There's a mural going up across the street from my place. You can see it on the web, look for the Market Street Railway link. Her Duboce Bikeway mural is also amazing, and just a couple blocks away.
A couple weekends ago I went up to Marin with some friends and saw the salmon and trout spawning in the creeks. I was told by another that I probably saw trout, and not salmon since they weren't too big. No matter what it was cool.
I went back to Chicago for Christmas. I saw lots of family and relaxed. I also got to see more friends in one day than I've seen in years, probably since I had a going away party from Chicago. The gifts I got for my family were shipped late, so I didn't have any to give for Christmas. This was terrible, but they just got them last weekend. We all got sweatshirts that say "BOLSINGA" on them. I got them at neighborhoodies.com. Despite shipping late, they are very cool.
Work has been great lately. I really feel like we're getting a lot done on java. Apple also keeps shipping cool stuff. The new iPhoto is much faster, and it will export web pages with the comments, finally. And I want to play around with GarageBand. The new mini iPod is only 1 GB smaller than my old school iPod. It's also smaller and cooler.
Why are these people spending so much effort on this? It's not that I necessarily disagree with their views, but come on, there are so many more worthwhile causes to worry about. People that get into the music business all know exactly what they are getting into. There are no innocents getting exploited here. If you want to gamble you're the next Britney or Justin, go for a major. If you suck, you won't get in. If you don't want to get screwed by the man, do it yourself, or sign to an indie and then work your ass off. If you're good, maybe one day you'll be like Fugazi. Otherwise, just have fun. I fail to see who gets screwed here. The indie band chooses that route because they don't want to be Justin. Justin does his thing because he wants to be famous. These arguments amuse me because I think The Flaming Lips are an enormous anomaly to it all. They've done their own thing for over 20 years, and somehow lasted on a major label around 15 years, with only one quirky hit about 10 years ago, and now they get Grammy awards. Go figure.
I went to Chicago for a friend's wedding. During the flight the guy sitting in right front of me with his seat leaned back picked at a scab on his head the entire time. A pleasant time for all, I can assure you.
Latest interesting TV commercial backing track: The Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize?" in a Mitsubishi ad. #
So I've been spending most of my free time on the weekends painting the trim in my place. I painted it once, and I did it wrong. I painted directly over gloss paint. This caused my coat of paint to peel right off really easily. Since this was the trim, door frames, and doors in my house, this wasn't acceptable. So I had to scrape, sand, prime, and then paint EVERYTHING again. Four of my doors have slats or laths, so this took forever. So I'm now very intimate with the trim, door frames, and doors in my place. It looks good though. Next up is getting rid of the damn shutters on my windows.
I did spend some time going to Alameda Island a couple of weeks ago. You can check out the pictures on my dot mac page.
I got a great Superchunk DVD. It has all of their videos. I've only ever seen one of their videos once. They have funny commentaries for all the videos too. I spent two late nights watching it all. #
Wouldn't it be great to hear some of your favorite song for the first time again? I was just listening to "Mountain Side" by The Flaming Lips for the millionth time, and I wondered if I liked it as much the first time as I do now.
I had the most horrible jelly bean the other day. It was bright yellow marbled with white. It tasted exactly like too-much-fake-butter-movie popcorn. It tasted so much like it that it was weird when I didn't feel the popcorn in my mouth while chewing it.
Latest commercial music: a cover of The Velvet Underground's "There She Goes Again" with an angelic woman's voice for a birth control pill. #
My parents have sold the house I grew up in. My room was the one upstairs on the left in the picture. There are pictures on the side of the web page too, so you can see the cool backyard. They are going to move to Oregon, about 6 hours north of San Francisco on I-5. I'm really happy for them, and their excitement has made me excited. I will miss going back to that house, however. I liked to stroll through the neighborhood to see how it changed since I've lived there. I guess I could still do that, but the change is just so significant compared to all the previous changes. #
I went to another Giants game. They lost, but Barry Bonds hit home-run number 662.
I went to Los Angeles the other weekend and I got to see Matt & Tamara Daley's son Lucas. Pretty cool, all these good people having babies lately!
So I've been working on making a java version of a program to generate this web site. It's going to be pretty cool. In order to give you an idea of how cool it really is, I've created a "vCalendar" version of this. What is this you ask? Well you can subscribe to this calendar, and this calendar lists the shows I've seen on a given day! It's pretty cool, as it lets me see the data in a way I haven't before. For example, in a glance you can see all the shows I've seen on April 19 over the years. This is pretty interesting, and will give me something to think about when I'm bored. So, you can do two things: subscribe to this calendar in iCal (or any other program that supports the cross platform vCalendar format), or click on the link, download the file, and add it to your PIM program. Here's the calendar. I'll be updating this file when I update the web site, I hope. #
Late last week was the 18th anniversary of my first rock show, Van Halen, who were on their 5150 tour. I go home this weekend to see the house that I lived in for about 17 years, that parents bought about 28 years ago, for the last time. Yesterday my friend Layla sent me 6 pictures from about 13 years ago, my favorite I've added above. #
I got a fund raising letter from President George W. Bush the other day. I can only guess that it's because I have a mortgage, as I've always voted solidly non Republican, and demographically, I'm a single straight guy living right next to the Castro, probably the biggest gay neighborhood in the world. I don't think I fit the Republican demographic.
I saw the house I grew up in for the last time last week. My parents moved and are right now on their way to Oregon. While I was home that weekend, I went out drinking with my brother and my cousins Jeff & Brian. That was a fun night. It's interesting to go drinking with folks you've known your whole life.
So the java version of the program that generates this web site is coming along nicely. I hope to be able to debut it soon.
I'm on a mailing list at work for beta testers of the software I work on. There's been discussion lately that I've been involved in about bug reports. All I do, all day, is analyze and fix bug reports. In fact, I can't even make a change to the java sources without a bug report to back it up. And we have some developers who don't think it's worth their time to file a bug report! I can assure them all that their bugs won't, and in fact can't, be fixed without a bug report. Nevertheless, we've been making great progress on the software. I think people will be impressed with our next release. #
This is the first version of the site to go up with a completely new java program that creates it! The the site doesn't look too different yet, but the program is completely new. The first thing you'll notice is that there are links in all the comments here and in the shows. Anytime a band or venue is mentioned that is on the site, the program will automatically put in a link. I also put the totals in the upper right hand portion of the main page. There is no longer a statistics page, as it didn't give much information anyways. Also, the diary archives are now split up by year, both to make the pages smaller, and all the archives pages won't have to be updated every time the site is updated.
The next step I'm going to take is to create a regular program to edit the data for this website. Currently I edit a few text files manually, and then run my program over these text files to create the web site. I'd like to get it all into a nice GUI to make it easier to update.
My folks made it to Oregon safely. I'm going to be visiting them the first weekend in June. #
So I updated the program that generates my web site again. You'll notice that now there are orange & white buttons that say "XML" on them around the site. These are RSS feeds. My program is creating 2 RSS feeds currently. One is for the diary you are reading now. The other is for the shows I've seen. If you click on these, you'll see some
XML. The point of the buttons is to get the URL for these RSS feeds from them, and to use that URL in a RSS feed reader program. Then when I update the site, it should show up in these RSS feed reader program automatically. I've also added an automatic link to the VCalendar shows that this program also generates.
So I leave for Oregon on Thursday afternoon. This way I'll have a full Friday and Saturday at my parents place. I'll also drive back on Sunday so that I have daylight the entire way back so I can enjoy the scenery. I plan on making this trip regularly, but there's no harm in checking it out the first trip. My parents should be all moved in now, but probably not all unpacked.
My first generation iPod bit the dust last week after being dropped one too many times. It's a shame, since I've gotten so used to listening to music this way. So I've bought a new one, since I must have one for next week's road trip. I should get the 20 GB iPod this week before I leave.
So while flipping through the cable channels the other day, I saw this odd little video for some pianists on a channel I've never seen. The video looked very 1970s style, both in the video's graininess and the wacky suits and hair cuts. It was also full of plenty of compositing layers of video of the two guys keyboards. So thankfully the video gave their name, Ferrante & Teicher. These guys were doing prepared pianos ala Eno in the 1950s. I'll have to find some of that stuff.
I got back from visiting my parents' new home in Eagle Point, Oregon this evening. They have a great house in a cool area. While I was there, we drove up the Rogue River Valley to Crater Lake. There was still snow up there at something like 6000 feet, and this was only about an hour from my parents home! We also went into Ashland, which is a little hippie college town nestled in the the mountains. We also went up to Mt. Ashland, about 6500 feet. From here you can see Mt. Shasta, 100 miles away (on Interstate 5). I've never had a favorite mountain, nor knew that I would have a favorite mountain, but there is no doubt that Mt. Shasta is my favorite mountain. It's going to be good to have the parents 5 hours away now, and especially in such a great area. They are going to have plenty of new places to explore in their retirement. I couldn't be happier for them! #
Sheesh. All the recent tributes to Reagan have filled the media. Thankfully I ignored most of them. A friend sent me a link that sums up my feelings rather well. I think I'd have to add education to the list of problems as well.
I updated this web site to use my gmail account instead of my hotmail account. I hope that gmail will be better able to manage the SPAM that goes to the hotmail account. However my preferred email is still greg at my last name dot com. Add my first name at my last name dot com to your address book today! #
Apple's WWDC is next week, so I've been busy at work preparing for the conference. I'll be doing a demo there. I'm also preparing some code that will be released then.
I went to Los Angeles again this weekend. My friend Pari, who worked at Warner Brothers Records is going to be moving to Paris for a few months. So there was a party at a really posh home in the hills in Los Feliz. It had a pool, and abutted right up to a hill. The candles and alcohol were everywhere. Matt & Tam's son Lucas is doing great. Andy and Jennifer have a great house. They had a barbecue there on Sunday afternoon. There's lots of attractive hipsters in L.A., that's for sure. #
Read the last few speeches by the man last elected president by the majority, but who lost in the end. Al Gore has been saying the types of things that you would think only wild eyed zealots would say. And being a former Presidential contest winner, a two term Vice President, and a Senator, you wouldn't expect him to be one of the crazy ones. He's calling the current administration liars (even quoting John Stewart's "pants of fire" line) and pointing out the simple fact that what the administration is doing (and what the rest of the federal government is allowing) is a subversion of the Constitution that founded this very country. Let's hear it for Al Gore.
My latest credit card bill had a two sentence advertisement for a movie at the bottom of the itemized list. And they have the gall to charge me late fees! #
WWDC is now over. Apple announced and demonstrated some excellent software, as usual. You can check out the public items shown. I did a demo that didn't work exactly as planned, but I was able to complete it.
WWDC occurred in San Francisco, so I rode my bike down to Moscone instead of taking the train. On Thursday, in the middle of the day, my bike was stolen from outside the convention center. I'm certain I locked it properly, so I don't know how anyone didn't notice the theft while it was happening. Especially since it was right outside of two glass walls that thousands of people were in and outside of. So if you see a bright orange Kona mountain bike with the longest neck stem with more spacers than you've ever seen, that's my bike and the person riding it shouldn't be.
I saw Fahrenheit 9/11. It was a good and powerful movie. I know that I'm already one of the converted, but I thought the scenes of our leader G. Bush sitting by wide eyed while the World Trade Center towers were being attacked was indicative of everything that is wrong here. We need a strong moral leader, not an utter simpleton. Everyone should see this, either to reinforce their convictions or to challenge them, I don't care. But people gotta think here. #
So I bought a nice turntable to replace the busted one I had. It's been like having several hundred new albums in one day. I got to listen to Shellac again, and the Stereolab records I have are wonderful. I haven't listened to any of them for over a year. But somehow they all sound familiar and new all at the same time. It's going to be a great few weeks as I dig into all of this stuff again. Next I'm going to get a decent record cleaner, and some software to nicely record all of these to CD, so that I can then listen to them on my iPod. I did this before, but that software was for Mac OS 9, proving once again it's a long time ago! #
My friend Aram built me a nice single speed freewheel bicycle for a great price. So I've been riding it about quite a bit since then. I'm all into my new bike. I feel like a kid again, so I'll describe it like a kid. It's speedy, even with one speed. It can roll for miles and miles. It's blue and has a black seat. People who see it tell me it's cool too. It's a Koga-Miyata, triple butted, lugged steel frame. Yowza.
So I just saw a Comcast TV commercial. It's the strange one where they say they are working all the time to make the Internet exciting. This company provides pipes, what the hell is exciting about that, and how they hell can they possibly make what goes through their pipes more exciting?! So anyways, the Internet is all about change, right? But the song that's playing over the commercial sounds so much like the INXS song "Don't Change". Wrong. It is just such a bothersome commercial. #
Today I noticed that it was really quiet out on Church Street, so I looked outside to see what was going on. I saw policemen and yellow tape across Church & 16th. So I decided to go outside to figure out what was happening. My whole block was blocked off. I walked down to some neighbors who were having a sidewalk sale and asked them what was going on. They said that a suspicious package was mailed to the basilica at Mission Dolores. It's interesting because bicycles, pedestrians, and the occasional MUNI train and bus are allowed to travel on Church. It's only closed to cars. A short time later, it was over. I think the package might have been the least suspicious thing in this story. #
I found some interesting items on the iTunes Music Store today. Many of the great bands from around the time I was in Champaign have been made available on the store. I found Honcho Overload, Hum, Poster Children, Mother (and Menthol!), Hot Glue Gun! I couldn't find Steakdaddy Six or Love Cup, unfortunately. #
I've put some new pictures up. You can see the various states of my beard, and my new bike. I also put up a nice shot of my parents in front of Crater Lake, Oregon.
I went to Texas for my cousin Sara's wedding in Houston. The family from outside of Texas was lucky; it was actually mild for Houston, and only in the low 90s or so. I also got to spend two nights in Austin beforehand. I saw Marc's new house, but I didn't get to see a pregnant Ellen. She was out of town. But I did get to eat BBQ, drink Lone Star, and swim in a creek. This is easily the latest in the year that I've ever seen the creeks flowing. They've gotten quite a bit of rain this year.
I got a big hard drive for my computer and now I have all my mp3 files at home. I also bought an Apple AirPort Express. This let's me play my mp3 files from my computer to my stereo wirelessly. It's great to have all my music in one place where I can quickly pick any of my songs and hear them on my nice sound system. Now all I have to do is digitize all my records, and I'll be set! #
Big changes for me. I'm getting a new job with Azul Systems. This was a hard decision to come to, since I've wanted to work at Apple since I was about 12. But I was feeling restless at work, and an excellent opportunity came up outside of Apple. I basically came to the conclusion that while it has been a long time dream to work at Apple, it wasn't the end of the dream. I'm really looking forward to working with a bunch of smart folks on a cool idea. I can't tell you what it is right now.
I have finally moved a piano. My friends Aram and Mary moved from one warehouse loft to another. They have lots of stuff, including a piano. So I've now helped move a piano. I also moved a 35 mm movie projector.
Here's something I simply cannot understand whatsoever: voters who are undecided about the upcoming Presidential election. How the hell can one possibly not yet have an opinion in this matter? I mean this is even more incomprehensible than supporting Bush. I can respect having the wrong opinion, at least you have an opinion, but having no opinion?! What is there to be undecided about? The economy? The war? The deceptions? The incompetence? The utter cynicism and arrogance? Please don't be undecided. #
So I just got a 3 CD compilation from Merge Records that is great. However, I just heard a song, and I said, "This is good." So I looked at iTunes to see what was playing, and it said "Spoon." And I said to myself, "Oh, I guess I was wrong." Isn't it horrible? Pre-conceived notions suck, but they sure do seem to work in the long run. Maybe.
The other good new CD I just got is "The Name of This Band is Talking Heads." I only had it on cassette until this point. If you don't own it, you absolutely must get it. It has never been on CD before, and they added lots of tracks where you can hear how amazing Talking Heads were live. Oh if only I was 10 years older... Do you have a band like that? Talking Heads is mine. Could they be the best band ever? That's a valid question, I think.
This is the first post from my new computer, BTW. #
Tomorrow is my last day at Apple. Leaving there was easily the hardest decision I've made in my professional life. But I get to go Azul; I'm pretty excited about that.
Right after work tomorrow I leave for vacation. I'm going to Las Vegas for the weekend and then Puerto Vallarta, Mexico the rest of the week. It's an indulgent vacation. I hope to sit by the pool and then the beach and do nothing.
Some crazy news of the week is that you can unlock a Kryptonite lock with a Bic pen. It was first noticed just a few days ago on a web site Aram pointed me to; now there's both an AP and a New York Times story about it. I don't have a Kryptonite lock, and I wasn't able to open mine, but I didn't have a Bic pen. I'm sure it's vulnerable. I hear that apparently this applies to those locks that hold down computers as well. Bummer. #
So of course I'm back from my trip now. I only took 5 pictures while in Puerto Vallarta. It was 'off-season' in Puerto Vallarta, so it rained every day I was there. There also weren't many people in town. So I spent my time sleeping 12 hours a day and reading. When I wasn't doing that, I'd jump in the pool or walk around town. I only got into the ocean once; it wasn't the brilliant blue you'd expect since there was so much rain run off. In Las Vegas my friend Kate won $180. I won nothing.
So while I was on vacation, Azul left stealth mode. There were articles about the company and a description of the product in The Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek, among many other publications. I found myself a little disappointed that I never had a chance to work there in stealth mode. But it sure is cool what Azul is doing. If you search for "Azul Systems" on the web, you'll learn about what I'll be working on. I'll leave it to those publications to explain it; I may get something wrong because I don't understand it yet (it's only been 7 working days since I started!) or there may still be details that should be left fuzzy in public that I don't want to be responsible for focusing. So on my second day working at Azul, I already made some changes to the Azul source! This made me really feel like I got cranking soon. I'm looking forward to the job.
So the other day I was thinking about Kryptonite locks & Bic pens. Then I related the problem to computer security the the current laws about computers and figuring out how other programs work. If this happened in the computer industry, I bet the computer company involved would try to make Bic pens illegal. Then the majority of people would probably agree instead of thinking that the compromised computer product is in fact what is in error here.
These tunes are made for downloading. Nancy Sinatra referring to Billy Idol said, "I'd love to do one of his songs. Maybe 'Sweet Sixteen'? I hope we'll record something and get it out there - even if I just throw it up on iTunes."
I missed it when the anniversary happened, but I've been updating this web site regularly for 6 years now. #
"You can't send mexed missages." - George W. Bush mis-speak during the 1st Presidential Debate.
Azul has been good so far. I submitted changes to the sources on my second day, so I think I got into the groove pretty quickly there. I'm still learning about the Azul software, and I'm learning about some other stuff I wasn't an expert on before. For example, my latest book purchase is titled "UNIX Network Programming". One of the hardest things here is to get used to working in cubicles again. I was so spoiled at Apple; I always had a nice office, even a great office. Closing my office door is a luxury I no longer have.
I still haven't figured out a good schedule for work. Azul is about 5 miles closer to my home, but I have to take a completely different expressway to work, US-101. The traffic on this road is horrible. I've taken CalTrain again with my bike, and that's pretty nice. However the winter rain has recently started, so I don't think I'm going to be biking then.
My brother Mike visited my parents' new home in Oregon for the first time last weekend. I went up and visited for a 3 day weekend. We went to Crater Lake, the Oregon Coast, and on the last day we went to Mount Shasta, covered in snow and clouds, in northern California. Apparently in the months leading up to 'the day of infamy', rural northern California and southern Oregon were itching to secede from their respective state and form the 49th state of Jefferson. While visiting the town of Mount Shasta, we went to an art gallery that was full of local artists. #
I'm pretty depressed today. As far as I'm concerned, a monumental mistake has occurred. I'm worried the citizens of the United States will regret this day for awhile to come. The security of every citizen would now seem to be at greater risk than it was even yesterday. I usually have lots of confidence that these things will work out. The way that I understand the history of the United States is that its always, consistently, step-by-step gets better. However, the last 4 years have been an enormous step backwards, and to reward the architects of this regression with four more years absolutely disgusts and frightens me. #
I'm going to be updating this program to read in data from iTunes. I finally found a related article. I think this can wind up being pretty cool. I'm surprised it took this long for an article to show up on the web. Each band will get a list of albums under it. These will link to album pages that have the songs listed.
I'm still pretty depressed about the election. #
Excellent! After a few hours of work since Friday, I got this program reading my iTunes
XML file. It then generates web pages from that
XML. These pages list every album I have in iTunes, with the song name, and the year. The nice thing is that I've already entered all of my CDs into iTunes, so I don't need to type in the data again. This means that stuff that I don't yet have in iTunes (such as just about all of my vinyl) isn't the on the web page yet. First you'll notice the number of bands has gone up considerably. Then you'll see a "Tracks" link. There's still some bugs to be worked out, but this is cool. #
I am so damn cool. This is the new Friendster, folks. I'm 3 degrees of separation from Neil Young (Duelin' Firemen -> Mark Mothersbaugh -> Neil Young).
I've also fixed some bugs in the program with the new tracks feature. The track order is enforced, and the release dates are listed if they are known. It also no longer confuses Galaxie 500 and Ornette Coleman. This paves the way for no confusion between The Beatles and The Replacements once I get back to digitizing my vinyl. Be the first to be able to figure out why this was a problem. Send me an email, and I'll post the winner here. #
There's a winner for the contest, if you want to call it that. I had two responses today. The were both correct, but only one was the answer I was looking for. The answer is that my program incorrectly assumed that no albums would be named the same. Kevin Elliott had it right when he said, "The Replacements and The Beatles both have an album titled 'Let It Be.' Ornette Coleman and Galaxie 500 both have albums titled 'This is Our Music.' Thus, the confusion." Salim Virji correctly noted, "Because you're righteous, and you only have The Replacements' 'Let It Be' on vinyl. Damn straight. (Although why you have a copy of 'Let it Be' by The Beatles I'd rather not know!)", though he loses points for apparently thinking The Beatles suck. That LP has "Across The Universe" AND "Get Back." Don't even get me started. The Beatles are just about the only reason any of us are listening to rock today.
There was a really interesting article in the New York Times today. I'm putting in the link but it will get stale because of some stupid New York Times web site policy. The article about how business decisions drive movies to the lowest common denominator and widest possible audience for foreign sales. And foreign sales seem to indicate that big special effects that translate across languages, which usually means stuff blowing up, are what's needed. And this in turn drives out subtle comedies or dramas. So the world's cultural view of America is stuff blowing up. This seems counter-productive to American interests, and is one of those hollow benefits that the corporate profits at any cost to society mantra seems to get us.
Speaking of which, I went to see Sideways today. I went to see it because it stars my fellow imdb member, Paul Giamatti. He's great in this one. The scene where he's smiling while sitting in his car to help his friend seal the deal on his friends' lie that melts into hopelessness knowing what he's enabling his friend to do is intense. He's so good and believable as a real person. While you're at it go and see "American Splendor". Fantastic. #
I've taken the CalTrain to work every day this week. It's worked out nicely. I get some coding, some writing, and some reading done.
I also actually got my first flat tire in about 10 years this week. Thankfully when I realized it I was about 50 yards from my office. And a big shout out goes to Salim Virji for having a patch kit I could use. I guess I had figured that flats were something that happened to other people. With about a 10 year gap, can you blame me?
I've only just skimmed this program's test data, but it looks pretty damn cool. I only wish that the UPC symbol scanning library was open so I could integrate it into my program. I've already had plans to use the Amazon API to download album data. It would be nice if Delicious Library could generate web pages from its data. For all of you windows users out there, check out the review of this program on Ars Technica. This article nicely explains why using and developing for Mac OS X is such a joy compared to your average ~90% of the market operating system.
You'll notice that this program now only has the show reviews on the date pages. The venue and band pages have links to the date page for the show review. This makes the entire website much smaller. Otherwise the same review was listed once for each band, the venue, and the date!
Yesterday I was invited to the French-American Chamber of Commerce's The Beaujolais and Beyond Festival by my friend Alex. Her husband Ted couldn't make it, so I got to stand in. She got the tickets through her work; neither of us are French, but it was free wine in the St. Francis Hotel! The Beaujolais was good, there was a fashion show, and a good amount of attractive women. For some reason we still went out for more drinks afterwards, making today slower than most Sundays. Good thing I ran lots of errands yesterday. #
I continue to get looks and comments about my bicycle. Yesterday I was mindlessly staring at my bike when it was on the train. A guy brought me back to consciousness when he said, "Is this your bike?" I answered yes. He said that it was beautiful, and he was making sure that his bike wouldn't scratch it. I thanked him for his concern. Pretty odd the things that will happen when you have a cool bike. #
I had a great time over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Connors came down from Portland, but without Dan who was at a soccer club tournament, after his soccer team won the Oregon High School Championships. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner on Friday, and then foolishly drove through a snow storm in the mountains on Saturday afternoon.
I don't travel while brown, but I also think that TSA's searches are absolutely ridiculous, offensive, and I can't believe Americans accept this behavior. I saw a 90 year old woman get the full search treatment in San Francisco. After I missed my 5:30 AM flight out of Medford, I saw an older woman and a man, both with canes, subjected to the full search. These are not terrorists. I was tagged by the airlines for the humiliating full pat down and bag search. The dude got to go through my dirty laundry. I am not a terrorist. This is utterly ridiculous. I sincerely doubt a single terrorist has been caught or dissuaded by this regimented privacy violation. Come to think of it, it's created a new target. Wouldn't you think that a smart terrorist would blow something up while everyone is in the huge line waiting to pass through security to catch terrorists? TSA is such a joke, and only seems designed to keep us scared. I see very little value in their current procedures. The cost of this search to the huge majority of Americans, both constitutionally and financially, is vastly outweighed any miniscule benefit I can think of people coming up with. I believe this because we don't stop every single person looking for a crime because of the large constitutional and financial costs, but crime still happens. People accept this. I can only hope they come to the same conclusions with the TSA scam. Terrorism, just like crime, can be reduced, but not eliminated. Battling terrorism, like crime, shouldn't be a constitutional and financial burden. #
I lost my 10 ride ticket as I was biking to the baby bullet this evening. It had 9 rides left. So that was a $36 train ride this morning. I have a feeling there's going to have to be lots of CalTrain karma to make it up. Maybe this is payback for the $20 Bart passes Aram has given me before? Anyways, if you see a 10 ride CalTrain ticket with 9 rides left along Shoreline or Old Middlefield roads in Mountain View, it's mine!
I overheard a conductor on the baby bullet this evening who was speaking to another passenger. He works 68 hours a week, and he's based in San Jose. He lives in Stockton (a 90 mile one way commute). Two days he does four runs. The others he does up and then back. Somehow it adds up to 68 hours, I guess. He makes $70K doing this! I can't decide if that's worth it, both as an employee and as a paying passenger. #
I got another bicycle flat yesterday afternoon. There's a tiny hole in my tire. Today the tube got punctured at a new location from the same old hole in the tire, despite the dollar bill I stuck in there for support. Will I have to break down and get a black tire?
Currently I use JAXB to convert my home grown wacky text files to
XML. I then use
JAXB to read the resulting pretty and nice
XML file in and then export the
HTML, iCal, and RSS files that make up this web site. The problem is that I still hand edit these wacky text files, convert them to
XML, and then convert it to the web site output. I don't want to hand edit the
XML files; they are nicely machine generated and I would only mess them up with my human ways. In addition, in order for this to truly be a cool program, it has to have a user interface (UI) besides hand editing
XML files in TextEdit. But I don't want to just hand generate the UI; this is about as fun and error prone as hand editing
XML files. I've created XML Schema files to describe my data; this also accurately describes a UI in my mind. It describes the types and constraints on the data. These can map to UI controls and their various states.
JAXB will read in an
XML Schema and nicely generate java class files that can safely and correctly read in or write out
XML files based upon my schema; thankfully it doesn't require a lot of
XML knowledge from me. Now I want to be able to read the
XML Schema and then output UI, just as
JAXB outputs classes representing the
XML. I don't want to learn too much about
XML (it's just a file format, after all). So I searched the web this afternoon, and I found XMLBeans. I've only read a little of the documentation after downloading it. It seems to provide what I'm looking for, and they implement it in an interesting way. First off, the
XML entities are fully applicable to Apache's
XML tools. This way if I ever want to 'go to the
XML metal' I can. Thankfully I can stay away from that. But it also provides a way to get to the
XML Schema. When I'm thinking of
XML Schema, it's meta structural data to the real data. This is similar to how java's
java.lang.Class object is meta data to the actual java object at hand. This maps very easily to my knowledge of the world, so I really like this. Once I have the XML Schema meta data, it should be simple for me to find a
xs:string and map it to a
javax.swing.JTextArea) in the UI. This UI can also be aware of the
XML Schema, and read in and write out data buffers containing the validated
XML data. It will be cool, since I won't really be thinking with this UI, and it will change when I change my
XML Schema file. And then the program is more real (with a real UI) and then I can maybe finally give it out to others to play with.
Wouldn't it be amusing if the effort to expose, demonize, and lionize sports would be directed towards this administration? I'm all for sports and keeping sports fair and balanced. But couldn't the same metric be applied to the government that's actually involved in and affects our (and others) day to day lives? #
I got another flat tire last Thursday. I discovered this just as I got off the CalTrain. So this was my first on the road flat I got to fix. Thankfully, I had just completed my tool and supply set the weekend before, so this wasn't too bad. Since the rear tire was shot, I picked up the last two blue tires Aram had for replacements and back up.
When I was up in Oregon over Thanksgiving, I forgot to mention on funny tidbit I heard. We were at a restaurant that my parents like, and they know the chef. When I told him I lived in San Francisco, he joked about "any two-some Newsom." I was surprised I'd never heard this joke before. I guess you get shielded from these kinds of jokes living here.
Continuing the on-going indie rock nostalgia trip, Slint is going on a reunion tour. They play in San Francisco in March. I got my tickets today. I didn't get to see this band the first time around. Since I bet most of my friends will be going, will it be like another Pixies show?
I've decided to make this website use CSS and the latest HTML 4.0.1 Strict before I go about converting it from JAXB to XMLBeans. I was talking to my friend Salim about how I couldn't decide what to do first, and he noted that the first thing a big time website would fix is the look. So I elected to follow suit. I have no idea how long this will take. I've already stripped most of the formatting tags (
center, etc) in my internal version. Now I need to classify the main content areas. Then each classification will get different formatting and layout styles. Since the code that generates the site is already broken down in this way, this shouldn't be too hard to do. I really think the hard part will be picking a nice UI. There's lots of options once you go the
Let's pass the CA stricter car emissions law immediately! Here's why. According to Jim Press, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Toyota's United States sales operation '...among Toyota's current models, only the Prius hybrid car and the manual transmission version of the Echo compact car would be able to comply with the regulation. The rest of our cars and trucks would have to be completely re-engineered or eliminated." This sounds exactly like what is needed, especially since 75% of global warming reports indicate that humans are responsible for the problem (and no reports dispute it!). Coupled with the facts that Americans use 25% of the world's oil supply, and that CA is a large percentage of Americans, this could really affect global warming. If we get cracking on a race to energy self sufficiency, we'll be able to reap the economic and security benefits of eliminating our dependencies on foreign energy. Why is that easy for me to understand, and not this clueless administration? Check it out on the Internets. #
I've been spending time getting the code that creates this website to export
HTML. I currently pretty much have all of the
HTML ready with the
div tags in place. It will also generate a
CSS file template. I think that all I need to do now is tweak the
CSS so that the pages look nice. The only remaining
table tags are for the tabular data on the statistics pages, which is expected.
Recently news came out that the latest iPod firmware revisions broke Real Networks' Harmony. This is where Real reverse engineered how a record company rights-protected song is played on an iPod, and how to put songs onto an iPod. They did this and presented it to the press as enabling choice, so long as that choice includes Real. Apple accused them of being pirate hackers at the time. Currently everyone seems to still want an iPod, and to use iTunes, so consumers don't understand the problem with choice. I know Apple is proprietary here, but so is everyone else. The non-propriety (but still licensed!) MP3 solution was tried by Napster a few years ago, and they were sued out of existence. I'm just particularly glad that it isn't MicroSoft in this position. That would be very sad, and really kill innovation. Everyone else but Apple and Real use MS Media anyways. I also found it particularly enlightening that this breakage wasn't reported until over a month after Apple's update 'broke' Harmony. This makes me think that not many people use Real Harmony on iPods to care.
Last Saturday I was eating at Kate's Kitchen in the Lower Haight. We had the window seat. We saw cops running by with their shotguns drawn. There was a big commotion at Walgreens that morning.
This is an interesting article that I found a link to from somewhere. It has stuck in my head. It reminds me of the oxymoron of tolerating and including everyone, but how do you tolerate and include those who won't tolerate or include? #
I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind again. What a great movie. I even watched all of the commentary track. This is a movie worth seeing again if you have already. Later this weekend I went to see I Heart Huckabees, and I can tell that it is a multiple viewing movie as well.
While talking to my brother Mike over the holiday weekend, I learned that his neighborhood in Chicago, the Ukrainian Village, was awash in orange for the Ukraine election today. It was a facet of living there (which is my old neighborhood as well) that hadn't crossed my mind.
Here are some interesting technical articles that cover some of the concepts that the chip and hardware design engineers at Azul tackle. I personally only have a cursory knowledge of what they do. Needless to say, Azul does this all better and smarter than explained in the article. My expertise is in software, where the issues are terribly different. However I think this article points out how the software that is being run is influencing the hardware being developed. Can a general purpose CPU cover all needs optimally, or is a customized hardware design worth it, from both the time and price perspective?
While searching the web this weekend, I found mp3's of the Hum and Love Cup 7" singles. I have had these on vinyl for a long time, but I hadn't ripped them onto my computer yet. It sure was good to hear this 12 year old stuff again! Damn, I can't believe it's 12 years since I bought 12" Records and Mud Records 7 inches. I think the web site's hostess' logic is that they are all out of print, so what's the harm?
In regards to my web site redesign, I jumped to
CSS (though I still haven't published it). I have structured the site based upon the structure of the data; I hopefully no longer have any blocks of unstructured
HTML data that in fact has a structure (usually a headline or unordered list). I imagine the next update will be based upon this new code, but still will need to be tweaked in the
CSS files. #
This is a rough pass at the
CSS web site. There is absolutely no styles added, however. All that is there is the
CSS 2.0 positioning data. So it's rough looking, but it's the start. #
Wouldn't it be inspiring to have a U.S. President who, when seeing multiple thousands of people in need, would jump at the chance to be seen around the world as engaged in aiding them at this crucial time? What amount of good will would this generate for the U.S.? Doesn't Indonesia have the world's largest Muslim population? Wouldn't good will in this case make the case that the U.S. cares for all, and undercut the counter argument that the U.S. is 'against Islam'? In the unlikely event that this occurs, would people's opinion about it be cynical? #
The $35 million so far pledged by the U.S. President is less than half of what they are spending at their inaugural later this month. And they were actually miffed at being called stingy. Pompous jerk.
There were two stories at the New York Times in the last 24 hours that I couldn't believe. Why do people put up with this? Here's where someone actually recommends throwing everything away and restarting from scratch (and going to a consultant) because of their spyware problems. In another story about a survey of Internet users, it says "Respondents reported spending 14 minutes daily dealing with computer problems. That would suggest that Internet users spend a total of 10 workdays each year dealing with such problems." Why don't people see that this is utterly ridiculous! Your computer is a tool that assists you, not the other way around! I can assure you while I have had Mac OS X problems on the extremely rare occasion, I don't spend 10 minutes a day working on it, nor do I have any spyware in my way. And reinstalling the OS from scratch? Ugh. All of you Windows users are either cowed in fear under the of monopoly god or completely insane. I'd sympathize with you, but there is such a simple solution to your problem that I can't bring myself to it. #