September 6, 2012

Wireless broadband spreading across Dryden

Congratulations to Claire Perez, whose long struggle to get high-speed Internet from Time-Warner Cable finally led to a victory - with another provider: This is the end of my personal high-speed internet journey. I'd like to thank everyone who has...

Posted by simon at 5:05 PM

August 1, 2012

Broadband duopoly heading toward monopoly

Because having Time-Warner and Verizon selling each other's services is a great way to make sure no more broadband infrastructure gets built. Fortunately, in Dryden we've taken steps to add some much more local competition, and it sounds like it's...

Posted by simon at 5:03 PM

May 23, 2012

The pros and cons of unmasking commenters

I see that the New York State Legislature, or at least a few members, are proposing a ban on anonymous comments on blogs, newspaper comments, and similar things. As this site runs out of my house with a server in...

Posted by simon at 11:27 AM

April 24, 2012

Ultraviolet upgrade

Just in time for my local weather talk, I've upgraded my weather station. If for some reason you want a local report on ultraviolet exposure, my weather station now reports the UV index in the left-hand table, with updates every...

Posted by simon at 3:38 PM

February 24, 2012

Frontier's Internet future?

Rachel Barnhart, a reporter at Rochester's 13WHAM-TV, wondered about the future of Frontier, a local telephone company that also covers much of Dryden: I asked Frontier in the fall of 2010 about its future plans. They did not include an...

Posted by simon at 8:52 AM

February 3, 2012

Cable franchise survey

The Town of Dryden is asking residents to take a survey about where they get television service and how they like it. Have a moment? Please fill it in! (Via It's About The Story.)...

Posted by simon at 7:38 AM

January 2, 2012

Why monitor the road?

I mentioned in Changing gears that: I'd like to add a few things down by the road, like a weathercam so people can see road conditions before they leave the house. Ideally, I'd like to be able to do something...

Posted by simon at 1:15 PM

December 5, 2011

Wireless broadband arriving

Infrastructure is difficult stuff, but it's getting here! Three and a half years after New York State awarded Clarity Connect a $430,000 grant to deliver wireless broadband to Dryden, we're just about to see it start up: The move is...

Posted by simon at 12:10 PM

October 29, 2011

That's the way you do it

Why wait for Time-Warner Cable to call you back with answers it's pretty clear they don't actually want to give? Claire Perez stopped in at their offices to find out what was up. They still weren't helpful, but they sure...

Posted by simon at 6:00 PM

September 1, 2011

Talk Time-Warner at Varna Tuesday

The Town will be hosting a meeting about Time-Warner's long-expired cable franchise agreement and the difficulties in getting them to expand service: Dryden Town Meeting September 6, 2011, 7:30 PM Varna Community Center, Route 366 This meeting will cover the...

Posted by simon at 5:12 PM

April 21, 2011

New Town of Dryden website

The Town has updated its website with a new look, though my favorite feature is that I no longer have to open it and then do something else for a while waiting for it to load. There is, as always,...

Posted by simon at 8:47 AM

April 19, 2011

Weather station now on Weather Underground

If you prefer to get your weather through a comprehensive site like Weather Underground rather than a one-point site like mine, you can have the best of both worlds: my station is now on Weather Underground. If you go, for...

Posted by simon at 7:50 AM

April 8, 2011

Weather station preview

After three decades or so of wanting one, I've finally planted a weather station in my back yard. I don't have to be the only person to see its data, though - you can get information overload from the current...

Posted by simon at 7:47 AM

March 18, 2011

Special meeting on broadband towers

The Ithaca Journal seems to have moved legal notices to stories, noting that the Dryden Town Board will be having a meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss permits for Clarity Connect's wireless broadband. I've written about this project before -...

Posted by simon at 8:33 AM

March 9, 2011

What people read around here

Well, what they read on this site, anyway. These are the top 25 stories on Living in Dryden over the past year, as measured in page views by Google Analytics. The first story has about 36 times the number of...

Posted by simon at 6:26 PM

September 4, 2010

I originally registered this site as, because I wanted to make clear it was a non-commercial site and I had dreams of maybe other people joining the fun. That's caused a lot of confusion over the years, though, as...

Posted by simon at 7:11 AM

July 19, 2010

Apologies - CAPTCHAs arrive

After seven years, the spam comments on this site have completely overwhelmed me. I've kept up with good comments (I hope) through email, but I still have 13500+ spam comments to delete from the web interface (a hundred at a...

Posted by simon at 1:04 PM

April 2, 2008

While I'm out

There's still plenty happening in Dryden, of course! If you're looking for more on what's happening in the Town, Dryden Democrats has lots of news, including recreation, planning, broadband, and dog control. Dryden Daily KAZ reflects on weather, national politics,...

Posted by simon at 7:18 PM

March 22, 2008

Disappearing emails

While the White House has been making headlines lately for losing email, this morning's Ithaca Journal takes a look at the problems of email and government closer to home. I'm happy to see that our Supervisor and Town Clerk are...

Posted by simon at 11:50 AM

November 13, 2007

More blogs in Dryden?

Over the past few weeks I've heard more from and of people in Dryden who want to start their own weblogs. For them, I just updated the What You Need to Do This piece that's always linked near the bottom...

Posted by simon at 8:29 PM

September 5, 2007

Spreading the word about local blogging

I'm mostly happy about how Living in Dryden has turned out, and every now and then I try to encourage other folks to do something similar. Judging by the list of Dryden weblogs on this site, I'd say Dryden is...

Posted by simon at 6:10 PM

August 30, 2007

More Simon

I suspect most Living in Dryden readers are here for the subject and not for the writer, but there are a few who seem to read several blogs I write. I just updated my personal site to combine my recent...

Posted by simon at 8:40 PM

February 20, 2007

Protests on plea

Not everyone is happy with Jacob Carter's proposed guilty plea, which would get him a sentence of 43 years to life for charges including predatory sexual assault. Dawn Potter, spokeswoman for Project Dryden Child, is quoted: Those children weren't allowed...

Posted by simon at 8:01 AM

February 10, 2007

Tag cloud descends

If you scroll down to the bottom of the front page, you'll see a category list for this site presented as a "tag cloud". Tag clouds list categories, but the size of the name reflects the number of entries under...

Posted by simon at 3:51 PM

November 20, 2006

If you can see this...

Then you're looking at data on the new server, hosted in downtown Ithaca, rather than the old server, hosted in California. It's good to bring Living in Dryden closer to home. (I haven't found any colocation services in Dryden. Some...

Posted by simon at 11:46 AM

November 9, 2006

Three years

Monday marked three years of Living in Dryden, with only occasional breaks in publication. (I now take Sundays off regularly, took a week off in September, and miss a day sometimes.) This is apparently article 1921. There will be a...

Posted by simon at 5:36 PM

December 12, 2005

Comments return

I think I've completed the transition from my previous web hosting provider to the current one. You'll be seeing a number of changes, but for now, the most immediate one is the return of comments. It's been almost exactly a...

Posted by simon at 8:59 AM

December 4, 2005


This site may go up, down, or backwards a bit over the next week as I transition to a new internet service provider. I'll try not to make more stupid mistakes than usual, but if it's not available for a...

Posted by simon at 6:21 PM

August 3, 2005

Making municipal wireless impossible

Broadband Internet access has come up a few times at Town Board meetings in the last few months, largely because of Time-Warner's push to get a contract signed with the town. Town Councilman Marty Christofferson has been especially interested in...

Posted by simon at 10:04 PM

July 31, 2005

More upstate blogging

I refer to NYCO's Blog a fair amount, as she covers New York State issues regularly and well. Now she's created a Blog Upstate map, showing where to find people from upstate blogging about upstate. Lots of local flavor, and...

Posted by simon at 8:51 AM

May 31, 2005

Making maps

If anyone's curious how I made the presidential election and voter registration maps of Tompkins County, and doesn't mind a walk through some technical details, my employer's published Hacking Election Maps with XML and MapServer, which explains how I created...

Posted by simon at 8:03 PM

April 13, 2005

McLean afterschool; TC3 tech award

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports on the evening youth programs at Cassavant Elementary in McLean held each Tuesday and Thursday night. Tutoring and time in the gym give kids academic help, exercise, and social times. There's also a picture of...

Posted by simon at 8:11 AM

January 16, 2005


I was happy to find email from a reader who'd waded through all of yesterday's transcript of Thursday night's discussion of the new town hall and recreation land. While I was delighted that the reader described it as "nice, very...

Posted by simon at 3:22 PM

January 14, 2005

Town buys land for town hall, possibly recreation

This morning's Journal follows up yesterday's articles on reasons to buy land for a new Town Hall with a report that the Town Board voted last night to approve it. I'll have more detail on the conversation about this issue...

Posted by simon at 4:08 AM

January 12, 2005

Dryden Tidbits site closes, railroads continue

After a year of quiet since the print version stopped appearing, the Dryden Tidbits website has closed. On the bright side, a new site, New York Railroads, showcases the amazing set of railroad information collected by Dryden resident Tom Trencansky,...

Posted by simon at 5:42 PM

January 6, 2005

Dryden resident 5th most powerful person in Macintosh influence

I don't normally take lists of the top 25 or top 100 or whatever to be particularly meaningful, especially if they have anything to do with technology. Today, I stumbled over one that feels more meaningful than usual. It's a...

Posted by simon at 1:14 PM

December 11, 2004

Comment change

In what I hope is a temporary move, I've shifted comments to the email form instead of Movable Type's built-in functionality, which spammers have just plain assaulted. This means, unfortunately, that comments aren't public....

Posted by simon at 12:49 PM

September 5, 2004

Free wireless networking at McDonalds of Dryden

Looking for a free wireless access point in Dryden? I saw in the Ithaca Times this week that the McDonalds in Dryden has "free high speed wireless access in its dining room lobby." That warranted a trip to check it...

Posted by simon at 9:13 AM

July 10, 2004

I'm starting to move this site from to I don't expect anything to break, and both addresses will still work as usual, but if you see any problems, please let me know....

Posted by simon at 12:06 PM

June 16, 2004

June infrastructure issues

Finally, time to write about last week's Town Board meeting. Highway Superintendent Jack Bush told the board that highway crew had made progress in spite of the rain, putting down the first layer of surface treatment on roads including Upper...

Posted by simon at 7:02 PM

May 16, 2004

Computing at Town Hall

The Town Board had The Computing Center review its computer usage, and the board briefly discussed the report (625KB PDF) at the very end of their meeting on Thursday. Board members Christofferson and Stelick were concerned with the costs of...

Posted by simon at 1:23 PM

April 15, 2004

What you need to do this

I've had a few questions recently about how I write this and what it would take to do something similar - how much technical knowledge is required, what it would cost, what equipment, what software, etc. The software I use...

Posted by simon at 3:50 PM

April 1, 2004

Tech behind this site

I've had a few questions lately about how I create this site, and figure it's worth a brief explanation in case anyone else wants to do something like. All the ingredients are readily available. The web site is hosted (along...

Posted by simon at 8:17 PM

March 24, 2004

Choose your type size

I've had a few complaints that the type on this site is too small, and my 33-year-old eyes have trouble reading it on one of my smaller monitors. Fortunately, at least for users with newer browsers, there's an easy answer:...

Posted by simon at 8:14 AM

March 20, 2004

New comments form

It's not much yet, but I've added a form for general comments about the site. Unlike the regular comments for stories, these comments just go to me, and aren't published on the site. Whether you have suggestions for the site,...

Posted by simon at 9:51 PM

January 17, 2004

Highway department resolution

I stopped by Dryden Town Hall this morning - they're open Saturdays in January - and asked Dryden Town Clerk Bambi Hollenbeck for a copy of the highway funds spending resolution that was probably the most controversial aspect of Thursday's...

Posted by simon at 2:15 PM

January 8, 2004

The value of archives

Yesterday's postings made me take a closer look at the information about the town available on the web and how long it lasts. First, Town Clerk Bambi Hollenbeck's saying that the Town was getting a new web site soon led...

Posted by simon at 6:28 AM