The New Year means that it is Chip's arbitrary birthday (he was 12 weeks old when I first saw him on April 1). He's now 10 years old.
For a low key New Year's Eve, Elowyn and I made dinner and watched a movie. While making dinner, Aram & Mary and David & Brandi both stopped by for a drink.
Apple has announced the Intel based Macs. They are fast. I ordered a MacBook Pro myself. While reading about the release (damn Apple is good at getting press), I continue to see Apple's offerings described as proprietary. With the lack of any comparison with others at this point, the implication is that everything else is NOT proprietary. Which is false. This is a pet peeve of mine. Everyone but Linux is proprietary, as Microsoft doesn't let you see the source, and Sun won't let you change the source for their operating systems. However, Apple lets you see (and submit changes to) the underlying technology of Mac OS X, Darwin. They keep the higher level portions to themselves (Cocoa, Carbon, QuickTime, etc.). Therefore, I'd suggest that Apple is less proprietary than other major consumer operating system vendors. I'm happy to set the record straight.
I found an interesting article about one of the first places on the web that I'd visit and read regularly,
suck.com. The article is about the 10 year anniversary of the start of
suck.com, which was late last year. I first remember reading it while at Metrowerks, which was late 1996.
Speaking of Metrowerks, they have released the absolute final version of their tools. Too bad they are going out with a squeak. Even MWRon has left the building. It's amazing to me that they had users up to last June that were determined to stick with their product, even though it was exceedingly apparent they were only falling further behind on the technolgy curve compared to Apple. In a nice final gesture, they did open source PowerPlant. I had a PowerPlant t-shirt back in the day (before I started at Metrowerks!) that I thought was pretty cool. What's particularly exciting to me is that some code I had contributed to PowerPlant while working at Metrowerks is in the open source PowerPlant, and still has my name on it! I am now an open source developer. Nevertheless, why you'd want to start a new project using a C++ Carbon based framework when the truly powerful Cocoa and Obj-C is available for your proprietary Mac OS X needs, I don't understand. Truly the end of an era. The cool thing is that at the end of an era, there's a new one starting up!
Talking about technology companies being off the mark, technology gurus can be off the mark too. It's just about the 10 year point of the internet in the popular awareness, so I believe there will be some more interesting tibits showing up. Such as this one, where the inventor of Ethernet and founder of 3Com, predicts the end of the internet. He wrote it in 1995, and predicted the internet would fall over in... 1996.
I had read some JT Leroy years ago in McSweeney's #7. I've not read anything else, but had seen the name quite frequently. However, the unmasking of JT Leroy has been a pretty interesting read. It seems to me that most people suspected something all along, but let the charade continue.
I've spent some of my free time installing MySQL and setting it up to handle my web site. I've been able to put some data into my tables using java code. So I'll import all that I've entered in the past into the database. I'll then use the database as the source of creating the web site. Sometime after that, I could theorhetically have a dynamically created website. Wouldn't that be exciting?
I was thinking about our horrible king president the other day. He's a faithful man, and has promoted faith based initiatives in government. As a matter of fact we have a faith based government. The public is to trust his administrations' "shift supervisors" that they aren't violating citizens' privacy rights. In his view, we have no recourse but trust; faith that they are doing the right thing. Who decided that this man deserves so much trust? Our constitution provides that there is no trust. This is why there are checks and balances, a prescribed term length for each office, etc. There is significant distrust of government built into our government, which is designed to make it trustable, since the officials are accountable. That is, unless Congress and the Courts abdicate their responsibilities and allow the Excecutive branch carte blanche.
Want to see how easy it is for the goverment to data mine? Check out this fascinating article about creating Google Maps of people who have "questionable" books on their Amazon wish lists. #
Last weekend I had a housewarming party. It was a blast. My guesstimate is that about 40 people showed up over the course of the evening. I was happy with the turnout. It was the first party I've thrown since leaving Chicago in 1996. (besides two get togethers [a Zaireeka listening in Austin and 2004 election night]). For some reason I found it interesting that none of the same people were at both parties. I think Michelle Marie would have been the only possibility, but she couldn't make it last weekened. For the record, just about everyone seemed like they had been drinking, so there's no reason to feel too embarrassed.
Yesterday I went on a nice 3 or 4 hour hike with Elowyn in Tilden Park, which is in the hills above Berkeley. The fog didn't clear until we got back to lower elevations, but once it did, it was beautiful. It was also beautiful in the fog for different reasons. No matter what, our boots were covered in mud the entire time. I think mine are still drying out on the deck.
I love the juvenile defense given by Gonzales of the 'Justice' Department for the administration's violations of the Constitution: Clinton did it too. I have no idea if it is true. Nevertheless, when did two wrongs make a right get into law? How does one become a lawyer with this stunning display of logic? These are the same stellar legal minds that gave us the U.S. torture policy.
Seems like the corrupt lobbyist of the month was just like anyone else who had their picture taken with the President. Who knew it was so easy?
Our President isn't a lawyer, is not a Constitutional scholar, and seems to have missed out on the U.S. Constitution class from 8th grade. Lawyers are not the ones to review executive policy. The Congress passes the laws, which the Executive administers, which the Court reviews if challenged. Nowhere in the Constitution will you find the phrase 'briefing the Congress'. The President says it's 'amazing' the people are accusing him of violating the U.S. Constitution with his policy of eavesdropping on Americans. I find it amazing this man can do this with a straight face. A new name for spying on Americans ain't going to help.
I just saw an amazing figure myself today. The cost of the Microsoft monoculture in operating systems? $11.9 billion a year for all of the worms and virii. Bill Gates himself could only afford this for nearly 3 years. Why do people voluntarily use Microsoft products again? #
The fake policeman formerly of The Village People is on the run. Be on the look out for a happy policeman, but make sure that it isn't the new policeman in The Village People or a real policeman.
There was an interesting opinion in Salon the other day. Many Republicans have run over the years with an implied agenda that they are working on anti-choice issues. Many Democrats have run over the years implying that they would protect the right to choose. If this is true, why aren't these Democrats going to filibuster Alito? What did you think would happen if you voted for a Democratic senator? Did you think they'd let someone like Alito onto the Supreme Court?
I was surprised that Disney bought Pixar. I'm not really surprised Disney would want Pixar, but I'm surprised Pixar would let itself be bought. However, it's looking like Pixar is getting control of the Disney creative process. The whole thing has interesting echoes of when Apple bought Next in 1997, and all of the Next executives gained control of Apple. I bet Aram $5 it wouldn't happen (as the Jobs / Disney rumor has been going around for what seems to be forever). Oh well. One thing that came out of it was this funny picture.
I hope no one is amazed that when the Palestinians and Iraqis are given the opportunity to vote that their votes seem to be against the status quo, especially when that status quo is supported by the U.S. In the past, the U.S. has been willing to subvert democracies that don't vote their way. Until the current U.S. regime, I felt strongly that the U.S. seemed to be moving away from their anti-democratic stance. For all of the President's talk of encouraging democracy in the Middle East, I hope that he sticks with it both overtly and covertly. I have my doubts he will do the correct thing.
The New York Times now seems to describe the multitudes of illegal actions of the President as his "assertively expansive view of his own wartime powers". They also say "his evolving rationales for taking the U.S. to war." Hilarious. Sheesh. I wish they would tell it like it is, instead of just alluding to his unconstitutional power grab and the lies he used to take us to war.
I baked chocolate cookies last night. They are tasty! While I was mixing with my new mixer, I was worried about the dough. It just seemed all dry and crumbly, but I persisted. They suddenly it had the consistency of cookie dough. I was so happy. #
The only television I've watched since I've moved into my new home are a few Illini basketball games at bars and some NFL while home for the holidays. It's been nice to have it mostly out of my life. The last time I watched so little T.V. was just before I moved from Austin to San Francisco.
When the President spies on Americans, one of the several ways he and his lackeys have defended it is by saying there is a review by government lawyers every 45 days. What the fuck does that mean? Are these lawyers going to change their opinion if spying on Americans without warrants is legal or not? If they suddenly decide it is illegal, are they going to tell the President that he's been breaking the law, when he can fire them at will? Will the President be required to listen to these government lawyers or is he free to ignore their opinion? If it is determined that they are illegal, who is punished, and what is the penalty? This is all so nebulous and outside the law it is farcical. This is a case in point why there is a separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution. Our President has obviously broken the law. Will Congress actually have the wherewithal to impeach him? "Outlook not so good."
Late on Friday night I was reading in my bed, up on the second floor. I heard the cat door. I had last seen Chip downstairs, but then I heard steps on the stairs. So I guessed that Chip must be coming in and upstairs for the night. So I looked out my bedroom door towards the top of the stairs and I saw... a raccoon! I screamed like a man and jumped out of my bed towards it. Thankfully it ran right out the cat door. Chip was actually sleeping on the couch downstairs and once he got up after the commotion, he hissed alot. The raccoon left behind a stench and some footprints. It looks like its time for a new cat door. I wonder if the raccoon has been in here before? It sure seemed bold about coming upstairs in a dark house to me.
On Saturday, Elowyn and I went for a hike in Point Reyes. Due to a late start, we didn't actually see the ocean, except from afar. But we had a great hike through the woods. We saw a skunk, lots of slugs, a salamander or two, a cat that may have been a bobcat. On the way back after pulling over to see the stars over the ocean from U.S. 1, we saw a coyote with a I.D. collar run across the road.
On Sunday I bought two new locks and then re-keyed all the locks to my house to one new key. It was actually quite fun and interesting. Now I know how to take a lock apart and how it works. And all my locks still work; I broke nothing! #
My cousin Larry came to town a couple of weekends ago. I don't think I speak only for myself when I say we had a hell of a good time. The weather was spectacular that weekend. We took in some hills, some ocean, some Zeitgeist, some of the Chinese New Year parade, and good Chinese food. After the weekend, he continued up the coast to see my parents in southern Oregon, and eventually to visit the Connors up in the Portland area. He was also lucky, as I had just gotten a fold-out couch for the back room for guests.
I read this in an otherwise forgettable article about the place of 'violent' video games in society. "Let's not ignore the epidemic of the 80's when kids began smashing bricks with their heads and eating flowers."
Speaking of video games, I bought myself the sequel to "Katamari Damacy", called "We Love Katamari!". If you don't know what this is all about, and don't have a Playstation2, you can play a version of Katamari that seems like it would have come out in the 1980s. It gives a good feel of the game.
Last and not least, Azul Systems has gotten some notable press lately. The big bank Credit Suisse has both become a customer of and investor in Azul Systems. This is good news. #
At this moment, my new MacBook Pro is in Sunnyvale. I'm on the train right now, so it may very well be at the office when I get there. You can keep track by viewing source on the
HTML my program generates. It indicates what version of java and the operating system and version, as well as the architecture of the machine it is running on. When it changes from "ppc" to, I think, "i386", you'll know I've built my web site on Mac OS X on Intel.
Speaking of building my web site, I've mentioned in the past how it is a bunch of text files that get read and then built into java objects that then are written out to a
XML file. Then this
XML file is re-read into memory and these java objects are written out to
HTML files all at once. Then I ftp the just fully re-built web site to my host provider. It is quite an operation. It's much too complex. So I've been working on simplifying it. I have written java code that will import the
XML file's data into a MySQL database. It can also generate the web site just like you see it today from the MySQL database. I just completed it today. Next I will write a Cocoa UI program that will allow me to edit the web site data from a nice UI program, instead of editing multiple marked up delimited text files. Some of the 'free' Cocoa features I'm looking forward to are built in spell check, Google search, and Dictionary look up. Once it edits the MySQL database directly, I can still use the java program to generate the whole darn web site and ftp it to my host. Lastly, I will make my web site dynamic. It will read data from the MySQL database and generate the resulting web page whenever a page is requested by web surfers. This is much more modern and how just about every big web site works. I imagine this will be completed in about 2008 at my rate.
One notable thing I forgot to mention last time. When my cousin and I went to Zeitgeist, we saw David Cross (of Mr. Show and Arrested Development fame). We didn't talk to him, but he was having a beer on a sunny afternoon at Zeitgeist just like us. #
Choose view source and then look for "i386". Yes, this site was generated by my new MacBook Pro. Let's hear it for java, since it could care less where it is running. But the bigger kudos go to Apple. You'd have no idea this machine was running a different chip architecture if no one told you. Who needs portable bytecode when you can recompile!? #
My new MacBook Pro is working fine. I was able to get two applications I use in Intel format. The only remaining applications that remain PowerPC are Quicken and a web browser I use in PowerPC mode so I can use Azul's VPN.
Two Chip stories, presumably related. After I laid down to sleep last night, I heard Chip meowing in a different fashion than usual. So I went downstairs, and to my surprise, I heard him meowing at the front door! He always goes out the back door, and I thought there was no way for him to really get out front. So as usual when something odd happens with Chip, there's no way to ask him what happened. It remains a mystery. So I just guessed that he went on an adventure. Then this evening, about 9 PM, a guy rings my door bell. He doesn't even introduce himself and just says "Is that your cat that was just meowing back there? I live next door and it was meowing all night, every hour. It sounded like it was in heat." I say my cat is fixed (and has he no standard plumbing, as a matter of fact). So the guy agitatedly says that my cat goes out all night and keeps him up, and that if he hears it again, he'll call the police. Thing is Chip was in my bed all night as far as I know. I think this is a new neighbor; I saw moving trucks on Saturday. I really don't know what I'll do; Chip likes to go outside, and he meows. I wish the guy introduced himself first so that we could work this out like adults; as it is it feels adversarial from the get go. It all made me wonder how Chip got out front last night... #
David and I went on the roof of our building yesterday to do some repairs. He's had some leaks, so we patched up some seams and cracks that seemed to need it. It's a light rain today, so we'll have to see if it worked.
I've fixed the RSS feeds dates so that they are a little better when displaying the update time (or publish date in RSS parlance). I had recently worked on my site program to be all UTC times (which is Greenwich Mean Time). I had also decided that shows would be 9 PM, and diary (some people want to call my site a blog, but I call it a diary) entries are now at noon. All of these times are my current time, which is whatever I have my computer set to. It then writes out the RSS as UTC, and hopefully your RSS feed reader will translate this properly to your local time zone. On an unrelated note, I think I'm going to try creating an Atom feed as well someday (it's more strict about date formats, for example). #
If I said that the President's unlawful assault on the separation of powers and subverting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was more dangerous overall than any terrorist threat, would I be wrong? With the President's numerous illegal actions (torture, 'enemy combatants', domestic spying on U.S. citizens without warrants, rendition of people around the world to countries known to torture [why do we bother with that anymore?]) are we any better off? We are no longer able to take the high road with our enemies. It seems to me that the President and his policies are having and will have casotrophic effects on U.S. security, trade, and economy for a long time to come. And why don't we impeach or censure him? Because Congress if full of people who want to be President themselves one day. They don't want to risk prosecuting one of their own party, because it will damage their shot at being emperor. They say it is because it will send the wrong impression to our enemies. What the heck does that mean? Our enemies hate us, and they hate the President. Many of our allies don't care for us either. Fixing the current Constitutional imbalance isn't going to make them hate us any more or any less. I wish Congress would get a spine and stand up for what makes this country great.
I now live in the Lower Haight. I've joined a mailing list from www.lowerhaight.org. Recently it has been full of the most hateful misapplied rage and trolls I've seen on the internet in ages. I'm hoping that it will clean itself up. My neighbor David is the founder of the list. He doesn't want to be banning people or to be moderating the list, since he thinks the community should be able to do it itself. I have my doubts it can. We'll see what happens. #
There was a nice article about Toshio Hirano on sfgate.com the other day.
On the CalTrain ride home last night, it wasn't raining until we got out of the 22nd Street tunnel. And then it was pouring! I waited at the station with my bike to see if it was slowing down at all. After about 15 minutes, it hadn't, so I biked on. I got soaked like I hadn't before. Thankfully I had my rain gear, but my shoes were still soaked the next morning. I think I biked through this freak storm.
For the politicians that say that censure or impeachment helps the terrorists -- Hello, we're a democracy! The president does not a country make. The war against terrorism can continue without the current President, and will probably even be more effective when it doesn't trample citizens rights and targets actual problems instead of everyone.
Incidentally, this is the first time the web site has been generated from the MySQL database. The database is filled by data read from
XML, which is in turn created by reading my random text files, but it's a start. Next I will create a Cocoa UI that interacts with the MySQL database directly, and then uses the java program to generate the web site. #
I've created a download of a Xcode project that builds javasqlite, a java JDBC Type 2 driver for sqlite (available at <http://www.ch-werner.de/javasqlite>), for Mac OS X. Mac OS X 10.4 ships with a dynamic library for sqlite3. The autoconf in the download seems to expect a static archive library for sqlite3, so this download was created to handle this situation on Mac OS X. I found <http://www.itwriting.com/sqlitenotes.php> which gave a little information on how he built his PPC only version. I wanted to build an Intel version, and to be able to provide a way for others to build what they need as well.
Of course, thanks to Christian Werner for the original code and Tim Anderson for the hints.
1. Download the original
2. Expand the original
3. Download the Xcode project
4. Copy the Xcode project into the original directory
5. Open the Xcode project and build it.
It will look something like this:
gnutar xzf javasqlite-20050608.tar.gz.tar cd javasqlite-20050608 gnutar xzf <path-to>/sqlite_jni_xcode_20060322.tar.gz open sqlite_jni.xcodeproj
Tested on MacBook Pro w/ 10.4.5 and Xcode 2.2.1
First create a sqlite database using sqlite3 to use for testing.
Here's how I ran the java shell interface to sqlite3:
java -cp <path-to-xcode-project>/build/Release/sqlite.jar -Djava.library.path=<path-to-xcode-project>/build/Release/ SQLite.Shell ~/greg.db
Here's how I ran the test program that comes with it:
java -cp <path-to-xcode-project>/build/Release/sqlite.jar:<path-to-xcode-project>/build/Release/test.jar -Djava.library.path=<path-to-xcode-project>/build/Release/ test
Some text I've read on the net says to install the bits into /Library/Java/Extensions. However, if you do that, every java program will be able to see them. The problem comes if there is more than one program looking for these same jar classes and jni code but if they require different versions of the JDBC driver or sqlite. So I would suggest keeping these libraries with your java program and to use
-Djava.library.path as demonstrated above.
Released under no license whatsoever so have fun! #
After I read Bruce Schneier's latest article, where he wonders where we'd be if Richard Reid was known as the "underwear bomber", I wondered if he had read my previous post where I had pointed to his site when I wondered what we'd do at airports if Richard Reid had a bomb in his pants.
There's been two interesting stories in the technology news this last week. First of all, Microsoft is going to delay the next version of their operating system. They are making this decision many months in advance. When I worked at Apple, it was never clear to me what state the operating system would be in 6 months. By this I mean looking out that far was only done very early in the release cycle. The operating system came out roughly every 12 to 18 months when I was there. The features were decided early on (give or take) and then implemented. Apple would track bug counts for the release and then compare the curves over time to previous releases to decide where the current release was in the context of the release cycle of the previous release. This way they could track how far out the final release may be based upon historical data. When I read what truly appear to be insider accounts of Microsoft's development process, I don't understand how they can map the state of their release. All I know is that project management isn't easy. When you are creating something new, it isn't easy to say how long it will take you to do it. I have sympathy for the engineers at Microsoft, since I'm simply shocked that management can reliably say they are going to be 2 months late at this point. The end is so far away, how can you possibly know that it will be 2 months longer? Also, if you were a business IT guy, would you choose to install and make your business rely on an operating system that Microsoft doesn't deem ready for consumers, but is OK for corporations? One interesting anonymous comment in there says that the reason for this split is software licensing agreements that must be met by 2006. What a spectacular fumble.
The other technology story is about two blog posts about Apple Mac OS X on Intel. First was an Adobe engineer talking about the technical reasons why Adobe will not have Intel versions of their software for over another year. Some of the reasons given are because it isn't a recompile like Steve Jobs said, and then Xcode isn't up to the task, and how complicated and old their software's code base is. Then a Microsoft engineer who works on their Mac OS X products with what I'll tritely call a "me too" post. In the comments for both of these posts, there's a lot of nonsensical stuff (such as "port to Cocoa", which would be nice, but isn't the problem at hand), but there are other interesting comments. My take on it is that both companies were whistling through the graveyard hoping that Metrowerks wasn't going to die off. I had extreme intimate knowledge that Metrowerks wasn't up to the task for taking Mac programs into the future, so I may not be the best judge. But if my software made money making Mac software built using Metrowerks, and Metrowerks wasn't able to provide compilers that targeted the latest and the greatest Mac hardware (which at the time was then the G5), I would start looking at the competition. The competition was Xcode and gcc in this case. The fact that Adobe and Microsoft don't have Xcode based projects of their software now seems to have been proven to be short sighted. I've always recommended that users compile their code with as many compilers as possible; it only makes your code better. One of their main issues seems to be with the debugging symbols format (which has been the same since Mac OS X 10.0 came out 5 years ago). It's a shame because I bet their engineers saw this coming but management decided that the cost was too high at the time.
Apple has announced "Boot Camp" which allows an Intel Mac to be able to boot Windows XP. The content on the site is surprisingly cheeky. It calls Windows stuck in the 1980s and mentions virii plaguing Windows. I'm not sure what to make of this announcement, but it sure did well for Apple's stock price. The New York Times (of course) has some insight into the issue. This other story has some unbelieveable and terribly misinformed and incorrect information. I only point to it because it is so absurd. Final note: absolutely no Mac OS rumor site I know of predicted this release. I always think it's nice when that happens.
I first wrote about Apple, the Intel transition, and Metrowerks last July. I put the link in one location, on
comp.sys.mac.programmer.codewarrior. Just last month, about 8 months later, it hit the Mac blog world. I was linked to (or referenced via) two popular Mac OS writers, John Gruber of Daring Fireball and obtusely Jon Sircusa (of Ars Technica). There were several other references. It's interesting to see what people quoted. Daring Fireball mentioned the fact that Metrowerks didn't use source control when I first got there. The Ars Technica link was interested in Apple's secrecy. Rouge Amoeba has a few quotes, I like that he noted my parallel between Apple and BeOS moving from Metrowerks PPC to GNU/GCC Intel. I liked how this site quoted my love of bug reports on Class Wrangler. The most interesting is the kind fellow who translated most of my post to Spanish! So if any of you who linked to my post happen to read this, thanks for the surprise!
A funny part is how I figured out I was being linked to. I don't have any site-tracking here. I have no idea how many hits, links, or references I get at all. I know that's lame, but it just hasn't been a priority yet. I wanted to search to see if I had ever written about my cat, Chip, on my site before when I was going to mention that I'd adopted him 10 years ago. So I entered
bolsinga Chip into Google. Nothing about my cat came up, but there were several hits on websites that weren't mine. After quickly scanning them, I'll admit I let out a "Ha!" after I saw what happened.
On the 9 AM train ride in today, there was a guy also sitting upstairs in the bike car (who didn't have a bike, but I digress). The reason I bring him up is that soon after the train started moving, I heard the distinctive pop and hiss of a can being opened. So I look up, and this guy is pouring a 16 oz Boddington's into a plastic cup. The a little while later, I hear the sound again, and now he's pouring a 16 oz Guinness. A while later, another 16 oz Guinness. He talked loudly on the phone (also great CalTrain etiquette), and happened to mention that he went to work, but felt sick so took the day off. He was also bragging about going straight to a bar. He finished all three beers by the time we both got off at Mountain View, which was about an hour for this particular train. While he was getting off, I noticed that he had a construction safety helmet that said "Think Safety". #
As usual, Daring Fireball wrote much more intelligently and coherently than I about Apple's Boot Camp. Today we learned that he wasn't the first to believe this (be sure to read the followup too). And from the "What the Hell?" deparment, The New York Times has an editorial about "Boot Camp"! Before I had a chance to update my site, Daring Fireball nicely laid out how Apple makes money from hardware sales and speculation about Boot Camp is just that, wild speculation. I'd recommend reading Daring Fireball for interesting insight on Mac OS X and Apple.
Since I've been working on my taxes for the last two nights, this article caught my eye. I'm not a paranoid freak, but I'm certain if I did my taxes 'wrong' that the IRS would catch me. Therefore why the heck to I have to fill out forms and tell them what they already know? #
I recently found out that the fake policeman in the Village People was once married to Claire Huxtable of "The Cosby Show".
I'm also going to clear out some items I've been meaning to link to, but haven't had the time. I found an interesting optical illusions site via Boing Boing. I also found a pretty funny Photoshop site via Ken Sumka. I found another optical illusion room site from Boing Boing. It seems like it would be easy but time consuming to do. You'd get some image and project it in your room, trace it, and then paint it. Perhaps I can do this in my basement? #
I think I really like the Boston album. Did you know most of it was recorded at in a studio built by a guy in the band who graduated from M.I.T.?
It's less than a week until the 20th anniversary of my first show, Van Halen.
Here's some trivia for the Chicago readers. Did you know the Enron Skilling is the younger brother of the WGN weatherman Tom Skilling? Once I called and talked to him (the weatherman one) about a meteor shower. He said it would start tomorrow, but I saw it that night. So I decided to call him and tell him. He said, oh sure you may see some today, but it really starts tomorrow, or something like that. #
I've put up some pictures I took recently. It's odd. I used the newest iLife (iPhoto and iWeb) and now this page doesn't seem to show up with the rest of my old pages.
The police recently arrested a bunch of crack dealers in my neighborhood. My car was recently broken into. While I'm pretty sure that wasn't a crack dealer, my bet is that it was crack related.
San Francisco is a weird place. When I lived in Austin and Chicago, I swear I never heard the strange stories that happen here. You'll hear about abalone divers being found with their heads missing from a shark attack. You'll hear about skeletons found in tree houses at the edge of the city that had been there for a year. You'll see freak car accidents. And these are just some small recent examples. #
About a week and a half ago I went to the Maker's Faire, which was thrown by Make Magazine. Since this has already been written on the web, I'll just mention the parts I liked the best (although it all was pretty damn cool). My favorite was an interactive graphics software art piece called Constellation. It has a video camera and displays the camera image overlayed with 'star's at the edges of shapes. It then draws some lines connecting some of the stars, much like constellation maps. However as the image moves, the stars and constellations move. What was great was that you'd walk into the room, see a bunch of people waving and moving around, and wonder why. Then you'd see the constellation projection on the wall, and it would suddenly make sense. So many of the people were smiling while doing it to. Another notable display was the working recreation of Babbage's Difference Engine #2, made out of something similar to an Erector Set. Watching it move while it worked was awesome. The guy demonstrating it also knew a lot about the history and the device. #
Yowza. I can hardly contain my rage. Here's how your (yes, you reading this very web page) Constitutional rights have been violated by the President. What else is our criminal executive branch doing? When is enough enough? When is Congress going to do their job and impeach this guy for the long list of criminal acts done in his name? Unbelievable but true. I called my Representative and both Senators, all who happen to be Democrats. Please call your Congressmen and Senators and tell them to stop the illegal un-constitutional power grab by the executive branch today. #
Elowyn and I went to Louisville, KY for her brother's wedding. It was cold and drizzly most of the time we were there. We also didn't have much time but for wedding activities. But I had fun spending time with Elowyn. She finishes her PhD in fluvial geomorphology this Friday. Then she moves to Arizona for a postdoc the following Monday. We're going to do the long distance thing. At least it is only one Southwest stop away. On the plus side, I'll be dating a Doctor!
Yesterday evening I was trimming the plants on my deck with my scissors. They'd make these snip sounds as I worked. Soon I heard a hum near me, and I looked. At first I didn't see it, but I was sure it was a hummingbird. Then I realized that it was about about a foot from my face in the tree. It had landed and was totally checking me out. I said hi, and he didn't leave. All I could figure was that my scissors sounded like the chirp sounds I've heard hummingbirds make. #
I spent the weekend helping Dr. Elowyn and her father pack up for her move. We were almost able to fit everything into her pickup truck. It was so close. She's now on her way to Tempe, AZ. I imagine I'll be visiting her within a month.
Somehow Chip still has been adventuring out front of my home. Since all the homes, garages, and fences are flush against each other along Laussat, I'm not sure how he gets out there. Last week he got into a big enough cat fight out there that he has some scratches. I wish he could tell me about his adventures in any way but scratches. #
I figured out Chip's secrets for getting out front. He'll hop a couple fences to get a few yards over. He'll then either hop the 10 to 12 foot fence there, or hop another fence into the next yard, and sneak under a door they have in between two garages. He does this all the time now.
I went for a little sea kayaking with my neighbor David last weekend. We didn't go long, since it was my first time, and his second time with his new boat. It was a windy day on Tomales Bay, but it thankfully died down in the afternoon. It was hard to go into the waves, but it was like surfing taking them back. #
I moved all my code (and data) from CVS into Subversion. I had about 4 and a half years worth of data in CVS, and I used the standard Subversion conversion scripts to move it all over. The tool can tell when I committed multiple files with one CVS commit, and massages them into one Subversion submission. From this, I know I've made right around 1750 changes in 4 and a half years to all my code and data. I've since been working on Subversion hooks. This way I can automatically build code when I make a change submitted to Subversion. Or perhaps when I modify my web site data so it will automatically build and install the site when it changes? I do all of this by hand still!
A couple of weeks ago I visited my parents' in Oregon for the first time since November 2004! None of us had realized it had been that long, but they had made more visits to San Francisco lately I guess. My grandparents were up visiting Oregon for my cousins' various graduation ceremonies, and also saw my parents' place for the first time. It was warm up there, and there was actually a thunderstorm one day. They have done a lot of work on the house and the yard; it looks great.
Over the long 4th of July weekend I went to Arizona. Elowyn and I went camping in eastern Arizona. I didn't quite understand before we got there that the elevation where we were camping was 9000 feet. This made it much cooler than the furnace of Phoenix that I was expecting. It was also the start of the monsoon season; I think it rained each day. Despite the rain and thunderstorms, much of the Apache National Forest was closed due to extremely high fire hazards. So we wound up hiking a little further southeast in an area called the Blue Range Primitive Area (which I learned while searching for the link is the last Primitive Area in the United States!). After being there, I interpreted this to mean it is pretty much all single lane gravel roads over many hills and long distances (we crossed flowing creek beds twice in the truck) with very few people. I slept under the stars for the first two clear nights. I think that may be the first time I've done that. We hiked a short distance one day, about 5 miles the second day, and about 11 miles on the last day there. I'll put up pictures soon.
When I was young, my family would go on lots of camping trips. We'd pile into the car and drive somewhere for 2 weeks and camp (usually staying in motels for the drive there). Once I got older, I learned this is car camping, as some of my friends started backpacking in to camp. They implied that this was real camping, and car camping not quite the same thing. At the time I was a smoker, so I really had no interest in hiking into the woods to eat and sleep. Now that I'm more active, it sounds appealing. So I haven't really camped for nearly 20 years (less our family's legendary Grand Canyon trip). Nowadays, lots of stuff is the same, but the sleeping bags and tents are smaller. When we car camped, there were RV's in the National Parks, National Forests, and State Parks we'd go to. But they usually had a separate area with the hookups they needed for power and water. Keeping with the hierarchial pecking order life seems to impose, car campers like us would look down our nose at the RV campers. They were also kept nicely away by the lack of hookups in the car camper areas. But much like the sleeping bags, there's something RV campers can now haul around affordably that they couldn't back when I camped more regularly. They bring along gasoline generators. And they run them between 6 AM and 10 PM (avoiding the quiet hours). And they use them to watch TV in their RVs! I can't possibly imagine it is this way in the National Parks, but in the National Forests it apparently somehow is allowed. It appalls me how selfish people can be. Ah, we're camping in the woods and what do you get? More constant noise than you'd get in a large city. I'm so surprised this is allowed, but perhaps it fits into the snowmobile / ATV crowd's view on using the country's national resources that has been on the rise during the current administration.
Before I left on my trip, I got my automated Subverion hook build scripts just about ready to go beta. I've learned that Subversion post-commit hooks are serial, in that the client side commit doesn't finish until the post-commit hook has completed execution. I've also found the versioned Subversion properties for a directory to be useful; my post-commit hook checks to see if there is a particular property available to see if it should be automatically built. In order to make these changes 'final', I still have to have the build phase just be triggered by the post-commit hook and then inform the user later via email if the process succeeded or not. #
While I was gone over the holiday weekend, I got an email about Honcho Overload. The writer works in Champaign for the local community radio station (WEFT), and regularly plays local music. He thought (as many people seem to think) that my list of shows is a list of live bootlegs. He also sent a link to a history of Champaign music written by Bill Johnson, the always entertaining singer for Honcho. #
After finishing up my workbench, I fixed up my work area. The wall panelling behind the bench was old warped particle board. So I ripped that out and put up a 1/4" piece of plywood, much like the rest of my basement. I also put up a pegboard I had left over from my storage unit on Church Street. The first project I wanted to work on was to replace the rotting flower boxes that are a part of my back deck. I bought a circular saw so that I could make things square, and some redwood (matching the deck). I think the first flower box was a success.
On the program front, I've been busy updating the code to be nicely JDK 1.5 compliant. This means using java generics throughout (to get rid of the lint warnings). This also required that I update to the new JWSDP 2.0, so that my
JAXB will generate java generics compilant code. Since it was a major revision change since the last version of JWSDP I used, some of the APIs changed, so I have to go around and update my code. Once I complete this, my JWSDP using code looks like it will be much easier to read (as well as be smaller). All of the new JWSDP appears to be built into the upcoming JDK 1.6, so I'll be able to update to the new version of the JDK when it is ready without using many external class libraries.
Years ago when I was into Love and Rockets and the like, I liked getting the original records of what they were influenced by. I'd get David Bowie, T.Rex, Brian Eno, and Pink Floyd. Early Pink Floyd was one of the first of that bunch that I hadn't really heard of in some way before that. One of the things I most enjoy about music is hearing people's influences. In a way it's a shame that I sometimes feel like I've exhausted all of those influences. Maybe someday with the data I have making this web site, I can make a tree of influences. #
Since Phil & Jen have been married for 10 years, that means it's 10 years since it was certain I was going to move to Austin, TX. As I posted in that long message about Metrowerks (and Apple), they hired me for a 2 week trial period, during which I proved my worth and was hired. I then went home for 2 weeks since I had to pack up in Chicago, and stand up in Phil's wedding. It amazes me that it's been 10 years! I've been thinking about this recently. I still think of myself as from Chicago, and compare lots of situations to when I was in Chicago. Yet I think I really only lived there on my own for about 2 1/2 years. I lived longer in both Austin and San Francisco. I wonder what the next 10 years will bring? Frankly, I can't even begin to imagine, as 10 years ago I wouldn't have concretely thought of myself in the position I'm in in life. Maybe in the abstract, but I can't think of a time I said "I'm going to have a house in San Francisco," until I signed the dotted line.
I finished another flower box, and I installed both them onto my deck. I also planted them; I wound up buying twice as many flowers as I could plant. This weekend was one of the warmest I can remember in some time in San Francisco; I actually wore shorts outside. I'm pretty sure I've never done that in San Francisco. Anyways, I think the flower boxes look great. Let's hope I have a green enough thumb.
The fake policeman from The Village People blames his recent drug arrests on "the exceses of the disco era." Dude, the disco era was nearly 30 years ago. This might have been a novel excuse in like 1982 or so. Welcome to 2006! #
When I write for my website, I'm quite conscious of the fact that what I write will be around in some cache somewhere for a long time. I became aware of this awhile ago, when I looked up old posts of mine on Usenet from about 15 years ago. Thankfully, they are mostly just embarassing for myself. However, I've been involved in embarrassing flame-fests as well. So as much as I'd like to be able to have it all hang out for everyone who reads this, I really can't do that. So what you read here is stuff that I'm confident in sharing with others. So typically I'll write about stuff from my life that I'm comfortable with myself. I may even be fine talking about it in person, but not on the web. #
I've done some work on the program that generates this website to make it more paralellized, which means that it can do more than one thing at once. My MacBook Pro has two processors (technically it has 1 processor and 2 cores), and Azul's boxes have many more. It's such a shame to have parts of my computer sitting idle. It's been very interesting to learn about how my program works again. I designed it in a very single threaded mindset. By this I mean that the program goes through the entries, shows, bands, venues, and albums in order. After writing out each item, it will check to see if the next item needs to be on a different page. Actually each page has no dependencies upon the other pages. It can create links to those pages without those pages having been generated yet. So the generation of each page can exist in its own thread. The hard part about multi-threaded programming is making sure that one thread doesn't read 'stale' data that another thread has just changed. Since the generation of my web site is largely only readers, it is 'embarrassingly parallel', as Ivan likes to say. The solution I'm moving towards is having the program create collections of data for each page up front. These collections only have sorted data references to read only data. So the memory hit won't be too bad. Then I can create a Runnable for each page and add each to a ThreadPool so that they can run in parallel. One of the tricks to parallel programming is having lots of memory. If every thread has a copy of the data, then there can be no contention on this data. #
I missed going to a Survival Research Laboratories show in San Jose last week. These are spectacles of the utmost degree. I had seen one in Austin, TX in March 1997. I found some pictures from this SRL show recently. I remember the jet cart being the noisiest thing I believe I've ever heard. #
Go rent "We Jam Econo", a documentary about the Minutemen. I wish I had gotten a clue about them sooner. Great band and a great story about the start of the DIY ethos.
It was one year ago now that I got the process rolling to move into my new home. This has easily been one of the best decisions I've made. I've got great neighbors, I enjoy my home, and I really enjoy working in it. Speaking of which, I built a large storage shelf in the basement, clearing up even more room down there. I'm going to have enough space that I'll have to start a band or something.
I'm fed up with the authorities attempting to scare us with all of the travel hype the last few weeks. Do you realize that all that happened was that they caught some guys that were thinking about committing terror? Why are we scared when the authorities have excelled in their job? If the authorities claim they are making us safer, why has everyone jumped at the mere thought of this boogeyman? Doesn't that make it seem like everyone doesn't feel safe? Did you see any of the pictures where airport security was dumping all the confiscated liquids all into one garbage can? If they are trying to prevent passengers from mixing dangerous explosive chemicals on planes, why the heck are they mixing them in the terminal for them? Of course, they wouldn't have done this if they acutally thought they were dangerous chemicals. How far will the public let the officials go to 'keep us safe'? What are the limits? With the current paranoia and utter lack of demonstrable common sense, I'd imagine it won't stop until everyone is strapped naked to the seats. Of course, Bruce Schneier can elaborate and explain what I mean without sounding as self-righteous as I can. His premise is that by acting scared when terrorism MIGHT happen, that terrorism has succeeded. I wholeheartedly agree. #
I just got the new Tortoise box set (only $19!) and it has some singles and vinyl I haven't heard in quite some time. While listening to it, it seems to me that old Tortoise may be better than new Tortoise. I think it is the organic analog feel. Damn, Gamera is the ultimate Tortoise song, and the liner notes say it was recorded in one night! How it must feel to have created that single song in one night. For me, it completely covers everything I think of when I think of Tortoise.
I have to get my turntable working again. So many records sitting unlistened to. What a shame. #
Today is the eight year anniversary of my web site. It's actually a little older than that, but it was 8 years ago that I started tracking the updates to the site. Also, I don't consider my site a blog. I started it before the term was used. It's just a web site that I update regularly.
In show statistics news, I've now seen more shows in San Francisco than in Austin, and Chicago will be overtaken next. However, the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary will give Chicago 3 more dates. I'm really looking forward to this long weekend in Chicago with lots of friends, rock, and beer.
Last week I got back from 3 days of incredible rock, countless hours of standing, gallons of beer, and lots of old friends. I am still recovering. I saw people I hadn't seen for 15 years to those I last saw a day ago, and everything in between. It was a blast. I'll put up the best of my lousy pictures later, but if you search for them, you can see some great pictures (and YouTube has videos of Big Black).
I ride a single speed bike. It isn't fixed gear. Fixed gear is interesting, but I want to stop quickly and accurately. You see fixed gears and single speeds all over San Francisco. So much so that the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about the trend. The ones I hate are when I see people coasting with single speeds with no brakes at all. I don't want them to get crushed by a car, but they sure are asking for it.
I've consolidated my picture pages. I use my Dot Mac account for my photos, and well, it's been a little screwy. The old iPhoto would put pictures at
homepage.mac.com, and the new iPhoto/iWeb put them at
web.mac.com. I messed with these web sites, and now I have a new main page for photos. For those of you who have looked at these photos countless times, I've put a new old picture up for the main page. Can you tell who it is?
Ugh. I've already seen Halloween decorations in stores. It's so ridiculous when they put that stuff out so darn early. #
One thing I forgot to mention was that I saw Jay and Jason from Dianogah while at the Touch and Go party. I haven't seen them since the last time I saw their band. They told me that they had used my web site in order to figure out some of the dates they had played. I guess they were doing research. #
Excellent! When I've been working on the program that generates this web site lately, I've been working on making it generate the site in parallel. This means more than one part of the site is generated at the same time. This is easy with this program, since one page has absolutely no dependencies upon other pages, except to know that they will be there eventually. So as my friend Ivan says, it is embarrassingly parallel. Prior to my changes, it only ran on one thread doing only one thing at a time. The most work I could get out of by Dual Core MacBook was half the work it was capable of doing. By re-factoring the program to be parallelizeable, I was able to use both cores on my MacBook, using all of its capability, and halving the time needed to generate the site! Now if I only had a box with more cores to try it out on...
In order to get this working, I read the book "Java Concurrency In Practice", by far the very best book I have ever read about multi threaded programming. It seems that once you read one book about threads, you've read them all, until this one. It doesn't just say you must protect critical data. It goes through real world examples of more concepts than I've read about before. It really helps that java has an excellent memory model and threading model, so that multi threaded programming is so much easier and correct. However, if your favorite programming language has as decent a memory model as java has, you could apply the ideas in this book there. Unfortunately static compilation of a language using pthreads doesn't make a real memory model. Ruby and Python don't have a real pre-emptive threading system. If all the Macs today have more than one core, all of these other languages have to catch up and get multi threaded soon to take advantage of what the hardware nowadays is offering. To do otherwise is such a waste of power! #
Yesterday there was a post on Boing Boing about SoundExchange not being able to find artists to pay them digital royalties. Some of the missing artists are well, big, and it's surprising they cannot be found. I decided to download the list of 8895 artists and write a quick program to cross reference it with my list of artists. With just a simple "does the name exactly match" test, I found 73 artists. Here they are: Archers Of Loaf, Bauhaus, Bloque, Chapterhouse, Chico Buarque, Cornelius, Dinosaur Jr., Fig Dish, Firewater, Fu Manchu, Fugazi, Girls Against Boys, Gram Parsons, Hum, Jon Dee Graham, Jorge Ben, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Lenine, Los De Abajo, Low, Mano Negra, Material Issue, Meat Puppets, Melvins, Michael Hedges, Milton Nascimento, Molly McGuire, Neko Case & Her Boyfriends, No Man, Nobukazu Takemura, NRBQ, Ornette Coleman, Paul Burch, Pond, Public Enemy, Public Image Ltd., Quicksand, Red Meat, Red Simpson, Richard Buckner, Rocket From The Crypt, Scott McKenzie, Screeching Weasel, Sebadoh, Sixteen Deluxe, Sloan, Son Volt, Sparklehorse, Stereolab, Sugar, Sugarloaf, Sunny Day Real Estate, Swervedriver, The Champs, The Fall, The Flaming Lips, The Godfathers, The Moon Seven Times, The Replacements, The Smiths, The Wrens, Those Bastard Souls, Three Dog Night, Toni Price, Uncle Tupelo, Unsane, Versus, Vic Chesnutt, Waldemar Bastos, Wilco, Yellowman, Yo La Tengo, and Zap Mama. I think I know people who know people on this list. If you do, these people are rightfully owed some cash. #
My brother has set up his own web site,
bolsingatron.com. (UPDATE: Now a dead site, and I changed the link to his blog.) You can check out his excellent paintings and photos. I'm jealous that his doesn't have an ad at the bottom like
bolsinga.com does. I have to get off my lazy butt and fix that. The problem is that I've been talking about doing that for years. #
Please go and read this article about Microsoft Vista and virus scanning software. This story is just so odd. Leave your Microsoft feelings aside for a moment. Let's pretend for a moment that car companies figure out how to make cars that never need maintenance or service. Would this be a good thing? Obviously it would be... unless you were in the car maintenance business. This isn't a totally fair argument, but it is how it seems to me. It isn't a fair argument because the anti virus companies seem to want to know how Vista works, even if their customers don't really need any maintenance. They just do it so they can sell anti virus software. They really should be able to know how and make their sale. Microsoft can also hopefully make software that doesn't need anti virus software. Isn't it utterly amazing that handling Microsoft's buggy software is a $4.4 billion a year business? Does that sound like a business we all really want to have out there? Is it really a worthwhile investment, or should Microsoft pour $4.4 billion into making a better OS?
I just read on Lou Barlow's site that the original Sebadoh is going to do a tour next Spring. That should be interesting.
So it rained for the first time this season the other night, and my power proceeded to go out. I hope that isn't an omen for the season. #
My brother Mike arrived in San Francisco a little over a week ago. We went to Golden Gate Park for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. My folks came in during the week from Oregon; we ate Little Star Pizza and then went hiking in Point Reyes with Aram. We then all went up to Oregon and hiked National Falls and Union Creek. At night we battled with dominoes. Also, Mike no longer thinks San Francisco is full of hippie chicks.
I found that Starcourse has a web site that lists all of their shows. For whatever reason, many of my Starcourse dates are my unknown dates. Probably because I know I saw them but the flier I saved only says "Month Date". So here's a note to future flier makers: Put the year on the flier! The problem with the Starcourse site is that they list it by academic year (i.e. 1988-1989). So I have to remember if it was in the fall or spring semester. In other words, it mostly doesn't help too much. #
So I haven't been reading real books as much lately. I can tell you why. I read the web using RSS in Safari. For those that don't know, this will get the headlines from web sites that you subscribe to. This is convenient because you can see when your favorite web site has a new article. I publish a RSS feed for my own site as well. The problem I have is that I treat these as 'to do' lists. I don't read every article, but I will scan every headline. So I sit, see some headlines, and inevitably something will catch my eye and I'll read it. I read lots of interesting stuff, but there's quite a bit of it I don't really have to read. Anyways, I'm going to cut back on this and start reading books again. Fiction. Not computer books. I have about 6 McSweeneys to catch up on, which is just horrifying in that this probably means I haven't read fiction in about a year. #
This coming Sunday is the Lower Haight Block Party. My neighbor David got a booth, and the idea is to sell some t-shirts that David, David King, Aram and I have been making in my basement for the last few weeks. I designed one that says "Straight Outta Haight" in the same font and style as N.W.A's "Straight Outta Compton". Otherwise I was just a shop assistant. We have a bunch of cool t-shirts to sell. Look for us there!
The Lower Haight Block Party was a success. I sold one t-shirt! It's the first time I've sold something myself that I created. We sold 24 other t-shirts (you can see them here). Sarah lent us her tent, and she sold her jewelry and Julia sold her hand-stitched bags and shirts. Aram sold posters and t-shirts.
I've been in my new home for 1 year now. It was easily the best move I've made. My home is quiet, and I enjoy working on it and being here. I can't say that was true for the last few places I've lived. Now that the Block Party work is done, I need to find a new basement project.
The other anniversary is that it's also been about a year since I watched TV. I stopped while packing up to move here. Once I got here, there was no free cable like the previous place. David and Brandi don't even have a TV. I just use mine for DVDs. I now spend that time working around the house, and reading the web (which is getting to be a little much lately). #
I'm now 36, once again a perfect square. It will be longer this time until I'm perfectly square again. On a good note, next year I will once again be in my prime. Thankfully there are more prime years than perfectly square years.
I don't find many articles about black cats, so when I find one I will link to it. When I adopted Chip, he came right up to me, sat on my lap, played there for a bit, and then proceeded to fall asleep. I will admit to being a little freaked out about letting Chip outside on Halloween. #
All I can say about this week's elections (and the aftermath so far) is YAY!!! Now let's get our Constitution and Liberty back!
I've been improving the program that creates this web site. There were some sorting problems with bands that start with 'the', 'a', or 'an'. I've also made it about 30% faster since the last version. I did this by creating less objects, and really refining the regular expressions I use to embed links into the text. Along with the multi-threading work I've done, it is now 83% faster since September! #
I got new pots and pans for my kitchen. These are the first pots and pans I have ever bought. Until last week, I still used the ones my parents gave me in about 1990 that I believe they got before I was born. Wouldn't it be something if my food actually tasted different for the first time in my life? If you recall, about a year ago I bought my first new bath towels since 1988. And I've owned two condos! Where are my priorities?
I've just bought a new Mac Mini for my living room. I'll use it to watch DVDs on my TV and to record records to CD. This means I've owned the following computers: Commodore 64, Apple ][, Power Macintosh 7500, IBM ThinkPad, Power Mac G4 Cube, 15" PowerBook G4, 15" Mac Book Pro, and Mac Mini. I still have half of them too. Come to think of it, this web site has been on all but the first two in some fashion or other.
Hopefully next time I won't list anything I've recently bought. I feel dirty now. #
In my iTunes, I track when the last time I listened to a song. So I have playlists that tell me which songs I haven't heard in a year, 6 months, 4 months, and 2 months. Every now and then I go to one of the old ones to see what I haven't heard in awhile. To my great surprise the other day, I saw Superchunk's "Foolish" in the list. For awhile I used to listen to this CD about once a week. I used to call it my favorite album. I don't know if that's changed, but I do know that I wouldn't be confident with such a statement anymore.
I'm going up to Oregon to see my parents for Thanksgiving. I'll also be able to see my aunt from Texas and my aunt and uncle and cousins from Portland. It's almost going to be a meeting of all of the Halloran extended family that have left Chicago. #
While up in Medford for Thanksgiving, we went to a gun show. It wasn't too big, but they had all sorts of handguns and rifles. It was how you would expect a gun show to be. By and large it was full of responsible hunter types (this is southern Oregon, afterall). But of course, there were two booths with some Nazi paraphernalia. It's just so sterotypical. These guys believe that their 2nd Amendment rights are under attack, so they exercise more of their rights, such as in this case, free speech. Unfortunately, it's as if they didn't think before speaking, so they look utterly ridiculous while doing it. It leads one to understand where the term 'gun nut' came from.
After the gun show, we went bowling. During about the 4th frame, I noticed my cousin Dan looking across the lanes. I look and in lane 3 is the Stanley Cup! Not just any Stanley Cup, the Stanley Cup. So we went over and had our pictures taken with the 114 year old cup. My dad found our old neighbor Reggie Fleming from the 1960's Blackhawks on there. Apparently the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes' wife has family in the Medford area, so they brought it along for charity events. And then bowling, of course!
While searching for the links above, I found this incredible web site of a former neighbor when I was growing up in Hoffman Estates. When we were kids, I can remember the Fleming's house was hit by lightning. #
Those of you who know me know I track stuff. Like all the shows I've seen. All the music I have in iTunes. Stuff like that. Well I've also tracked when I've taken Caltrain, and when I've worked from home in iCal since I've been at Azul. I always imagined I could do something with the data. Well here's the first pass.
Start Date: September 27, 2004 Today: December 06, 2006 Total days: 801 Total working days: 573 (71.5%) Total worked days: 522 (91.1%) Total worked in office days: 461 (88.3%) Total train days: 369 (80.0%) Total carpool days: 15 (3.3%) Total solo drive days: 77 (16.7%) Total Train Time: 553.50 hours (23.062 days) Total Car Time: 92.00 hours (3.833 days) Miles Biked (@ ~8.6 miles round trip per day): 3,173.40 Miles Driven (@ 73.4 miles round trip per day): 6,752.80 Gallons of Gas Used (@ ~30 MPG): 225.093 (@ ~$2.50: $562.733) Gallons of Gas Not Used: 902.82 (@ ~$2.50: $2,257.05) Train Ticket Costs: $3,057.50
The cost difference is a little perplexing to me; I had never really tracked it closely and expected it to be less. That is the definite ticket cost; I track that using Quicken. Perhaps my per gallon estimate is generous. Nevertheless it is made up in good will and my mental health. #
The program that generates this site was updated. It now handles
pre tags much better than before, in that it doesn't insert
p tags inside anymore. Also all of the
HTML generated passes the
tidy program for the first time. The last 'offender' was The Flaming Lips song on "Clouds Taste Metallic." I'll let the
HTML jockeys out there figure out why, especially easy now that it renders properly! #
I've added an "Overview" page where you can see my entries on a monthly basis.
A couple comments about Iraq. What the hell was the adminstration thinking of going to war with less? Has there been an invasion in history that was won with a small army? Why couldn't this Iraq Study Group have released their report and the President have recieved all of his advice when it was needed, instead of after the election? What the hell is more important, the American and Iraqi lives being lost or a midterm election? So this is also a message to Democrats: Please fix these problems now, don't let them fester for potential political gain. In addition, do your duty and impeach this administration (yes, the entire gang of criminals) for the loss of prestige, military power, treasure (I hate this term like I do homeland security, but using 'money' doesn't sound right), and liberty they have brought upon us all. #
So I have tweaked the
CSS settings for my site. My goal was to make the code simpler and the site easier to look at. I still will be making tweaks to it in the coming weeks.
It seems that professional sports players are also addicted to Guitar Hero. I know that I wouldn't play it the day before a big game. This game is so much fun, and whenever people see it, they are laughing like crazy. #
So I wanted to get fancy. I want my "Permanent Link" to be a recycle symbol (aka
♼). It shows fine in Safari, but not Firefox. If I replace it with the Unicode symbol used by Daring Fireball (aka
★), it will work in both. Therefore I think Firefox has a bug not being able to find the symbol for this unicode value. I use Safari, so I'm going to stick with what I have. Can anyone see the problem in my
HTML that may be causing this problem?
I felt this quake tonight. It shook the house violently once and was over.
So in many ways, this web site is a huge data generator. I know when I've posted, when I've seen shows, and then lots of data based upon time and history can be compared. This is a (very) long term goal of my site. It would be wonderful to get my data visualized like the data found on these pages. Look at the Zip Code program as an example.
I got my car towed in San Francisco the other day. I (obviously) didn't realize that there was times I couldn't park there. You pick up your car from the pound underneath 101 on 7th Street. The facility has the gall to call people who pick up there cars there 'customers'. Can you believe it? Like any one of their 'customers' wanted their services in the first place! #
So I've done a lot of work to the program that generates this web site. I've really simplified my
CSS. All of the generated pages now have a navigator on the left hand side that looks and acts the same. There are some layout problems when the page title is "too big" that I have to work out. There's also a Colophon page that has all more information about the site and the program that generates it. My next step is to clean up the display of all the diary entries and shows with
I also felt this quake. The experts say that all the recent small quakes don't necessarily mean there's a big one coming. Yet.
Oh my god this shlock is horrific.
However, Duelin' Firemen is just insane. I still can't believe it when I watch it. I'll have to take a picture of my Duelin' Firemen cigarette lighter for the internet. I'll also have to write the whole experience up sometime. #