Friday, May 28, 2004

Aphasia

This is a poem that I found in the April 2004 edition of the New Yorker. I think it is really lovely. I am overjoyed to have found it; It is precisely the kind of poem that I love to read, and long to write. Enjoy.


APHASIA

His signs flick off.
His names of birds
and his beautiful words-
eleemosynary, fir, cinerarium, reckless-
skip like pearls from a snapped necklace
scattering over linoleum.

His thinking won't
venture out of his mouth.
His grammar heads south.
Pathetic his subjunctives; just as pathetic
his mangling the emphatic enclitic
he once was the master of.

Still, all in all, he has
his inner weather of pure meaning,
though the wind is keening
through his Alps and his clouds hang low
and the forecast is "Rain mixed with snow,
heavy at times."

- Vijay Seshadri


Aphasia - total or partial loss of the ability to use or understand language; usually caused by stroke, brain disease, or injury.

Enclitic - An enclitic is a clitic that is phonologically joined at the end of a preceding word to form a single unit.

Traffic Cams

I noticed today that the cameras mounted above the traffic lights have a little antenna behind them. I noticed this while at Deitrick's on Westheimer, looking out at the westbound Westheimer traffic light at Hazard. It's fascinating. I wonder what you could do with that? I assume the units are cameras because they are mounted in a cylindrical housing with an integrated sunshade on a pipe well above the traffic signals but aimed down at the lanes of traffic faced by the below signals. Given the antenna, I would assume that the data is wireless and the cable going into it is power.

Now what are they for? At first, I was dismayed to see them going in as I have read about traffic cameras being used for correspondence traffic ticketing. However, I haven't heard a peep about that in Houston despite a mojor deployment going on. Where is the traffic camera money coming from and for what are they being used? If they are being used to study traffic, then why aren't the lights better timed?

Houston TranStar - The Greater Houston Transportation and Emergency Management Center

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Idea: Automatic Coloring Books

I had this idea at lunch today and think it might apply to grade-school or older art-education: Software that converts a picture into a coloring book line-art drawing. Does something like this exist already? It would work like rotoscoping, except that instead of color areas, the software would make an outline. The concept would be to allow students to explore the color regions of objects (like a still life) in front of them without being excessively concerned about their ability to accurately depict shape.


Don Markstein's Toonopedia Glossary: Rotoscope

Adolph before Amber M



Interesting statement

Wired 12.06: Welcome to Planet Pixar

"You have to honor failure," Nelson explains, "because failure is just the negative space around success."

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

A few words from our President


Remarks by Al Gore
May 26, 2004
As Prepared

Clearly, You have an old version ...

I think Todd is still using Paper Lantern...

I am too, of course. I prefer it to mail-to-blog because I make so many mistakes in my posts; and Paper Lantern's patented Update-0-Matic technology allows me to update previously posted posts...

Download your copy of Paper Lantern (523 KB) today!



Paul: There are issues....serious issues

The new paper lantern has a couple of serious issues:

1. Posts aren't listed...at all.
2. The title bar isn't formatted. (see this and previous post)
3. Drafts aren't saved (or, at least, they aren't shown as saved.)

Am i the only one aware of these? Am i the only one left using paperlantern? Is mail to blogger the way to go now?
I'm at home

Left work yesterday with barely the strength to walk. Luckily my mother was at TxChildren's visiting a sick cousin. She drove me home. I immediately fell into my bed where i alternated between freezing and sweating. This lasted most of the day. I woke up at one point around 8 or so and tried to put some soup in my stomach. I went back to bed once carol and adolfo hopped in with me.

Woke up at the sound of the alarm at 5. I knew i wouldn't be leaving, so i turned off the alarms. Sleep, precious sleep. Eventually carol woke up and made breakfast for adolfo iv: a bowl of fresh cinnamon oatmeal and two eggs with cheese. He gobbled it all up -- i could hear the sounds of her feeding him from under my sanctuary of bedsheets.

I pulled myself out of bed to put him in the car. He went in without a struggle. I think he was kinda surprised to see me; he had gotten barely a look at his daddy in a day! And now i am trying to work out these body aches. I ate some of Sra. Mercado's delicious carne guisada from a couple of days ago. I feel better - stronger - but am still shuffling around.

I was just tired. Plain tired. Too tired. Carol says i'm pushing myself too much. Trying to do too much at one time. I don't feel that way, but my body seems to be disagreeing with me.

oh yeah, this is what a sale at a dollar store looks like.



so what does this mean to the lay-person

and what's new with you guys
the other day
after struggling with dreams of making sketches for the past several weeks
i actually had a moment to do some
and i must say
i got a pretty good impression of the CEO of my company making a speech
i think it's good enough to show him
and not get fired

secondly
Killito has officially spent some time with his Mamaita and Abuelito
and it's been wonderful
he is eating really good food, homemade stuff
he has also been helping his abuelito with cleaning the back yard, weeding, pruning and whatever other garden stuff that needs doing

i lost the back of my earring

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Thanks Todd...

for migrating The Blog to chairjockey! I now demand that you update the template with one of your swell designs!

dollar store going out of business sale

I can't download the pictures
but last night
my mother, my sister and i went on a power shopping spree at the going out of business sale at my local dollar store
I'd been meaning to go there since last week
when the big banner draped over the store's name (1.00 mart)
displayed that everything inside was marked down to .79!
but last night was thee night
as I met up with my husband at the Kroger parking lot, we noticed the sale had been escalated
everything was now marked down to .59!

so I took Killy home, left him with the baby and put my mother and maru (who has stopped by for a visit) into the car for a late night shopping blitz

my mother proudly walked out with 14.00 worth of wares

Monday, May 24, 2004

fourpointooooooh!

that's right y'all. she did it AGAIN!

one more year, one more perfect GPA. damn, my baby rocks.

and, unless any has serious objections, i am going to migrate this blog to chairjockey.com.

Paper Lantern

Wow!

i just can't say enough about this new app, and how it makes my life easier.

i mean,wow.

by the way let's put the blog on chairjockey.com!

Morning Thoughts: Global Support for Information Society Targets

This morning the Nonprofit Online News linked to a Press release on Global Support for Information Society Targets. An overwhelming majority of people answer yes to "Should Cyberspace be declared a resource to be shared by all?" Who would have guessed?

I wonder if this means that we're going to start trying to import cheap "Cyberspace" from Canada or Mexico once the "Digital Divide" multiplies?

Spirited Away

Saw Spirited Away last night. What a great story! What incredible imagination! What amazing artwork! I recommend it to all y'all.

Also, after much deliberation I finally got myself a new ride:

Saturday, May 22, 2004

a proposition...

well, rumblings have been heard about the ever-present ad banner at the top of this page.

'What can we do about it?' said the many, 'How long must this scourge vex us?' they said, plaintively.

Well, i have a solution!
We can use CHAIRJOCKEY!


we have have a good deal of space that is not being used for anything besides image storage, and we can have our nice little blog with no banner ads; like this one i made earlier.

So, Who's with me!?!

Friday, May 21, 2004

One Month!

Well, today marks our one month anniversary of my little family in our new home. I never thought I would be a home owner, but here i am - putting up curtains painting walls, contemplating yardwork and other misc domestic tasks.

Paul and Todd have persuaded me to hold a Memorial Day BBQ this coming up Saturday. They'll presumably be driving into town on friday, staying at dolph's (who will be in shreeveport that weekend) and then hanging out at the Kasa de Killy.

I'll post an official invitation later this weekend complete with driving instructions.

Legos By the Pound!

My boss ordered 25 pounds of Legos off of E-Bay for 100 bucks. It just got delivered in a big-ass box. He got it for his son. What a great gift idea!!!




Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Mark Cuban Weblog - www.blogmaverick.com

I remember once upon a time in VMSNotes asserting that the stock market was a ponzi scheme and the various replies that people had. I don't feel any different now, other than realizing that it is a moderately regulated Ponzi scheme that agregates capital in various utilitarian arrangements. It was interesting to read this on The Mark Cuban Weblog - www.blogmaverick.com:

Mr Gabelli disagreed. He responded with the omnipresent retort to all things stocks, �Warren Buffet buys stocks.� Yes. Mr. Gabelli, you are right. At that time he did. But he doesn�t buy 100 or 1k shares at a time as you have suggested the typical investor should consider doing, or should trust you to do for him or her. Mr Buffet buys enough shares to have influence and in many cases control. Can the average investor do that? Can the typical fund do that?

Critical Section - Human Robotics

Critical Section - Human Robotics

We�re doomed to work hard, just like trees are doomed to grow tall.� So the trick is to make work enjoyable.� The whole premise behind �work is bad� is that there are things other than work which are more fun than work.� Why should this be so?� That gets to the key issue � what makes something fun?

Chalabi Raid

Yikes! I am getting cynical; My first thought after reading about the U.S raid on Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi's offices was that it might have been permitted, maybe even staged, to give Chalabi more 'street cred' as the June 30th date for the transfer of power nears. Chalabi's utility has been limited given that he is reported to be widely distrusted by Iraqi's who see him as too chummy with the U.S Administration, not to mention the fact that he spent the last 40 years in exile...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

RE: my computer keeps giving me this message...


Amber asked me what was wrong with her computer today and inclosed a screenshot, of which the above was part.

Top Ten Reasons Why:


10. Stop parking your hot coffee or tea cup on top of your computer! You can put a glass of ice-water there though.

9. A sack of ice from the grocery store is a good 99 cent solution.

8. I think that your computer cannot handle your skill at minesweeper. Stick to smaller maps!

7. It is obviously that background. Only the Microsoft XP (tm) Rolling Hills with Clouds (tm) should be used.

6. Time for a new computer. That one is screaming "I want to be Margie's computer!"

5. First step in troubleshooting: Is your computer plugged in?

4. Second step in troubleshooting: Please erase your hard drive and reload your operating system.

3. This is just your computer saying, "Captain, I'm giving her all she's got!" �

2. That isn't a toaster oven tray that pops out the front of your computer...

1. It's a "non-critical threshold." This is just your computer telling you to not worry and be happy! It'll let you know when it is critical.

Paper Lantern Version 1.2 NOW WITH UNDO!

Download your copy of Paper Lantern (523 KB) today!

Paper LanternVersion 1.2 fixes the horrible "Why can't I update my blogger blog post anymore?" problem that Killy reported.
Also, I added much need Undo functionality!!!

The problem had something to do with Blogger's recent revampification. I have also learned that they are probably moving to SOAP, so I wonder when it is that I will have to clean up Paperlantern so that it works with this new interface....


Paper Lantern is 100% pure Cocoa, written in Objective-C. It sports a SQLite database (Objective-C wrapper provided by blackholemedia.com) and uses Apple's WebServicesCore framework to handle the XML-RPC calls.

Action Script 2.0!

Looks like ActionScript has gotten a major overhaul. Chief among the changes are a bunch of Object-Oriented features such as formal class syntax, inheritance and interfaces; as well as Strong Typing. With PHP going through a similar metamorphosis, one might ask if any scripting language is safe from OO creep...

Dreaming of a better FTP

What I really, really need and want is something that mirrors my local website directory structure on two ftp servers without giving me any BS about losing connection (just retry, dammit) and not reuploading every file each time I kick off a sync and not making me manually sync.

The following FTP Clients are pathetic:

I'm currently evaluating:

    [Update:] Vicomsoft has officially joined the pathetic list:

    Important: serious os x security problem

    Read this: mamamusings: serious os x security problem, Download and install: More Internet ..., Set "help" application to Chess.

    Via: BoingBoing

    Shirts

    So in the continuing march towards more civilized living, I'm now committed to more than 5 work shirts. I think 10 will put me in a safe place, laundry-wise. However, I'm wondering if there is any shirt management software out there to help me manage what I've worn in a week?

    Men's > Dress Shirts - Lands' End

    Tuesday, May 18, 2004

    Triplets of Belleville Soundtrack

    Here's the iTunes link for the Apple junkies...

    The Incredibles FIlm Trailer

    To see the biggest size you have to use iTunes 4.5? My static "iTunes is an MP3 player" mind thinks, "What kind of BS is it that the movie trailer plays through iTunes?" It is bad enought that they are downloading it onto unsuspecting people's computers, like my boss' when he just wanted to play a web page with a quicktime movie. What's next? Real Network style click the tiny link at the bottom left of three pages to download the free version?

    The Incredibles

    Yum! New version of SubEthaEdit!

    I guess I'm not really looking for a BBEdit replacement, but SubEthaEdit would certainly be a candidate (if I didn't use grep so much).

    [Update:] Looks like I spoke too soon. On their features page, they list grep as a new feature!

    [Update:] You use spaces for tabs but when you hit delete, you delete out the "tab" instead of space by space!

    Monday, May 17, 2004

    Tease

    Hey everyone,

    Check out Carmen Electra on the cover of Esquire this month -- pretty hot -- and then flip to Anthony's incredibly beautiful illustrations -- you can't miss it, they're on pages just to the right and left of the Carmen centerfold ...

    oh yeah, and Carmen's in pigtails ...

    Staining the Night away




    Friday night, among other things, i stained my son's new dinner table. He seems to have graduated from the high chair, even though he still eats from it. But he's got the coordination to sit in his own little chair. The last few times we've told him it's time to eat, he's run to the living room and pulled up his little blue yard chair rather than clamour for me to unlock his high chair for him.

    Both carol and i decided it was time for an upgrade. We went to IKEA looking for a suitable little table and found one; nude with two chairs (for when he has dinner guests). I went to Home Depot and got some deep cherry stain and some polyeurethane (sp????) to varnish it with.



    Try to imagine this with a nice deep shiny wood color. It'll end up looking nicer than his parents dinner table!

    Aside from this little project, i managed to paint a couple of walls in the living room, get my car from my mother's house (which, incidentally, drove just fine; although, i'm still very interested in fixing before i get it back on the road with any regularity), get a haircut for both my son and i, got my shopping done, did another pass for fleas over the carpet with the vacuum, gave a decent sweeping to the garage, put some curtains in the living room, and most importantly, RESTED.

    Sunday, May 16, 2004

    galleryfurniture.com

    Amber and I are trying really hard to put sheets on my new bed. "Are these queen," she asks. "Sure," I say, "They're a little faded but they are clean..."

    As it turned out, I used to have a full-size bed, not a queen, and the sheets do not fit.... galleryfurniture.com

    Friday, May 14, 2004

    Mac OS X Tip: Easier Expose


    I stopped using Expose because pushing F9 is always a hunt and peck. This afternoon I noticed the "hold shift down" and tried it out with right mouse click: Pretty Nice!

    [Update:] This doesn't work by control-clicking. Holding down control and clicking the mouse button (in single clicker mice like the Powerbook's built in trackpad and clicker) doesn't equate to a right click, so the above trick doesn't work on a Powerbook by <Shift> <ctrl> clicking.

    Poster Emergency

    How did you get that cool screen effect? Poster Emergency wasn't the original message. It was "HEY MAN, AOEII 2NITE???? NO LAMAZE CLASS, RIGHT?" In any case, here you go Killy:
    And here's the original source.

    It finally happened...


    I looked through the archives for the mocking poster emergency beeper flash animation that adolph made way back....

    i thought that would have been funny to place next to this email i received this morning.

    Thursday, May 13, 2004

    It's Here!!!!

    My Tripod has arrived.......
    unfortunatley I have to save up some more money for the head.

    ZORPIA???

    Zorpia...
    Thought this was interesting for Killy.
    Messing around with it's GIRLS blog out and created a profile. I clicked on my profile to see what came up, among the many interesting links, saw this one.
    This is for you my love...

    22,815 Words!!!



    Update and enable your profile. Its fun!

    Summer of Sushi

    Among other things, I learned how to make Sushi last night. I had always had it in my head that somehow Sushi was difficult and complicated to make. But it is, in fact, relatively easy- requiring only basic burrito making skills.

    So now I know how to make one of my favorite foods! Next step: Add bacon.


    Paperlantern Version 2?


    Paul: Have you come up with a fix for our inability to update our posts using Paperlantern?
    For work related reasons i am unable to see the templates (blogger is blocked???) so I am inclined to go with todd's template advice.

    but really, i don't care what you guys choose. It actually reminds me of a church marquee sign i pass on my morning bus commute to work:

    Jog on in. God don't care what you wear.

    The church gets a lot of jogger traffic since it's right off of heights blvd with a long jogging track down its center island. And speaking of communting, I walked out of my house at 6:06 this morning, missed the bus and waited half an hour for the next one. Didn't get into work until exactly 8 a.m. I have sworn off busses. I have no idea how i'm going to get to work tomorrow.

    I took a vacation from vacuuming for fleas last night and fiddled around with a wireless router i got from work. After a frustrating 15 mins i decided this was too much for killy and called adolph over with a promise of dinner and ice cream. He showed up much quicker than i had expected.

    After we ate, he tinkered with the router for an hour or so before declaring it dead. Too bad too; although, if i'm at home sitting on the desk why wouldn't i just tether myself to the modem via ethernet? Of course, what about the imac, which will not be in the 'office', but in our room or the living room? I guess i could just hook the cable up to the imac and use it as the base station... (hmmm....didn't john p. say he had an old spare base station?)

    Tonight:
    1. Pick up car from mom's place as a potential way to work?
    2. Put away all the paint in the garage.
    3. Unbox and prepare adolfo's new mini-dinner table
    4. Fix ceiling fan in the living room

    in the spirit of open, rational debate...

    taggart, i respect and honor your opinion.

    however, since i disagree, i will now launch a blistering attack on issues that have nothing to do with this topic.

    why do you hate america so much? is freedom so abhorrent to you? are you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party?

    let's put it to the people; who else thinks taggart is a damn commie?

    Wednesday, May 12, 2004

    Templates

    Sorry Todd,
    I like this one.

    new template anyone?

    anyone up for a new template?

    i kinda like this one

    i, for one, am just tickled pink with all the CSS goodness the 'new blogger' presents. however, though it feels like i ought to have a lot to say, having been -ahem- peeved all day, i find myself with dumb fingers and a head full of no words.

    Friends on the periphery

    Here's a college fluff piece on the College of the Mainland's video production class featuring our friend, Eric Zapata.

    My motorphobia has only worsened, and I detest what high automobile ownership rates have done to development patterns in our cities, so I greatly feared that setting up shop here in the West would mean the end of my wonderful ' no-car ' lifestyle. But the gods have smiled upon me and It looks like I will be living but a short bike ride from the office. This means, of course, that I must acquire a bicycle. To that end I have shopped around a bit, but to be honest I am quite overwhelmed by the variety of models, components, configurations, brands and bike-bells.

    Since my short term need is merely a get-around-Austin bike, but my long term goal is to ride in something like the MS150 and to be able to make month-long bike tours of Scandinavian countries, does anyone with bike-riding or bike-purchasing experience have any sort of recommendations as to models and brands, etc?



    Fleas

    My best recommendation to get rid of fleas is to borrow someone's dog for about two weeks.
    Put K9 advantix on his neck and BLAMO!. In about two weeks every flea, tick, and mosquito in
    your house will be dead.


    UFO'S???



    Here's an interesting quote from a Mexican UFO investigator:

    "This is historic news," Maussan told reporters. "Hundreds of videos (of UFOs) exist, but none had the backing of the armed forces of any country. ... The armed forces don't perpetuate frauds."

    HA! Well not until they're caught, huh?

    Metro Rail Rain, vacuum patterns, and my in-laws

    I could hardly belive that it was raining as hard as it was when i left work today. Luckily i left a little earlier than usual so i could make it over to the metro office in the medical center and purchase a cash value card. By the way, buy this card once and it seemingly allows you unlimited rides on the rail without ever having to justify its monetary value. I had always wondered about this, especially after i saw several people flash them to the metro cops checking tickets recently.

    "So, i can use this to ride the rail?"

    "yes."

    "do i have to insert it in the machine for a ticket?"

    "no"

    "so all i have to do is flash it to the metro cop if they happen to check it?"

    "yep"

    so conceivably you could carry around an empty cash value card and ride the lite rail all day with nothing to worry about, unless of course, they start carrying around little card swipers.

    I made it to the train just before it and a torrent of rain swept over the entire medical center. It was crazy. It was like driving through a laser wash. A stiff wind came along with it and blowing sheets of rain along the left side (*ding!* - a la izquierda) of the train. Oh, and if you've even wondered about those little green circle lights on the door as you exit, they REALLY DO OPEN THE DOORS.

    "If you need to get off, please press the green button to open the doors. I'm not going to open all the doors so all of you get wet." The 'exiters' (4 people total) didn't really get the point. They all got up and each one pressed the button on one of the four doors. All four doors opened and in came the rain, like a swarm of bees.

    The next group all dutifully assembled around one door and left. The door quickly shut behind them. The rain was coming down too hard to get out at my stop, so i figured i would take the train to the end of the line and hit it on the way back, giving the rain some time to pass over downtown.

    I always imagined that at the end of the line, the train made a large circle and came back around. I was disappointed - very disappointed - that the driver merely stopped and moved from what was now the back of the train to the front. What a let down.

    but my gamble paid off; the rain was just a sprinkle when i got off at main street square.

    I got home to a home full of dead fleas! yes! Of course, i know that this really isn't the case, and that there is still plenty to do in my fight against this enemy.

    I vacuumed the entire carpeted portion of my house - every corner and crack and crevice to pick up as many of the dead little carcasses, pupae and larva as i could. This will go on until i can get the back yard treated, which won't be until the rain ends: sometime next week.

    My favorite thing about vacuuming is the vacuum pattern. I wish i had taken a photo. Tomorrow look for this.

    The in-laws are leaving for chicago tomorrow, so they were dropped off by mike and maru so carol can take them to the airport tomorrow afternoon. I was just finishing up the vacuuming as they arrived. Dropping off turned into a full evening visit with dinner, margaritas, and a ritual blessing of our home by carol's parents. (FLASHBACK: they also married us kneeling at their bedside when we told them we were living together.)

    Once the blessing was done, which involved a series of prayers in spanish recited in each and every room of the house (including the garage, but excluding the shed outside); carol's father blessing the house with the baby's left over holy water from his baptism with a lettuce leaf; and the burning of our wedding candle; i was able to finish up something i had been meaning to do since this weekend. I put up curtains in our bedroom.

    With this, the night concluded (for me, at least) and i retired to my office, lay on the floor absent of fleas and wrote out a monster post.

    Inspiration

    I want God, I want poetry,
    I want danger, I want freedom,
    I want goodness, I want sin.
    -Aldous Huxley

    This is the opening quote in the new book I'm reading, "Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates," by Tom Robbins -- I love Tom Robbins -- his words are so luscious and rich, like chocolate cake he makes me squirm and salivate with anticipation as I seek the mental fulfillment and inspiration that only a handful of writers inspire ... for me, it's Tom Robbins, Salman Rushdie, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez ... all the others are as dull as dirt in comparison.

    More from Tom's new book:

    Butterflies were delicate and gossamer, but this moth possessed strength and weight. Its heavy wings were powdered like the face of an old actress. Butterflies were presumed to be carefree, moths were slaves to a fiery obsession. Butterflies seemed innocuous, moths somehow ... erotic. The dust of a moth was a sexual dust.

    I love it, I love it, I love it!!

    So, anyway ... everyone, pick up a copy of the new Esquire if you can -- Anthony's got 7 illustrations in their special travel destinations section -- should be very cool ...

    And, a photographer from the New York Post was at our apartment yesterday photographing the garden -- they're doing an article on New York container gardens so they interviewed me and took a couple hundred photos ... they said to look for it in either this Saturday's real estate section or the following Saturday, but you know how unpredictable these things can be ...

    Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    CVS over SSH for Mac OS X

    Setting environment variables for user processes
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN"
    "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
    <dict>
    <key>CVS_RSH</key>
    <string>ssh</string>
    </dict>
    </plist>
    On my way to Figure Drawing class last night I began wondering just when I would see an artist bust out a PowerBook and a Wacom Drawing Pad. Well that very night about halfway through the session this designer guy does exactly that - he busts out his laptop and drawing pad, fires up some kind of photoshop/paint program and pulls off some kick-ass renderings from the 10-15 minute poses. What the technology enables is amazing- you lay down some finely tuned sem-tranparent layers with out having to mix up anything special. And you can do all of this without having to wait for anything to dry! It was pretty amazing.

    Speaking of amazing, the model last night had this figure and pose that were straight out of an Ingres painting.

    John is Graduating & Killy has fleas

    I got an email invite to his commencement last night. For those of you in the san marcos area, he'll be walking at 7p.m. this friday, may 14th. He got a degree in speech communications. (What kind of job does that land you?)

    I spent last night vacuuming for fleas and getting things moved from off the carpet. I scheduled a spraying today, hopefully this will clear up this unfortunate infestation. For those of you who might be now or in the future infested with fleas, vacuuming seems to be the best remedy for clearing up larve and eggs that are left behind. One female can lay between 400-500 eggs. They are normally laid on a host, but because they don't 'stick' they just fall off into the carpet and/or bedding areas. Vacuuming is the best bed, according to online reading. Next best thing is steam cleaning the carpet. This, apparently, will kill larve and eggs, but i'm kinda doubtful cause i 'steamed' the carpets about two weeks ago. (I must get that machine back to annabel.) There are plenty of other more extensive ways to treat, such as slamming boric acid into your carpet -- time consuming and toxic -- but i don't want that stuff around the boy.

    for some reason Adolfo iv decided to wake up at 4:45 this morning. Carol, of course, throws a fit even though she went to bed as early as he did: around 9. I eventually made it to the bed around midnight. Even though i was up as early as i've ever been, had breakfast and a cup of coffee, I still managed to miss the bus. The next one arrives in about 5 to ten minutes and takes the HOV lane to get downtown.

    Work is as slow as can be right now. I've got a couple of posters in the queue and my weekly conferences, but both of these have become as intuitive as peeing in your sleep.

    At one point last night, adolph and i set up our camera's for some video chatting. How fun, adolfo really got a kick out of seeing adolph full screen on the computer. He was all giggles.



    Monday, May 10, 2004

    iChatting



    Apple - iChat AV It works well.

    More Abu Ghraib Madness

    The first sergeant of my old national guard unit once described his job in Vietnam; "I was a pig," he said, and I can still hear his thick country-boy accent. It seems that times don't change:

    Want more evidence of a rotten command climate at Abu Ghraib? Then check out this report in the Contra Costa Times about California Army National Guard CPT Leo V. Merck, former commander of the 870th MP Company. Apparently, he is sitting in Kuwait awaiting court-martial for snapping nude photos of his own female soldiers as they showered at the Abu Ghraib prison facility.

    CVS through SSH

    Hey Paul,
    This: CVS through SSH worked great with vervehosting.com. Since I had a dsa.pub already set up back when you got us on the iBook, I just put that in a .ssh directory and presto, everything works! I think that my set-env was already there because of the iBook action too.

    This is a test of mail-to-blogger

    Blogger has a bunch of updates, including, I think, the ability to send
    in blog posts via email.

    I think you can enable a 'comments' setting too.

    MEAGAN AND JAY'S GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT

    On May 5, 2004, Meagan gave birth to a little baby boy a few weeks earlier than his due date. It was a C-Section birth brought on by late term preeclampsia that would have caused problems for the baby and the mommy if the procedure wasn't done right away. Luckily, Ben is healthy and strong and is breathing on his own. The proud parents expect to have their homecoming on May 21, 2004.

    More details to follow.

    Meagan's email address is...

    jonesmeagan1@hotmail.com

    Friday, May 07, 2004

    CVS at Vervehosting

    Hey Paul,
    Are you using cvs at Vervehosting? Have you gotten the BBEdit tools to work?
    -Adolph

    Abu Ghraib and the Green Zone

    One of the things that I have long thought is counter-intuitive is the Iraqi occupation using former regime structures, like the palaces for the administrators and Abu Ghraib for a prison. It smacks of bone-headed parsimony: "well, we got these great buildings that are secure and we may as well use them..." It is a clich? to say that the occupation leadership is lack-luster, but the use of former regime structures is abysmal choice. It seems to come more from lack of vision of alternatives rather than malice, but it is not inspiring to hear that those same palaces will become the US embassy when the occupation is over.

    The AM radio personality Limbaugh is pretty off about the nature of crimes in Abu Graib. It is more akin to that movie with the banjos than the popular conception of collegiate hazing. For one, the perpetrators are country folk from West Virginia (i.e. not typical fraternity undergraduates); and two they came from an army reserve military police unit with members whose regular jobs were at prisons. From this week's New Yorker article:

    Bobeck explained:What I got is that SSG Frederick and CPL Graner were road M.P.s and were put in charge because they were civilian prison guards and had knowledge of how things were supposed to be run.
    Bobeck also testified that witnesses had said that Frederick, on one occasion, ?had punched a detainee in the chest so hard that the detainee almost went into cardiac arrest.?

    The most awful truth of this thing will likely be that in Iraq we are seeing exposed to the world what incarcerated Americans face every day. Broom-handle in the butt? Abner Louima would say that it is nothing new in the USA.

    On the other hand, the other clich? of a vast right-wing conspiracy is in high dudgeon. The hyped outrage should come as no surprise, but what amazes me is that the reports are nothing new, but for some reason the Abu Ghraib pictures changed things. I thought the KPFT commentators didn't pay attention to corporate media like 60 Minutes? Let's give a big Al-Hurrah for the corporate media acting as stenographers for the military's investigation of itself!


    From the mouth of the D3

    I like this one from d3:

    i know that the captain is supposed to go down with
    the ship. however, what if it is the captain that is
    going down? does the ship have to follow or can we
    just get a new captain?
    Limbaugh: Abu Ghraib was just a big frat party

    This is shameful.

    10,000 grams of gold!

    You can almost see Bin Laden twisting his pinkie finger into the corner of his mouth....

    Indiana Printing & Publishing Co.: "With gold selling Thursday on London exchanges for $387.60 a troy ounce, 10,000 grams of gold was valued at $124,630, 1,000 grams at $12,463, and 500 grams at $6,231."

    Wednesday, May 05, 2004

    Home of the Cardboard Box and General Disarray


    I think the pink eye is less of an issue than the incredible disarray of our home right now. He is, afterall, only contagious the first twenty-four hours, which ended about 1/2 an hour ago.

    I'm glad this day is coming to an end.

    iChat States

    Man, I would really like to be in "Ready for Game On, working on project" mode right now!

    Election Day as Holy Day

    Hey Paul,
    Election day as a holiday would be difficult to pull off in the US. For one, any year can have any number of elections. For another, it would be difficult to geographically arbitrate holidays for things like municipal elections. For example, Houston has a vote coming up concerning city worker pensions. As a simplification, one could stipulate that the election day holiday would only be for the November elections. However, as a practical matter, this would work against democracy: since the election with the holiday would appear to take precedence (no pun intended), all other elections throughout the year would lose mind-share, meaning they would become more controlled by small but dedicated portions of the population.

    House of The Pink Eye

    Hey Todd, Diana,
    If you aren't craving early morning eyelid crusties, you are always welcome at my place. Thanks to the miracle of the vacuum cleaner, it is cleaner, now more than ever.

    DHL - Tracking Summary

    I love monitoring this stuff:DHL - Tracking Summary

    Package tracking would make a great reality TV show. There would be a lot of tension as the cameras follow 7 obsessive package trackers. Some would obsessively call the company they made an order with and repeatedly ask for a tracking number, even when the package has not shipped yet. Some would not have their work address on file with their credit card company, delaying shipment. Some would forget to ship it to the office and get the dreaded missed you slip on their front door, necessitating a duck-time race to the UPS office in some industrial part of town. No show would be complete without people who ordered expensive new models of Apple computers which in some cases are shipped overnight from Taiwan. When the first 802.11g computers came out, they were held up in Customs in Anchorage, Alaska--a real nail biter!

    Of course, in the age of near-ubiquitous and inexpensive overnight shipping, package tracking is nearly moot, as the package is in your hands almost faster than you can get the tracking number.

    Package Tracking Reality TV: you heard about it here first!

    "shameless and unacceptable"

    "'This is an opportunity for the president to speak directly to the people in Arab nations and let them know that the images that we all have seen are shameless and unacceptable,' McClellan said."

    On the radio this morning, even the BBC was repeating the phrase "shameless and unacceptable." I wonder if this is going to be repeated enough to become a common phrase like, "now more than ever." I think maybe this is something straight from the presidential mouth because it has an oddly torqued linguistic logic: how can images be "shameless and unacceptable?" The pictures themselves simply exist; they depict actions that are unacceptable; but if the images are shameless and unacceptable, then you are denouncing the pictures, not the actions.

    Tuesday, May 04, 2004

    road trippin'

    thanks to all for the congrats on the proposal.

    as far as rug monkeys go, i doubt we will wait five years; diana has a schedule to keep.

    i am posting from kingman, az. on the handy holiday inn express computer available for guest use. it is in a poorly ventilated glass cubicle, and i feel like the 'geek' exhibit in natural history musuem. we are making good progress, having driven from
    portland to stockton, ca. on day one, and making it to kingman on day two. 600 miles a day. i would make a crappy trucker. tomorrow we make amarillo, or wichita falls, and are shooting to be in houston on thursday evening.

    killy : can we stay with you guys? if so, where the hell do you live?

    i hope the kiddo is doing better, or was doing fine the whole time and the montessori nurse was misshapen.

    more posts as computers are available.

    Pink Eye


    An unexpected call from the montessori school today: adolfo has pink eye. The last time we heard this, it wasn't pink eye at all, but a respitory infection that had mucus draining from his eyes as well as his nose.

    Luckily, we still have the pink eye drops we rushed out and got, but hopefully this is just another 'mis-diagnosis' from the school. It would be nice to NOT have to take another day off of work.

    05.03.04


    Knowing that i would snooze the alarm over and over again till i was late, i left it on the floor next to bathroom door rather than placing it on my bedside table. It rang dutifully at 5 a.m.

    I showered, shaved and ironed my pants for the day. I packed up my computer and was out the door at exactly 6:06 a.m. to catch the Metro 50 off 43rd and Costa Rica. The neighborhood was of course, quiet. There was no breeze, but it was unseasonably cool; the sky was dark blue. I could hear an occasional bird off in the distance, but it was otherwise silent. I As i turned the corner onto Georgi, i could see the first couple of students being dropped off at Scarborough High School. A round hispanic girl kissed her mother goodbye and stepped out of a late model chevy cavalier enveloped by this mornings darkness. The car pulled away from the edge of the black iron gates that surround the school with a sharp u-turn, swinging it's headlights across the street in front of me.

    One minute, and 40 seconds.

    I made my way down Costa Rica in a little over four minutes and sat on the cement bench and waiting for the bus. This was, in essence, a crap shoot. A couple of weeks before i had bought the house, i had looked on metro's website for the 50 route. Apparently, there are three different 50's: one hits the HOV lane, one takes all the little backroads and one is a special school route (or some variation of the two previous routes.)

    The time 6:15 a.m. was stuck in my head. So i waited only 2 minutes for the bus. It arrived at
    6:13. I was downtown at exactly 7:00 -- just as the train was pulling away from the station.

    I sat at the station and waited for the next train to arrive. downtown was quiet and wet. There were yellow vested city workers spraying down the bird shit off the sidewalks and the train stops.

    The train pulled into the station with a surprisingly large load of passengers at approximately 7:12 (right on time).

    I arrived at the medical center at 7:26 and walked into MDACC at 7:30.
    Should Election Day be a Holiday?

    Ok, folks I have given this matter very little thought- but even after the slightest bit of reflection it seems that making Election Day a Holiday , would be a great idea. I mean, everybody loves holidays, but also, this would be a great way to both increase voter turnout and celebrate Democracy!

    Any thoughts? Anyone want to start a grass roots organization to get this going? Anyone know of existing efforts to make this a reality? etc


    Also, here is an article on the subject.

    Monday, May 03, 2004

    Love & Marriage

    Congratulations Todd & Diana -- we all knew you belonged together and it was only a matter of time!! So will you wait another 5 years (that's about right, isn't it) for the bambinos?! No pressure, just wondering ... xoxo

    Treacherous D. Trump Gots Some Bling-Bling

    I propose a toast (with my morning cup of coffee) to the
    future Mrs. Fadeproof T. Rock.
    Seriously Congrats!!!!
    Drive Safe and see ya soon.

    CONGRATULATIONS T&d

    I am so proud and happy for the both of you!
    Come home soon so I can give you both a BIG HUG and a BIG KISS!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Sunday, May 02, 2004

    Nice Flash Navigation: Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S

    I like the flash-site: Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. The flash animation has a luster instead of a shallow shine. I really like how the navigation gives you a natural "crumb-trail" and let you cross-back-track to that other option at a previous point.

    MayDay!

    She said 'It's about damn time!'


    on the first day of May, 2004, i, todd serpa, did officialy and romanticaly propose to the lovely and talented diana brewer on a nice stretch of kitsilano beach overlooking vancouver, b.c.


    once she stopped squeaking in suprised delight she lovingly replied 'it's about damn time!' and gave me a big hug and kiss. since some of you have been waiting for quite some time i figured i oughta let you know.


    i am posting from her temporary home in tualitin, OR, on a bright and sunny sunday afternoon. we are preparing for our five day road trip for OR to TX which begins bright and early tomorrow morning. updates will be posted as they are available.