Daily posting-12/30/2004

The new year is upon us. Hope it’s better than the last one-personally it’s been pretty good, but in general not very.

The recap: went to a UUFLB circle supper on yule, took Thurs and Fri off-moved some stuff to storage, shopped with the kids, went to church and wrapped presents Christmas Eve, opened presents-I got a Namco TV joystick, both sets of parents came down for dinner, church and practice the song for Sunday, Monday off & purges the kids’ toys, rainy, messed up my elbow, went to the Dr.’s.Everyone is still reeling over the tsunami, and Chimpy pledging $35M. Pah. Give them as much as we gave hurricane victims this past summer. Social Security and taxes on the chopping block. Pah. Wait until those chickens come home to roost.

Picked up Litestep-a cool taskbar replacement-not enough time to play with it, though. Also Ampl, FitNesse, IsaDora and Private DiskLight.

Quiet because it’s between holidays. Happy new year.

Daily posting-12/21/2004

Happy Yule! Today is the shortest day/longest night of the year. Light a candle to help the Sun through.

Not much posting lately-busy and not that interested, to be honest…

Here’s a wrapup: making a buncha music cd’s from eMusic, flew an indoor kite in the Seal Beach parade-super hard work, plus driving there on Friday night, it was rainy and I was sick, took a day off and cleaned out our outer closet, got our christmas tree, Erika’s first priestess died, I went on a commercial shoot for the Weather Channel-I was an extra, and wrangled kites-fell down on my elbow-had an endless drive back-it was in Calabasas, moved my in-laws to a new apt., super tired.

The commercial shoot was very interesting-the last filmic experience I had was for a PBS kids show called “Dragonfly TV”. It was small and pretty relaxed. This was a full shoot, with all the trappings-craft, lunch, trucks, real film, the whole hierarchy. For the extra bit, I stood on top of a hill with a few other people and they shot my butt. Woo hoo. Ten or so takes later, we sat down and waited. For anyone in the business, this is normal. Finally they had us all back to try to put up this big Indonesian train. There was no wind, so they had a fan. Anyone who flys kites knows that this is pretty much useless, especially with a train. They did a few shots of that, failing miserably but prolly OK for film, and then it was lunch-a good lunch. After lunch I wrangled kites, putting up two at a time. I fell down launching one and banged my elbow-it still hurts. They would film an extra or principal launching the kite, we would launch, and they would film the kite in the air. There were the inevitable snafus, as the other guy doing the kites wasn’t a top single line pilot, and would have difficulty with the more tricky kites. The wind ended up being light and variable. The other guy brought his daughter, and they flew dual lines as a pair. Again, they weren’t top-flight pilots, and crashed several times. I flew my zero wind deca on 12 foot lines, and had nary a problem. I think they filmed it a little, but I was concentrating on keeping the kite in the air. I actually got it into a nice stable backflip at the end, but had trouble getting it out, and gave up. They were on to another shot, and I called it a day. The drive back was really bad-it took me almost 3 hours to get home-it only took an hour and a half to get there. I’m having problems with my right hamstring when my leg is bent and in the same position for any amount of time, so I was in agony the whole way home. I got $250 for it, though, which pays for gas and a nice gift for Erika. I’ll put up a note when I find out when it airs.

What else? I’m SO done with politics, every bad thing just makes it worse. I’m just sick of it all.

I burned a bunch of CD’s, installed Solaris on my third server. I got a few versions of Oberon and Modula 3, some J2EE dev tools, the mapmaking tools for cartograms, Java struts and faces dev tools, Java source, a wiki and some pdfs.

Daily posting-11/29/2004

Skipped last week-Thanksgiving. Not much went on-other than the usual Thanksgiving stuff.

Recap: took taichi instead of Pilates Sat. 11/20-sub wasn’t there. Took the boys to see Spongebob that afternoon. Setup a standalone Disney games bit on their computer-now they play that incessantly (my wife called, and one guess what the boys are doing right now… Last week: picked up some more eMusic albums-I have a few months worth of stuff to buy-at $10 a month it’s not bad to get 40 songs-that’s about 2-5 albums per month-$2-5 per album-not bad… Took Weds. off-went to L.B., had breakfast and shopped a bit. Thanksgiving-went to friends in L.B. for dinner-kids were great. My parents came over Fri., cleaned and went to see “Polar Express”. It’s a gorgeous movie. They still have a bit to go on the facial animation-things were flat and restricted-I think it has to do with limiting the amount of flex points. The faces need to be more mobile and detailed. They have to work on finding the optimal amount, size and placement of polygons to make the faces “come to life”. Don’t remember Sat.-no class, I think I just lazed around with the kids-my hip was acting up. Sun. I stayed home and cleaned the front bedroom and closet-we have mice so Erika is freaking out about cleanliness.

I’m still sick of politics-I finished Michael Moore’s first book and am working on the latest-if his polemics contain even a shred of truth, Chimpy has got to go, but half the country is marching in lockstep off the cliff, lemmings that they are. Nothing to do now but wait and see what happens, and maybe try to effect change at the midterms. Iran is next on the invasion checklist. Yuck.

I got some kOOl life programs, a copy of 7 zip, mapresso, JDK, Wiki and axis and working on a copy of GnuWin and Solaris 10. I love open Source. The problem is time, of course-I’ll put GnuWin on this computer so I can type Unix commands, and my last computer will get Solaris 10. The rest, who knows?

Daily posting-11/18/2004

Another week passed. Woo hoo! Go me!

Do you get enthusiasm or cynicism from that? Whatever. How about from that?

I guess I’m tired of things right now.

The last week: had lunch with the kids on Fri., Pilates and helped out with a church dinner and saw the Stepford Wives on Sat., church and fun at home on Sun., and the usual week. I’m having problems with my hip-saw the Dr. yesterday-she gave me more pills. My hip still hurts-especially when I’ve been sitting and get up. One of the pills totally knocks me out-I took half and it helped a bit.

Politics still sucks-we’re mired in Iraq-the deficit is ballooning and Chimpy wants to cut taxes. I saw the Clinton library dedication this morning. No nutcases came out of the woodwork to blow it up… I got 2 of Michael Moore’s books out of the libe last night. Guy may rant, but he says some right on things.

I got a copy of Firebird, metakit and the map studio. I also picked up an Amiga emulator. Like I’ll have time to play with any of this. I may get to play with Eclipse more, though. That’s really the way to go.

Daily posting-11/11/2004

It’s Thursday-time for another entry. The once a week thing seems to be working fine-it doesn’t hurt that I don’t want to do anything right now…

Not much happened the past week: Thurs. dinner at the UUFLB RE teacher’s house for Ramadan, Pilates and a little tennis on Sat. (Erika’s not bad), church and lunch with Tracy and Hannah at the Rainforest Cafe-the food was totally late, and the usual workweek-working on graphics, icons, and a redesign. Erika got a new printer yesterday.

There’s been some fascinating work done with electoral maps this cycle. Ben Werschkul at the NY Times, Sara Fabrikant at UCSB, Mark Newman at UMich, Robert Vanderbei at Princeton, andSuresh Venkatasubramanian at AT&T Labs (I might find more, or not). Essentially people are taking the county by county tallies and trying to get a better look at how people voted. This is a useful exercise, and depending on the analysis, shows a few things.

There are four types of maps-first is the state by state you’re used to seeing.

This one is really useless, as all it shows is how the electoral college went-basically that Bush took the whole country except for the far West, the Northeast and most of the Great Lakes.

The second is a county by county breakdown, which is a bit more revealing-it shows that Democratic voting is clustered in largely urban areas, all over the country.

The third is the county by county, but shaded so that the actual vote tallies, red vs blue, run along a spectrum based on percent of red vs blue.

This is much, much more revealing, and shows that the actual vote counts of a narrow victory for Bush is true all over the country. There are very few places that weren’t fairly evenly divided Reps vs Dems. This makes for a purple map, rather than a red vs blue map.

Finally there’s the cartogram. This map has each county’s size changed to reflect the population of that county. This distorts the U.S. map to look something like some odd bird or a fish.

This one takes a bit of getting used to-it’s like the world maps that the “State of the World Atlas” did. Once unraveled, this view makes it much clearer to see how the U.S. is leaning. It highlights the fact that urban areas are much more left leaning, and the hardcore rightists live mostly in areas with smaller populations. Since urbanization is continuing, and rural areas lose population, the rightward drift can’t continue forever. Since it’s basically driven by fear anyways, and the Christian Right, their numbers will dwindle over time. The problem is that right now they’re strong, and are working really hard to consolidate their power. We’ll see-I like that Ashcroft has left, but the new guy doesn’t seem much better, three Supremes are going to be next-that’s going to be SO ugly. I’m still worried by the Dominionist thing-hopefully things won’t go their way-what with DeLay’s problems, and maybe more moderates will wake up and realize what’s going on. It just irks me that people can vote for this administration with all the bad things they’ve done. I guess they’re closing their eyes to it. The Dems need to think hard about how to court those moderates, and before midterms. There’s been reports of problems with voting, but in some respects this goes on all the time-now it’s just more prominent. I did hear that one state is going to recount, and I learned that Kerry’s concession speech means nothing legally.

Arafat died. Hopefully this will shake things up a bit, without too much violence. They really need to stop it. I learned a new term-Judaized Christians-means Israel right or wrong. Check out “We hold these Truths”-dude’s a bit of a paranoid Christian nutjob, but says some interesting things.

I picked up the new copy of Firefox-much better than aieeeee. I like the add-ons too. I also picked up some code to set up a Beowulf cluster, and Icon, which I haven’t seen in awhile, and a mapping program. I also got a copy of SuSE Linux in the mail, which is kOOl, because it doesn’t come on CDs for the regular version-I’ll use it as a base to make a CD version…

Gotta go to lunch-see you next week…

Daily posting-11/4/2004

Another week flying by-I took Monday so that helps too.

And the big news-Kerry lost the election. It was close, just as in 2000-Ohio was the deciding state, though. rrrrr. Erika’s sad and sick about it. “Welcome to Redneck Nation/Jesusland”. Bob Harris said some good things about it.

So, since last week-I took Fri and Mon off-and got promptly got sick-100 temp and tired, sore throat. Didn’t go to class. Saw a baby Dr. on Fri. We went to my parents on Sat. & had a nice dinner. Trick or treating at Belmont Shore on Sun. Went to the Dr. on Monday. Erika’s birthday is today-we’re going to a dinner.

I don’t really want to talk about politics-tired of the subject. I’m reading the Daily Show book. Everyone is saying to buck up and organize. {sigh}

I got an update to Squeak, and mythTV. That looks cool-a TIVO on a Linux box… I also got some good management type docs.

Gotta go-gotta move some $$$ and get home for the dinner.

Daily posting-10/28/2004

I normally don’t post more than once a week, but this article is chilling-it’s from Amnesty International and it goes into how the U.S is behaving in regards to torture and how AI says it should be repaired: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAMR511452004. Read this. All of it. The kind of stuff the Bush administration is doing is why the rest of the world hates us, and why there are people who want to kill us, too. (Admittedly, the folks who want us dead is a pretty small number, but when you’re willing to die for your cause it sure makes up for being a little guy.)

It was rainy the past few days, but nice now. We need the rain, and although it’s a record for October, it’s still less than is needed to make the drought go away. Not much else-it’s Halloween this weekend-the kids have costumes and Erika is making hers-I’ve got my “costume” tshirt… We’re going to my parents on Sat., maybe see a movie and have dinner for our anniversary, Erika’s parents on Sun. for trick-or-treating. I still have to get another present and get the kids’ ones for Erika too. I’m taking tomorrow and Monday off, so it’ll be a little easier, even though we have a Dr’s app’t Friday afternoon. c’ya! Happy Samhain!

Daily posting-10/26/2004

Here it is, Tuesday. I forgot to do this last week. I moved to GeoCities-they have less intrusive popups. Now I have to wait for the spiders to pick me up again. I left a redirect on the main page-that should pick some up.

The last 2 weeks: got my car smogged-and the new tag yesterday. Quick. We shopped for Halloween costumes, ate dinner at Peppinos-I had leftover pizza for 3 days! It’s been rainy here-heavy at times, and raining again tonight. Finishing up the questionnaire, revamped the UUFLB website-Erika disapproved of me doing it. We were going to go to a Guinness World Record kite thing in Long Beach, but Colin had a temp. Instead we went to a kid’s thing at the OC fairgrounds-rides and stuff. Shopped for Erika’s birthday and anniversary-we’ve been married 6 years next week! Erika has our minister’s son today. Thinking about going to Pilates class tonight…but I think Erika will be way tired… One of the guys I went to school with has updated his website-go visit it: http://www.bobharris.com. He’s pretty funny, and smart, too.

Well, we’re winding down to the end of the presidential campaign…It’s been ugly and very close, even now. All I can say is that the facts really do speak for themselves. If you’re undecided, read these articles: (thanx, Garry Trudeau)








After reading those, even the staunchest Bush supporter should have doubts and be questioning this administration. But questioning things is something not allowed in the conservative universe, so, what can you do? The polls are as tight as in 2000-no matter who wins, this is going to the courts. Maybe we’ll move to Halifax, I can keep my job at Quest…

I picked up some sound software. My wife bought some pants and got 100 free downloads at eMusic.com. I’ve snagged 50 so far, the rest are hers. Problem is that the download manager they give you sucks-one of the downloads worked-I switched to regular html downloading and it works fine-crappy software…There’s a bunch more music I’d like to d/l, but I don’t really want to pay…We’ll see.

Daily posting-10/15/2004

End of the week. I’m tired-but it might be the pizza I ate…or not. Dreams, dreams, dreams.

Not much happening-I have to get the car smogged-yippee! Erika had meetings last week, I went to Fry’s on Friday, Pilates and the Harvest festival on Sat, church and the park on Sun. I finally filed all my cd’s. We got the “great parents” award at school. I’ve been trying to do Pilates a few times a week. Boy, do I live an exciting life!!!

What a mess this election cycle is-the idiotic non-debates-smirky and snarly, big jaw and haircut. The thing with the gay daughter, the thing with throwing out voter registration forms. Whatta joke. I’m moving to Ireland. No problem to keep this going there, and finding a good job shouldn’t be a problem either.

I got JBoss and the new Google desktop search. Also ldap and some lisp stuff. I also found a kOOl online RPG called the Kingdom of Loathing. I found a decent TCL tutorial online-it’s like Lisp, sort of. I also found a neat book called “The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs”. Looks complex, but worthwhile.

Daily posting-10/6/2004

October is here. Woo hoo-at least it ends with Samhain…that’s something. We’re planning to do a thing at the Circle Supper…Not much else going on.

The last week: we saw “Ladder 49” on Friday, OK, but a bit cliched. The subwoofers got a good workout, though. Erika went to a conference at UCLA Sat., we went to the cube, but it closed early, so we went for ice cream at the Spectrum. Sunday was church, we took a chick from one of Erika’s groups, had lunch at the Spectrum, and napped. The week has been normal-not much to say-working on the QC audit writeup, starting in on a GLBT church questionnaire.

So, the first set of “debates” is over. What did we learn? Chimpy is pretty smirky, and has trouble finding the right words-“those folks” indeed! Kerry did pretty well, Edwards did pretty well, Cheney is pretty snarly. We’ll see if these mean anything-I have seen a bit of a bump in the vote predictor, but not enough to make Kerry president. Domestic policy is next on the plate, and Bush is really vulnerable there. I filled out the sample ballot-the 3 strikes and casino initiatives forced me to read the actual text of the legislation. ack. Here’s a good way to pick out people when there’s no party affiliation and no bio: first pick women, then the non-incumbent, then the one with the most liberal-type job.

Mount St. Helens is acting up, and I have a link to a webcam-click here. This could take awhile to turn into something interesting. Right now it’s just foggy, but the cam hasn’t updated since 11 (it’s 1 now)-the webmaster just said that there’s a connection failure…

I picked up FireFox yesterday-just don’t trust aieeee-M$ isn’t updating it for non-XP users anymore. We’ll see how long that lasts… I got a PHP book out of the libe-I’ve read Python, Perl and now PHP. Perl looks like the odd man out here… Apache just picked up Agila, a BPM server engine from Cloudscape. Open source is just getting better and better. You can do anything you want with free software (except get support-you have to go to Usenet for that).