..

"If that thing was shiny, we might've lost him for weeks."

- Jon Stewart commenting on The Puppet's fixation of a dangling camera in the White House Press Room, earlier today

Wednesday, January 25

subset of women voters: MEN!

Tuesday, I attended "Can We Trust Electronic Voting?", hosted by the Dallas League of Women Voters [LWV] chapter. I was invited by a friend who's in charge of publicity for the group, and was assured that I wouldn't be the only man there! She was right; out of a crowd of ~50, there were 3 men in the audience (not including all 3 of the e-voting experts on the panel*)
* Rafael Anchia; Bruce Sherbet; Doug Jackson
I jokingly asked if the members traded recipes at the end of the meeting, and received a quasi-piercing scowl in return! She did say that the 85-year old organization (formed soon after the 19th Amendment to the US Constition was ratified) has considered adding a tagline "Not for Women Only!"

Surprise, surprise .. this organization is political in nature, and follows a semi-rigid heirarchy. The Dallas Chapter is a member of the Texas Chapter of the LWV, which is a member of the national LWV group (all of which are nonprofit organizations).

At any rate, the forum itself was informative; I learned a lot about the state of electronic voting, and what's keeping it from becoming widely deployed. Here, it's been used for Early Voting (30% of the voters) for several years, but not on Election Day itself when the other 70% come to the polls (then, it's a paper ballot read by Optical Scanners). One of the panelists said they try to chose a technology which will give them 8 or so years of life; e-voting machines are purchased - not leased - from one of the (only) five vendors.

There's a great debate about preferring Open Source software, since there's a perception that a hacker could compromise an e-voting device and change the outcome of an election; there's fear that a Trojan could be inserted by an employee or poll worker (on the end of a bribe chain) and no one would be the wiser. Currently, none of the vendors use Open Source. Given the finite set of companies involved, there's no annual e-voting tradeshow for either hardware or software (they could all fit into a single room at Motel 6).

Naturally (for me!) I was amused by all the spiffy new acronyms I learned:

DRE [Direct Recording Electronic] - electronic voting ("e-voting") machines

EAC [Election Assistance Commission] - established by HAVA to oversee its implementation

ES&S [Election Systems & Software] - name of the company that supplies Texas with electronic voting systems (hardware & software)

HAVA [Help America Vote Act] - federal legislation passed in 2002 mandating States to establish uniform voting systems and standards

NIST [National Institute of Standards & Technology] - EAC is collaborating with NIST to develop standards and guidelines related to voting technology

PEB [Personal Electronic Ballot] - device used by ES&S to personalize a touchscreen

SARA [Secure, Accurate, Recountable, and Accessible] - the National League's criteria for voting systems and procedures

SOS [Secretary of State] - agency responsible for conducting elections

VRA [Voting Rights Act] - federal legislation initially passed in 1965 to achieve the promise of political equality and fair representation for all citizens

VVPT [Voter Verified Paper Trail] - independent paper ballot for voter to confirm the vote they cast

Tuesday, January 24

The American Taliban

Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, comes a collection of Real Words, Out of their Real Mouths (okay, this has been online for months):

Quotes from the The American Taliban.

Monday, January 23

Super Bowl Extra Large

Okay, the playoffs are history; now all we have to do (as a nation) is to prepare several hundred million chicken wings, for Super Bowl XL.

XL Roman == 40 Decimal. We're not talking T-shirt size, you twit!

.. and in the "Unscientific, but ..." category: my rain gauge says 0.8 inches of rain fell at my home in the past 24 hours. That's the first rain in 33 days, so say the local weather girls. At least the Red Flag Warning has expired.

Sunday, January 22

Irving's parting gesture

Two stories in today's Dallas Managed News caught my eye:

1 - The city of Irving wants to increase their take for Dallas Cowboys tickets. For the average seat, that'll increase the price 10% from $66 to $73. To that, add an extra $3 per carload (I'm guessing the average SUV holds what - 9 fans each?). Also, as a way of saying "thanks" to Jerry Jones for moving the team to Arlington, the city wants to levy a $5000/player/game fee. Ever the spendthrift, I'm guessing Jerry will only suit up 22 players per game, to minimize the fees.

2 - A seemingly unrelated story says the number of homeless people in Dallas has risen to 9124 (from just under 6000). They blame part of that on the refugees from Louisiana. Silly me - I assumed they were all either in permanent housing, or still in hotels (until the FEMA money runs out).
Deep Thought # 47/3: I wonder how many Dallas Cowboys fans will become homeless as a result of the new ticket prices. It's a well-known fact that die-hard Cowboys fans buy tickets before things like food, rent, insurance, even cheerleader uniforms!

Saturday, January 21

coming soon: mandatory search engine

Now that Yahoo!, Microsoft and a few others (but not Google) have turned over their records of what search terms we use, it's time to change my default search engine. Best bet: Patriot Search

I suspect future versions of Microsoft products will make this the only allowable search engine, anyhoo. Long live the GOP!

Friday, January 20

coming soon: FUD Light (not the beer)

A week or so ago, a light appeared on my car's dashboard:
SERVICE ENGINE SOON. This sounds semi-important, so I asked The Repair Guys (who have The Toys needed to converse with the onboard computer) to have a look. Turns out ...

1 - there are about 150 things this message could mean;

2 - my thermostat assembly isn't feeling well, and needs replacing. One of the technicians said he's amazed this part is still made (mostly) of plastic, and has been A Problem Child ever since the model was introduced;

3 - another common reason this light comes on is because the fuel tank cap hasn't been tightened. That wasn't my problem this time.

This model car was discontinued in 2005; perhaps the E90 will change the warning to read:

Thursday, January 19

conspiracy triangulation

I wasn't always a believer in conspiracy theories, but I'm becoming one.

I don't think it was coincidence that Osama bin Laden's latest threat came at the same time that the Abramoff-Republican Bribery Scandal is happening. The CFRP will do anything to divert attention from their lies and deceit, so they're probably working with al-Qaeda to make sure these tapes air now. I wouldn't be surprised to find the tapes originated in a CIA lab in eastern Virginia, instead of a Pakistani cave. Sure, the CIA has "certified" the tapes to be from bin Laden, but if they created them, what else would you expect them to say?

Meanwhile, I suspect that The Weather Channel® has come under CFRP control, as this landed in my inbox:

A new series from The Weather Channel takes a close look at unbelievable acts of nature that, if they occur, could spell disaster in cities across America. Explore the possibilities and see what is being done to prepare.
The message is clear: "be afraid, all the time. Keep the CFRP in power, indefinitely." Personally, I'm not buying what they're selling anymore. Quick - give me a voting booth ...

Wednesday, January 18

Bob and the TV

I don't think that Bob (not a -Bob) blogs. He's quite computer savvy, just not that way. I met him in a retail computer store on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, eons ago. He was repairing a Wyse 50 terminal, after he'd diagnosed the fault to be a defective (48 cents?) resistor. Bob could've sent the terminal to the repair depot, but he did this to amuse himself (oscilloscope and all).

Over the years, Bob and I became good friends. Some weekends, we'd rent a couple tapes (anyone remember VHS?) of Bad Science Fiction, order a (pizza) pie and toss back a few cold ones .. until dawn. You see, BobTime™ starts at sundown and ends at dawn. Bob was a vegetarian; he wouldn't eat anything that ever had a face.
Aside #7-11: for many years, Bob didn't own a car; instead, he took the bus everywhere. When he finally bought a car, he followed the bus route to wherever he needed to go (versus taking a direct route). Bob also introduced me to the phrase "Hoover Some Sushi" .. and thus permanently impacted my vocabulary.
Once, Bob told me the story of why he doesn't own a TV. His sister tried to give him one. So, he unboxed it, plugged it in, and turned on the power. The first thing he saw was: The Morton Downey Jr. Show. I only vaguely remember this; suffice it to say that Morton Downey was an in-your-face Right Wing Nutjob before Karl Rove/etc. made it fashionable.

Bob watched for a few minutes, quietly powered the set off, unplugged it from the wall, returned it to its box and placed it in the closet. For good. He felt that if this was what TV was all about, he wanted none of it. Huzzah, Bob, Huzzah.

Tuesday, January 17

what kind of a donut am I?

You Are a Glazed Donut

Okay, you know that you're plain - and you're cool with that.
You prefer not to let anything distract from your sweetness.
Your appeal is understated yet universal. Everyone dig you.
And in a pinch, you'll probably get eaten.

Monday, January 16

one door closes, another door opens

Wing & Donuts has closed (I guess this combo just didn't take off), yet Grand Buffet - Chinese food catering to Mexican palates - is about to open. Also, Hedary's (Lebanese cuisine) closed - that building began life as a Taco Bueno, I suspect. I wouldn't want to be in the restaurant business; patrons are too fickle.

Si Chuan Guacamole, anyone?
How about a Moo Shoo Burrito?
Maybe a Lo Mein Tamale?

Unrelated: does anyone want to play a game of Neocon Bingo?

Sunday, January 15

beware the ides of January ...

I'm going to stay inside until this full moon is past.

This morning, a couple of us spent an excruciating hour or so trying to feed our faces at a Dallas Waffle House. Turns out the old cook quit, and the new one was slowSlowSLOW (I don't think he'd mastered the skill of preparing more than one order at a time). The waitress (granted, she was no rocket surgeon) didn't know what to do, so she just "mini-quit" and went outside to sit (smoking) in her truck, until enough patrons left so the crowd would be manageable.

I wonder how long it'll be before the QSRs find a way to outsource their food preparation to India or China?

On the way home (5 or 6 hours later) -- not being in the mood to cook -- I decided to stop at a local Chinese restaurant's drive-thru and grab something for the evening meal. There were two cars on front of me - how long would it take? Try 22 minutes. I even attempted to catch up on my sleep, but I kept waking up to the sound of other drivers blowing/honking their horns (as if that would rattle the cages of the oblivious workers inside). Fortunately, I had a copy of War and Peace (only 1408 pages) in the car, and I was able to get halfway through before my turn at the window. Oy.

Friday, January 13

Phantom Holiday

Did you know that today is Korean-American Day? Neither did I, until I got an email from Daniel (not a Bob) telling me about it. The House of Representatives passed a resolution last month, but few people Got The Memo, apparently. I'm mildly surprised that not a word of this appears on the Greater Dallas Korean-American Chamber of Commerce website.

This year, I will celebrate quietly by memorizing Wikipedia's List of famous Korean-Americans!

Noteworthy: April is Asian Awareness month. I suspect I should begin preparations now; I hope Party City has enough supplies on hand!

Thursday, January 12

Microsoft's continued plot: annoy me

Software is fragile. Configuration changes made so carefully and lovingly can disappear in a heartbeat when someone in a faraway land (Redmond, Washington) doesn't think.

And so it happened again yesterday. I dutifully installed the monthly Patch Tuesday updates to Windows, and today I spotted two anomalies.

First, a popup window (presumably aligned with a specific application, yet curiously not mentioned) advises me that (quote) "No connection to the Internet currently exists. Would you like to work offline, or Try Again?"

Second, my email client has been randomly reset to Microsoft Outlook (which I do not use). This means that forking an email to a random friend will now fail, until I find the quasi-obscure setting which allows me to redefine my desired application.
Future reminder: start Internet Explorer. Find the menu: Tools/Internet Options/Programs/Email and flip the mail client, then [Apply].
You'd think after doing this for 20+ years, the programmers at Microsoft would have settled on a methodology which precluded such things from happening, but .. that's not the case.

Reconfiguring the email client won't take terribly long; I suspect Microsoft does this periodically to remind me that They are in control of my computer, and not me. The popup that advises of a lost Internet connection will take longer to troubleshoot. Maybe by February's Patch Tuesday, when things start breaking again?
worth a read: So, having an honest debate on the issues is "giving aid and comfort to the enemy"? (in the I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself Department)
Well, now I have to write a preso (don't ask) for delivery in the morning. In the interim, I updated the Sundry on Thursday blog, which should keep you occupied for a few hours ...

Tuesday, January 10

destination: Plano

It just makes you feel good to be alive, doesn't it? Naturally, I'm talking about David Letterman's dramatic reading of the lyrics to Love Train (by The O'Jays) on Monday night's show. Ah, the air smells crisper, and the birds are chirping sweeter this morning. The dew is a bit damper, and Tom DeLay is marginally slimy-er. It's a new day in America!

In unrelated news, I moseyed by The Bowling Alley last night to watch The Crumbleys in inaction, along with the other Pin Pals. While the lanes themselves are smoke-free, the lounge (bar/pool tables) area is not, and I was a bit surprised that it's turned into a destination unto itself. I felt that I'd momentarily taken a wrong turn and ended up in a strange, foreign land. Then I realized that, yes - I was in Plano.

Note to self: someday Real Soon Now, go to Poor Richard's (fine dining establishment) and see what all the fuss is about.

Monday, January 9

Sunday, January 8

Sunday blahs

There are still a few hours left, but today's been one of those throwaway days.

I didn't even fetch the newspaper from the sidewalk until 10:30 or so (there are days in the past when I moseyed outside at 5:30am and was miffed that it wasn't there yet).

I watched two (TiVo'd) episodes of The Office (US version) and was mildly impressed that they seem to have found their American wings. The earliest episodes of this series were "direct translations" of the UK version, and it just didn't work. Now, they have some of the same interaction issues (office romances that Don't Quite Work, etc.) but it plays to our Yank sensibilities. Also, Steve Carell isn't trying to be David Brent, but is evolving his character into a different Incompetent Boss role. I'll watch it again, to be sure.

Late morning, Judy-Bob called and wanted to do brunch at Monica's (in Deep Ellum) so we did that, but very few people were there -- maybe only nine tables. It could be due to the NFL playoffs, or maybe those rumors of the demise of the area are true. To be fair, the personality of Deep Ellum on Sunday morning, and that of Saturday night, are wildly different. And yes, Trish-Bob, the rumor is true: Trees has closed.

While fidgeting under the car seat, we found an unfamiliar cellphone. I turned it on, and thought the registered number looked familiar, and was not completely unsurprised to find my home number in the Outgoing Call Log. Whoever "lost it" is one of my friends, right?

Later, I searched my PDA and found that the number belonged to a group we'd done business with over 6 months ago! It's true; this Nokia phone still had enough standby battery to last under my car seat without a recharge for 6+ months! Amazing. The mystery of the phone is solved, and I'll return it to the service provider to be used in a battered women's shelter or other noble cause.

Saturday, January 7

WMF patch makes mouse wheel disappear

I installed Microsoft's WMF patch and soon thereafter, the scroll wheel on my mouse stopped working. In either the Internet Explorer or Firefox browser. Hmmm. The mouse behavior became so erratic that I had to IPL (reboot) the machine, and the scroll wheel reappeared.

As Tonto would say: "Heap strange, Kemo-Sabe."

Alas, it's supposed to be almost 80F here today. I'm starting to suspect this Global Warming Myth ain't a myth.

Unrelated: Texas Governor PrettyHair thinks Texas public school science students should be taught Intelligent Design along with Evolutionary Theory; I guess that makes him an IDiot. Nothing new there, but he'll probably win lots of votes. Remember that Texas is DEAD LAST in education in America, and this should propel us to #51 (of 50) behind Kansas, traditional cellar-dweller Mississippi, and a future state to be named later.
Overheard: "Science Class? What do you need Science fer. Ain't you wanna be a Cheerleader or a Hairdresser no more, and git yew a good huzbun?"

Friday, January 6

of spyware and paper

A few days ago, I blogged about updating the Restricted Sites list in MS-IE; I ran SpyBot last night, and it showed zero instances of spyware on that PC (there are usually more than a dozen per week). Very cool. Now I just have to remember to keep The List updated.

Normally, I'd just stuff the following in my Sundry on Thursday blog, but this is of such worldwide importance that I simply must mention this Straight Dope column here: How did 8½x11 and 8½x14 become the standard paper sizes?. After reading that, my heart is beating at high warp.

Unrelated: Men's Fitness magazine's ranking of the fattest cities in the country is out. Dallas was 6th fattest in 2004 and has "risen" to 4th fattest in 2005! Woo hoo!! Let's break out the fried barbecue and pork rinds to celebrate!

Wednesday, January 4

Dave be praised

Pity it was up against The Longest Orange Bowl In History (4.5 hours!) but .. that's why there's TiVo, which can record two shows at once.

Each night, my TiVo faithfully records The Late Show with David Letterman. I usually listen to his 6-joke monologue, then fast-forward to the Top Ten List, then delete the episode ... unless there's an interesting guest. Last night, Bill O'Reilly (certified Radical Right sociopath) from Fox "News" was a guest, and ... it was a classic exchange.

Unlike Jon Stewart's interviews on The Daily Show, Dave didn't pussyfoot around. He started by addressing O'Reilly's "War Against Christmas" fabrication (the only purpose of which was to lure viewers). Not only did Dave opine that 60% of everything O'Reilly says is crap, he challenged him on the War against Cindy Sheehan.

Caveat: I don't usually listen to O'Reilly either, but I'll bet he spins this one as another huge victory - him against Dave. Not only is Fox "News" an American Disgrace, but O'Reilly is the King of That Feces Mound.

Dave: you make me proud. If you're ever in Dallas, stop by and I'll plant one on your lips.

Late update: indeed, O'Reilly attacked Dave on Wednesday's show, calling him a card-carrying member of the "secular progressive movement". O'Reilly The Bully just can't stand it when he's dressed down. Boo Fricking Hoo.

Tuesday, January 3

prison stripes, size 10 ?

It'll be interesting to watch what happens with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (Republican) now that Jack Abramoff has agreed to name names. Another advantage of TiVo is the ability to slow/freeze frame anything, so KBH's name lept out at me as I watched the scrolling list of those Republicans whom Abramoff is alleged to have bribed (everything from free basketball tickets on up).

There's no word yet on Texas' other senator (John Cornyn - a real patsy's patsy) but since he's a Republican, odds are he was "on the take" too, as that seems to be a requirement for party membership, starting in 1999. Well, to be fair, some didn't qualify because they accept bribes; some qualified because of their gross incompetence or callous disregard for the US constitution (Cheney, Rove, DeLay, Frist, not to mention President Quagmire Himself).

Aside: since 98.6% of all incumbents are re-elected, Texas will have John Cornyn and his ilk to "represent us" for a few more dozen years. I can hardly wait to see what his next scandal is about ...

Sunday, January 1

143 years ago today

Today's the last day of Kwanzaa and the last day of Hanukkah (this year, anyway). I guess it's time to prep for the next holiday, about two weeks away: Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.

Whenever I drive to downtown Dallas on 75-Central Expressway, I pass the Dallas Freedmen's Cemetery, although I haven't stopped for a visit - yet. I vaguely recall stories about this in the local newspaper, after I moved to Dallas (1993). Freedmen is a generic term used after The Rebellion (Civil War, etc.) to describe freed slaves. New to me: the Confiscation Act of 1862 preceeded Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation (143 years ago today).

While seeking information on Dallas Freedmen's Cemetery, I found a reference to the Texas Black Codes, which were enacted after The Rebellion and before the Jim Crow era (the Radical Republicans of the 1860s are extremely different than the Radical Republicans of the Bush regime). About 16 months ago, I mentioned the item in my own Deed Restrictions (dated June 1961, before JFK's assasination):
All of said property shall be occupied and used for residence purposes only and by white persons only, not excluding bona fide servants of any race in the employ of the owners or occupants of the tracts respectively owned or occupied by them ...
It appears that Black Codes were common in 1865-1866, although I'm surprised at the term itself, since Negro (or even "colored person") was the common term in those days.

Now, 140 years later, the modern Radical Republicans look back at those days with a tear in their eyes. Most (including Bill Frist, Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum and others of their ilk) have fond memories of the days when their families owned large number of non-voting Coloreds, who danced merrily around the campfire at night and didn't concern themselves with things like Equal Rights.

Completely unrelated: yesterday, Beta and I sat down and watched Death to Smoochy (2002) mainly because the cast includes Jon Stewart (of The Daily Show fame). My review: what a fine, fine motion picture. Like so many others, this makes Gone With The Wind (1939) pale in comparison.