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March 23, 2013

SMS Issue

While recently trying to signup for a new banking service that allowed me to tie authentication to my mobile phone, whenever I had the service send an SMS authorization code to my phone I never got it. I had a friend send me an SMS and that arrived fine. I then remembered for a long time I'd not been getting Zipcar SMS messages about extending my reservation. Even though my Zipcar account said I had two-way messaging activated when I disabled and tried to reenable the service I ran into the same problem. Turns out there are two different types of SMS. Regular phone to phone SMS messages and another type known as short codes. A quick call to T-Mobile's awesome support and I found out, unbeknownst to me, a content block had gotten put on my account for SMS short codes. Once removed everything started working again. Yay!

Tags: mobile

October 7, 2012

Cutting the Cable and Cord

Despite repeated attempts to get new customer rates, when on my last bill RCN raised the bundle package another $10 a month I'd had enough. Compared to a year ago RCN was charging me $50 more per month for the same service. Over that past year my consumption habits have changed. While I will miss HBO and wish they would fix their outdated distribution model every other show I'm interested in has a near simultaneous non cable option. Additionally, for a long time now, despite having an unlimited plan, I still had a land line. Granted RCN upgraded those to be digital awhile ago which meant that when cable went out, so did the phone. Needless to say, paying for a conventional phone no longer made sense. The short of it is then the only service I'm paying RCN for now is Internet. Now if only Verzion FIOS was available I'd switch to that.

Tags: life rcn

July 31, 2012

When Being Right Feels Wrong

As a daily bicycle commuter I have had my share of near misses such as car doors opening, cars turns without signals, or cars pulling out in front of me. Thankfully I've avoided any serious injuries. As anyone who has ridden with me knows I abide by the bicycle laws which I find manifests itself from time to time as righteous indignation when I'm asserting a right I have as a bicyclist. When this happens in retrospect I usually regret it because whomever my indignation is directed at is equally convinced that as a bicyclist I should be accommodating. Being stubborn doesn't help the situation and in the end I dwell, let the negative situation fester, and find myself up later than I should be writing posts on my blog. Taken slight out of context I'm reminded of a line by Hunter S. Thompson, "There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. "

Tags: bicycle life

February 12, 2012

2011 Spam

In 2011 I saw a dramatic reduction in my daily spam e-mail volume, just 21,744 messages, down from 63,436 in 2010. Seems as though the takedown of the Rustock botnet was the major reason for the reduction as seen in the graph below. 60 spam messages a day is manageable, especially when I only deal with them once a day when I get the report from Postini. A few false positives and false negatives but compared to years past of 240 spam messages a day I'm much happier.

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Tags: spam

January 3, 2012

2011 Sleep Data

For a couple of years now I have been tracking my nightly sleep using a Zeo. I recorded 320 nights of sleep in 2011. On average I manage 7.5 hours of sleep a night, fall asleep in 5 minutes, and wake up a couple of times during the night. This is mostly unchanged from 2010 which is a little surprising given I was consuming alcohol on a much more regular basis in 2011. The chart below shows the year in review based on ZQ scores.

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Tags: life zeo

January 2, 2012

2011 Computer Usage

For the past year I've been using RescueTime to track how I spend time on the computer, my smartphone, and while at Brightcove my time away from the computer. The total number of tracked hours for 2011 was 2870 hours, most of that productive (see graph below).

The two biggest productive categories were software development (editors and command line) and communication/scheduling (email, IM, and meetings) each around 900 hours. My biggest distractions for the year were SpaceChem, Google Reader, and The New York Times.

Overall I don't feel like I wasted that much time and am not really surprised by where most of the time went. The number of meetings was more than I wanted but that has changed dramatically since switching jobs.

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Tags: life rescuetime

August 23, 2011

Back to Normal

Today was the first time in a few weeks that I had anything like a "normal" day and it was nice. As most of the people that read this blog know at the end of July I headed north to visit Oslo and explore Spitsbergen (photos soon, sampler available now :). Then shortly after returning to Boston it was off to the west coast for Matt & Ginger's wedding followed by a few days working from Brightcove's Seattle office. This past weekend was mostly digging out from the mounds of mail, laundry, and house work that had accumulated. Which brings me to the relative normalcy of today. Pleasant to leave work, run errands, make some supper, and then catchup with email. Life is good.

Tags: life

March 28, 2011

Gene Patenting

Back on Nov 16, 2010 I attended a panel discussion at MIT on gene patenting: balancing access and innovation. The panelists were David Altshuler, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, James C. Greenwood, President and CEO, BIO, Chris Hansen, Senior National Staff Counsel, ACLU, Leslie Meyer-Leon, President, IP Legal Strategies, and the panel was moderated by Joshua Boger, Biotechnology Industry Organization. Below are my disjoint notes that I took. I've not verified them against the recording that was made so I maybe widely misquoting the participants.

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Tags: gene notes

March 20, 2011

NeoPhi Breathing Again

On Tuesday the 15th upon arriving at work I got a monitoring email alert message saying that my blog's RSS feed file wasn't accessible over the Internet. Given some of the networking issues RCN has been having lately, I figured this was another of them. However, this time it turned out not to be the case as my housemate was showing up on GMail chat which meant our home network was still online. I had him try and reboot the server as it has wedged in the past due to kernel panics. Unfortunately after a few attempts it just wouldn't startup. No video output, no nothing, just a repeating cycle of two short beeps every few seconds.

Continue reading "NeoPhi Breathing Again" »

Tags: life neophi

February 13, 2011

Twaddle

I'm sure anyone who is reading this blog has probably gotten sick of the recent stream of book review reposts. In looking back at previous years I see a spike during the first part of each year. Being able to say that with confidence gives me joy. Like many quantified self activities I've gotten into recently, I don't always have an agenda when starting to track. I have however often found such data to be beneficial in retrospect. That and how else could I get my geek on by being able to whip out my phone and showing my trending candlepin bowling average...

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Tags: life qs

January 1, 2011

2010 Spam

Another year, another deluge of spam. This is my second year using Postini for spam filtering so while I don't have detailed statistics I can at least compare to last year. For 2010 Postini flagged 63,436 messages as spam or 45% more than last year. My incoming spam rate spiked up to 250 a day in April, May, and June before finishing the year with an average of 170 per day. A quick Google search confirms that some of the biggest dips in the graph below are tied to known spammers being shutdown.

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Tags: email spam

October 13, 2010

Overload

Last week I overloaded on True Blood. By that I mean in the space of a week I watched all 24 episodes comprising Seasons 2 and 3. Previously I had caught random episodes here and there but it wasn't until half way through the 3rd season that I really started watching it. As a result there was some back story I could see I was missing in various character interactions. While Netflix doesn't stream it, the main reason the first season wasn't included in my binge, RCN's HBO On Demand did have the aforementioned episodes.

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Tags: trueblood tv

August 24, 2010

20x2x20 Week 1

A week ago I laid out my plan to try and spend a hour a day working on personal projects. Now that I've been at this a week I thought I'd assess if it was working. Turns out the "work method" I'm using already had a name called Pomodoro Technique as one of the commenters pointed out. While I'm using 20 minutes instead of 25, it is nice to know that others have found such a pattern helpful. The other part I wanted was some visual reenforcement of my progress and status. For that I chose a simple offline method.

Continue reading "20x2x20 Week 1" »

Tags: 20x2x20 life

June 1, 2010

T-Mobile Fees

I've had the same phone plan since I switched to a G1 back in Oct of 2008. I have a grandfathered time and text voice plan and an unlimited data plan. As a result unless I'm traveling and incurring roaming charges, my "Monthly Recurring Charges" have been the same for the last 18 months. However, during that time the "Other Charges" and "Taxes & Surcharges" have gone up from $3.86 to $6.47!

Here's a little historical breakdown:

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Tags: taxes tmobile

May 23, 2010

Training Cycle Complete

For most of the past two months my weekends have been spent out on the rode getting in bicycle miles to ensure that I'm in shape for my upcoming trip in June. It's mostly been fun being back out the bicycle and this weekend I hit my training milestone right on schedule: a 100 mile weekend, done as two 50 mile days. Alas aging has started to rear its ugly head. This year, much more so than previous years, my longer rides left me unable to take deep breathes at the end. I thought it was just being out of shape. However, the symptoms persisted even as my training progressed.

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Tags: bicycle life training trips

May 16, 2010

Off my game

The weather this weekend has been great for riding. Well I could do without the winds from the west but those just make the return trip easier. Yesterday I had a lovely ride out through Concord to Groton and back. Today I did a shorter higher intensity ride along the Minute Man Trail and was off my game on the return trip :( Coming up the hill after 95 there was a long string of riders that I was passing. I could have sworn I was announcing "on the left" but this one women broke the line and almost took me out. I ended up only a couple of inches from the left side. Thankfully no one was hurt but she did have some choice words for me. I stupidly responded over my shoulder that I'd announced but that only antagonized her more. I ended up just riding on trying not to agonize about the situation too much as I'm want to do.

Alas the ride got worse at the end of the trail. At the end I merge back into traffic to make the left hand turn onto Mass Ave. It requires getting across two other lanes of traffic, one turning right, and the other turning going straight. I won't claim it is fully legal, with that said I've made the merge about a hundred times without any issues. Today however after already having one unfortunate situation I got a driver who didn't think I should be there. I was merging as the light was going from green to yellow, so I unfortunately surprised the driver as he was pulling up to be second in line. He honked like mad and for awhile after as I was waiting at the light with him behind me. "Next time I'll hit you" I hear shortly before the light turned green. When it did finally turn green I make a wide turn to make sure I was out of the way. He pulled over and did a hard stop 10 feet after the turn, trying to get me to crash into him. I braked with room to spare and just waited for him to drive off.

Clearly I'm culpable in both situations but hope that there is some understanding that no harm or foul was intended, only what could be construed as a fleeting lack of judgement and etiquette.

Tags: life

March 29, 2010

100% Duct Tape Lunch Bag

I'll start off with a little history. In June of 1996 I started my first cooperative education experience working as a system administrator for the Systems Group of the College of Computer Science at Northeastern University. Being a college student I was trying to save money so I frequently brought my lunch to work and I kept reusing the same paper bag to carry my lunch. This worked great until one lunch leaked a little bit. For whatever reason (maybe early eco-friendly behavior) instead of throwing the paper bag out I put a little piece of duct tape on the bag. Time passes, another lunch leaks, another piece of duct tape. After a few more cycles of this, one of my co-workers joked I was going to end up with the enter paper bag covered in duct tape. This prompted the idea of skipping the paper bag entirely and going straight to nothing but duct tape.

One weekend I sat on my studio floor and painfully created a lunch bag made entirely out of duct tape. I say painful because I had trouble getting the duct tape to do what I wanted without it sticking to me and everything else. The exact details are a little lost to time but I persevered and ended up with a functioning lunch bag that lasted me from sometime in the fall of 1996 until last Friday. While at a friends' house an overly curious dog smelled some leftover food in my lunch bag and played with it a little too much. To be fair for the last few months my lunch bag had been looking a little ragged. This unfortunate event served as the catalyst to make a new lunch bag. Below are pictures of my process.

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Tags: ducttape life lunch

January 2, 2010

My Top 10 Spam Subjects from 2009

Doing some quick command line hacks I extracted the top 10 spam subjects (ignoring case) that I received in 2009 according to Postini. Each subject accounts for 0.25% of the spam messages I received with no subject accounting for 0.88%. All told just under half of the spam I got used a unique subject.

CountSubject
396[no subject]
127free cialis
124age is no longer a barrier for me in bed
123pay shipping and get your trials
119le_vrai_jeu_se_joue_seulement_lm-`_om-y_il_a_commencm-i:_m-`_las_vegas!_
115we know you want the free cialis
115pay shipping for your erotic nights
115don't pay anything for your pills for 15 days
114feel 10 years younger in bed today
114do not underestimate the value of free pills

Continue reading "My Top 10 Spam Subjects from 2009" »

Tags: email spam

January 1, 2010

2009 Spam

Since I switched to Google for handling my email I don't have as fine grained tracking of spam as I did in years past. My first line of spam defense is Postini which caught 43,683 spam messages for 2009. I get very few false positives from Postini so that number is about spot on. My GMail spam folder currently holds 406 spams messages received in the last 30 days. If I do a rough calculation, I'd say GMail caught another 3,263 spam messages. Postini drops certain spam messages into the bit bucket before I see any trace of it which contributed to only 45% of my email for 2009 being spam. The number of spam messages a day though is marching upwards. Minus a few drops when a spam botnet is shutdown the trend for the year isn't pretty as the graph below shows.

Continue reading "2009 Spam" »

Tags: google life spam

November 22, 2009

Kitchen Craziness

When John and I ordered food this week eye of round roasts were on sale. I hadn't cooked a roast in awhile so I thought it would make a good weekend meal. Given that I didn't have anything planned for the weekend I knew I'd have time to cook it. When it arrived it was good until Saturday so that forced my hand of when I'd have to make it. Friday night I injected 4 cloves of garlic cut into slivers into the roast and set it to marinate in red wine and herbs. While doing the preparation I remembered just how much food a 3 lb. roast makes so I decided to make it a Gilman Manor dinner party for Saturday.

Continue reading "Kitchen Craziness " »

Tags: food gilmanmanor

June 21, 2009

China

At the end of May I took a two week trip with my Mother to China. As I've been trying to do with most of my recent trips, I took a few pictures. My initial reaction to the trip was that it was good. The cultural sites in China are amazing. What disturbed me though was the visible environmental impact of China's growth. In particular visiting the Turtle-Head Peninsula it was hard to make out the islands only a few hundred yards away due to the smog in the area. I never got a good view of Shanghai's sky-line and the only nice day we had around Beijing was due to 30 MPH winds blowing all day.

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Tags: china life pictures travel

April 15, 2009

Last Class & Last Course

After many a late night and busy weekend I'm elated to have finished tonight the last class in the last course of my Master of Science in Computer Science from Northeastern. I'll be graduating the 1st of May! It hasn't completely sunk in yet that I'm done. I started this journey 4 years ago in the cold winter of January of 2005 while I was at Towers Perrin and they had a sweet reimbursement deal. I had originally planned to complete the end of last year but ended taking a semester off when I learned I was being laid off from Ruckus and didn't want to be looking for a new job in the middle of my next course.

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Tags: graduation life northeastern

March 1, 2009

Brain Crack

Recently on a couple of unrelated blogs there were links to Ze Frank's Brain Crack video. It is succinct and hit home. I'm trying to think about how best to act on it without that thought turning into yet more brain crack. I'm not to the point that I'm going to make it a public contract on myself, but given my recent ramblings, I clearly have some crack to remove.

Tags: brain crack life projects

February 8, 2009

The Way Forward (ACLU MA Conference 2009)

Closing Remarks given by State Representative Byron Rushing

What is a state representative? I understand freedom, but not anarchists. Just pretend to come out and do lobbying work. I'm trying to file bills electronically but not working just right. Ask your representatives to cosponsor these bills as the deadline has been extended. Go to wheredoivotema.com will find out your elected officials.

We are in an incredible experiment. When the constitution was written, most of the people in the world, were slaves, serfs, or controlled. Radical statement at that time. Committee around John Adams, speaking opportunity, to enter into agreement for democracy in this state without wars. Even after gaining control, couldn't imagine it would apply to all. Needed bill of rights before they would ratify the constitution. Most adults could not vote for George Washington, elected by tiny minority. Great words and sorted action. People had to organize to get into democratic structure of this new government. Words belonged to the people that heard them, not those that wrote them or said them. Doesn't matter that slaves or women were excluded if they could hear those words and understand that the words were for them.

We are engaged in a process of making real the radical ideals of liberty, freedom, and democracy. Need to leave this conference and go do it! Power never concedes without a demand. Find what a people will submit to and you have found what will subdue them. Hear the words and understood we are in the we. Everyone is not in the we, but the goal is for everyone to be in the we. No one in MA legislature remembers pain of getting equal marriage rights passed but they congratulate themselves about it.

How many of our rights are being taken away? People surprised people want to take these rights away. Always had these people, this struggle is forever. Must stay organized. It is not permanent unless we keep it permanent. Always people that want to benefit from someone else's oppression. We are here to say no to anyones oppression.

He is reading about the Great Depression. Two things happened to black people: white people went crazy and lynched black people in the south and poor people were better in 1941 than in 1928. Better off due to 1910s and 1920s leftist ideology. People had ideas that could be presented at that time and an administration willing to be a traitor to his class. Put in place a stimulus program to improve the economy by investing in the poorest people. Safety net from 1930s is mostly what we have still in place today. Democracy doesn't naturally happen or get expanded in a depression.

Can't back away from our great ideas, must insist upon them. Organize and have fun!

Tags: aclu

First Amendment, Spying and Secrecy: Why Accountability Matters (ACLU MA Conference 2009)

Workshop featuring
Michael (Wes) Macleod-Ball (see previous post)
Christopher Pyle, Professor of Politics at Mt. Holyoke College
and Moderator Susan Flannery, Director of Libraries for the City of Cambridge

Susan:
First amendment gives us some of our most important rights. General principles are accepted but people don't always know their rights or legal ramifications. Battleground for the nation of what our values area. Challenges against the first amendment have been done by motivated groups and individuals.

Christopher:
Speaking as a former intelligence officer. NBC Night Line news came with secret documents about TALON and asked for comparison to 1970 reports. TALON was counter intelligence field activity started in 2003 with 1000 people to monitor threats against US military. Air Force used to track suspicious behavior around base reporting issue. Reports were garbage, didn't identify a single terrorist. It was like stirring the entrails of a Hoover vacuum cleaner. Raging Grannies, anti-war signing group, was under surveillance. Never can tell when they would be infiltrated by a terrorist group.

Why are they collecting this data? Likelihood of civil disturbances that the military might need to quell. 1960 chart tracked anti-war protests to predict urban riots. No correlation between unrest on campuses and in inner cities. Never predicted a riot. Now not only military but also department of homeland security. Really measuring paranoia of military.

When Christopher exposed the military surveillance he would have been denounced if it has any real value. Documents displayed were classified secrets. Contents of vacuum cleaner was worthless. Both shutdown.

They are so inept, can it do any harm? Yes. Wastes resources instead of spending it on body army. Essential apparatus of a police state. Information in the network is used to compile watch lists. More names than possible terrorists. Information is mostly erroneous or out of date. No sourcing of information making it hard to track validity.

Operation Trailblazer with no judicial warrant. Communication interception and algorithm for suspicious patterns. Generated lots of leads that FBI and CIA had to follow-up that were worthless. 1.2 billion dollars wasted. Mostly wasted on corporations instead of on staff. Making consultants rich at taxpayers expense.

NSA telephone matching network. Tracing leakers to known reporters.

State fusion center is designed to combine information from multiple sources. Want us to belief that collecting and connecting dots will reveal hidden information. Too many dots muddy the page. 16 national security agencies and many state facilities. Disincentive to share information as sharing that would expose information and invite meddling. New president is a fan of dot collection. Not only overloads system, wastes time and money, distraction.

Wes:

Is accountability really necessary? Accountability isn't just Bush administration, some issues started before then. Can't ignore the past, otherwise we will repeat it. Only time we won't look back is on security issues, always look back on health care, etc.

Information that has been collected but rejected by DOJ is still maintained by FBI. NSL about 50,000 per year. Increasingly targeted at US persons. FISA board rejected request that then just became an NSL, justification was that they "disagreed with the court".

Fusion center emblematic of surveillance society we are moving to. Don't know how many there are. Obama administration hasn't clearly said if they will revoke fusion center issues.

Restoration: investigate commission, congressional select committee, routine congressional oversight, DOJ investigation, citizen's panel (doesn't have subpoena authority). Pushing for congressional select committee. Dedicated resources, comprehensive with new eyes, transparency, de-emphasize political retribution.

Scope: unwarranted surveillance, torture, rendition, destruction of evidence, etc.

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." said Benjamin Franklin.

Q: Homeland security department security chief, "Oh don't worry, we only get information from the federal government, we don't give anything back". Is there truth in that?
Christopher: Enormous variability between agencies. Documents suggest a two way street. Want newsletter, chat line, really want ability to swap information. Northern command has 30 million dollar building housing 290 intelligence analysts reading domestic intelligence. Culture of these groups isn't politically sophisticated, they divide it into us versus them. Assign us a security rating. Think people have certain dispositions.
Wes: Need lines of communication with organizational chart and rules.

Q: Non governmental lawsuit on behalf of people who had been tortured? Maybe civil versus criminal.
Wes: As a litigator I make a good lobbyist. State secret policy has prevented previous cases.
Christopher: Courts won't introduce testimony due to state secrets. Intimidating and free speech issues. Must show how their surveillance led to your future harm.

Q: Does federal government have the ability to demand surveillance from municipalities?
Wes: Default situation must be that there is a creditable reason to collect the information unless there is an exception.
Christopher: Used to talk about CONUS (Continental US) and SPOT (six paragraph report) reports. Example was what does the military need to know about a city. Started by asking when has the military gone into such places. Example in 1967 10,000 troops went into Detroit without any maps. Gather information about height of bridges, number of urinals, etc. Instead really wanted to collect persons active in civil disturbances to create a round up list. Who the military might encounter that would protest their presence. Governors no longer must give permission for federal government to go into their cities. Grounds for intervention can include the vague "or other crisis".

Tags: aclu

Taking Back America (ACLU MA Conference 2009)

Panel discussion featuring:
Michael (Wes) Macleod-Ball, ACLU Chief Legislative and Policy Counsel
William Strickland, Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nancy Murray, Directory of Education, ACLU of Massachusetts
Glenn Greenwald (see previous post)
and Moderator Carol Rose (see previous post)

Q: How do Glenn's impediments align with the ACLU agenda?
Wes: Our Lobbying efforts have doubled since we now have a president that is receptive. Restore what we lost and push the envelope on issues to make progress. Might need to cut our losses to get back to where we were. Need single study to look at executive branch abuses over last 8 years. Patriot Act up for review and we should examine how we can fix it. NSL up to 50,000 a year. Need legislative to be equal power with executive and judicial. Should create congressional oversight committee to look at unwarranted increases in executive power. Something like the Church Committee or the Rockefeller Commission (the first having been much more effective).

Q: What are your feelings on the current situation?
Will: Guillotine Bush! There any many great American mythes. Bush was just a symbol of a 40 year scheme to take over government by the Republicans. Europe euphoric over Obama, but Will is pessimistic. We have had previous euphoria, 1836 Emancipation Proclamation and 1991 Nelson Mandella. Still much to be done. Linda Tripp phenomenon is an issue of Republican moles exposing things. Need to itemize these abuses (i.e. EPA, justice department, etc.). Need to note sacrifice black people have made to civil liberties including their lives, labors, and liberties.

Q: Post 9/11 abuses are being fought at the federal level, how to do it as state level?
Nancy: Patriot Act education happened at state level. 30,000 signatures to roll back Patriot Act. 1 of 7 towns in Massachusetts opposed Patriot Act. Had support but no teeth. Organize against DHS surveillance cameras in other communities. Boston is pilot city for a national suspicious activities report initiative. 63 questions to answer for an incident report. Possible iWatch initiative to have citizens report suspicious behavior. Example was a guy arrested taking pictures of trains as part of Amtrack's take a picture of a train campaign.

Q: Reaction to and role of media?
Glenn: Frightened that WIll was more pessimistic. One thing that is obscured, we sometimes believe the hype that we are fringe, don't care that privacy is important, okay if president breaks the law. Look at Cambridge, look at polls. People want Guantanamo closed. Split on prosecuting president. People want eavesdropping only with warrant. This is happening without a political leader advocating them. These core values are learned when young, but maybe dormant.

Q: Where should we should be focusing?
Bill: Can't solve overnight. Fight the visas that are stopping people coming into the country to testify about torture. Bush and Cheny classified 15 million documents including previously unclassified documents. Need comprehensive tally of corruption.
Wes: Information is key to all of it. Need to be smart about targets. Last three months was Obama transition team. Extension of employment verification, will focus on certain people. Used to read Watergate transcripts back and forth for entertainment.
Glenn: Prelude to prosecution is an airing of facts. Some of the worst abuses are probably still concealed. Foundation for popular opinion to proceed with prosecutions.

Q: Book by David Brock about the Republican Noise Machine. Right-wing talking points are covered in media, how can we educate them? Notice that the mainstream media isn't here.
Nancy: Recent case with many op-ed in Boston Globe. Why aren't more people concerned about this?
Glenn: Media isn't lacking in material. It isn't for checking government power, now it is more about safe guarding government. Journalists won't become what we envision them to be, shame into modifying isn't working, need new ways to disseminate information.

Q: Obama fitting into Washington nicely, and the executive orders and how they fall short.
Glenn: Too premature to condemn Obama for fitting into Washington class. His career hasn't been one of challenge, but coveting to advance his career. His political strength comes from the people who elected him. Individuals hold the power to backlash against the president. Executive orders were symbolic statement to repudiate last 8 years and placate this supporters but they leave unresolved all important questions. It was just sandpapering the rough edges instead of really fixing the problem. Steps are preliminary but more is needed.

Q: Economy hasn't been mentioned yet, job loss, retirement issues, obstacle or advantage?
Will: Capitalism has failed and failed globally. 10 trillion dollar plus debt. Bush's stimulus plan wasn't touched, but Obama's is being attacked. Need a new mindset. Ethical capitalism. Bush's tax policies and corporate greed. Spell out causes of crisis. Focus on corruption. Politics and culture are corrupted. Public control and interest of the media. Ridiculous discourse about water boarding instead of focusing on bigger picture.

Q: How to focus talk at state level.
Nancy: Need people stirring themselves to push for change. No safety net in this country. Economy will be primary. It isn't a single issue issue. Holistic treatment to talk to people when there minds are elsewhere. Focus on the "American that can be."

Q: National ACLU against impeachment. How to clean out our own organization?
Wes: Washington office thought impeachment had 0 chance. Needed resources elsewhere. Needed process to include forum to talk about abuses. Making impeachment as the goal instead of as part of the process.

Q: 0 chance shouldn't be the factor.
Carol: Let the central office know what you want, send support.

Q: Polls show people are against the abuses. Why has nothing happened? Maybe silent and what can we do.
Glenn: Public opinion is distorted by established media. Even if they believe some policies are true, politicians ignore the truth or announce it makes no difference. Economy engendering dissatisfaction among people against wall street and politicians, not directed at any political party. Politicians need to fear continuing to ignore public opinion.

Q: Why has it been so silent?
Glenn: Look at both parties reaction to the president violating laws. No one would go on air and take issue with president, say he was breaking the law. Disconnect between public opinion and Washington political class.

Q: Signing statements about how laws can be interpreted. How was this law dismantled, how to prevent it?
Wes: Mixed feelings. It isn't controlling law. The fact that is was created gives you something to look at it, to investigate. Heads up he isn't obeying the law. Usually used to give take on executive branch on the issue. Regulation lite. Would go with statute over law.
Glenn: Bush didn't really have the law. He could say it but didn't really have it. Only his statement of belief about the law.
Will: No leadership has confronted this abuse. Outrageous act, no one.

Q: Extended protections for whistle blowers.
Wes: Legislation in the works to extend protections. Issue with exception for national security departments. Special path for whistle blowers within national security arenas. Issues of insular behavior.

Q: What can we do to get people to care more about constitutional protections?
Nancy: Have been working in schools here. Last 10 years had to fight to get into school. Security more important than rights in schools. Rights Matter booklet into all school. Bill of Rights took individuals and social movements to make it real, started as just a piece of paper.

Q: Criminal investigation of executive branch. Investigate lawyers who wrote the letters? Disbar them.
Glenn: Precedence in Nuremberg trials for German lawyers. Would be too narrow if just against the lawyers. Lawyers capable, but not only the lawyers.

Q: Freedom of speech and power of speech. Deeply disturbed by guillotine Bush comment. Have that be the takeaway?
Will: Believe what I say. Media is corrupt and will take it out of context. Malcolm said law is whatever the white man says it is. Americans have no idea of the crisis that we are facing.
Wes: Power of speech versus freedom of speech.
Glenn: First amendment absolutistic. Excess of passion and deficit of passion, suffer more from deficit of passion.
Nancy: Put comment into historical context, reflected views of another epoch. People need to stir now. They had grievances then and now.

Tags: aclu

Keynote (ACLU MA Conference 2009)

Keynote given by Glenn Greenwald, Author and Columnist, Salon.com

Over the last 8 years we have seen the worst assault on civil liberties. ACLU has been fighting to restore those rights. Regards ACLU lawyers in high esteem since they chose that invocation over higher compensation in the private sector.

Hard time to write and to speak about civil liberties. Euphoria is still felt by many about Obama's election. That is cause for celebration but there many meaningful battles yet to be fought. A single election won't produce meaningful change unless we overcome certain impediments.

Obama is working to close Guantanamo but left open the possibility of creating a similar structure within US borders. Existing detainees would either be put on trial, released, deported, or retained and detained (kept without due process). Many impediments politically to get to a real change.

First impediment is that belief in the constitution now labels you as being a leftist ideologue. You are ridiculed for believing that a law or treaty must be abided by. Thought he was writing about issues with neutral point of view but labeled a liberal score-settler. Called a civil liberty extremist and it was meant as an insult. No way to look at constitution and not think of being extremist. Look at the wording. "No law", "Shall not", etc.

The second impediment is we are in a post partisan age. Hard being an ideologue. Worst is being a leftist ideologue. Obama is viewed as not being beholden to leftist side of party and is truly partisan. As such it is now hard to propose plans without coming off as an ideologue. Politically you must move to the center to make progress which dilutes the effectiveness.

Third impediment is the permanent Washington population that is really behind the change in policy over the last 8 years. President can't rule by fiat. This population has vested interest in not having investigations performed, as that would implicate them.

Fourth impediment is the consensus that we shouldn't prosecute top political leaders. Suggesting that would take away from new post partisan future and looking forward. Creates atmosphere of political immunity from prosecution. Without consequences politicians will continue to bend or break the laws. We can't be a nation of laws unless there are consequences for breaking the laws, we instead become a nation of men. Without prosecution the executive branch is reduced to being based on a character judgement, benevolence that he won't break the law.

Obama's civil liberties view is unclear. No single leader can affect change fighting against these impediments. Must need external citizen support or be forced to do so. A majority isn't needed, just a minority of highly motivated individuals that can pressure the president to enact change.

Tags: aclu

Beyond the Politics of Fear (ACLU MA Conference 2009)

Introduction given by Carol Rose, Executive Director, ACLU of Massachusetts

Conference theme is getting beyond the politics of fear and reclaiming our civil liberties.

Need to build a system of accountability and restore the rule of law. Ensure that the Obama administration and Congress keeps their campaign promises. Rollback the regime of secrecy.

Need to score victories in ever town like Cambridge's recent revocation of the surveillance cameras.

Work to curtail the Commonwealth Fusion Center which is a data mining operation and needs restrictions. A bill has been introduced to provide oversight of that center.

Massachusetts is among the worst in number of youths that we lock up. Must educate not incarcerate. ICE is handling immigrants poorly. Growing concern that students posting content on public sites are causing problems for them in school.

ACLUM is looking to increase membership from 20,000 to 30,000 in the next 5 years. Sign up now!

Tags: aclu

November 1, 2008

Nude Riding a Bicycle and In Bed with Google

It feels like ages ago that I made a post even though its only been a few weeks. I've been a little busy and writing a blog entry was fairly low on the list. After last night's activities I feel compelled to fill the gap.

Awhile ago Allurent moved and in the process I acquired a mannequin. At the time I solicited suggestions but nothing inspired me. Earlier this week Annalisa sent me information about a Halloween Bike Ride that was taking place around Boston. Given that I hadn't come up with any other Halloween plans it sounded like a grand idea. It also served as the inspiration for decorating my bike, with what else but, a mannequin. Given the reactions I got while bringing it home on my back I figured a more elaborate setup (and one that I could ride with for the night was in order).

TR gave me the idea of mounting it to my bike rack which would better support the weight than strapping it to my bike like I did in order to get it home. The tricky part was figuring out how to get it on the bike so that it made some sense and could still be ridable. Thankfully with some help from Clara, 3M Packaging Tape, and a little ingenuity it came together. Hence was born "Nude Riding a Bicycle". The ride itself was a blast with over 240 riders starting it off. Some dropped off as the route meandered around Boston but there was a strong presence to the end. My hats off to the organizers for a great night and to New England weather for making the night tolerable.

Continue reading "Nude Riding a Bicycle and In Bed with Google" »

Tags: android g1 google life mac neophi

July 28, 2008

Busy Weekend

Its been a busy weekend.

The Tour de France wrapped up this weekend with an everything on the line time trial on Saturday and another fabulous sprint finish on the Champs Elysee on Sunday. Congratulations to Carlos Sastre, this year's winner. My DVR can rest for awhile now that I don't have 4-5 hours of live coverage to zoom through each night. Versus' prime time coverage just can't compare to Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen.

Saturday also included an outing to Midwest Grill followed by games in celebration of Craig's birthday. Way too much yummy food and gaming but a great way to spend the rest of the day.

Sunday consisted of helping Erin and Pete move into an apartment down the street, but was mostly taken up by painting my entryway. Stephanie has been helping me pick out colors and look for deals on paint. A couple of months ago she came across this great peach color which fit with the overall scheme. Problem is, now that I've got one room done, I'm itching to do the rest.

Tags: gilmanmanor life photos

July 21, 2008

Fireworks

While still in the stupor of jet leg I decided it would be a good idea to try my hand at free handing with my camera some shots of Boston's 4th of July Fireworks. My camera has a fireworks mode on it that worked surprisingly well. I can only image they would get better if I used a tripod.

Tags: boston fireworks photos

July 20, 2008

Nepal Photos

I've finally finished going through all of my Nepal photos and have put them online. My next effort will be to go through and comment them, but don't hold your breathe on that. All told I took almost 1000 pictures and culled that down to about 650 by weeding out the blurry and bad. Nepal made for some challenging shooting with the frequently overcast and changing weather conditions. I'm sure some of the photos could use a little touch-up magic with Photoshop but that's stepping a little outside my standard photo expertise.

Tags: links nepal photos

July 8, 2008

Mt. Flume and Mt. Liberty

As my last hike before heading to Nepal I took a trip up to the White Mountains in NH to hike Mt. Flume and Mt. Liberty. These are some of the photos I took along the hike to make sure my new camera worked well.

Tags: flume hike liberty photos

July 3, 2008

Wow

While I'm still in a jet lagged stupor, I am back home. In summary, the trip was phenomenal. The varied Nepal landscape was a lush rich green fed by the first rains of the monsoon season. It made for hiking in cloudy mornings and rainy afternoons but the weather cleared during our summit of Kala Patthar and provided mesmerizing views of Everest along with the other almost countless peaks in every direction. I've got over 700 pictures I need to wade through so it will take some time to get the photos online but I'll try to get a few up in the near future to wet your appetite :)

Tags: nepal trip

June 10, 2008

Off to Nepal

Tomorrow I leave for an extended vacation trekking around Nepal. I don't expect to have any connectivity while I'm there so be advised any email or comments will be delayed even worse than usual. See you in July!

Tags: life nepal trek

June 2, 2008

500!

MovableType tells me this is my 500th post. I think only a couple posts never made it out the door so you have that much drivel of mine for your reading pleasure. Should you want to, you can start at the beginning. Many of my early posts were links until I discovered del.icio.us and started using that to capture all my links. Along the way to 500 posts I switched jobs and started writing more technical articles (hint if you only want RSS notifications for technically related stuff try the Flex Feed). Lately I've been more on the personal side, too lazy to setup a separate blog for that, unlike some more motivated bloggers.

Continue reading "500!" »

Tags: blog coins life

May 28, 2008

Wonder who I wronged?

I woke up this morning to find over 4,000 messages in my inbox. Seems I was on the receiving end of an email bounce bomb. Basically someone was sending out thousands of spam email messages and forged my email address as the sender/return-path for the messages. Given how these things work I'm sure my address was randomly selected out of some list, but my cynical side makes me wonder who I wronged :) At last count I've gotten over 17,000 messages. The incoming message rate is subsiding but at its peak they were coming in at 40-50 a second. Crazy.

Tags: bomb email spam

May 6, 2008

Returning

I'm finally feeling like I'm returning to the real world after a multiple day buildup and long weekend spent watching prodigious amounts of television while battling the worst cold I've had in a long time. I frequently suspect that when I over extend myself too much my body fights back and lets a cold in since it knows that will slow me down. Well it worked. I'm completely off my training schedule as even biking to work brings out coughing fits, but thankfully I've still got over a month to get back into the swing of things. Besides generally being lackadaisical when responding to email my hermit nature over the past week only exacerbated the problem. Very tempting to just hit delete all and try an inbox zero.

Tags: email life

April 27, 2008

My Kneecaps Hurt

As most of the regular readers of this blog know my big vacation for this year is going to be a trek in Nepal. I've been training for awhile now doing a bunch of different conditioning. I started off with cardiovascular on my bike trainer and doing the stairs at Harvard Stadium. I then rediscovered the beauty of hiking in the Blue Hills after a less than ideal hike up Monadnock. This weekend I returned to Monadnock for a much more enjoyable hike and then ventured up into the White Mountains.

Continue reading "My Kneecaps Hurt" »

Tags: hiking

March 30, 2008

Priorities

Lately I've been trying to figure out what my priorities are. This has been prompted by a number of factors one of which is that it is just the phase I'm in. It started off with borrowing the book "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I started reading it but then "other things" came up and it has been sitting on my desk unopened for some time now.

It isn't that I don't want to read the book or think that it won't help. Almost anything I read I expect to generate some tangential ideas or realizations. My hangup is that reading it would be conforming too much to a pragmatic life, which I already associate myself with. Rash is not a word people typically use to describe me.

Continue reading "Priorities" »

Tags: life priorities

February 3, 2008

Getting My Geek On

I just flipped the switch and NeoPhi is now running on new hardware. This project started last Friday Jan 25th when the new hardware came in. I ordered everything individually since I had a specific system in mind. In particular I wanted to increase my data redundancy by switch to RAID 6. The hard part is that since I run OpenBSD not that many RAID cards are supported. Thankfully I found one that was built a system up around it.

This was the second such time I'd done a whole hog hardware transfer. The last time was about four years ago and I think I'd forgotten what I nuisance such a migration is. Anyway it's done, seems to be working and boy am I tired right now.

Tags: neophi

January 1, 2008

2007 Spam Statistics

Another year gone by, another year of spam filtering. The overall spam percentage for 2007 is almost the same as it was in 2006, but the volume has increased.

In 2007 I received 111,095 emails. Of those 87,623 were spam. Between SpamAssassin and procmail 86,206 (98%) of the spam was automatically filtered while I had to manually flag 1,417 emails (about 4 a day). Overall that means 79% of my incoming email in 2007 was spam, which translates to about 240 spam messages a day. Compared to 2006 that is a 16% increase in total incoming email and an 18% increase in spam.

Continue reading "2007 Spam Statistics" »

Tags: spam

December 31, 2007

2007 Magazines

This post has been over a year in the making. I first got the idea back in November 2006 when I commented on the number of magazines I found myself accumulating. That observation was a continuation of a May 2005 post in which I documented my unread magazine stack. With the short history lesson out of the way I present this post. For all of 2007 I kept the two piles I talked about in 2006. The result, I read about half of the magazines I got by height.

Continue reading "2007 Magazines" »

Tags: life magazine

September 8, 2007

BBQ Ribs

I took advantage of the last week's long weekend to fire up the smoker and BBQ some ribs. I also did some chicken but the focus was the ribs. Using the recipe from the Virtual Webber Bullet website I cooked up a lovely batch.

Towards the end I got a little impatient (and hungry) and took them off before they were perfect. The meat wasn't falling off the bone as recommended. From start to finish the ribs took about 7 hours. Since this was the first time I used the smoker, I took some pictures of the process.

Tags: food gilmanmanor

August 13, 2007

Sake

At my last apartment the kitchen had typical cabinets that didn't go all the way to the ceiling. To fill the space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling, I started to display finished bottles of sake. I was on a sake kick at the time and displaying the bottles served as a space filler and also as a memory device to track what sake I had tried.

When I moved into Gilman Manor I brought the collection along. Alas, with drop ceilings (evil) in the kitchen and no immediate plans to remove them, I had no place to display the bottles. They sat buried on a bottom shelf in a closet. Being phase driven I've not bought or had much sake over the past couple of years. It seemed like it was time to let go of the collection. Before just throwing them out, I did capture a few pictures.

Continue reading "Sake" »

Tags: sake

August 4, 2007

Camp Vacation

I recently got back from a week of vacation in Maine at my families' camp. It was great to be off the grid and relax with nature as a backdrop. The only real technology I took along was my camera, which I used to capture the beauty. It had been many years since I was last at the camp for a vacation. My last couple of trips were to replace the roof. It was as I remembered it from my youth. Simplicity is good.

Tags: camp life pictures

July 2, 2007

Cirque du Soleil

Since 1999 I've been a devote fan of Cirque du Soleil. However, last night maybe one of the last shows of theirs I see ([Update: I lied, I just needed a break :)]). I took a trip down memory lane and since that first show in 1999 I've seen many others and have watched them in multiple countries. For my own posterity (and I still think I'm missing one) I believe these are the shows I've seen:

Continue reading "Cirque du Soleil" »

Tags: cds life

March 11, 2007

NeoPhi Upgrade 2

Most of this weekend was spent upgrading NeoPhi to OpenBSD 4.0. I figured since I was going to patch my machine for the timezone fix I might as well just patch everything. Just as last time I did the less recommended upgrading without install media approach. It really isn't that bad. While I did learn a few tricks from the last time, I managed to make some other ones...

Continue reading "NeoPhi Upgrade 2" »

Tags: neophi openbsd

January 1, 2007

2006 Spam Statistics

For 2006 I kept very detailed statistics on spam. Below is a summary of some quick analysis that I did. I have a bunch of other data so if there is something else that you are interested in let me know and I'll see if I can extract that information.

First the high level numbers: 95,706 total emails for 2006 of which 74,458 were spam or roughly 78%. I should consider myself "lucky" since the average usually reported is around 90-95%. This translates to about 204 spam messages a day.

I whipped up some GD images to show these spam numbers in action. The spike in March is due to a high volume mailing list that I temporarily signed up for.

Continue reading "2006 Spam Statistics" »

Tags: spam

December 17, 2006

Best Laid Plans

The frequency with which Friday ends with plans that I hope to accomplish over the weekend and the realization Sunday night that few if any of those plans has been completed seems to increase with each week. It isn't that my weekend is filled with activities that prevent me from working on my list, I just seem to default to an almost couch potato state. In some cases other items take up the time I had planned to spend, but in general I think I default to procrastination. I've talked about that in the past, but in this case I think it is all bad procrastination.

Part of my view on it, is that nothing really bad has ever happened to me as a result of procrastination. Or maybe more importantly I've never directly linked procrastination to anything really bad happening to me. It is possible I recharacterized it as apathy, which while related to procrastination in my mind, is different. In either case I continue to procrastinate.

Tags: life

December 11, 2006

Matrix Revisited

I recently watched the Matrix trilogy again. It is growing on me. I suspect that the hype around the two movies combined with the fact that they were released so close to each other may have diminished the effect that they had. I still feel the first movie by far has the fewest flaws, but the other two movies aren't as bad as I originally thought. The Wachowski brothers don't do well with intimate love scenes. Action and philosophy are good, but the touching moments really fall flat, at the is true for all of the movies.

Continue reading "Matrix Revisited" »

Tags: matrix

November 27, 2006

Phases

Looking back on what I spend my time and money on, I see a pattern. That pattern is that I am phase driven. I go through phases where I'm fascinated by something or really into something and then some time later that interest wanes and it is replaced by something else. These phases run the gamut of almost anything under the sun.

What I've not quite been able to do is figure out exactly what triggers a new phase to start or one to end. These phases also overlap sometime with the same genre happening at the same time. A few phases that I've gone through include:

Continue reading "Phases" »

Tags: life

November 26, 2006

Two Months



It has been a little over two months since I returned my 350Z to the dealership at the end of my three year lease. I really loved that car. Its teardrop profile, smooth handling, fully featured interior, and get-up-and-go made it a joy to drive. Alas, winter in New England did not mix with a rear wheel drive car outfitted with high performance summer tires. Yes, I could have switched tires for the winter months, but the thought of dropping another thousand just to pretend I could drive in winter never really appealed to me.

Continue reading "Two Months" »

Tags: 350z life

Early Year End Thoughts

Where has this year gone? I know I could look back on posts that I have made to this blog, particularly during the first half of the year when I was making a post every day, but that wouldn't completely fill the gaps. It is the compression of time that bothers me the most. Every day almost goes by at the same pace, but the weeks and months are getting lost in a blur. Maybe it's my thirtieth birthday that is coming up soon that causes me to ponder this moment more than others.

Continue reading "Early Year End Thoughts" »

Tags: life

October 17, 2006

Been Busy

Nothing of substance on here as of late since I've been busy. Or busy in my mind at least. Part of that being busy is procrastinating about what should really be keeping me busy but that I'm not doing. I'm not sure how well that parses. Let me try again. I'm not always doing what I should be doing so I feel like I'm always busy but not everything that is using up my time is productive.

Continue reading "Been Busy" »

Tags: life

October 1, 2006

10 months

For a long time I listened to my collection of music on a random album basis. iTunes was one of the few programs that actually lets you randomize by album instead of track. While trying to find a sample in a song that borrowed from a movie I decided to start listening to my music collection in alphabetical order by album (I never did find the sample I was looking for). This is all based off of listening to music on my computer when I'm working at it. I also listen to a lot of music at work and on CDs. Yes I still listen to CDs since I have a decent enough stereo system that CDs still sound better and don't require me to have cords running all over the place.

While looking for a piece of music today I looked over the last played times of all my music. Turns out 10 months later I've started my second loop. Meaning it's taken me almost 10 months to listen to everything in my music collection. iTunes reports that I have 21.6 days of music. Roughly that means that I'm listening to music on average 1.75 hours per day. That also means that I'm sitting at my computer that much per day. Scary thought.

Tags: life music

September 11, 2006

One last trip

I recently returned from what will be the last great road trip in my 350Z. My lease is almost up and I've decided, despite how much I love the car, that it's best that I hand the keys back in. Part of that is the fact that having leased it new had I really wanted to keep it long term it would have been much more financially sound to just take out a loan from the start to purchase it. I instead went in thinking that around this time, late 2006, I was going to be in a different point in my life and that was about the time to give up the Z.

The original plan hatched back around the turn of the century was that I'd be buying a house now and switching to a more practical and inexpensive car would make life easier on the finances. Turns out I was a year ahead on the house purchase, but the fact remains that the 350Z is an expensive car. Not to mention that all of my traffic transgressions have also occurred in the Z. Now part of that is probably just the fact that I was lucky to not have gotten caught in my Maxima, but I think part of it also an unconscious bias that a sports car emits.

Continue reading "One last trip" »

Tags: 350z life

August 1, 2006

News Diet

It has turned out for the past few months I've been on a news diet. The intensity of this diet has varied over that time but I in the past couple of weeks it has been full on. One of the primary triggers of this was switching to a new job. While in the past that has not triggered such a change, the fact that I now ride my bike to work was the primary catalyst. The reason being that I read most if not all of my news while waiting and riding on public transportation. Now that I'm no longer taking public transportation, those guaranteed chunks of time are not there.

As a result I've just not been following the news. I'm not sure why my interest in the world has waned, particularly with everything that other people tell me is going on. I think what I find most interesting is that I can't really place my finger on what has taken the place of that time I used to spend reading the news.

Tags: life news

July 30, 2006

I was dumb today

I swear my IQ drops in half most of the times that I'm on inline skates. Thankfully this hasn't led to any permanent damage. Oh sure, I've got quite a few nicks and scars from various accidents over the years but they were only temporary with a little bit of humility thrown in. Today was another of those days but with a twist. I thought it would be nice to take a morning blade along the Minute Man Trail starting out in Arlington. After having breakfast and watching a movie I packed things up in my car and drove out to Arlington Center.

Continue reading "I was dumb today" »

Tags: life

June 26, 2006

One of those days

Today is one of those days where about half way to work a tremendous sense of relief flows through your body when you realize that yes in fact you did remember to put clothes on before leaving the house that morning.

Tags: life

June 25, 2006

Adventures in Camping

I took a long weekend and drove down to Princeton, New Jersey to attend David and Sharon's wedding. I didn't stay in the Princeton area, instead I decided to camp at Cheesequake State Park over in Matawan, about a 40 minute drive northeast of Princeton. This plan would have worked out well expect for the fact that it decided to rain. Some of you long time readers may remember my last camping adventure and have similar bad flashbacks. One vital piece has changed since last time and that is the fact that I bought a new tent.

A former coworker pointed me at Nikwax as a possible way to restore my old tent. The lack of water proof wasn't the only issue that my old tent had. It also had a couple of patched holes in the floor and the frame poll elastics were shot, not to mention prone to leaving a metallic residue on your hands. Needless to say the tent didn't owe me anything else. A random trip to REI brought me in touch with the Lighting from Sierra Designs. A similar profile free standing two person tent. After this weekend I can safely say that 1) this tent is water proof and 2) it was a great buy. I love the added breathability of the tent and the under cover but outside the tent protected area by the door made a great place for storing my boots (helping keep the sand and muck outside the tent). I got the optional ground mat which I only suspect helped with the overall water withstanding that the tent did.

Continue reading "Adventures in Camping" »

Tags: camping wedding

June 18, 2006

BBQ Wedding

Went to a BBQ themed wedding today. It was wonderful. A short and loving ceremony followed by BBQ and lots of playing in the sun. Thank you New England for not raining today. You may now resume your normal wet ways. I should have pictures later this week. Too tired to say much else now.

Tags: gilmanmanor life

June 11, 2006

Looks like June might be here

I saw the sun today. I saw the sun a lot today. I had almost forgotten what it looked like. It's been so rainy and dreary for most of June I thought it was still April. It even looks like it will be clear and in the 70s all week. I'm not sure I'll know what to do with that much sunshine in a row!

Tags: life sun

June 10, 2006

Grilling

I tried grilling some salmon with a cedar plank for dinner tonight. I didn't have things quite right since the plank really never started smoking. I'm not sure if it was the heat, how long I soaked it or what have you. In any case the salmon still turned out great. The good part is that I just need to try this again another week which just means more yummy grilled fish.

Tags: gilmanmanor grill salmon

June 9, 2006

When and How Will I Die?

No real morbidity in this, just playing around on the web:

You Will Die at Age 76
You're pretty average when it comes to how you live...
And how you'll die as well.

Or the The Death Clock(TM) says that I'll live to be 73. That and my personal day of death is... Sunday, October 16, 2050.

Continue reading "When and How Will I Die?" »

Tags: death quiz

June 8, 2006

Dazed

This week has been blurry. Nothing has felt quite right. Maybe sitting through the entire 4400 marathon on Sunday wasn't as good an idea as it seemed. It was great to see all of the episodes again and it got me even more excited about the new season, but 11 hours is a lot of time to spend in front of a TV all at once. Thankfully having them all on DVR let me skip the commercials, but even so that was many more hours than I should have spent in front of the tube. Now I'm paranoid that I've gotten the arrival date/time of my mom's flight messed up. Blah. As a friend recently said, there are too many good things going on in our lives to dwell on the negative.

Tags: 4400 life tv

June 4, 2006

No Entry Today

Tags: life tv

June 2, 2006

Gin

The Gilman Manor liquor closets are reasonably well stocked. I have tended to go on kicks of certain alcohol types. Last year it was sake. This year it has been gin. Tonight I decided to do a little blind taste testing of the gins that I had. I usually drink gin with tonic but tonight it was all straight gin. I had John randomize the six gins we have into shot glasses from which I sampled. I scored two out six in matching the gins. For the other four I swapped them, in what I consider similar categories of gin. I'm not a super taster by any means but I was happy enough to detect differences in them to make educated guesses. The six gins I tasted were:

  • Bombay Sapphire
  • Tanqueray
  • Van Gogh
  • Seagram's Distiller's Reserve
  • Hendrick's
  • Miller's Reformed

I swapped Bombay with Tanqueray, Van Gogh with Segram's, and got the last two correct. Overall I'm fairly far gone and I still like gin :)

Tags: gilmanmanor gin

June 1, 2006

4400

The vein is tapped. I'm all caught up. 4400 seasons one and two are in the bag. I haven't been this excited about a show in awhile. The show has elements of The X-Files and Taken but with a greater focus on the drama and characters versus the science fiction. The second season started off a little slow but boy did it pick up steam fast. A couple of phenomenal episodes thrown in with some great story advancement and enough material to kick off what I can only imagine will be an incredible third season.

I can tell you right now I'll be a couch potato most of this Sunday as USA is running a 4400 marathon of key episodes. If you haven't watched the show, this might not be for you as there are a lot of good episodes they are leaving out. This marathon is timed to kick off the third season which starts June 11th! Awwww yeah!

Tags: 4400 tv

May 31, 2006

Where Did The Time Go

This is the last day of May (Thanks Brian). Five months have already slid by this year. Where did the time go? (Well besides by the sink hole that is my crack like TV series addiction...)

Tags: life tv

May 30, 2006

Free Time

I'm very fortunate that I have the luxury of free time. There are many points during the week were I really don't have to be doing anything. I could sit as a lump in the middle of the room and nothing that bad would come of it. You could maybe argue something about long term health effects but you could also counter that sitting like a lump might be akin to meditation which could be good for you. The point is I'm not putting off something else to just sit like a lump. There are many shades of grey about what one really has to do, but that is getting to philosophical for me.

The point being is I have free time. One could maybe even argue free will but that gets back into philosophy. The end result is that it all comes down to choices. What has got me thinking is what am I doing with that free time? As of late it has been primarily falling into two buckets: leisure and learning. I've already mentioned my crack like addiction to TV series on DVD multiple times which has been the primary leisure outlet. The learning outlet has been that I've finally started reading again since being underemployed.

But to return to yesterday's post, I'm having trouble being happy with this relaxed state of affairs. Maybe it's my constant drive to do more with my life (as I waste a few minutes searching for an old post that I would swear touched on this theme of greatness). Alas, an unfinished thought and time for bed...

Tags: life tv

May 26, 2006

I so thought

I so thought yesterday was Friday. That was part of the reason that I just vegged out in front of the TV watching way too much 4400. Alas it wasn't Friday, because well today was. My time sense this entire week was just off. I think I was looking forward to this long weekend too much and just wishing it would get here quicker. I don't have anything major planned for this weekend, but given how busy I was all last week and weekend I don't mind the rest. If only I could find some happy medium of doldrums and crazy super busy.

Tags: 4400 life

May 25, 2006

It's Like a Drug

I can't get enough of 4400. It's like a drug. Well maybe it's like any TV show I've gotten on DVD. I want some more.

Tags: 4400 life tv

May 23, 2006

Fiddleheads

Growing up in Maine with a mother that liked to garden and try new dishes I got to experience a wide variety of foods. Not all of these culinary experiences ended well. I developed a reflexive hate of eggplant and still don't care for raw tomatoes. I don't think these had anything to with my mother's cooking but more likely my own personal quirks :) In any case I've had scrumptious brussle sprouts, eatable lima beans, and many other vegetables that when done wrong more than earn their stereotype of nobody liking them.

One of the very seasonal items I remember growing up were fiddleheads. They are young coiled fern leaves (about an inch in diameter) of the ostrich fern. The season for them is usually just April and May. Luckily while in one of the local grocery stores over the past couple of weeks, they had a bin of them for sale. I snatched up a bunch and finally got around to cooking them tonight. I did a stir-fry with oil, garlic, chili sauce, and oyster sauce. Very yummy.

For other recipes and facts about fiddleheads swing by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension's page about them.

Tags: fiddleheads food life

May 19, 2006

The Da Vinci Code

I went to see The Da Vinci Code tonight. Good movie. They did a good job of translating the book to the screen. Since I had read the book almost two years ago I couldn't really tell if they left that much out. There were some details that had been changed, but overall everything important got translated to the screen. The pacing of the movie didn't feel right though. It all felt a bit off. One of the best parts though was seeing all of the protests outside on the street across from the movie theatre. Nuns, priests, and others all holding up signs and singing.

Tags: davincicode movie

May 17, 2006

Music

I met up with some friends at Phoenix Landing to wish yet another friend off to LA. What is it with Boston people heading to LA?! Anyway got to hear some great tunes spun by Circuit Breaker. I was also reminded why I don't usually hit the clubs as I get a wicked case of tinnitus.

Tags: life music tinnitus

May 15, 2006

No Prize For Me

I got a nice message today saying "Not all who embark on the Quest can succeed and you have NOT qualified as one of the 10,000 finalists." No prize for me in the Da Vinci Code Quest. I thought I might have had a chance since I completed the final quest in about five minutes, but alas nothing for me. The one bad thing is that the consolation prize is a PC game which I can't use anyway.

Tags: games google

May 12, 2006

Still Grilling

The rain was kind enough to stop long enough for Gilman Manor to get another Friday night grill session in. This made us all happy since the rain that has been coming down all week is getting very old. A little grilling made it seem like it wasn't all bad. Yummy fresh swordfish steaks.

Tags: gilmanmanor life

May 11, 2006

TV reduction

The number of shows I watch on TV is about to be cut in half. This year marks the series finale for both the West Wing and That 70's Show. Hard to believe that I've been watching them for eight years. It's one of those moments when I could "do the right thing". Instead of finding a new show to take up some of that time, I could put it to good use. Netflix is convinced that I'll like The Sopranos and I think it also recently recommended The L Word (maybe since that show was mentioned on this week's episode of House). Given the ratings that House has been getting I'm sure that will be around for a couple more seasons and 24 is already setup for a few more days. Like M*A*S*H, while I'm sad that these shows are ending, I'd rather see these shows go out on a relatively high note instead of continuing the decline after jumping the shark (since they both have).

Tags: 24 life mash that70sshow tv westwing

May 7, 2006

Backyard

Today the backyard of Gilman Manor was attacked by three motivated people. We managed to till the plot of land that has previously been used for a garden and replanted it as our own garden. Hopefully in a couple of months we'll have some corn, green beens, tomatoes, and other yummy stuff. A large portion of the backyard was also raked to make room for what hopefully will be a new lawn. I'm trying the old school lawn by seeding method. I'm not that hopeful given how rocky our backyard is and I don't know if I got the soil turned deep enough to really have the new grass take. In any case it was a great way to spend an afternoon in the sun. We also got the windows fixed on the front porch which meant bye-bye to the plastic wrap. This all makes me very happy.

Tags: garden gilmanmanor life

April 29, 2006

Mount Monadnock

Had a great hike up Mount Monadnock today. The view at the top was wonderful. You could see the Boston skyscrapers and Mount Washington. I don't think my pictures capture that very well, but compared to my last attempt at the summit which had ice on the trail, I'm okay with maybe not getting those pictures :)

Tags: hiking monadnock pictures

April 25, 2006

Gallery Upgrades

I decided it was time to upgrade to the latest versions of Gallery. I have to say that Gallery definitely gets high marks in my book for their Gallery 2 upgrade process. After a simple file unpack the entire process is handled through a slick browser based wizard. Painless.

The latest Gallery 1 release also has a smooth upgrade process, but not nearly as slick as Gallery 2. I think it might be time to look at migrating everything over again. Hopefully they have some more of the kinks worked out.

Tags: gallery neophi pictures upgrade

April 22, 2006

My Desk

Over the course of the last three weeks an inordinate amount of junk accumulated on my desk. This afternoon I finally decided that I needed to do something about it. It took a couple of hours but now I can actually see most of my desk again. I seem to have this two phase strategy with dealing with stuff that end up on my desk. The important things like bills I'm sure to take care of first, but anything else quickly gets relegated to second class status and is very prone to just collect in one random pile or another. Unfortunately, I have the same bad habit with my email. Unless it is something that I need to respond to right away I'm prone to just let the email fester in a big pile until some afternoon I just attack it. This weekend will probably also involve doing that as my inbox is now back up over 200 message. Granted I've read them all but some of them require more than a skim and others I should really respond to.

Tags: cleaning desk mess

April 17, 2006

Skunks Take II

Today the guys from BatGuys came by to install some fencing and a one-way door around the area our skunk is living. Hopefully this will do the trick and we won't have to worry about the skunk coming back around anytime soon.

Tags: gilmanmanor skunks

April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

I had a very productive and relaxing day. I did my laundry this morning, went out for a bike ride, and then drove out to my brother's house. Had a wonderful Easter dinner with enough food to feed everyone three times over. After relaxing for a few more hours I drove back home just in time to catch this week's West Wing.

Tags: holiday life

April 13, 2006

Couch Potato

Man I've got to finish these Tour of Duty DVDs, they are turning me into a couch potato. I just burned through another DVD this evening. It's getting too nice out to be spending this much time in front of the tube, regardless of how good a show it is...

Tags: life tv

April 12, 2006

Tour of Duty

I'm now about half way through the 3rd and final season of Tour of Duty on DVD. I was addicted to the show when it originally aired but only saw the first season. I remember it being on at a time such that I couldn't watch it on the big TV in the living room, but instead had to watch it on the small TV in the kitchen. I remember a couple of episodes leaving me breathless wondering what was going to happen. It was nominated multiple times and won one Emmy for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series. Its biggest claim to fame is being the first TV series to show American soldiers in Vietnam War combat. Overall it's a high quality show with characters that are slowly developed over the three seasons and from other reviews one of the more realistic portrayals of the daily grind in Vietnam.

Tags: life tv

March 31, 2006

Grilling

Yummy! The weather was nice enough today that I was able to dig out my grill and slap some steaks on it. Yummy!

March 30, 2006

I dun good 2day

I think I was a little out of it this morning when I left the house. I didn't really notice this fact until I got to work. It was at work I noticed I had a hint of a bit more spring to my step. Like I wasn't burdened with as much. Unfortunately that turned out to be the case. I managed to leave the house this morning without my keys. I also managed to leave the house this morning without my mobile phone. And to make it a true accidents happen in three, I also managed to leave the house this morning without my wallet.

I know I've left my mobile phone on occasion and that isn't that big of a deal, I don't use it that much. I can't recall the last time I forgot my keys, but I suspect it was back as a freshman in college. I don't think I've ever left my wallet. I hope this morning isn't an omen of things to come. Thankfully I didn't need any of the things I left behind and was able to get back into the house when my roommate came home. It was a weird feeling walking around without anything though, somewhat liberating, but also kind of unnerving.

March 19, 2006

First Day of Spring

Tomorrow is the first day of spring. Half day, half night. And if you look at the weather forecast it shows an upward trend for the week. Nothing like the 60 degree days, but some signs that warmer weather is on its way.

March 15, 2006

Last Day at Ruckus

Today was my last day working for Ruckus. The company decided to consolidate their operations into their Virgina location and as such closed the Bosotn office. I decided not to relocate having recently bought a house and I've never been a fan of working from home for extended periods of time. As such I decided to explore other possibilities.

This coming Monday I'm scheduled to start working at Allurent. I'm very excited about this oppurtunity while at the same time I'm sad to leave Ruckus. I always believed in their mission of providing low-(and now no)-cost digital media to college students. I've been against piracy for as long as I can remember and while not always vocal about it, expressed my feelings when asked about it.

Time to drain my brain and make some room for new challenges and learning at Allurent.

March 11, 2006

TI3

I spent most of today (about eight hours) playing a game of Twilight Imperium 3. This is the second time I've played this game and each time it has taken about that long. It's a very complicated game, the rules are about 44 pages long and there is also an extensive FAQ. The first time I played was with four people and this time it was with six (including a modified ISC). I enjoyed the six player game more, mostly due to the increased inter-player activity.

The modified ISC still overly contributed to the win of of the game (but not as much with four players). We played that whoever took the ISC got one point and whoever controlled Metacol Rex got a point. I like the ISC variation proposed in the rules variants. In any case while it is a long game I've had fun playing it both times and would enjoy playing it again with six people.

March 4, 2006

Money?

Where is the money in Google video? There are no ads on the page that plays a video. Maybe I'm being dense, but how can giving that much bandwidth away be good? Yes it adds exposure of the Google name but video is bandwidth heavy and bandwidth costs money. Yes I know that you can charge money for videos that are put up through Google, but I'm talking about the more viral videos that get passed around like the latest spam.

February 28, 2006

Dual Monitors

With a new video card for my Mac and a good deal on a second monitor, I now have dual LCD monitors setup on my desk at home. It's pretty sweet, I think. I have a bad feeling I may need to tweak the video settings as I think the new monitor is giving me a headache, which is strange as I've used this same monitor in the past without any problems. Maybe it has something to do with being attached to a different video card, or maybe it's all in my head. For the time being, I'm loving the expanded screen real estate.

February 22, 2006

Tetris

Lately, I've started playing a Tetris clone again. Tetris is a simple game but has lots of subtle nuances to it which you only pick up if you've played it way too much. I like it. I think I need a better Tetris clone though, the one I have has a funky speed advancement system.

February 19, 2006

Upgrade Note

An update to my previous upgrade note. I run postfix as my default mail server. During the upgrade I uninstalled the package as recommended until I was done upgrading the OS. While I was in single user mode most of the time, when I eventually brought the system back up, sendmail started as the default mail server. This wouldn't be a problem if I had ever configured sendmail to work on my system. Alas I never did and as a result all sorts of mail related things broke. Most notably mail to neophi.com bounced since it didn't match the FQDN. Blah.

Lesson learned, either 1) upgrade postfix while still in single user mode, 2) configure the default sendmail files, or 3) block port 25 while you are in a state of flux. Thankfully sendmail logged who send the bounced messages, so I was able to contact those people and have them send the message again.

February 18, 2006

NeoPhi Upgrade

I spent most of today upgrading NeoPhi from OpenBSD 3.4 to OpenBSD 3.8. When I had the box in the colocation facility I wasn't too keen on attempting a remote upgrade and based on today's experiences that turned out to be a good idea. The first problem I encountered was that my server doesn't have a cdrom drive in it. It's only a 1U rack unit and the cdrom space is taken up by a second hard drive and RAID-1 controller.

I popped the case hooked up a cdrom drive and attempted to boot off of the OpenBSD 3.5 cdrom. The first time the boot hung. All subsequent tries it went into a reboot loop. It would start to boot from the cdrom and then reboot the machine. I also tried the 3.6 cdrom and didn't have any luck. At that point I switched to the less recommended in-place upgrade. After boot into single user mode I removed all of the packages I had previously installed. One of the upgrades I was planning changed gcc versions which was sure to introduce some incompatibilities. After removing about 60 packages I started the upgrade process.

Continue reading "NeoPhi Upgrade" »

Tags: neophi openbsd

February 12, 2006

Snow!

Snow. Lots and lots of snow! I've not looked at anything official but it say it was a good couple of feet based on how covered our backyard is and the amount of snow that was on my car. It was light and fluffy snow. Not very good for making anything in the snow, but fun to walk through and easy to shovel. I uncovered my car. I'm not quite sure why. It will take a couple of days for the roads to clear enough for me to even think about driving. Thankfully I don't really need my car.

February 9, 2006

This Blog

Today I've been thinking about this blog. Over the couple of years that I've had this blog, I've managed to write more than I thought I would. This is a good thing. I believe that in order to get good at something you need to practice. I've always struggled with the English language and while I do okay, I know there is room for improvement. When I see something particularly well written, I'm in awe.

My reason for thinking about my blog though is more about liability. I mean, a friend got fired for his blog recently. In general I focus on more personal stuff and occasionally try to return something to the community. Given that I love the work I do, I sometimes find it hard to check that enthusiasm with non-disclosure agreements, trade secrets, and the like. As a result I probably focus on personal musing more than I should.

Continue reading "This Blog" »

February 4, 2006

Ceiling Fixes

The guy we had hoped would come and patch the ceiling this morning didn't show. After talking to wise parents we decided to try it ourselves. Since the area being patched isn't directly visible we chose to take the less costly route and do something that could be more easily done by us. Yes we are starting to become that house on the street. I've got PVC extending a drain into the back yard and now we have plywood covering a hole in the ceiling. The thinking was that someone would probably redo the entire room if they were going to redo anything so why spend a lot of money of fixing a bad ceiling.

Some measurements and a quick trip to Home Depot later the ceiling is fixed and hopefully we have put this little home issue to bed.

February 3, 2006

Out of it

I just realized that the Super Bowl is this Sunday. I don't even know who is playing. Both of these make me happy.

January 30, 2006

Introspection (was Reading)

I've started reading The High Price of Materialism by Tim Kasser after John highly recommended it. This book along with watching the recent Lincoln documentary on the History Channel has got me thinking about my life and what matters in it. The relationship between those two topics may not be obvious and it doesn't all make sense in my head yet either. The linking factor seems to be depression.

I don't know if this feeling stems from some mild hypochondria I always seem to get when this aren't quite right. Maybe my atheistic views are having a negative impact on my well being. Or maybe my introversive tendencies are depriving me of rich interactions. I know that periods of brooding and sulking have hurt past relationships, yet I'm tormented by that invisible shell I project making it hard to break through. This is only complicated by the fact that I'd rather be an ostrich then confront the problem.

I'm sure this doesn't present well to those reading this blog, but then again I sometimes wonder why I even started this blog.

January 28, 2006

NeoPhi has Moved

If you are reading this then everything worked! This morning I moved NeoPhi (well the server is actually called WhiteRabbit) from Basespace.net (a local micro data center) where it had been living for the past two years to Gilman Manor. Where I've been living for the past two months. Now that I have a basement I have a place to put a very noisy server without disturbing anyone or making John go deaf.

I bought a small desktop rack and a new UPS to mount and power my server. I had to cut a little hole in a closet floor to run power and ethernet to the basement but that wasn't too bad. A few configuration changes later it all seems to be up and running. Now to make sure my RAID array is still doing the right thing...

January 27, 2006

Nothing

This entry is about a different kind of nothing. Work this past week was slow. I mean really slow. The kind of slow that makes a turtle look fast. I'd estimate that out of the entire week I did three and a half hours worth of work. Otherwise I was doing nothing. It's hard to do that much nothing. I have a very strong Puritan work ethic and as a result I have a hard time doing nothing. In fact that much nothing is very depressing to me. Why then would I do nothing?

As I vaguely mentioned recently, the company I'm working for is between funding and the future is very uncertain. I'm in a wait and see mode that kind of precludes getting into anything major that I wouldn't be able to finish. The down side to all of this is that it is kind of driving me batty. I think next week I'll bring in a book to read or something...

January 21, 2006

Doh

Doh! Had our first issue at Gilman Manor this morning. Seems water decided to leak from the ceiling into one of the second floor bedrooms. Blah!

January 18, 2006

Changes?

I don't know what is in the air this year but the topic of life changes, life altering, and meaning of life discussions seem to be happening frequently this year. I know I'm in a state of flux with uncertainty at work. One friend is looking to move out of New England to see what it's like living somewhere else. My old flatmate is also looking to move elsewhere in the country. My co-owner is getting married. Her future husband is due to graduate this year. My flatmate keeps talking about really cutting his hair this time. Other people I've been talking to are exploring the question about how to find or make meaning in life.

Oh how I just want to be wading in the velvet sea.

January 16, 2006

I have a bad feeling about this

The problem with knowing your body is that you also know when things don't feel quite right. I woke up this morning with most of the telltale signs that I'll be getting a cold this week. It's the kind of thing that I don't feel like crap yet but that I've got that not so great feeling in the back of my throat. I really hate getting colds. I know a simple cold shouldn't bother me that much but I always get very moody and unhappy when I get one. Let's hope I'm wrong this time.

January 15, 2006

24

The new season of 24 started tonight. The problem is 24 runs at the same time as West Wing. The solution is the awesome dual tuner DVR that RCN offers as an option. I got addicted to TiVo since my last flatmate had it. The problem with TiVo is that they don't currently offer a stand-alone unit that supports HDTV. The solution is the awesome dual tuner DVR that offers as an option. I feel like I'm repeating myself. It's the Motorola DCT6412 III model. It has quirks, isn't as user friendly as TiVo, and doesn't offer the same feature set as TiVo. It does handle HDTV and it can record two programs at once which to me makes it much better than TiVo. I never used TiVo's recommend feature and the RCN DVR supports series recording, which makes me happy. I like set and forget.

Back to 24. I've been entranced with the series since the first season. I'm liking this new season too. My only complaint with 24 is that it does require a large suspension of disbelief. Besides that the acting is still good, the continuation of the story line is cool with the returning characters and it mostly just feels like an hour of adrenaline packed action. This two day four hour start is strange but Fox has always done strange things with the format of the show. The fact that I'm now able to take advantage of the HD broadcast is awesome. Technology is cool.

January 13, 2006

Naps

I like naps. I once made a comment about naps that has actually been used multiple times since which was "It's always nap time." After I came home today I exercised some and when I was doing my post exercise stretching at one point I was on the floor at realized I was starting to get very sleepy. I finished my stretching and proceeded to take a 30 minute nap. It was one of those naps that when you wake up you feel phenomenal. I love those kinds of naps. I don't always get to take them when I want which is why I think I love them so much when I do.

January 12, 2006

Books

For the past couple of months I've been on a book buying spree. I'm not quite sure why. I don't dedicate enough time to reading to read more than I buy. I seem to remember there being a vague quote about buy good books even if you never get to read them. I tried searching for that quote, didn't find it, but did run across another one that amused me.

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. ~P.J. O'Rourke

The source has many other good quotes about books. Search for the one about Braille.

January 11, 2006

Path of Neo

For Christmas one of my friends gave me the PS2 version of Path of Neo the next Matrix based game. I had previously played Enter the Matrix so I was curious what they would do with the new game. One of my primary reason for playing Enter the Matrix was to view all of the side story from the three main movies. I'd also watched all of Animatrix and most of the bonus material that had been released. It had been awhile since I'd really sat down and played a game which made Enter the Matrix enjoyable.

Since Path of Neo is mostly a play through of the movie, this time as Neo, I was kind of curious what they could do. Unfortunately, they didn't do much. The entire game play is going around and killing or avoiding bad guys in various ways. Hand-to-hand combat, melee weapons, and guns, lots and lots of guns. The in game cinematics are amazing. When you are doing certain combos particularly when focused you get amazing fight angles and sequences. The problem is that's pretty much all there is to the game.

First you go through some training to learn the various skills and then it's off to the races beating up bad guys. About the only level that was really novel was the Merovingian's house which ends up being a 3D maze that you have to work your way through. There are also little things like a slightly odd UI for when it is safe to quit playing that got annoying after awhile.

The best in game movie was the red chair explanation from the Wachowski brothers about how they had to change the ending since Neo dying at the end doesn't make for good game play. That's all I'll say. You should watch it. Overall I'll give Path of Neo 5 out of 10.

January 10, 2006

3312 Part 2

I should so be in bed right now. I sillily didn't bring my laptop home with me when I promised that I would get the latest adoption numbers to my boss for this 8am meeting. I guess that means an early morning trip into the office. But instead of going into bed I'm up trying to get Gallery 2 installed and running. I've tried this once before and had some issues. I think this time I might not try the Gallery 1 import and see if maybe that makes things better. Although I have a lot of data in Gallery 1 so I'd hate to have to manually move it over. I guess I'll figure that out later.

Why this all matters? I'm trying to upload all of the photos and videos from the 3312 event. I'm not sure if this is all working yet, sleepy editing named.conf files is probably not the best thing. Head on over to photos.neophi.com and that will give you Gallery 2 and hopefully the pictures and videos from 3312.

January 8, 2006

Christmas

Alas, Christmas is finally over. I had to take down my tree today. It had stopped absorbing water and was starting to shed like crazy. Since I only put it up one week before Christmas I don't mind leaving it up this long. I've also kind of gotten used to having the tree around for my birthday. I mean Christmas trees just ooze presents!

The neat thing is with the tree gone I actually have all of the space free in the main room now. This is the first time that's been the case since moving in. First there were boxes, then the tree. I'm planning on hanging my signed Matrix poster on the wall and haven't quite decided what if anything else will go there. Having the additional space opening up into the main room is nice, but possibly getting another bookcase would be cool.

The other thing I'm thinking is that it might just be time to weed through my book collection. There are some books that I'm not really sure why I'm holding onto them. I mean I enjoyed reading them and all, but I doubt I would read them again. Some of them I'm sure others would enjoy reading, but in most cases I've already passed those books on. I'm trying to put some thought into this since these past few days I've been very impulsive and really need to take a step back and stop being so rash.

January 7, 2006

Spam

While this isn't an official total since I only started tracking manually filtered spam since Feb of 2005 the averages are still pretty horrible. The totals for 2005 are as follows:

83K messages were delivered to me in 2005
Spam Assassin (SA) helped automatically flag 50K as spam (60%)
I manually flagged 17K as spam (20%)

This means that 80% of the email delivered to me was spam. YUCK!

Continue reading "Spam" »

January 6, 2006

Conversation

I've come to realize that certain topics of conversation I find easier to have with people that I've just met versus people that I've known for a long time. I suspect that this stems from the fact that I've grown and changed since I met and started interacting with my long term friends. It's as if with my long term friends certain expectations were setup when the friendship was created and to change them now would be a big leap forward. More likely is that the image I want to project to my close friends is different from the one that I might project to someone that I may only see one or two times. Why those should be different is probably the crux of the issue.

I'm reminded of a quote from the His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

I don't think a person should have two sides-a private and a public side. There should be no gap, that is not honest.

Continue reading "Conversation" »

January 4, 2006

Transition

Today I ended a part of my nomadic life. I didn't renew my post office box and instead closed it and setup mail forwarding. Not much of importance has been arriving at my post office box since I moved into Gilman Manor, but it is still kind of monumental. I got the post office back in July of 1999. At that point I was moving at least once a year if not more. I got tired of having to switch addresses each time I moved so I just sent everything to my post office box.

Continue reading "Transition" »

January 1, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Friends of mine have been recapping the year in their own blogs and I feel like I should do the same. But I won't. At least not right now. I'm not sure how I feel about 2005 yet. Words that come to mind include proud and accomplished, but I know that there is more. It's hard to image that another 31,536,000 seconds have gone by in my life. I can't really think about my life in terms of seconds. Maybe little bits of it here and there, but as I've gotten older and am about to get officially older the chunk of time that matter changes. 8,760 seems a much more manageable number. I could probably if I spend another 1 or 2 come up with that many events, thoughts, feelings, from 2005 that would be worth writing down.

As years go 2005 was a good year for me. I didn't accomplish all that I wanted, but instead I accomplished goals I didn't have at the beginning of the year. Flexibility then is another good word for the year. At a dinner this past week the question of what one word could you use to describe your drive in life was brought up. Others at the table chose words like creativity, privacy, and balance. I chose exploring. I don't think that's quite right though. Instead my word should have been searching. For me exploring connotes a known base that your are expanding your knowledge out from. For some parts of my life I don't feel as there is a base, so I'm searching for that starting point to then explore from.

I can't recall the last time I made a new year resolution and this year won't be any different. Just like my disdain for Valentine's day, you shouldn't need a certain occasion to express love, I don't think you need to wait for a new year to want to change your life. I maybe a little bit of a hypocrite in that I still love Christmas, but I'll ignore that for now. If I did have to pick something for 2006 it would probably be minimalism, but I'm still undecided at this point.

December 30, 2005

Sleep and Dreams Part 4

This is the final collection of dreams that I was able to find at this time. I seem to recall a couple other that I wrote down at some point, but they weren't in this series. Weird stuff, these dreams are.

Continue reading "Sleep and Dreams Part 4" »

December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

A very warm Merry Christmas to all my family, friends, and fellow netizens.

                                     +
                                    XXX
                                   XXXXX
                                  XXXXXXX
                                 XXXXXXXXX
                                "BUON ANNO"
                               "JOYEUX NOEL"
                              "VESELE VANOCE"
                             "MELE KALIKIMAKA"
                            "NODLAG SONA DHUIT"
                           "BLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDA"
                                "GOD  JUL"
                               "FELIZ NATAL"
                               "BOAS FESTAS"
                              "FELIZ NAVIDAD"
                             "MERRY CHRISTMAS"
                            "KALA CHRISTOUGENA"
                           "VROLIJK  KERSTFEEST"
                          "FROHLICHE WEIHNACHTEN"
                         "BUON  NATALE-GODT NYTAR"
                        "HUAN YING SHENG TAN CHIEH"
                       "WESOLYCH SWIAT-SRETAN BOZIC"
                      "MOADIM LESIMHA-LINKSMU KALEDU"
                     "HAUSKAA JOULUA-AID SAID MOUBARK"
                          "'N  PRETTIG  KERSTMIS"
                         "ONNZLLISTA UUTTA VUOTTA"
                        "Z ROZHDESTYOM  KHRYSTOVYM"
                       "NADOLIG LLAWEN-GOTT NYTTSAR"
                      "FELIC NADAL-GOJAN KRISTNASKON"
                     "S  NOVYM  GODOM-FELIZ ANO NUEVO"
                    "GLEDILEG JOL-NOELINIZ KUTLU OLSUM"
                   "EEN GELUKKIG NIEUWJAAR-SRETAN BOSIC"
                  "KRIHSTLINDJA GEZUAR-KALA CHRISTOUGENA"
                 "SELAMAT HARI NATAL - LAHNINGU NAJU METU"
                      "SARBATORI FERICITE-BUON  ANNO"
                     "ZORIONEKO GABON-HRISTOS SE RODI"
                    "BOLDOG KARACSONNY-VESELE  VIANOCE "
                   "MERRY CHRISTMAS  - -  HAPPY NEW YEAR"
                  "ROOMSAID JOULU PUHI -KUNG HO SHENG TEN"
                 "FELICES PASUAS-EIN GLUCKICHES    NEWJAHR"
                "PRIECIGUS ZIEMAN SVETKUS  SARBATORI VESLLE"
               "BONNE ANNEBLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDADRFELIZ    NATAL"
                                   XXXXX
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P.S. Best viewed with a fixed width font...

December 22, 2005

Sleep and Dreams Part 3

One aspect of dreaming that I'm always amazed of is the apparent randomness of them. Today's entry is a great example. Various pieces come into play without any real background about how they came to be. In this case various people, objects, and situations appear without any back-story. This doesn't bother me that much, but it is more amusing than anything.

Continue reading "Sleep and Dreams Part 3" »

December 18, 2005

Sleep and Dreams Part 2

Besides Christmas, which I still enjoy (especially the gift buying and decorating the tree), the one thing I really like about this time of year is the bedding you get to use. I have an awesome set of flannel sheets from L.L. Bean. I combine those with a fleece blanket and finally a comforter from some bed set a got awhile ago. Fluffy, warm, and soft. I love my bed.

Continue reading "Sleep and Dreams Part 2" »

December 15, 2005

Sleep and Dreams

In March of 2001 I became interested in sleep and dreams. I read couple of great books on the subject that I should really reread and post some thoughts here. As part of this interest I started to capture what I could remember from dreams that I had. This worked under the theory that the more you wrote down about your dreams the better recall you would be able to build up over time. While unpacking a box from moving, I ran across some of my early scribbles. They amused me so I thought I'd spend the next few entries transcribing them.

Continue reading "Sleep and Dreams" »

December 12, 2005

High-tech Washing

One of the biggest items I've purchased since moving into my new home has been a new washer and dryer. I spent a lot of time researching what kind of washer and dryer I wanted to get. I started off knowing that I wanted a front loading washer since I primarily used those at the laundromat. I've noticed they aren't as rough on my clothes as a top-loader, manage to spin more water out of the clothes, and I find getting my clothes in and out of them much easier.

I took a walk through my local Sears and saw some interesting choices but really had no idea what might be worth buying. It isn't every day I'm working with or looking up information about washers and dryers. I decided to turn to a more trusted resource and signed up for a one year membership at Consumer Reports.

Continue reading "High-tech Washing" »

November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

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             ^^^//\\_^^//\\_^       ^(\_\_\_\)
               ^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^

November 22, 2005

Moved

It took two days, but all five of us are now moved into Gilman Manor. My unit is still a mess as John and I try to figure out where everything is going to go, but at least almost everything is in the right general area. Still have a few odds and ends to move but all the big stuff is done. It's going to take a month to unpack all of the boxes and find reasonable places for everything.

November 7, 2005

Gilman Manor

It's official. Clara and I have signed our lives away, I mean bought a house! The joy lasted for about an hour, about the same time that feeling returned to our hands after all that signing. After that it was oh my, oh my, we still have a lot to do...

November 5, 2005

T-Minus 2 days

Wow. By this time on Monday I should own a house! It still hasn't quite set in yet, even after writing a check recently for something like two years of prepaid rent.

November 1, 2005

I am the uncool

October 19, 2005

Balance

I wonder if anyone has done research on the optimal amount of time that you should spend reading about a new concept? Given the ubiquity of Google and other search engines, the actions taken as a result of asking a question like that has changed. You don't think about the question and different forms or variations of it, instead you reach for a browser and type some words into a search engine. With the feedback loop shortened, once you find the answer does your brain have enough time to piece it all together? This gets me thinking about a book, I think it's called Mind Hacks. The real spawn of this idea is my current reading of On Intelligence which I'll be writing up shortly.

October 18, 2005

Hot, Hot, Hot

John has a summary of last night's supper. Very yummy and spicy food! I wasn't in as much pain as John or Clara which only means I need to get the Pasta from Hell next time.

October 15, 2005

Waste a few hours

emacs -batch -l dunnet

Maple Syrup

As I was pouring some maple syrup on my waffles this morning I couldn't help but wonder why the majority of maple syrup comes packaged in plastic containers. Why not glass? Since it was breakfast that was as far as my train of thought went.

October 9, 2005

What I didn't do this weekend

Thursday after work I ran errands to prepare for my weekend biking trip up to Vermont with friends from my last job. I mainly ran to the grocery store to pickup some snacks and after ride refueling. Once back home I started to get all of the other supplies I needed. Helmet, check, backpack hydration, check, biking shoes, check, pedals, hmmm. You might wonder about pedals. Well the mountain bike I'm borrowing doesn't have any on it so I had to bring my own.

A trip down to the closet looking through my old and mostly forgotten spare parts bike box made me realize, I don't know where my pedal wrench is. Pedal wrenches are cool and do the job really well. Not having one makes for a PITA. The reason is that the threads on pedals are done so that as you pedal you actually tighten the bolt. If you haven't taken the pedals off your bike, which most people don't do ever, it's hard to get them off. A pedal wrench is big and designed to make that task much easier. Alas, I was without mine.

Digging through my toolbox didn't enlighten my mood. The best I was able to scrounge up was a pair of vice grips. The other nice thing about a pedal wrench is that it is very thin to make sure that you can get the pedal bolt and just that. The problem with a pair of vice grips is that they are not thin. In fact a pair of vice grips are too large to get around the bolt on my pedals. Time check 8:45pm. Doh! All the bike stores I could think of at the time had already closed or would be by the time I drove there.

Back in the car. Home Depot to the rescue. Doh! What size was the bolt? 8/16th 9/16th was it even American sized. Doh! Maybe 10mm? Let me think. My tires are measured in mm, most bike frames are done in cm. Time to look for metric wrenches. Gah, back to the size issue. $8 a wrench! Not the time to guess wrong. Oh, those are the really nice ones. $4 that's better, but what size. Blah screw it, variety pack it is.

The problem with a regular wrench set goes back to that torque issue. As I already mentioned a pedal wrench is big. About 2 feet long. This wrench, which took the biggest one in the set to fit, is only about 8 inches. Time to get on the bike, apply pressure on one side and yank, yes yank is the right verb as these bolts get tight. Right tighty, lefty loosey, 1, 2, 3, and go. I should note that my bike is in my trak stand at this point so I don't actually need to steady the bike while all of this is going on. Maybe someday I'll buy a bike work stand.

Pedals off, time to finish packing. Check the weather. Warm, cold, rainy, dry, windy, calm, it would be great if there was any similarity between forecasts. A clear case of over packing ensued. I'm pretty sure I took fewer clothes during my week long gaunt around Bangkok then I did for a day and a half of biking. Camping gear was next tent, sleeping bag, and mat. Don't need a stove. Man, I've been using this tent forever! I used to use this tent when my family took driving vacations around the country while I was still in middle school. I think this was the tent my dad used on his biking trips. Wow, what a trooper. In the car with everything else.

Continue reading "What I didn't do this weekend" »

October 2, 2005

Brain Hurts

I had a nasty sudden onset headache this evening while I was working on the next problem set for PPL. I kind of wonder if it was related to all of the sneezing I did walking back from the Border Cafe. Maybe I do have allergies and I ended up with some sinus like headache. The worst part about getting the headache was that it killed my drive to get on my bike to train some more. I'm going to have to be extra sure to hop on tomorrow. Anyway, it's last, I've only got one problem left on the problem set, and tomorrow is looking to be pretty busy.

September 27, 2005

Nothing

This entry isn't about anything. In fact it is about nothing. Maybe it isn't even an entry at all.

September 11, 2005

House

It looks like it might happen. Friends and I made an offer on a house today. I'm still dazed by the thought.

September 4, 2005

Import

Given all of my recent ranting about Movable Type its import feature was well documented and mostly straight forward to use. I managed to whip up a quick Perl script to convert the raw MySQL dumps from b2evolution into a format that MT could handle. Thankfully I never really used all of the features of b2e so the conversion code was pretty easy to write. I did seem to get hit with a quote character import issue but that should be easy to solve.

People and Music

This was originally written Aug 28th in my notepad while waiting for a plane at Cleveland airport.

I'm back at the Cleveland airport waiting for my plane back to Boston. I always find these moments very relaxing as it gives me a chance to reflect on my trip while knowing that at this moment in time there really is nothing else that I need to be doing. At the same time it is a moment of sadness as the people I've seen albeit briefly have all touched my life again. This strikes me even more than my 10 year high school class reunion as many of them were like my second family. I watched some of them grow up, I was like a son to others. And yet a few brief moments here and there is all that I was able to spend.

Continue reading "People and Music" »

Domains, Chains, and Blogs

This was originally written Aug 26th in my notepad while waiting for a plane at Logan airport and during my flight to Cleveland.

Penn & Teller's Bullshit episode about "The Best" got me thinking about what I spend my money on and why. I fall into periods of unplanned or more likely impulse buying. The most recent episode that I've really wondered about is my domain name buying spree. I registered zetail.com and pezdb.com at the end of July. As I think back on the event I'm not really sure why I did. Zetail is a made up word for a photo project I did on my 350Z. A car I won't even be driving a year from now. PEZ DB was my idea to create an online database of PEZ information. Only to discover shortly after buying a five year domain lease other such sites already exist. I thought I'd previously searched for them but I guess I wasn't looking for the right keywords since the few sites I ran across have been around for some time.

Continue reading "Domains, Chains, and Blogs" »

September 2, 2005

On The Edge

I find myself sitting in front of my computer right now, on the edge of many things. Foremost is my desire to sleep, but there are also swirls of 11th hour thoughts. I call them 11th hour since they only really come to me at this time of the day. They are the kinds of thoughts that could change the world or mostly change myself. Unlike 11th hour saves, these thoughts usually end up more like fantasies that wrap my brain in a warm blanket and let me drift off to sleep at peace.

August 4, 2005

Kind of Odd

Yesterday while walking to and from the T I saw two different one armed men. I wonder if this is like when you learn a new word and then start hearing it everywhere. I'm not sure the last time I saw a one armed man, but to then see two the same day, kind of odd.

August 1, 2005

Phone

I've started to itch for new toys to play with. Part of this was prompted by the recent article in MIT's Technology Review about Social Machines. In particular I'm about due for a new phone. There are certain features I love about my current Ericsson T39m:

  • Nice and small
  • Tri-band GSM
  • Good battery life
  • Unlocked

My main reasons for thinking about a new phone stem from some problems I have:

  • Bluetooth on it is flaky (at least for me)
  • Screen is small
  • SMS system gets slow if more than 10 messages in the inbox

I've not looked at phones in a couple of years so I have no idea what is out there. My list of required features at this point:

  • Tri-band GSM
  • Bluetooth
  • SMS and GPRS
  • Unlocked
  • Support for iSync and Tungsten T2 would also be really good
  • Email would also be helpful

Then there are things that I don't care about as much:

  • I'm ambivalent about having a camera
  • Color is nice, but not required
  • Don't need games
  • I already have a PDA

If anyone has suggestions, let me know.

July 30, 2005

Sake

I've now found a new mecca of sake in Boston: Mall Discount Liquors out at the Fresh Pond Mall. By far the best selection of sake I've seen in a long time. They even have write-ups on the shelves about many of the sakes. One neat thing is that the back of many bottles included a quality scale from eSake.com.

Besides picking up a new bottle of sake to try, I also found some cool glasses by Riedel. They will make a nice edition to the sake drinking set I already have.

July 25, 2005

4 Weeks

That cold I mentioned in my last post was a beast. A beast with big hairy fat clingy legs. I ended up going to the doctor when my ear ache didn't subside, my eye clogged up, and the cough kept getting worse. Turned out I had a mild case of conjunctivitis. The antibodies really didn't do anything, which unless I'm backwards, means that I just had a really nasty virus. In any case after 3 weeks of feeling like crap and another week of only feeling kind of bad, I'm mostly back to normal.

The bad part in all of this is that I'm become a lazy ass dwarf. The fact that the Tour de France was going on didn't help since I was glued to the Tivo every night watching that day's OLN coverage. I continue to believe that Bob Roll should just be taken off the air. Shortly after an interview with John Kerry, Phil Leggitt remarked "I don't know anyone who is a fan of Bob." This was in reference to Kerry's remark of getting the Bob hand motions down.

I thought Lance's podium speech was okay. I don't know if it was rehearsed or not, but given his message of turning the skeptics, I think a more practiced delivery would have added more oomph to it. That is a nitpick against a man that, well you know the story. Seven wins. Absolutely outstanding.

This past Sunday was also the first time in four weeks that I've managed to get out on my bike. Man my legs are jello and my endurance is crap. Feels worse than the start of the season. I just need to remember to take it slow and build back up.

June 25, 2005

ENT

I've been trying to come up with a word to describe this past week and for that matter, continuing saga, that is my life right now. First the good part.
Sasha was in town on Thursday the 16th. His new all electronic setup is sweet and the show was amazing. I danced till it hurt and was very happy. Granted three and a half hours of sleep probably wasn't enough to go into work on Friday, but who's keeping track.
Friday night included a speed run to the Revere Kelly's for a yummy sandwich and some fries.
Saturday my friend David was visiting and we ended up at the Grafton Street. Excellent grub, good conversation and some okay musings from the singer/songwriter that was playing.
Sunday brought a horde of my roommate's friends to our place for a BBQ, which included another scrumptious meal cooked on my new grill. I also managed to pack away more drinks than I usually would, which I suspect may have been where my problems began. After sleeping from 8:30 to 11:30pm my fish bowl brain was gone. I managed to eat a little, make a camping reservation for this weekend, take some aspirin and then get to bed around 12:30am.

Continue reading "ENT" »

May 22, 2005

A foot high

To badly paraphrase a quote: "If your stack of technology magazines ever gets more than a foot tall, throw them all out. The technology has already changed." I can't find the original using Google right now, I'm sure it had more wit :)

I bring the quote up since my magazine stack has reached this point. Magazine Stack

I think two factors played into this backlog. First is that during my commute I've changed to reading The Economist instead of the latest technology magazine. I made the switch a year ago to get a foreign perspective on world events, particularly related to the Iraqi war.

Secondly, for about six months, I just got sick of technology. The computer industry moves at a break neck pace and to keep track at any meaningful level requires constant attention. It wasn't information overload, it was more about trying to retreat and figure out what in the landscape I cared enough about to want to devote time to.

That in itself is a thought that I'd spent time on recently. What are my priorities? I'm interested in too many things only adds to the amount of information I'd have to read to stay current. Blah. Lost of train of thought.

March 27, 2005

Wow

It is just starting to set in. I only have four days of work left at Towers Perrin... A blink of an eye and almost two and a half years have flown by. I'm reminded of a guy a met at Nick's wedding who offered the following observation: "The years and months fly by, but the weeks and days still take forever."

This also means that I haven't moved in just as long.

Wow.

March 13, 2005

IQ and Marriage

From the March 2005 issue of Details:
35% increase in a man's chances of getting married for every 16-point jump in his IQ, according to a British study.
40% decrease in a woman's chances of getting married for every 16-point jump in her IQ.

March 5, 2005

Reading Spot

Now that I'm back taking classes at Northeastern, I've had to spend many hours reading my textbook and other supplemental material. I've been unable to find the perfect reading spot. There are three qualities that my perfect spot would have:


  1. The right chair. If I'm reading for a couple of hours I don't want to have to keep shifting because I'm getting uncomfortable.

  2. Good lighting. I hate having to shift a glossy magazine around when I'm reading it because the light is reflecting off the pages. The right light I find also doesn't tire out my eyes as quickly.

  3. Uniform or no noise. I can tune out fans and most other steady background noise. Random noise I find too distracting, especially when I'm reading material that doesn't have my full attention. Street traffic, provided the cars aren't honking isn't too bad.


At this point I'm still struggling to find such a spot. I almost had one, but couldn't get over the random noise caused by a TiVo.

February 4, 2005

I vs. I Round One

I have no clear thought or maybe it's just self realization. To be an intellectual one must be intelligent, but not everyone who is intelligent is an intellectual. Does everyone who is intelligent strive to be an intellectual? Does considering such a question lead one down that path? I've been tagged as being intuitive, does that matter to this discussion? Cognition without evident rational thought and inference, doesn't sound like it's developed or chiefly guided by the intellect rather than by emotion or experience. Well maybe it's a short circuit around that...

November 20, 2004

Bangkok Pictures

Bangkok Pictures

The first week of November I took a vacation to Bangkok. I had a wonderful time and really got to explore the city. I've finally gotten around to putting up my pictures and getting some descriptions added.

October 7, 2004

Phonetic Alphabet

Just one of those handy things to have around:

Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India
Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo
Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey Xray Yankee Zulu

September 6, 2004

350Z Zetail

350Z Zetail

Finally got around to putting up a pet project I've been working on to capture the various elements of Z styling found around the car. I'll let you be the judge if I've stretched a little too much on some of them.

My first road rally

My first road rally

This long weekend Chris and I went down to Lime Rock to compete in a SCCA Road Rally. This was the first such event for either of us. It was awesome and a little stressful. It's not common for me to glance at my speed every 5 seconds as I'm driving hoping to maintain that elusive CAS (commence average speed). We managed to do fairly well on most of the legs but botched a couple of them really good. Overall we placed fifth out of eleven teams and won second place (out of six) for first timers.

While I've always been tempted to take my car out on a track sometime or do some auto crossing, those are a little more extreme and I could easily see myself trashing the car :) Road rallying still has that competitive feel, but without the adrenaline rush. For now that is a liveable compromise to me.

August 28, 2004

People's Feet

Have you ever noticed that most people don't walk with their feet parallel to each other? Quite often a right foot is bent out or both are a little askew. Very few people have feet bent in at all. I wonder is it genetic or something about the way people grow up. Most of the places that I'm wandering around and happen to notice don't include families, so I can't comment on any trends.

August 21, 2004

Blink of an eye

It was a typical mornings where I was on auto pilot going through my morning routine. Next thing I know I've manage to tweak my neck and it's as stiff as a 2x4. WTF! When you can't move your head freely you gain a new found appreciation for all of the subtle motions you usually go through without thinking. This was readily apparent while trying to drive around Wednesday night. Ouch.

August 12, 2004

Electronic Industries

It sometimes boggles my mind at the ability of people to continue to create new industries. The www has given us countless new electronic industries. Since anyone can post anything on the web, nanny and filtering services were spawned to create safe environments for children. One day the blog was created and next thing you know there are blog aggregation services, blog specific indexers, etc., etc. The pace of human innovation is staggering.

August 9, 2004

Thinking Clearly

Man I have no idea where my thoughts were going last night, but they weren't in any kind of coherent fashion. Looking at that documentation post I threw in bunches of random stuff unrelated to the topic and when I was on course it was jumbled anyway. It's hard to write a good rant. I find it hard to write well in general, but I think most of the time I'm a little more spot on. Not that a blog is generally a forum for finely crafted prose, it's hard to make a reasonable point if all that's coming out is gibberish. One of the reasons that back in the real world they have those things called drafts. Thankfully in this always on digital world, who cares about a few typos or unconnected ramblings...

August 5, 2004

Wow

Yeah, so a friend finally pointed me at a blogging system that didn't suck and I figured I'd give it a shot. Still trying to get a hang of all the options since it includes everything and the kitchen sink, but so far it's looking really cool. Let me know what you think :)

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