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The Indefinite Article.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year from the Fredas!


Wow, I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by. And what a strange year it has been. The strangest thing for me has been that I have now officially spent an entire year in Texas. Actually, this is the first time since I got out of university that I have spent an entire year in the United States...

Anyhow, here are some of my favorites from 2004:

Favorite Book Read In 2004
The Diamod Age by Neil Stephenson.

Favorite Movie Seen in 2004
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Favorite General Food Item
Enchiladas. I re-discovered enchiladas. I love them. With red-sauce or green-sauce or mole-sauce or orange-chipotle, or whatever. Enchiladas.

Favorite Mode of Transportation

Favorite Song or Album
Definitely my brother's album. I am so proud of him! And all filial bias aside, the music is great!

Favorite Web Application Framework
Ruby on Rails. This framework kicks ass! Elegant. Comphrehensive. Flexible.

Favorite Coffee Shop Activity Besides Reading and Drawing
Doing the New York Times Crossword puzzle

Favorite Breakfast Item
An English Muffin With Butter and Jam

Thursday, December 30, 2004


Checkout this story about a project to build a mega-highway through Texas!

The Winged Beetle

When i saw this i thought to myself, "...i wonder how much of a mileage increase those souped up Honda Civics get with those outrageous spoilers?"

Wednesday, December 29, 2004



I want to donate some money to the disaster relief effort ...

but to what organization? Any reason to choose Red Cross/Crescent over Medecins Sans Frontieres?

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

More Newer music?

Epitonic + Low = Good

Monday, December 27, 2004

Did it really snow in Houston?

I want fotos or video. I need proof. That is just amazing! And wonderful! Did it snow in Austin too?

a b

Josh Rubin: Cool Hunting: Violight

It is so funny I see this: Josh Rubin: Cool Hunting: Violight when I was just thinking it would be cool to have dish cabinets with UV bulbs in it to kill germs.

Civil Defense

My battery wouldn't start the engine when we were leaving Shreveport and everybody told me to replace it rather than risk it not starting again. Since the Beetle was loaded up with all of our luggage and enough Christmas jazz for a two city tour, I stayed with it at the Sears automotive center outside of Mall St. Vincent. It took about an hour and a half and I stood outside the garage watching the mechanics tinker with it (they were busy that day and replacing anything in the Beetle is a hassle). One of the things I saw was a sign marking the auto shop as a fallout shelter.

I think that I've been passively curious about fallout shelters since I was in grade school and the public school where we had soccer practice had a sign for one. Looking at the sign on the Sears, my curiosity started to grow. What exactly qualifies something as a fallout shelter? Is there some remnant government organization that maintains the network? How were these things funded? Who owns them? What laws or regulations govern their access and use? My assumption is that none or few are wheelchair accessible, if there is an ongoing government program, are they working to make fallout shelters accessible? In my first Google search, I found civildefensemuseum.com, which seems to consist of one guy in the Dallas area.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Graphing Calculator Story

The Graphing Calculator Story: "In turn, I told people that I was reporting to him. Since that left no managers in the loop, we had no meetings and could be extremely productive."

This is such a lovely story. it is a pity that I didn't get around to reading it when Slashdot linked to it a while back.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas Everyone

It snowed in Houston today, but my first thought was not, "Hey, it's snowing!" My first thought was, "Hey, it's raining snow!"

By the way, if you open the photo in a new window, you can see a larger version of the xmas card.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Manuok Video

Hey folks check this video (give it a few seconds to download and then double-click) that my brother's record company put together. I am so proud of him!!!

Also, has anybody seen any episodes of the The Office? My word, is it funny and sad...

The Ghost of Christmas Future


Do crazy people see true things that people who aren't crazy do not? Can they see a person's aura? can they see me how i will be tomorrow? or how i have been? is each crazy person imbued with a particular vision?

He was an old man wearing reindeer antlers with blinking lights on them. I was standing on the corner of lamar and main waiting for my bus. Loose groups form at bus stops; those with common busses tend to huddle together and share idle conversation. As soon as i had arrived on the corner i had taken a long look down the opposite end of the lamar. There is a pattern, i realized, I look for. There is a particular look to the road if it is jammed up wtih busses and the cars that are swerving around them to get out of downtown quickest. The road was nearly empty. The near huddle of cars was three blocks away and i couldn't see the tops of any busses peeking from behind them.

I relaxed a little bit and retreated under the eaves of the corner building. I put my backpack down beside me and stretched my shoulders. "You look tired," she said, "got all your shopping done yet?"

"No," i replied, "that's why i look like this"

We shared xmas stories from how my son is learning not to touch teh glass ornaments on our xmas tree to shopping till the last minute. It was during this small talk that the busses started to pile up at the distant lights. I picked up my backpack which, in a very subliminal way, is an indication for everyone to get ready. And if you were above us, watching our little ant bodies, you would see the loosely organized clusters gently start to move, to rock back and forth from under the eave to the edge of the curb. look closer and you would see most everyone squinting down street trying to decipher the green marquee dots that sit along the top of the buses.

The first bus to show up is an express bus. The express group gathered their bags and started to shuffle up to the curb while it was still sitting at a red light a block away. At the curb at the end of a loose line that was beginning to form, a man was taking a long last drag on his cigarrette before he tossed it. And from nowhere a small old bearded man ran up to him and pointed at his cigarrette. It caught my attention only becuase of how insistent and determined he seemed to be. I thought for only a brief second that he was asking to borrow a cigarrette. In a flash, though, the man handed the nearly new cigarrette to the old man and boarded the bus.

I thought i heard an mmm-mmm from his beard as he puffed several quick clouds of smoke from his beard. I looked back down at the book i carried with me. He came and stodd in front of me and adjusted the antlers he had on his head. He mumbled something, or maybe i was really not listening.

"Excuse me?"

"Are my lights flashing?"

I looked up to and saw the red and green lights flashing on his antlers. "Yes, they are," i replied. He shook his eyes and kinda grinned and took a big drag. He was downwind from me so the smoke trailed behind him like a train engine but i could still smell the old smoke in his corteroy jacket, and the tar that had stained his white beard.

He had the same body as my father-in-law. His skin was folded around his hands the way the blankets look when you don't make your bed. He stood maybe 5 to 6 inches shorter than me, so it wasn't immediately that i noticed that he had put his fist out to me. I tapped his fist with my own and figured that if i continued to read he would simply walk away. He didn't of course, and i was ready with my, "I'm sorry, i don't carry cash," (i don't) response. These days i always think of Amber who will offer street people a laundry list of shelters and help centers when they ask for money.

Instead, he said, "Do you know who loves you more than me?"

"A lot of people, i think.," i replied sarcastically.

"No. Him," and he motioned with his eyes and his hands skyward, "Do you know why?"

"I really don't know," i replied honestly.

"Because he wants your soul!" He was just staring at me and was standing close. i felt myself backing up slightly. "You're going to die. You're going to die. You're going to die." I thought it was odd that he would say it three times. "Are you going to heaven?"

"I assume so." I tried to exude some sort of confidence or aggressiveness. It must have worked, because with that response he shrugged his shoulders and walked off. Normal encounters with street people don't really phase me this way, but today was a spectacularly normal day. The kind of day that i will never remember in a million years. The kind of day that will simply melt into the year that was 2004 when someone asks me about the time i lived in Houston, or the time that i spent taking the bus to and from work. So when his yellow and white wrinkled face was parked in front of mine for that brief time, it seemed extraordinary as if by providence.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Google Suggest Dissected...

Holy shit this is cool: "Chris Justus - Server Side Guy: Google Suggest Dissected..."

Recently, I've started learning more about JavaScript. I used to think of it as a kludge for creating "interactivity" (i.e. rollovers), or spawning advertising windows you can't close without shutting down the browsers, and various things that only worked if you had a specific operating system. Gmail started to change that outlook and Google Suggest and my exploration into how Google AdWords works has completely turned it around. I haven't even seen Google Suggest in action, or maybe I did. Today when I opened up my new Gmail account I started to type a list of todo items to email to my mac.com email account and when I went to type in my email address, it suggested my mac.com address and filled it in for me, just as if I were using a desktop client! At first I was freaked out, but then I realized that I had given it to them when I signed up. They had just thoughtfully added it to the Gmail address book and the suggest tool looked it up for me. Fantastic!

The Nice People at the White Stripes.

I have a CD printer. You Know the kind that prints on CDs.
There are various off shore websites that you can download the art that is on the Audio CD's you buy from the store.
The One big draw back of buying albums from itunes is that YES you get the Jacket Cover. but the Actual Cd you print is
either generic VERBATIM or just plain white, the color of printable cds.
So you either create your own cd art work which is cool sometimes but sometimes not.
The Point is the nice people at the White Stripes official website post All of the printed material
that comes inside a store bought cd.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Hello my friends.

Hello to you all.

It has been a too long seperation. I have not even looked at the blog in some time.
I have wanted to speak so much with each of you and I keep my distance.

It has been too long indeed.

I mostly don't know what to say.

I am here at work. I am behind on my deadlines.
The girls are in West Virginia, I will be joining them on the 22nd.
Work is work.

The time is going by so much. Where am I.
I read the posts and see you guys in proximity to each other.
I don't know why the fuck I have placed so much distance between myself and those I love.
I am not hear for all dour reasons, even though the miss I feel is large and tangible.

The holidays are upon us.
I want to say so much and all of my typing is not getting at the heart of it.
what to say, what to say.

I am going to the indoor skatepark tonight, brought my stuff with me so I can leave right from work.
I am gonna go up to the Mountain this weekend and go snowboarding.

Last nite, I was scanning pages Hannah put together for a book for Laura for chrstmas. While I waited for the scanner to scan, I pulled down a sketch book from when I first got up here. First of all I have to admit that I love to look at my own drawings almost best of all. Drawing and writing thoughts down that are elicited by the drawings, that is something that seems like time well spent. To hold a whole book of pages all filled with things that I saw and things I imagined.
I think one of the best things is haveing no preconceived ideas, when things are most pure, the blank page draws out that which is inside. I have been trying to teach myself new ways of working since I am paid to be "creative" but looking back at how I work when it is done in the same mode as putting on my shoes before I go outside, there is a feeling that arises, a smile afloat on tears.
like the whole of a person in order.

This is not really going anywhere.
just me reconnecting with my friends.
I can tell by how the tiny letters on my screen arrange themselves. I can tell that a familiar hand was at work somewhere crafting a voice in a silent medium. I can feel the letters together to make a smile and a slight turn of the head, suggesting an understanding that comes with a shared history. Like two bubbles connected by a straw. Letters formed into words, all that thinking and feeling shaped for travel, shaped to hold and wait, and release. I feel you all with me looking over my shoulder.

Does anyone want to go with me to the Mountain this weekend?
Or the skatepark tonight?

I miss those girls.
All the noise and chaos gone out of my day.
It's quiet.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

UPDATE: There are few things that are more difficult or heart wrenching than having to put two drops, three times a day into your 2 year-old son's eyes. This is the most difficult thing about Pink Eye, which is a misnomer. It should actually be called, "Yellow-pus-ee-squirting-morning-crusty eye."

Pink Eye Blues

Adolfo was diagnosed with pink eye last night, so i am home today. In a way this is good; i can try and clean up the house in between activities with adolfo. he's in his room right now, spilling out his ABC's on the floor.

I wish it wasn't raining, then at least i could take him outside and tire him out for his nap this afternoon ... looks like it'll be a lot of 'chase me!' today.

Carol & Killy

May I have your home mailing address & current e-mails, por favor? Also, do you have a home phone # -- I only have your cell. You can e-mail me at ambant@earthlink.net

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Finding Applications

This morning I wanted to send someone a screenshot of a long web page. I didn't want the printed goofiness of printing to pdf. I knew there was an app it tried out before and I could find the png I made with a long web page with it. However, I coulnd't remember it's name. How can I know the function of each of the 150 or so applications in my computer? Answer: Google Search: "mac os x" png screenshot september

It this just an "Adolph is crazy" question, or do other people have this problem? I want to be able to query the executables on my computer and ask: who does what? who can do this? who does the same thing? who takes the least resources to product the same product?

Mac Forums - OS X 10.3.7 This Week?

Looks like there may be another 10.3 Update: Mac Forums - OS X 10.3.7 This Week?
I haven't even updated to 10.3.6 yet. I wonder if the 10.3 series will get up to double digits (like 10.3.10) before 10.4 is released.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

GREP Numbered List for li tag


Replace With:

Email Etiquette

Customer service situation: Person emails me to change their email address and I am responding. The name on the account says Billy. The name on the email header says Bill. He did not make a salutation in the email request. What name do I use in the greeting of my email?

In retrospect, I could have gone for the formal last name. However, in this circumstance, I chose Bill, since that is the name that the email referred to.

Monday, December 13, 2004

This is a test of MarsEdit. It is slick, of course. I like how all you have to do to set up a new blog is point it at the blog url, rather then enter in the xmlrpc url and blog id like in some other blog clients I have used...

I can't seem to add a title to this post. I guess they are using the blogger xmlrpc api, which does not support titles ...

Also, I think it is interesting that I can edit anyone's post...rather than just your own...

This would be a sweet client for MoveableType type blogs that have all sorts of category, and trackback features ...

But as far as a client for Blogger, well, I think I am going to stick with good ol' PaperLantern ...

Review of Online Transcription Services

Twenty-first Century Typist :: mike.whybark.com
This guy tried two different online transcription services with drastically different results. It is a pretty interesting read, if you are interested in such things. I've beden fascinated by offshore transcription services since the doctor husband of a first cousin one-removed told me how it works for doctors: he just records his voice notes into a digital recorder, docks it at the end of the day, and the next day he has transcriptions of all of his notes. How do regular people get in on such a sweet service? It may not be as expensive as you think. Read on for the details.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Silent Blog, Ali G Blog

Also, I found this article to be very interesting...
Think diffferent?

While I'm thinking about it...Compost Question

Amber, so i've got this wire compost bin about 2'x3' and about 3 feet high. as of now all i have in there are leaves and a few grass clippings that my father-in-law may have inadvertantly rakes up (normally, i just keep that stuff on the yard.) Is there anything else i have to do, or do i just let it sit? another question is this: when i want to add the eggshells, grape stems, etc ... that carol has accumulated how deep should i bury them into the pile? right now, the bin is about 3/4 full.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Google AutoComplete is Neat


i really wanted to play hooky today

it was really hard to get out of bed - everyone is shopping and hanging out - everyone is happy - but i'm here today - at work - and my boss just announced that the admins are going to have a 3 hour lunch today
so things can be worse i guess
our little family went to see the christmas lights at hermann park last night - it was a beautiful little display and very creative and romantical - the best part was my little baby boy running around and around and happy and excited to be free free free free!!!!
Killy took lots of pictures but i can't download them here so you'll have to wait until killy does it himself
our christmas tree is up and waiting for presents which are strewn about the house here and there waiting to be wrapped - our christmas lights on the house are twinkling blue icicles - the tree is draped with a blue and white paper chain and sprinkled with paper snowflakes
adolfo gets put into time out if he touches the tree
he's been pretty good about it though
although i'm going to have to find a new place for time out because he can climb on the bookshelf now to entertain himself while unwittingly endangering himself
and that is just too cute!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Coolest Thing Ever

This audio recorder is great! Its perfect to record your kid's first few words, or your grandpa's wwII stories, or your wife's sing songy sing songiness, or lecture notes or evidence in a high-profile fraud and embezzlement case, or proof that your brother snores or just about anything except those voices in my head!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Tonight will be much better

Tonight will be much better. I could feel the cold through the outer wall. Is this normal?, i thought to myself. It must have been about 3:00 a.m. My son had woken up and pulled himself out of his own bed and was scampering up the side of ours. Sleepily, i reached down and pulled him up and stuffed him next to his mother. He was asleep again, but i felt the cold. Had someone turned off the heater? Was a window left open? I put my hand to the cold wall. I imagined how one might tear open the drywall and stuff it with new insulation, or even wool blankets, or even burning hot coals. I had a mini-dream with me and a utility knife and a large hole in my wall. I was stuffing the pink panther into my walls.

So, i'm going to move the bed from the wall this afternoon and caulk my window.

Tonight will be much better. Still ingering from Thanksgiving were Carol's parents. Her mother hitched a ride with carol's brother to chicago in order to visit and pick up items left from their original move to mexico several years ago. Carol's father had been staying with us. Unfortunately, he was so bored. It was raining so much that he couldn't really find much to do at the house. He was mystified by teh DVD player, so unless we started it for him, he couldn't even watch a movie. He was bored stiff. I felt really bad. We tried as best we could to get him out of the house once we got home.

Yesterday, i picked up Carol's mother and her extremely heavy luggage from the airport. Carol's father demanded that they leave immediately. That meant that she HAD to have chinese before she left (they love that stuff), had to go to IKEA to exchange an item she had bought, and go to Target to buy gifts for the ladies that were watching their house while they visited the states. They wanted to leave as early as possible. A quick search of the bus schedules left me a with a lump in my throat: 6:30 a.m. was the first bus out of houston to mcallen, tx. Of course, that meant leaving the house at 5:30, which meant getting up at 4:30 to get carol ready for work, adolfo iv ready for school, carol's parents packed and ready and myself put together for work.

This morning i got to work at 6:40 after having dropped off the parents, bought their tickets, and escorted them to the proper gate. Before, however, i did stop at the Shipley's on Richmond and 59 downtown for kolache's for mama and daddy, and a cake donut & milk for adolfo iv. Unfortunately, he didn't like ti too much, but he did drink his milk. I think he much rather have had eggs.

I will miss carol's dad. While he was around i managed to get a lot of little things done at the house that i otherwise may not have gotten around to doing. I finally fixed the venting from the dryer. A bit of advice: if you are ever working with dryer venting, save yourself some frustration and be very very aware of the diameter of your venting. I got on my roof and swept it clean. I'm glad i did cause there were a few clumps of leaves and branches that were gathering wet spots from the recent rains. I finally built a small wire frame compost heap. I took down the broken ceiling fan in the garage. I manged figure out exactly why the door to my son's room sticks (i have to buy some new screws for the door.) I hung the mirror perfectly in our master bathroom.

I would have to say that this weekend was probably my most productive so far. Saturday night, once adolfo had fallen asleep carol and i left him with abuelito so we could slip away and fetch an xmas tree. I really wanted to take adolfo with us, but the tree would not fit in the car with his car seat in it. 20 minutes later we pulled back into the garage with a modest noble fir tucked into the trunk. We placed it in it's stand with water (after a fresh trim at the bottom) and made sure it stood straight. we didn't decorate it till the next morning, which was surprisingly muggy and warm. I had to put the a/c on that night for the first time this season.

That made putting up xmas lights very uncomfortable. It is surreal to be hanging xmas lights while getting eaten by mosquitoes.

Tonight will be much better cause i now know that all i can do is treat my son's symptoms. The cough that made for such an awful evening on monday, and what kept me home tuesday is just something we have to wait out. I tbsp of Robitussin Pediatric Cold & Cough, and 1 tbsp of Benadryl Children's to keep the mocos away with the added benefit of knocking him out cold for the night.

Sunday, December 05, 2004


So I am hanging out at the local coffee shop, drawing and crosswording and what not - and then I notice that someone else is sharing their iTunes library...and it is full of music I had never heard of before like DJ Cheb i Shabbah and the music is great and now my musical horizons have been broadened and also I have had 2 cups of coffee so I am going end this sentance with several exclamation points!!! Also, it would be sweet if iPods and other music players could share on the local network. I mean, how much more interesting would the bus-ride be if you got clued in to some new music?

Happy Holidays!

Okay, so we're camera happy new parents. Here's another one:

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Some Amazing Javascript Image Fade Doodads


also pickpocket.com

Friday, December 03, 2004

Safari Feature, or Bug?

One of my most common usages of Safari is to open a new tab and then type in an address. I do this a lot to open up a few sites and shift over to whatever one I started first. The drawback to this is that you shift focus to the new blank tab whenever you open a new one and type in address. This morning I found a new way:

  1. it Command L to type in an address.
  2. Type in the new address.
  3. Instead of hitting Return to go to the new address, hit Command Return to open up a new tab in the background to the new address

This probably only works if you (a.) have tabbed browsing enabled, (b.) have "open new tabs in background" or some-such enabled.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Associated Press

Check out this article the Associated Press did about office plants, citing little 'ol me as their primary source (note geeky photo!):


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Blast from the Past

I thought this was really really really funny. And i found it on boing boing!

Doctor Visit

I went in for a checkup today. I had not been to the doctor's in over ten years. The doctor ran through the usual battery of tests, including some digital exams ...

I was happy to find out that my blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels are all normal. The doctor also assured me that I do not have any mold growing in my brain. I was also pleased to discover that I have put on a couple of extra pounds. I now weigh in at a solid 147. I have not weighed this much since those 6 months we spent in Poland eating sausage and drinking 30% milk...

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Trixie Update

The Trixie Update This is an amazing project.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Idea of the Day

One of the problems with spinning wheel covers is that the spin is largely uncontrolled. At first, I thought that a gravity operated aerodynamic flap system would be the solution to slow down the movement of the spinner. However, this would only work at higher speeds.

I think the ultimate solution will be a gravity captured electronically shiftableplanetary gear system. This would propel the spinner at several different ratios. The electricity could be generated by the wheels themselves. This would give the car operator control over what the spinners are doing--for example, the driver may want the spinners to move quickly when driving slowly, or vice versa. An torque activated escapement within the hub would allow the spinners to spin freely when the car isn't moving.

my luby's holiday

howdy everybody.

so, i spent turkey day at old fogey headquarters; Luby's in San Marcos.

you can get some insight on that experience here.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thankgiving Cutie, Part II

What i didn't know at the time was that i was supposed to have covered the turkey after the first two hours. I didn't do this; so even thought the turkey was supremely delicious and flavorful, it was nearly black on the outside. Rather than putting my two charcol-colored turkeys on display next to a golden brown oven baked turkey, i decided to slice it up and place it on a serving platter.

As for the dinner itself, it was unforgettable, to say the least. I didn't even eat. Carol's sister decided to have a freak-out that left my stomach in knots for the entire evening. I imagine that it was pretty good. The mashed potatoes looked great and the ham that carol had prepared had a fantastic glaze on it.

and before i forget, here's our thanksgiving cutie:

Thanksgiving Cutie

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving From Indianna!

Thursday, November 25, 2004


Turkey is in the oven,
Mash Potatoes?
You Betcha,
Green Beans, got em.
All systems go,
I see a nap in my future.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

This Weekend + A Day

Hog Hunting with the Snyder's. Went down south of San Antone with Ryan, Thomas and his brother Russel. Met Albert and Deborah down at the ranch. The sun had just set. We walked as quietly as we could out to the field were Al and Deb had been laying feed. Al spotted a hog and lit it up with a red lamp. Two shots fired. Yelling and weezing. A 200 pound boar laid low. A clean shot to the head. Thomas hit the mark at 30 yards.
We drug the carcass back to house. Strung it up. Thomas and Russel did the cutting. Albert stopped them often with knowledge and pointers. The guts were amazing. Massive intestines. A humongous liver. The boys did not cut any organs. No spoiled meat. Hours later the coyotes got a bucket full of hog innards. Albert got a fridge full for pork-sausage.

The Great Flood of Ought Four. Back in Austin the rain coming down. I had a massive headache so I took the blue pill. The rain coming down hard. Maybe lightening woke me up. Not sure why its 2 A.M but then water coming in through the front door. I put down a towel and the parking lot was flooded ankle deep. An inch or two of water under my bed. Todd got up. We woke up our neighbors. Todd suggested we sweep the water out with the broom instead of mopping. It works. I have no furniture so nothing to wet. Sketchbooks safe inside a big Tupperware bin. The water never makes it into Todd's room.
The neighbors are not so lucky. The carpets are soaked and filthy. The kitchens and bathrooms and bedrooms are full of mud and water. We help folks move and mop and sweep. The Carpet Cleaners show up sometime around 5 A.M. Their loud hoses clean carpets.

Sheetrock. Amber and Adolph in Austin. Cutest house near Hyde Park. Great windows. The front ones are laced like apple pie crust. Hardwood floors. A beautiful bathroom sink. Nice wide rooms. Good high ceilings. The old house smell. Unfinished closets. A pile of sheetrock. Work. I was the Master Cutter. Todd was in charge of Weights and Measures. Adolph and Taggart figured out what needed to go where and the drilling and the what to do next. Amber cleaned and spackled. It was friends helping friends do things the hard way. The best way.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Thanks Judynet!

Hey Guys,
I'm blogging from the new place courtesy of Judynet! It is a tenuous connection, and for some reason wants a PPPoE connection, but I'm getting two bars most of the time from the middle room of the new place! I was doing sheetrock math with Amber when I noticed the connection come up. Before paint, we decided to sheet-rock the unfinished closets. The first four will take 15 sheets by our estimate. There is one left in the bathroom, but we are going to wait on that until it dries out a bit.

It is so nice to be in Austin, even if it has rained the entire time we've been here. This morning we went and got coffee at Mojo's and I re-realized how nice it is to be able to pick up an Austin Chronicle and then we went over to Taggart's place and had a yummy brunch with him and Todd, and then we measured the house and then we went to Home Depot and then we saw The Incredible's, which was a really fantastic film.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Principality of Sealand

The history of Sealand is a story of a struggle for liberty. Sealand was founded on the principle that any group of people dissatisfied with the oppressive laws and restrictions of existing nation states may declare independence in any place not claimed to be under the jurisdiction of another sovereign entity. The location chosen was Roughs Tower, an island fortress created in World War II by Britain and subsequently abandoned to the jurisdiction of the High Seas. The independence of Sealand was upheld in a 1968 British court decision where the judge held that Roughs Tower stood in international waters and did not fall under the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. This gave birth to Sealand's national motto of E Mare Libertas, or "From the Sea, Freedom".

Read more about this here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


My friend Jaime took me to the Alamo Drafthouse downtown to see Davy Rothbart, the driving force behind Found Magazine. It was a great show. Davy read some of his favorite stuff from the magazines and the new book. His brother, sang a bunch of songs inspired from stuff found. Then, folks from Austin were invited to share their special finds.

I was so pleased to discover this scene. It seems to me to be like verbal snap-shot photography in the style of the late Cartier-Bresson, in that the found letters, notes and postcards capture and share moments that are, paradoxically, both particular and general. And much like the photographer, practitioners find themselves constantly on the lookout for interesting stuff and in this way participate more fully in the life and time that surrounds them.

Also, I think about what a great service to historians and social scientists that Found Magazine and its contributors are making. They are collecting and preserving an important, insightful and otherwise neglected elements of the human record. I mean, how invaluable would be if archeologists found a record of a spontaneous and casual converstation between two 12 year olds in ancient Babylon!

House of the Spirits

I finished reading Isabel Allende's, House of the Spirits. It was a wonderful book and a wonderful read, i find myself wanting to read it again.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Something's going on...

In the Chavez Household.

It's Raining, it's Pouring...

the old man is snoring
he went to bed, bumped his head
and couldn't get up in the morning

A likely story. There are some researchers who think that the old man's death was not an accident at all. There are some who think that the old man was murdered. Thats right, murdered. But who would want to murderer such a sweet old man?

Lets take a look at the suspects:

Martha, the old man's wife

It is not well known, but before she married the old man Martha was a promising Soprano. She was trained at the famous Washbury Conservatory of Music and was seen by most instructors and critics as a rising star in the Opera world. But it was not just her powerful voice or her striking good looks that led them to believe this- Martha, was also gifted with an ear for music so keen that she could have rivaled the great Mozart himself in a contest of musical memory...

But this promising career was cut short when she married the old man. Soon after they married they started a family. By all accounts they were happy, raising three children and building a fine home. But over the years the old man's snoring got worse. And worse. Until finally Martha was forced to sleep in a different bed. And then in a different room. And then on a different floor.

Now imagine, just imagine what it must have been like for a person as gifted as Martha was, with an ear as keen as hers, to hear, night after night, a snoring so loud, so complex in its constuction, so un-patterned in its production, so raucous in its caucus of chordless cacophony that the very molecules that make up the air that transport the sound that pounds the windows and rattles the bed posts and causes a-trembling the teacups would conspire to let loose their bonds and drift away into the ether, as seperate elements, rather then suffer the unbearably nasal vibration emanating from the old man's sweet snory head.

But the old man's wife is not the only suspect...

Radio Pod?

Can someone check out this app? I'd like to know if this would allow me to stream This American Life to mp3 so i can listen to it later. I always seem to miss it on KUHF.

As posted on boingboing.net

Saturday, November 13, 2004

pablo mugging it up at the mall.

check it. pablo inaction.

10 Years of Proper Gander Celebration

After 10 years Grady Roper's Proper Gander is still going strong! There will be a celebration tonight, in Austin at the Gallery Lombardi

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Have You Seen The Incredibles?


Grand Theft Auto: Sim City

Rented GTA San Andreas last night.
It seems our boys over at rock star games have been playing to much
The Sims.
They took Elements from GTA Vice City further.
Wardrobe: In Vice you were able to buy differnt "outfits"
in San Andreas you can customize your whole wardrobe. Shirts, Pants, Shoes, haircut, facial hair.
can all be changed.
Elements of the Sims have been incorporated. Having to eat, winning respect (sort of like morale in the Sims)
Depending on how much you eat you can gain fat related to how much you exercise you can lose fat and gain stamina.
You can work out building muscle mass which increases your sex appeal.
If it wasnt enough to just have to kill people.

This is just amazing, really.

I read this and thought, "whoa, how crazy. its like playing a game of close combat with a view of the entire map"

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Yasir Arafat, the Father and Leader
Of Palestinian Nationalism, Dies at 75

Dang, a re-shuffling of cards in the Middle East indeed. What will come of this, I wonder?

The heart said yes, but the body said no

Waking up this morning was very very very very hard. My body was so worn from the previous days rides that i could hardly get out of the bed. My joints were stiff and my shoulders felt like i had two softballs beneath my skin.

So i'm taking a small break from riding to work, giving my body a chance to recover. Im hoping that i feel rested enough to resume my ride on friday. From then on, i've decided to ride the route only two days a week, Wednesday and Friday, and up it from there.

Hopefullly, that riding schedule will suit my flabby body better.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Being the expert of the drive between Houston and Austin.
Bastrop. Austin to Houston is 150 miles.....
Bastrop being 20 miles outside of Austin.
You took one week to finish what some people take two days to do for Adolph.

Even though ...

my ichat buddy list says adolph is available, i know he's standing in line at some Game Stop somewhere for Halo 2.

A grand total of ...

52.4 miles once i get home tonight.

it was hard to get up this morning. i slept so hard last night. usually, i hear the truck next door reving up for work, i hear our handed down refridgerator do it's death rattle, i feel my wife shift next to me, i hear my son cough.

if i can keep it up all week, that will be a grand total of 131 miles. What else is 131 miles away? I wonder if there is a site that will calculate a 131 mile diameter away from houston? there is this site that will calculate the distance between to cities.

Monday, November 08, 2004

How Awfull!!!!

You and these people need to start a support group.

Improbable? Funny? Horrible? Tragic? Sad?

I don't know how to describe it.

Today was the first day i attempted to ride my bike into work. I've been too scared to do t his on my own. Or maybe i was just too lazy to replace the tubes in my tires, too lazy to figure out how to make my brakes really stop me when i pressed them. It was last night, in fact, that i overcame my laziness (and fear) and did both those things. The most frustrating thing was the brakes. I have always been afraid of fixing bikes. When i was younger an older boy made fun of me as i was repairing a flat tire on my bike, he was especially mean as i tried to reset the chain. It turns out that i did NOT reset the chain properly; i had my uncle do it for me later. So, from then on, i pretty much just shied away from bike repair.

The braking system of a bicycle is remarkably intricate (looking through my eyes). I was sitting in the garage for nearly an hour and half before i was finally able to make proper adjustments.

This all came about with the re-location of a co-worker to my area. He mentioned to me that he was still going to ride in. The thought of riding into the Medical Center was not one that i entertained for very long. It was 13 miles. Riding in from my old apartment was only 4. I couldn't imagine having to cross over memorial drive; having to cross I-10; having to get past the north loop ...

But i did it this morning through the fog and again this evening as the sun went down. I got home just as the sun dipped beneath the horizon for a grand ride total of 26.2 miles (according to mapquest).

However amazing this might sound, it's nothing compared to what happened to me on the way home. With my road bike, I ran over a squirrel and killed it. If you've ever killed something with your car then you're familiar with the 'cringe' you make as you realize you're running over something. You even imagine that you can feel the bones breaking apart. Well, on a bike, it's 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times worse.

Shawn laughed and i cringed and hung my head in disbelief, as the little squirrel did his final death twitches in the road.

One of those "holy shit" moments in computing

I had one of those "holy shit" moments in computing today when I installed Quicksilver using the tutorial of Dan Dickinson: The Primary Vivid Weblog: QuickSilver - A Better OS X In Just 10 Minutes. I've often thought about how a computing interface can better integrate the best aspects of graphical and command line interfaces. In some ways, Windows operating system has tried to tightly couple those things: you can access just about any menu item with the alt key and a letter. However, this doesn't really address the way you really want to work. You don't want to think about explicitly switching between applications and be able to access menu's like you do with a mouse. You want the nature of the computer to reflect whatever it is you are doing. In other words, you don't want to think about switching between web browser to email editor to send an email, you want to send a communication to someone and it would be nice if there was a way for you to let the computer know your wishes without a whole lot of: switch application, new email, write in name, etc. Quicksilver is a new method of tying common computing activities together in an easily accessible way.

cure for insomnia

sweet, sweet sleep.

the update to 10.3.6 has cured a problem that has been plaguing me for some time; mac insomnia. i believe that a video card conflicty-thingy caused my poor little mac to become unable to sleep, a condition which caused me some concern. those crafty mac tech heads have returned sleep to my beleagured box and i am beside myself with glee.

ok, so it is really not that big a deal, but it has been some time since i posted and this seemed like a good excuse.

Address Book Exporter

Address Book Exporter from Gwenhiver.net is a very handy app. I'm a die-hard Address Book user because it syncs with my phone so well, but I never realized that that the application didn't have an export feature (aside from vCard files. This app fixes that hole.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

First Smiles

JPEG Problems

Several people with PCs had problems opening my JPEGs of Antonio sent by e-mail -- does anyone know why?? Is it something to do with Macs communicating with PCs? Shouldn't a JPEG open anywhere? Should I be saving it as something else?? As an "optimized" JPEG, maybe??

A long saturday and a full sunday

On saturday, It was my wife who woke me up, not adolfo. She had been up nearly an hour before me cooking and getting ready for an anticipated breakfast with the neighbors who called after a laborious hour of fevered preparation and cancelled. Luckily, the president of the mangum manor civic club was also coming over. Between teh four of us, we managed to clean out the large bowl of spicy chilaquiles that carol had worked so hard to prepare.

We spent the majority of the morning talking about the civic club and the redesign of the website and logo that i have been working on. They asked me to put together a presentation to the board on december the 2nd. For those of you who haven't seen it, here is the final logo as it will be presented. The primary color, it turns out, will be some variation of green, but in my vision the color would change from season to season.

We all walked to the park (from there, Brad and Elaine walked home) and watched adolfo swing about here and there. He climed the play tower all by himself for the first time. It wasn't long before he exhausted himself. we walked home and put him to bed without much incident.

Carol and i took advantage of the time alone to throw some paint up on the walls of two different rooms. After accidentally buying too many gallons of one ugly color when we first bought the house, we only buy a quart at a time of any paint, cover one wall with it and watch it over the course of a week. Only then can we really decide if we like anything. We put a bright green up on the east wall of adolfo's room and a dark rust color on the east wall of the guest room. The green adds a lot to adolfo's room (more than i really expected) and the rust color in the guest room really makes it seem a lot cozier than it once was.

After a few trips to Home Depot i decided to tackle the low pressure in the kitchen sink:

It took me three hours and the complete dismantling of my sink ...

but i did it!

I spent the majority of the evening putting the entire kitchen back together again. there was water in places i don't think had ever seen water and there were several loads of dishes waiting in the wings.


This can be summed up:

This is big, but it's really really cute. Notice how, after we take the first drink he encourages his mama (who is manning the camera, to do the same.

Update:It seems that i've exceeded some bandwith limit when i tried to upload the 5.2 Mb movie. Do i have that much on chairjockey?

Update 2:My mistake. I tried to upload that movie to earthlink, not chairjockey. Oops.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Some Cool Illustrations

Here from here

Thursday, November 04, 2004


A photo of our little chili pepper from Halloween:

Voice Cover

Hey everyone -- if you get a chance to pick up the Village Voice hardcopy, Ant'ny did a really beautiful cover illustration (not available on the on-line edition as far as I can tell). Here it is:

Gizmodo : BiblePlayer for iPod

Gizmodo : BiblePlayer for iPod: "Now a group of fans have gotten together to publish an English translation of one of the great collections of Jewish science fiction, designed specifically to be used on an iPod."

Now all of us iPod-listening blue-county city-slickers can catch the red state spirit!

The Story of the Election

I think that one of the really interesting things about the election was the use of ballot initiatives to turn out voters. In this year's case, eleven states had ballot anti-gay marriage language of some sort. Those initiatives likely had a strong pull to the polls for religious conservatives that counteracted all the ill will Bush has built up because of the war. If Nader was the spoiler in 2000, I think that these may turn out to have been the spoiler in 2004.

The other thing that happened, from my perspective, was the disappearance of the Greens. Basically, in 2000, the Greens selected (not democratically as far as I could tell) Nader. In his speech here I was moderately interested in his statements saying that he wanted to build the Greens as a grass-roots party over time and that 2000 was a kick-off to that. That never happened. It seemed to set the Greens back by a great deal. (Upon googling, found that the Greens had some sort of delegative process to nominate Nader.)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


and Executive.
My Brain Hole hurts.

A disappointing day

It is a disappointing day for me. I feel the same way after i lose a game of chess - horribly demoralized. So now (assuming that Ohio is lost to Kerry) we must trudge through another four years with nothing but hope inside us; hope that what democrats charge will happen in bush's next term was hyperbole; hope that something magical really will happen in Iraq; hope that the republican foreign policy hawks are 'right' -- that their (seemingly misguided) good intentions to 'keep america safe' and 'keep america strong' really are the right thing for our country.

so i'm praying for the first time in a long time that things go well. that god really does watch over my country, my family, and my friends ...

... and God Bless America.

Bush Winner, Kerry Loser

Ancient Spaceball Proverb: Evil will always triumph ... because good is dumb.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Update

Went over to the Taggarts. Watched some Jon Stewart. Results started coming in. Soon beer wasn't eneough. Turned to whiskey. Now, it is 11:00 p.m. The election is far from over, but things are not looking so good. I think I am going to drink some Tequila...

Update 6:00 am - 254-252 at C-span. Ohio still not in. Over at Fox News the story is different. Bush Camp Claims Victory. Ohio To Bush. Geezus. CNN and NYT Havent called Ohio. No more tequila left. Switching to grape-fruit juice...

Its over.

I Voted!

and now i'm having an All American meal!

The Election

I am so glad that it is almost over. I am worn out by it. So wound up. Tired of being taken up and down based on headlines and punditry. I think I am going to buy a bottle of tequila tonight and hit it hard.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween

Had i spent halloween at my own home, i was planning on sitting outside with a bowlful of candy and a candelabra with red tapered candles, but it didn't happen; we ended up in Katy, with the singleterrys.

PBS Kicks ass

Rumfeld's War Online.

Its torture to wat ...buffering ..ch it on ...buffering...Windows Media Player ... but it is an excellent piece. So watch it anyway.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Photo iPod Thinking

Maybe it says something that I don't remember exactly if its the Photo iPod or the iPod Photo. Maybe it takes the third of so variation on a name to set the mold that the modifier comes after the name: iPod Mini, iPod Photo, (what next?). When I jokingly asked Killy if he was going to get one, he responds with some verbal force against the well received unit. I was kinda taken aback. What's the big deal?

The unit seems like a logical evolution of the iPod--color screen and more storage space. It's a matter of keeping up with or ahead of the Creatives and iRivers, etc. So with all this additional space, what are people going to do with it? How big are most people's music colelctions anyway? Okay, mine has grown to 18 gigs now, but is still far outstripped by my current iPod's 30 gig capacity, which is far smaller than the new biggie's capacity: 60 gig. Electronic photo album seems to be a logical next extension.

The iPhoto library I keep on my computer is 1.6 gig, so it is reasonable from a space perspective. One of the things my family enjoys whenever I return from a trip or am visiting is to check out pictures on my laptop, so photo display capacity within the iPod seems like it would be pretty handy. You just hook it up to the TV, clicky-clicky on the scroll wheel and presto, something handier than everyone squishing together in front of my laptop.

On the other hand, $600 for a music and picture player seems pretty excessive. For just $300 more, you can pick up an iBook and have a handy laptop that is far more flexible than the iPod. You can plug it into a TV just the same or show photos in 1024 by 728 resolution, much sharper than TV. You can play music with it too.

But would you really want to? The power of the iPod is how it leverages your current computer resources into spaces where using a computer is incovenient or practically impossible. The original iPod was dubbed too expensive at $399, and opened the way for larger capacity and more expensive versions. It also eventually lead the way to less expensive and more capable iPods. In some ways the iPod Photo is a version one, something to test the waters and see what it next.

Apple History Links:

Friday, October 29, 2004

Quoth the Phantom Menace

We didn't find difficulty dealing with Bush and his administration due to the similarity of his regime and the regims in our countries. Whish half of them are ruled by military and the other half by sons of kings and presidents and our experience with them is long. Both parties are arrogant and stubborn and the greediness and taking money without right and that similarity appeared during the visits of Bush to the region while people from our side were impressed by the US and hoped that these visits would influence our countries. Here he is being influenced by these regimes, Royal and military. And was feeling jealous they were staying for decades in power stealing the nations finances without anybody overseeing them. So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son and they call it th e Patriot Law to fight terrorism. He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states and he didn't forget to transfer his experience from the rulers of our region to Florida to falsify elections to benefit from it in critical times.

From the Drugde Report Transcript
Other transcripts here and here.

Song of the Day

Jumping someone else's train

The return of the canon sd-10

today, i expect the sd-10 to arrive all sparkly black from canon's repair center.

in other news, i plan on casting my vote today for john kerry.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

After I cast my ballot yesterday, I felt like I should have received some kind of receipt or confirmation, other than the "I Voted" sticker".

San Marcos Cinnamon Rolls

I was looking at this article on Engadget and started thinking about those San Marcos specialty cinnamon rolls--what were they named? A quick Google search brought me to a forum where people were chatting about their favorites and yes, someone mentioned the Manske Roll. Do they still make them? Does anyone care? If you can believe it, I actually found them to be too greasy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Rock the Vote

Vote November 2nd

Rock the Vote ... or Not

Truth be told, there is more incentive not to vote in new york than most would like to admit. new york's electoral votes always go to the democratic candidate, even though most of upstate new york and long island vote republican. still, the voting power of the largely democratic city itself vastly overwhelms the votes of the rest of the state. so when you already know that the popular vote is not what wins the presidency, where is the incentive to get involved in the whole bureacratic process?

This atmosphere of voter apathy is worsened by the fact that registering to vote guarantees that you will be added to the list for jury duty summons to be mailed to your address on a highly consistent basis. and who can afford to take off from work for several days of judicial drudgery? most new yorkers simply toss their jury summons in the trash each month, until they get increasingly more threatening notices that the law will come and hunt you down and drag your ass into the jury box...

or you might avoid all of the hassle and simply not register to vote and just let the electoral college work its magic, counting on there being enough do-gooders on the democratic side to save your lazy ass from months of guilt and self-flagellation over a republican won presidency, especially when the candidate is a complete moron at best and a religious zealot salivating at the prospect of armageddon at worst...

but, hey, don't blame me, I didn't vote!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Fascinating Report

on NPR about the 1953 US Coup in Iran that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. Read about it here...

Voter Registration Checker

Interestingly enough, this tool is a frame of a page on the accyes.org website. ACCYes is an organization dedicated to getting ACC into San Marcos. Here are the Trudeau's in Austin.


The Statesman Endorses Bush

Also, it looks like Elizabeth Riddle Sorensen voted on the 19th. But has Todd Serpa? Find out here.

Mambo rock

I've been tooling around with Mambo after talking with todd about the mangum manor webiste; or, at least, what the mm civic club president wants to do with the site. Thanks, todd, by the way.

New York Daily News: Ashlee's star is sync-ing far

Amber and I caught this performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend. It got me thinking, why not have pop music front people that are just lip sync-ers? It isn't as if actors actually say all the words in a movie. After the film is cut, they re-speak everything, then this is dubbed onto the final product. Likewise, the value of pop music people doesn't come from their singing voices; there is this larger performance that they keystone that is part of a powerful participatory experience. In the NY Daily News, they quote half of Milli Vanilly saying that "the sincerity behind their performances could never have been faked."

Speaking of Tiger and FontBook ...

has anyone actually tried using font book? i recently tried to cut down the amount of fonts that appear in ps. i was making my sister's engagement announcement and turned off all fonts with the exception of the few possible fonts i would use for the document, but when i tried to choose a font in ps, they were all still in the menu (and usable). i'm obviously not using it right, but does anyone know how to use it correctly?


today, i will probably cut my yard tonight. It rained most of the weekend here. as carol and i came upon houston from 290 we could see a huge rain cloud over houston. i could see, in my brainpan, the ground swelling and the dark mud in the long swath of what used to be a garden running along our fence.

from the kitchen window i could see that many of the petunias that i had planted last weekend, were blooming. i went outside to count: 12. Twelve petunias were blooming; four had 'double' flowers. I think this was the first time i've ever gotten my wife flowers. she always balked at me doing that for her before. (that is not exactly true, i did get her a dozen roses for v-day the first year the baby was born.)

meagan's son is really beautiful. translucent and bald with the brightest blue eyes. he laughed at carol and i. adolfo iv demanded that carol put him down. "mama! baby! down!" pointing his finger to the floor and grabbing at her legs all the while. i distracted him with a tub of toys that carlene keeps in the house.

adolfo and i also shared a batch of blueberry muffins. while the Ben the baby coo-ed and stared and spit up on my wife.

Meagan showed up after having had problems with her rental car.

We all headed to Frank & Angies for dinner and had a 'Chairman of the Board' pizza. I don't know what a chairman of the board and a buttload of red onion and bell peppers have to do with each other, but it was damn good. Adolfo IV shoved spaghetti into his mouth and ate the crust to one of my pizza slices.

Later, paul, todd, a girl whose name i forget and i walked down sixth, to west lynn, past Don's Depot to the Mean Eyed Cat Cafe for a pitcher of Dos Equis. We hung out there for maybe an hour and listened to a pretty good jukebox. And yes, there is a Johnny Cash song called 'Mean eyed cat'.

After a pretty fitfull sleep (three of us tried to sleep on paul's futon) we woke for breakfast at El Sol y La Luna. i can't remember if i've ever ordered anything other than the Huevos Motuleños.

We spent the rest of the afternoon with adolfo, taking him to the park so he could run himself tired for the trip home. We also managed to spend about an hour and a half at the Austin Children's Museum.

He slept the entire way home, thankfully.

AppleInsider | New Tiger builds reveal . . .

. . . That the Beatles' Rubber Soul is an album whose cover art is available somewhere? Looks like a Sosumi sound to me....
AppleInsider | New Tiger builds reveal smart font collections, security additions, more

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Day Nine.

I am heading Home manana.
Cant Wait.
The plane lands at 4pm.
In the past 9 days I have Gone from Austin to San Francisco.
San Francisco to Crescent City.....about 1/2 an hour from Oregon border.
Back to San Francisco.
San Francisco to Sonoma. 1hr north of S.F.
Sonoma back to S.F.
San Francisco to Bodega Bay.
45 Minutes North Hard left then West for 30 miles till you hit Bodega Bay.
Bodega Bay is where Alfred Hitchcock filmed "The Birds".
Then back to S.F. Where I am today.
1500 Miles total on the Pontiac vibe.
Back to the Apple store to check my Email.

Recipe Swap

Ha! Everyone says having a baby gets easier after the first month or two -- after reading carol's post, I'm not so sure. Of course, it's all worth it!! I love my little honey boy bambino wiggle worm antonio. he just smiled at anthony for the first time today. and now he says "coo-coooo" a lot which is really sweet. i love how much he complicates my life -- it's the best thing being a mom ... I feel a deeper contentment now than ever before. Who needs sleep, anyway?! Sleep is for losers!!

Carol, can you give me your recipe for the shells and turkey? sounds soooo yummy ...

Friday, October 22, 2004

United We Stand?

This is some scary shit.

Life in half hour increments

6 p.m. - I take off my work clothes and drop them on the floor in a puddle, baby still holding on to the skirt I just removed. I fish for the free hanger (that I try to keep at the front of the closet for such occasions) balancing myself on one foot because baby is climbing up my leg trying to either put my skirt back on me or on his head or something.

I can hear Killy in the living room unpacking his computer.

6:30 p.m. - Have changed Adolfo's diaper twice by now. He's smearing orange pulp into my hair and face from the freshly peeled fruit he just shoved into his mouth. I calmly explain to him that hitting mommy in the face is not nice. Killy gets up from his computer to sternly reprimand Adolfo for this attempt to show me love and trust.

7 p.m. - House is somewhat clean for a change. This means we managed to put the dishes in the dishwasher last night so all I have to do now is thaw the ground turkey in the microwave.
"Mama...mama...mama...mama...(infinity)!" I set Adolfo in front of the T.V. with Shrek playing and some select toys scattered throughout the living room. "Mama...mama...mama...mama...(infinity)!" I sit next to him for a few minutes to comfort him with my elbow (he loves rubbing my elbow with the metal rod in it). Then I sneak into the kitchen.
Ground turkey in the microwave thawing.
From the far reaches of the master bedroom emerge some scruffing/crashing/bumping sounds. "Mama...mama...mama...mama...(infinity)!" No crying. I add the shells and the cheese to the turkey, my boys LOVE this dish, chop up some fresh broccoli, add to the mess.
Adolfo comes around the corner carefully walking wearing my blue flat shoes with the flower on them. "See? See? See? See?" he pleads. I grunt as I lift his heavy girth to my waist and prop him, legs open, across my belly. My shoes fall from his little fat feet to the floor. I let him toss a few chopped broccoli chunks into the bubbling brew.

7:30 p.m. - Killy comes up for air and kisses me on the cheek. Food is ready. Adolfo is hitting his airplane-color-changing spoon onto the t.v. He's scattered his toys all over the living room, has thrown his Ikea train set into disarray, has crawled under the rug several times playing peak-a-boo ("Mama...mama...mama...mama...(infinity)!"), has climbed up and down and all around every couch, chair, table surface, etc.. "Mama...mama...mama...mama...(infinity)!"

"Come on baby, let's eat papa!" Killy pleads. Adolfo evades his daddy. "NONONONO!" I run after Adolfo, catch him, shove a piece of food in his mouth, "Mormormormormor!"
He eagerly sits in his high chair, two spoons in hand (where'd he find the other one?) Bowl is still steaming, corn on the cob has cooled significantly. He digs a clean spoon into his steaming bowl (I managed to pry the other two from his fat fingers). "Ooooh, it's HOT HOT HOT baby!" I warn him, he doesn't listen, shoving a spoonful of cheesy shells/broccoli/turkey into his FAT mouth. He doesn"t cry or scream, he just spits it right back out scrunching his little face. "Baby, it's HOT HOT HOT. You gotta blow on it." He blows...once...and proceeds to shove the steaming food into his charred mouth, regardless of the heat now.

8 p.m. - He's eaten 2 corn on the cobs and a bowl and a half of cheesy shells with broccoli. His shirt is smeared with everything and now he’s tossing his sippy cup on the floor. "Mama...mama...mama...mama...(infinity)!" Killy and I try to clean quickly. Adolfo tries to climb into the dishwasher.
He manages to make off with the utensil basket. "Mama...mama...mama...mama...(infinity)!"

8:30 p.m. - "Do you want to take a bath baby?"
"NONONONO!" I prepare the tub with his fishy matt and foam letters anyway. The sound of the water splashing entices him. He climbs in diaper and all. I manage to get the diaper off before it sucks up all the water but he wants to keep the shirt on.
"Buboos...buboos...buboos!" He slides back and forth on his belly making bubbles in the tub. He finds the cup and commences to pour the contents of the tub onto the bathroom floor matt.

9 p.m. - Newly diapered and powdered. Hair still wet (he hates to have his hair dried). We lay in bed and he counts "One dot...two dots..." He explains the circulation of the ceiling fan "Wound...wound...wound..." We read Gumby's Circus, Oppsy Daisy, Polka Dot, Bon-Bon on the Go Go. Flick the lights off. We sing songs
"I've been working on the railroad..."
"Go to sleep...go to sleep..."
"Los tres cochinitos estan en la cama..."
"Duermete mi nino..."
"Baby, baby,
baby, baby,
I love you,
My little baby,
baby, baby,

10 p.m. - Killy comes to bed. We snuggle in the quiet of the night...

Voting Thoughts

Early voting is a pretty interesting initiative. In some ways, one of the classic assumptions of traditional democracy and elections is that elections are a one-day affair (in my head at least). However, every since voting was expanded past age of majority white male property owners, it has probably been difficult to get everyone's ballot cast on the same day. The problem is apparent enough in national elections across time zones where polls close at different GMT's because of local time customs.

However, the hype and national theater of democracy is the "exit poll" and the concession and victory speeches. Early voting completely bypasses this and makes your vote very convenient, un-newsworthy and un-sexy. It makes voting like paying your bills at the grocery store--some people pay their bills early, some on time, too bad so sad for the people who pay late in this case. What will happen when most people are using the far more convenient method of early voting? Will news coverage of an election crank up in the weeks before an election and update their exit poll predictions of who is winning?

I've been thinking about concession and victory speeches since the 200 election. What does the concession speech mean? I've grown up with democracy being this epitomized by this event hyped as one fateful day closed off by a speech that for all intents and purposes decides the election. After the concession speech the ballot counters may keep on, but at that point they are treated as a technicality. What would happen if a candidate conceded, but then won the ballot count? By issuing a speech, are they legally taking themselves out or the running?

An additional interesting aspect of early voting is that it breaks geographic barriers as well as chronological ones. Instead of having to go back to my neighborhood and vote in my "precinct," I took a walk down to the local Fiesta by the office and voted. I think that voting in a polling place other than your home precinct is a well established thing people can do in Texas, but early voting emphasizes this option because the limited number of polling places will likely bring you to a place other than your precinct. I wonder how long it will take for the precinct to become an absolute anachronism?

On a different note, I toyed around with the write-in candidate option of the polling software. Anyone who has made a high score on a video game will find the process easy. However, there are a couple of gotchas that I thought of on the walk back from voting and this morning. For one, if you enter "Bob Smith," how do they know which Bob Smith you are voting for? Second, although the voting instructions are in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, the voting software only supported roman capital letters. My recollection is hazy, but I don't think you could even put a hyphen in a name. Third, the only write-in option seemed to be for the presidential election; there were no write in slots available for any other office.

All of this has been directly affected by the one Republican I did vote for, Paul Bettencourt, who seems to me to be a very dynamic and progressive county tax assessor and collector. His office runs the elections and definitely lives up to his tag-line of "Smart Government through efficiency, technology, and customer service."

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Day 7

I miss Elizabeth, I miss Bodie.
Currently getting some time in in the SF apple store.
Have to run up to coit tower in the next minute.

Should one vote early?

Is it helpful to vote early? Is there more chance your vote will be counted? Does it help get out the vote initiatives if you vote early and are then taken off the lists for get out the vote vote getters?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

X-Box Sims Time Capsule

Ethan had the remarkable idea this morning of having a time capsule of the The Sims playing on Xbox. Basically, you would set up a game and keep it running with no monitor for some period of years and see what happens. I'm not certain if the Sims will actually do anything interesting in the absence of player input, but the concept of a virtual time capsule is fascinating.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Disco Dumping

I saw the Galactika LED Toilet Seat on Gizmodo today and sent the link over to my office-mate, Ethan. What is it for? Disco dumping I say and do a quick google search for the term where I find the Village Voice column where I first read it, while looking at Anthony Freda illustrations!

It is amazing how the world recursively turns. How's the baby Amber?

Update: Wow, Amber posts in between me checking the blog and posting--craziness!

The Elusive Sleep

6 p.m. - I put baby Antonio in his sling, snuggled in close to my body where he can nurse and listen to my heartbeat. I hold his head up with my left arm so he doesn't fall down into the folds of the sling around my waist. We go to the kitchen and make dinner for Anthony, who has an illustration job due the next day and is busily working at his desk.

With my free hand, I pull out pots and pans and set about boiling water for spaghetti. I need Anthony's help to open the sauce. Suck-suck-suck. I look down at Antonio, who shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. I heat up some olive oil and fry some eggplant cutlets.

7 p.m. - Antonio is sleeping peacefully in his sling. Looking down at his sweet face, I feel my heart bursting with love for my little boy. I put the finishing touches on the photo album we've compiled of his first few weeks of life. He's gotten bigger already -- every moment of his metamorphosis is precious.

8 p.m. - Baby is still asleep. Looks like he may be down for the count. "I'm going to try and get some sleep," I tell Anthony, kissing him goodnight. I decide to try keeping baby in his sling and shifting him onto my chest to sleep, as he gets separation anxiety when we leave him in his crib for too long.

8:05 p.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! Baby starts crying as soon as I lay down. I get up and go to the living room, turn on the TV and start to nurse him again.

9 p.m. - Baby is wide awake and now he's kicking and screaming to get out of the sling. I look at his bright red face in amazement. What happened to the angelic picture of innocence from just an hour earlier? Is this the same baby? His forehead is all scrunched up, his mouth open wide, he can't seem to get the screams out fast enough.

9:30 p.m. - Baby is still fussing. I've tried everything - rocking, burping, changing, swinging, nursing. He doesn't want any of it. I set him down for a moment to think about what to do next, and he unexpectedly stops crying. He starts to peer around, wide-eyed and sweetly curious about the world again.

10 p.m. - Baby is in his swing, rocking, he starts to drift off.

10:10 p.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! I pick up baby and put him to my breast. He spits it out. Anthony stops working and comes to pick him up. He makes some formula so he can have a turn feeding baby and to give me a break. Antonio gulps down 4 oz. of formula and is still wide awake. I go to lay down but he keeps crying out in little fits so I go back to the living room and change him. His little belly is swollen up with gas. I burp and rock him awhile.

11 p.m. - Baby's still hungry so I nurse him. I fall asleep nursing him on the couch.

1 a.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! I wake up and realize I was only dreaming that he was crying. He's sound asleep in my arms.

1:30 a.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! Okay, this time it's for real. Baby is hungry again, so I put him on the opposite breast and we fall asleep again.

2:22 a.m. - BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ-BZZZZZZZZZ-BZZZZZZZZZZZ!! What the hell? A fly has gotten into the apartment and keeps buzzing past my head. It's dark and I'm too tired to turn on the lights to try to find the damn bug.

4 a.m. - WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! Antonio is crying and when I pick him up to nurse him he's all wet. The diaper leaked onto his clothes and mine. I get us both changes of clothes and nurse him awhile.

5 a.m. - We fall asleep.

6 a.m. - Anthony comes out of the bedroom groggy-eyed and scoops up the baby. He feeds him and plays with him while I make breakfast. We gulp down our coffee and get ready for a big day. Anthony has to go in to Manhattan to drop off his job and then Grammy and Grandpa are coming over to see Antonio and give us a break. Maybe tonight we'll sleep.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Working in the yard, and beyond

Sunday Morning 10.17.04

i don't think the day could get any more perfect than it already is. all three of us woke up at the same time. the sun was so gentle. carol made coffee. i had spent the evening cleaning up, so the living room was empty and inviting. i started watering the front lawn while adolfo ran around with one of the blue dodgeballs. carol started making chorizo and beans. every window in the house was open, and a strong breeze blew in houston. i could smell the coffee and chorizo outside.

wes and claire came over for breakfast. we ate and sat in the backyard watching adolfo run from one side of the yard to the other.

i ended up weeding the garden along the back fence, cutting back the outrageous rose bushes, and planting (late) a handful of petunias for my wife. even if they die next week, carol will enjoy the little pink flowers for the time being. I put down some winterizer in the yard and gave it a good watering. the entire week is going to be dry.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

De La Soul

14 years after my sister came back from college one weekend with Three feet high and rising and introduced my brother and I to De La Soul, I finally got a chance to check them out live. I caught them at Emo's and it was worth the wait. The show was fantastic. They put on a furious set that had me hopping the whole time. And this was after Jedi Mind Trick had already run the crowd!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

When Stewarts Attack

What an incredibly brutal exchange. I got my view at ifilm. Relentless! Adolph thinks he was 'pretty tame'.


he called the guy a dick.

I finally cut my grass today. If i had a camera right now, i would have taken dramatic before and after shots, but it's still out for repair. It just got sent out this week, so i'm sure i'll be camera-less for at the very least another two weeks.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Thank the Lord of Teriyaki Sauce and John Stewart

This really is worth checking out ... read the transcript or better yet ( bittorrent ) watch John Stewart face the Crossfire policy wankers...

Plus, more from D3!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

early voting for the Park Placers


I'll vote early, I tried to vote for Nader last time, but I was too late.
Apparently, it wouldn't have made a difference.
In this case, we know that Bush will win Texas, but I'll still vote for Kerry since I'm a hopeless democrat.

The Debate

¿Armies Of Compassion?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

the plane over the plains

I've been in the air just under an hour. There was a slight pocket of turbulence coming out of houston; the weather there was just turning to showers. It had started raining just as my mother and i were walking into the Hobby terminal.

If Houston were in the penant championships you would never know it at Hobby airport. Every t.v. was tuned to cnn (at least it wasn't FOX) and wolf blitzer's voice could be heard just under the din of the airport terminal. It isn't much different, you know, the buzz of an airport terminal and the dull hum of a plane in flight. you can hear every single conversation on the plane, but you can't make out even the closest one. There is a three year old maybe three aisles in front of me on the opposite side; he is periodically screeching, a normally unbearable sound even to those with children, is just smeared away with the rest of the sounds. it hardly resonates.

To the west the sun is setting behind a flat smudge of grey clouds. To the east, just a foggy haze. It is 6:50 p.m.

I imagine that right about now, carolina and adolfo iv are at krista's house chatting about the RenFest, or maybe about the prospects of carolina's future employment at the Regis School. Adolfo is running around like a madman, his hair matted to the sides of his head. On the television is either an episode of Survivor (A Ledman favorite) or maybe even Lost. I usually skip those nights over, well, that is after i had a piece of Kristas homemade pizza. I would love a piece of homemade pizza right now.

Having just barely gotten over a nasty flu-like virus, i am patently too aware of the people around me and what they are touching, how they are breathing, sneezing, wiping...


speaking of ... nothing brings you back down to earth like standing in line with a bunch of strangers carrying your shoes in a tub. Imagine had that guy tried to light his underwear...

ewww ...

this is the biggest piece of shit hotel i have ever ever ever been in.

A couple of things

1) funny flash-o-mercials from Nike, of all places. I guess they do have a couple of funny, creative folks working there!

2) Even if you don't give a darn about programming I think that this next link is worth checking out because the author's brain and the writing that comes out of it is what the Good Lord calls funny. Check out the The Poignant Guide To Ruby

Headed to St. Louis

i'm headed to st. louis for a seminar on HP's 5500ps printer. Anyone have any questions they want answered?

Monday, October 11, 2004

Straight out of a Coen brothers movie

Staging a crime to save your marriage is never a good idea.

The Latest From D3

Friday, October 08, 2004


Bush:Of course I listened to our generals. That's what a president does. A president sets the strategy and relies upon good military people to execute that strategy.
Kerry:You rely on good military people to execute the military component of the strategy, but winning the peace is larger than just the military component. General Shinseki had the wisdom to say you're going to need several hundred thousand troops to win the peace. Military's job is to win the war. President's job is to win the peace.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Couple of things...

First, I saw the VP Debate last night. I found it to be horribly dull. Maybe I was in a foul mood, but I thought both debaters came off like jack-asses. Too many distortions, too much campaign rhetoric. Blah.

Fortunately, after the debate I sped downtown to catch Gift Of Gab at the Parish (formerly the Mercury). Man, oh man! I had never seen a show at the Parish before, much less a hip hop show .... and let me tell you that despite my comfy shoes I was ill-prepared for the bounce-bounce and the boom-boom and the around-the-room sounds that rocked and rolled and absolutely shook the non-sense out of every object, heart and mind. Gift of Gab was fabuloso and I left that show feeling good.

To switch gears, it looks like TextMate (code editor for OS X) has finally been released. I first caught a glimpse of this product in the Ruby On Rails intro video and thought, what is that sweet editor they are using? I have not yet had a chance to really evaluate it yet, but there are a couple things I have noticed right off the bat, like tabbed windows, a green button that really does maximize the app (green button behaviour has always befuddled me), and code foldings, to name a few. Also, at 40 bucks its quite a bit cheaper than BBEdit.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

8:00 P.M.

Vice Presidential Debate @ 203a Nelson.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Three years ... and counting

Last wednesday, my wife and i celebrated three years of marriage. Of course, most of you know that our relationship began much earlier in a small apartment in austin on June 30, 1996. What you may not know is that our on/off relationship began even much earlier than that in 1992 when we first met outside of what was then known in McAllen, TX as 'Klub X'

We ended up filling ourselves with a steak dinner and watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which, of course, got me thinking of the entire history of our long relationship; the path that has brought us to our little house and our little boy.

I spent the weekend cleaning out the garage; putting together some small wire shelves; weeding out around the azaleias in the front yard; but the real event was the dodgeball game on saturday afternoon. Turns out that the tennis courts in Mangum Manor park are the perfect dodgeball court. We had about seven people show up. A game of three on three was fun, but the court was a little big; a game of six on six would be ideal for the space.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Friday, October 01, 2004

Richard Avedon

Now Avedon.
It's weird that he had a Brain Hemorage in San Antonio, because
everytime I am in that town I feel like I am going to have one myself.
I have seen this portrait a billion times but
I guess it has been awhile because now that I look
at it I can actually identify some of the equipment in the background.
The 4x5 is a F1 or F2 Sinar. I can tell my the edge of the railing that pokes out
from the shade bellows.
and the tripod is a gitzo because it has locking screws instead of clips like bogens.
I would even venture to say that the lens is
a Schnieder 90mm SuperAngular XL simply because of the size.



Iheard the last part of the debates on NPR, so i was not privvy to the facial articulations and body posturing. But as far as on an aditory level, I thought that it was great that John Kerry was able to show directly and contrastingly that he was able to use his brain to fashion a debate that sounded as if there was something upstairs.

Bush I thought sounded abit confused and confounded.

This is what I took away from it.

For those that are not for Bush, It was great to hear Kerry confront him and handle himself well.

Those that are for bush, well by god damn it, for the first time in their lives, "politics ain't ruled by namby pamby fast talkers that caint do shit. And by god i aint gonna let go of this interest in american politics that ive never had before and once again feel as if it doesn't relate to me"
Bush has an amazing ability to be a regular everyday plain ole run of the mill asshole, and be president. This, I think is his strongest side. His ability to make every Joe on the street feel that The pres may just show up at his house and help him get out of whatever bind he is in, by the one good way anyone can understand, money+power. His ability to stammer over words and get a bit confused, a feeling almost anyone can relate to. Something that puts Politics and Political debate into a whole new realm. One that is not decided by high polish and concise thought. Almost as if it has the grit feeling of a football game. working it on a whole new emotional level.

Kerry has given all those opposed something to be hopeful for, a return to a more balanced and open view, one with more long sightedness and humanity. possibly. basically a return to something more evolved then likeable spoiled kid on the playground mentallity.