Saturday, December 31, 2005
By far the saddest news for December was about my dear Luna-dog. After hashing (first time in a couple of months) with her on the 11th, I came home from work on Thursday, the 16th, to find her lying in my bedroom, clearly out of sorts: tired, sluggish, not wanting to stand, and not able to stand for very long when I helped her up. I got Kris to stop by and take a quick look, and off to the Emergency vet I went for what I expected to be just an antibiotic shot for pneumonia. A blood test an x-ray later, I found out it was a couple of bleeding abdominal masses, combined with a septic infection. I rallied Kris and Susie and off to a better emergency vet in Cary, where the diagnosis was confirmed and refined. Luna wouldn't make it through the night if we did nothing, and her chances were slim-to-grave if we did pursue heroic interventions. Having her put to sleep was the most difficult thing I've done in a long while. Luna was coherent and *there*, surrounded by three of the folks who loved her most in the world, as the doc pushed the meds that dropped her off to sleep, stopped her breathing and then he heart. I know she felt cruddy, and I know it was the best (if not only) choice to have made, but that didn't make it easier. We all cried and said our goodbyes. It was by far the crappiest night of the year. I miss my Luna.
More wrap-up soon. Happy new year everyone!!
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
This Columbian artist Maria Adelaida Lopez, who cleaned houses while she went to college, creates houses covered with the cruft from full vacuum cleaner bags. Odd looking, I know, but I really liked the one here. It reminds me so much of a haunted house.
Link to Art MoCo article.
Link to artist's site.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Well, they say you learn something new every day.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Exchange details are here.
You can exchange your SONY BMG compact discs (CDs) containing XCP content protection software for replacement versions of the same CD(s) without the XCP software. Please confirm that your CD(s) is among the titles and versions listed below and then select from the list the titles of the CD(s) you wish to exchange. Then click “continue.”
In the page that follows, you will be asked to provide the shipping information in the United States to which you would like to have the replacement CD sent. In addition, you will have the option of selecting whether you would like to receive MP3 files of the title(s) in addition to your replacement CD(s).
Friday, November 18, 2005
Amazon.com: Manhattan Symphonie [SONY XCP CONTENT/COPY-PROTECTED CD]: Music: Dexter Gordon: "This Sony CD includes XCP digital rights management (DRM) software. Due to security concerns raised about the use of CDs containing this software on PCs, Sony has asked Amazon.com to remove all unsold CDs with XCP software from our store. If you have purchased this CD from Amazon.com, you may return it for a full refund regardless of whether the CD is opened or unopened, following our normal returns process. Simply indicate that the CD is 'defective' as the reason for return."
Original topic thread found on BoingBoing.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
A few more links from there:
- Presentation Zen: Wabi-Sabi and Presentation Visuals (part I)
- Presentation Zen: Wabi-Sabi and Presentation Visuals (part II)
From this table below, how many of the ideas can you apply to the design and use of visuals or to the planning and delivery of your presentations?
Allows things to age
In the moment
Open and unresolved
Strives for eternal youth
Bold and obvious
Conformity and sameness
Separated into parts
Works toward closure
Intolerance of ambiguity
Black and white
Square and measured
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Bush has said repeatedly that the United States does not torture prisoners. He opposes the measure because he says it would limit interrogators' ability to get information from terrorism suspects, and he has threatened to veto the defense bill if it includes that amendment."
I completely commend Congress for getting this ammendment passed and attached to the defense bill. I personally think that torture under any circumstances is wrong. To believe otherwise brings us down to the level of the terrorists. We have to take the high ground and do the right thing. I completely fail to comprehend Bush's statement: if, as he says, we do not torture prisoners, how would this bill limit interrogators' ability to get information? Can someone please explain this to me, because I just don't get it.
Not that my purchases alone will make a difference, but Sony's on my bad-guy list from now on. No Sony A/V hardware. No Sony/BMG music. So Sony Playstation. I have, and will continue to, support vendors who don't treat me like I'm a criminal from the get-go. When I buy content, it's mine to do with (within the law) as I please. I get to decide what that is, not the company that made it. If I want to listen to it on my iPod in the car, or load it on my phone to be a ringtone, then that's my business. Companies need to learn that getting in the way of that will only make me (and a few million other cusomers) mad. And mad customers don't buy your stuff.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Intersting premise. Not anything I'm about to go jumping into, but thought provoking. I'll post more here after I've mulled it over for a bit.
Originally found at BoingBoing.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Thursday, November 10, 2005
A silly, but important thread over at one of my regular reads talks about wallet-bulge on guys, and how it ruins the topography. My $.02, (since I don't have commenting rights over there... hint-hint!) is this: go with a really slimmed down money clip in the front pocket. I use one that allows me a cash clip, an outside-visible clear pocket for my license, and inside spots for 4 cards, plus I use the foldy space in between for receipts. No wallet bulge. No painful butt from sitting cock-eyed for long periods. No scrambling for 'where'd I put that card...' again. Other useful, but seldom-used cards (library, video store, etc.) stay bundled in the car for easy access.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Susie and I went and saw this over the weekend, and what a great movie it was!! All the actors did a wonderful job, and it left me with more questions about the whole McCarthey era hearings than it answered. But it was a very good snapshot at one particular part of that era. Murrow was a great journalist - it's a serious pitty that there aren't news organizations with that kind of backbone these days.
But that's another post.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Originally found on BoingBoing: http://www.boingboing.net/2005/10/27/secrets_of_disneys_h.html
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
It's Backsteet Boys as done by a couple of Chinese students. It's too great for words.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Original subcrawl link: http://www.subcrawl.net/node/86
BoingBoing link: http://www.boingboing.net/2005/10/25/pet_cemetery_dug_up_.html
Monday, October 24, 2005
Miyazaki film festival on TCM
Cartoon Brew says there will be a Miyazaki film festival on TCM in January. Nine of Miyazaki's animated movies will air.
This is the package of Studio Ghibli features that Disney acquired, which includes Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Porco Rosso and Whisper of the Heart. No word if TCM is going to run them subtitled or dubbed. This is probably timed to remind Academy voters to consider Howl's Moving Castle for Best Animated Feature. While I'm not crazy about TCM showing anything after 1970, I do admit Miyazaki's works are true modern classics.
Woot! I'm really looking forward to this! There are 3 in there I've never seen, and don't recall having been easily available on home video. Time to crank up the Myth box.
Friday, October 14, 2005
I just got a Motorola e815 (through Amazon - gotta love those rebates!) and a two-year
So yesterday started our 2-week worry-free trial, after which it's good-bye Alltel, hello Verizon. I'll miss Alltel, as they've always been great to deal with. I just can't take marginal- to no coverage at home and in my office. If I can't use my phone where I spend most of my time, why pay for it?
Monday, October 10, 2005
Fire destroys 'Wallace and Gromit' warehouse - Oct 10, 2005
"BRISTOL, England -- The company behind the new 'Wallace and Gromit' film said Monday its 'entire history' has been destroyed in a fire at a warehouse containing props and sets." CNN.com
But I think Nick Parks, they guy who created Wallace and Gromit, had a great perspective on this.
"Even though it is a precious and nostalgic collection and valuable to the company, in light of other tragedies, today isn't a big deal," he said.
Sunday, October 09, 2005
This becomes painfully apparent when Bon brings something to me and says "Here, look at this!" and puts it six inches from my nose. I used to be able to focus that close, but now find myself taking whatever it is and moving it out to 16 inches or so. Sigh. I'm getting old man's eyes.
quote from http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/computer_glasses.html
I know it sounds weird, but I had almost as much fun watching this little human drama unfold on the row in front of us. All folks involved looked like Duke students, which wasn't too surprising. The girl in the cute plaid skirt (cps, henceforth) and the guy in the orange shirt (os) were sitting in front of us and to the right a bit. She was cute, he looked like you average casually dressed college kid. After the Stones started their set, I noticed her crouched down, sneaking a drag (or 3) from a joint from the guy in front of her. After that, she starts bouncing around and dancing with everyone near her. (Perfect attitude to have for a concert, btw.) Everyone, that is except her date, Mr. Orange Shirt. He seemed to be enjoying the show, but slightly annoyed at his dancing date. Ms. cps ends up dancing with Mr. Green Shirt 1 (gs1). He looked like a Duke frat person, and he was in the company of gs2, gs3, and (possibly) gs4. So cps danced with gs1 a lot, with lots of other fun, flirtatious stuff along the way. The more they danced, the more annoyed os got. Os tried to talk to her at one point and tell her he wasn't happy with her behavior, and from what I can tell, she told him to relax / f-off, after which she resumed dancing w/ gs1. As the concert drew to a close, cps noticed os was upset about something and tried to find out what, only to get the brush-off. Cps then stopped dancing with gs1 and tried to console os (talking to him, trying to nibble on his ear, kiss him) but he'd have none of it. When we left, they were still sitting there, settling into a nice breakup argument. To her credit, she was talking to him, rather than going home with gs1 and friends. I think cps was a bit of a skank for abandoning her date for someone else, while he was still there. I think os was a bit of an uncommunicative stick-in-the-mud for not dancing with her himself, and not having their relationship ground rules worked out better up front. Susie said "I'm glad I'm not that age anymore." Yeah, it's amazing what 15 years and a couple of landmark course will do for you.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
1 1/4 ounce vodka
1 1/4 ounce Malibu Rum
3/4 ounce Midori (melon liqueur)
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 splash cranberry juice
Mix well with ice or freeze. Yell kungaloosh! Drink deeply. Repeat as necessary.
Found at Kungaloosh Recipes -- Adventurers Club
Not that I get that anybody else has ever read this. Yell if you read this post!!
Friday, September 02, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Day 1 Tutorials I attend were Dave Thomas's Intro to Ruby and David Heinemeier Hansson's Ruby on Rails - Enjoying the Riding of Programming.
Intro to Ruby was great. Dave is a great presenter and put on a great talk. It was well paced and did a great job of teaching Ruby from the ground up. It's a beautiful, elegant language and seems to be capable of great things in a very straightforward way.
I have really mixed feelings about David Hansson's Rails talk. He clearly knows his stuff.... heck, he wrote Rails while growing Backpack at 37signals. And there's no denying Rails is a great platform to devleop for. I'm having great fun trying it out and seeing what it can do. David's presentation was very much a whirlwind tech demo, and very much not a tutorial. It was great to see how someone very skilled could do very elegant things with Rails very simply and quickly. Rails just rocks. But the tutorial sucked if evaluated as a tutorial. There was no real structure, there was no way to take notes, next to no way to follow along on my own laptop, and it was difficult to walk out with anything approaching useful skills to get Rails going.
One other thing I learned on my own trying out O'reilly's Rails demo was that the default Ruby install with FC4 is missing something (an exception declaration?) that keeps rails from running completely. It runs enough to sorta work, but not enough to actually run controllers and the like. I pulled down and built Ruby from source and everything was great.
Monday, August 01, 2005
We tracked down had breakfast at Arnolds (a great local-chain), grabbed tasty munchies at Trader Joe's, found REI and blew some time there, and spent an insane amount of time driving around Hood Mtn National Forest looking for Bagby Hot Springs. (Notice a trend here with the 'getting lost' thing? Me too.) Despite less than ideal directions, and a couple hours of fruitless exploring, we finally found it and it was fantastic! It turns out we weren't that far from it in the first place, and in our exploring, we hadn't actually backtracked enough to find it.
Up next: OSCON 2005 - Day 1
Sunday, July 31, 2005
I'm out here for OSSCON this week, and it should be a blast. More on that as it happens.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Tsunami - Receding waters, Kalutara Beach, Sri Lanka
You really get an idea of how bad the damage really was looking at these. What would your town look like after this sort of damage?
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Monday, June 06, 2005
Monday, May 23, 2005
The judicial filibuster is critical to the continued balanced democracy of our country!
Justices of all levels should not be picked and inserted based on partisan choices. They're important enough that a simple majority won't suffice - they need to be balanced enough to achieve a super-majority. I'm deeply, deeply disappointed at the Republican's wranglings to rewrite the rules so they can seat their appealing-to-less-than-the-majority candidates.
To me, it's simple. If a judicial candidate doesn't appeal to the super-majority, then they're not balanced enough to be a judge.
Make your opinion heard while there's still time.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
This is my new home page (at home, and soon to be at work as well). It's not gorgeous, but it's damn functional. It's a list, link, and project manager, a la GTD (David Allen's Getting Things Done, a fantastic book I'll be writing more about as I get going with it.)
I wonder if they tell you how your Senators and Reps voted on recent legislation?
Saturday, May 21, 2005
It's cool, hypnotic, and does a great job representing a lot if information in a pretty compact and understandable format. Edward Tufte would be proud... or at least I think he would be.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
All this originally found at LifeHacker.
Monday, May 02, 2005
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I always get all proud and citizen-y when I actually get motivated enough about an issue to write to my Congress-critters about it. Well, yesterday there were two.
First off, the committee-neutering rules that the Republicans passed for the House Ethics Committee just make me mad. House majority leader Tom DeLay has been accused of taking trips (a golf outing to Scotland, I think) funded by lobbyests, and under the current new rules, no ethics investigation can even start until both parties on the Ethics committee agree that there's a need. Both parties agree on something in this Congress? Give me a break. It gets worse: if there's no agreement, nothing happens. Any ethics charges just quietly go away, and that's a bunch of crap. The Democrats have stonewalled the whole ethics process until the rules get changed back to closer to what they were before, and I say bully for them. And I let the Honorable David Price know exactly that.
The other thing that got me riled up was all the blustering about the filibuster in the Senate. The Democrats don't like Bush's judicial nominees, and threaten to filibuster any that come up for confirmation. The Republicans, of course, don't take kindly to this, and keep threatening to invoke the Nuclear Option (got to love the emotional payload on that term, eh?) and through parliamentary rule changes remove the ability to filibuster from the rules. I'm not at all nuts about what Bush has sent down in the way of judicial nominees, and I strongly support the current process remaining intact. It's worked well for many, many years, and the Republicans threatening to change the rules just because they don't like the way the game is going seems really childish and not at all good for the country. And I let Senators Dole and Burr know how I felt about that.
Relatedly, this also makes me mad. (I really don't usually spend this much time mad. The Republicans have just been doing a really good job at it lately. :-)) Bill Frist out making talks to the religious right (the same ones who kept Bush in office :-/) to oppose the filibuster as irreverent and UnChristian. I hope this backfires and gets exposed as the stupid emotional manipulative play that it really is.
Monday, April 25, 2005
- Did the Angels Among Us 5k and Family Walk w/ Sus & B & O Lotsa fun, and for a good cause, but a bit much runwalking for the kiddo's, esp O. Yay Justin's Buddies!
- Blew off the Hash to work around the house. So much Spring yard work to get done.
- Ripped out the last ugly 70's-antique-gold bathroom fixture - the sink - and started replacing it with a gleaming new non-gold one with a new faucet set to match what I put in the shower last Summer.
- Bought plants for the garden and yard. Finally time to replace the grapes the city dug up a couple of years ago when they were doing the sewers.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
And the waaaay-too-cute-not-to-post category is cats sleeping in weird poses. If that's not cute enough for you, and you feel like you can take more, check out the 'duets' link on that page.
Friday, April 08, 2005
Cheap Airfares, Hotel Rooms and Rental Cars on Yahoo! FareChase. Search dozens of travel sites with one click.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion - Technology
Saturday, March 05, 2005
This seemed too cool NOT to share. I'm going to try this out this weekend.
What's a damn shame about all this is that a couple of theatres who scheduled a screening of this got shut down by Warner Bros. I don't see why - they're still making their money off showing the print again. This doesn't seem that different in principal than the gazillion Rocky Horror shows that go on all around the country every week. Oh well. Big media companies suck mightily - this is just another action proving it (again and again and again....)