Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Debate

Thanks to Taggart, Liz and their "tele-vision", Todd and I were able to watch tonight's debate- and the subsequent Daily Show coverage. I must say that I was mightily entertained. The debate turned out to be far less scripted than I had feared. I thought both interlocutors did well, each scoring minor victories here and there...

This was my favorite part:


LEHRER: New question, Mr. President, two minutes. You have said there was a, quote, "miscalculation," of what the conditions would be in post-war Iraq. What was the miscalculation, and how did it happen?

BUSH: No, what I said was that, because we achieved such a rapid victory, more of the Saddam loyalists were around. I mean, we thought we'd whip more of them going in. 

BUSH: But because Tommy Franks did such a great job in planning the operation, we moved rapidly, and a lot of the Baathists and Saddam loyalists laid down their arms and disappeared. I thought they would stay and fight, but they didn't.


Most certainly the most jackass answer of the entire debate. I mean, the miscalculation was that we won the war too fast?

Anyhow, did anyone else catch the debate? What did you think?

Baby

We love the baby on the brain cut-n-paste, Killy -- very clever!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Its like a coloring book!

Monday, September 27, 2004

stuff!

Congrats Amber and Antony! Y'all do good work. and i have no idea how you feel, but i bet it's pretty neat.
Speaking of good work, some of Dave Fernandez's work will be appearing in one of his instructor's portfolios this quarter. it's good to know dave's out there representin' the third coast.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Baby on the Brain

Amber and Anthony,

Congratulations. I know how you feel.







A quick update: We were never flooded. I would say that we got a total of three minutes of rain. Lots of clouds - big black clouds - but almost no rain. No headache, no rain. Weird.

Antonio!!

Antonio Scott Freda was born on Carol's birthday, Sept. 22 at 10:04 p.m.
He weighs 6 lb 14 oz. and is the most beautiful thing that ever happened to us.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Waiting for Rain

The remnants of hurrican ivan are sitting on top of houston right now. For the last three days, even now, the forecasts have called for an 80% chance of thunderstorms; and i'm glad to hear it, but i can't believe it. Normally, as carol has suggested time and time again, my head will begin to split open as the pressure changes and rain starts to fall on the earth. In what is a admittedly unscientific experiment, i am carefully keeping tabs on the weather and my head today, and if how i'm feeling now is any indicator of what the weather will be like, we will get no rain here today ... no matter what the weatherman says.

this isn't good news for me. i didn't water my lawn last night in anticipation of a deluge; my decision didn't sit well with me all night. i went to the noaa.gov site and watched the maps. i stood outside and watched the clear sky, and the windless space around my house: we're not going to get any rain.

I'm at work now, and the radar (and head) is clear as glass. there is sun streaming in through the window in my office and the forecast still reads 80% chance of thunderstorms.

I'm insistent: no rain, not without a headache.

no rain.

Happy belated Birthday Antonio (the arrival)

actually, i can't be certain that this is his true name, but it is true that Amber and Anthony are officially parents.

This morning, while i was shuffling out into the living room in my towel, carol was in the kitchen preparing adolfo's lunch for the day and some coffee for our ride into work. I was looking out the back door looking for evidence of rain. Carol let out a gasp and tears welled up in her eyes.

"He was born on my birthday! Antonio is here."

"amber?..."

"yeah, at 7:35"

"amber had her baby?"

"yeah. i'm gonna cry..."

and she just smiled into her phone. and i wished that somehow i was able to send carol off to new york, just to be there. to see little antonio into the world.

Amber's Baby

Was born at 7:00 PM on September 22!
More details when I get them!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Happy Day of Your Birth Carol!

Did you know that on this day in 603 AD in one of your previous lives you were born into a family of goat-herders in what is now the country of Austria? On account of your uni-brow you were considered a great beauty and your fame spread around the region. One day while you and your neighbor (Mellobaude) were goating your herds, a grand procession passed by. Little did you know but in the procession travelled none other than the great Arnulf of Metz. Arnulf happened to see you two and he said to himself, "Dang!" , which in Old German means "Wow!" And so he fell smitten. He asked his man-servant who yonder goat-herdress be and the man-servant, thinking that Arnulf was referring to you (when in fact he was referring to Mellobaude) replied, "Yonder Goat-Herdress be none other than Carolina, of whom many a local bard hath sung".

Well, it turns out that Arnulf never really forgot that day. And many years later, after giving distinguished service at the Austrasian court under Theudebert II (595-612) and leading the aristocratic opposition to Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia that led to her downfall and the reunification of Frankish lands under Clotaire II, he became Bishop of Metz.

Then he retired in 627 and became a hermit and begat 3 kids with his wife Doda. His son Ansegisel married the Mayor of the Austrian Palace's daughter, Begga, and those two begat Pippin II, who begat Charlemagne's father, and is therefore Charlegmagne's great-grandfather.

Anyhow, on his death-bed he told his son: "Son, your descendants will found a great Dynasty and re-establish the Holy Roman Empire. I command thee to name this great and powerful dynasty after a goat-herdress that I saw one day. Her name was Carol, I think." His son swore an oath, and bade his son swear the same oath and so on and so forth and thusly was born the mighty Carolingian Dynasty.

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Amazing Uptime Machine

That old iBook 466 I use as a server for our rider number and prize distribution has some stout uptime:

[administrator@Administrators-Computer:~]$ uptime
10:55 up 172 days, 1:39, 3 users, load averages: 0.00 0.00 0.00

Of course, it is still running 10.3.1, so it hasn't gotten a restart due to system updates...

ACL Day 3

American Analog Set
Rachael Yamagata (Eddie Brickell-esqe)
The Roots
Centro-Matic
Elvis Costello
Jack Johnson
Wilco

I was tempted to stay for the Medeski Martin and Wood set
but I felt I would hurt myself if I was around that many people
for that much longer.


Too much good music in sets that are too short in too few days with too many people.
I have vowed that I will go see more live music but will stay away from festivals
and their army of lawn chair.

I enjoyed myself more or less once I was able to settle in and enjoy the music but
wandering the whole day for three days between all seven stages through
a sea of tents and collapsable chairs I began to feel like I
was in an internment camp with really good music.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

ACL Day 1&2

HOT HOT HOT....all the way around.
Plenty of good music enough to convince me it was worth dealing with 200,000 people crammed into the
small plot of land.
Day 1.
Tea Leaf Green.
The Slip.
Broken Social Scene.
Ryan Adams.
Gomez.
Franz Ferdinand.

Day 2.
Mason Jennings
Josh Rouse.
My Morning Jacket. (Checking out again on Oct. 9th at the Paramount.)
Los Amigos Invisibles. (Definatley worth checking out again.)
G. Love & Special Sauce.
15 min of the Pixies.
(Mason Jennings again at Midnight at Stubs.)

Coldfusion Tippy

When writing Coldfusion in BBEdit, put your <cfif><cfelse></cfif> statements in <cfscript></cfscript> tags, like:

<cfscript>
if(){
}else{
}
</cfscript>

The reason for this is that BBEdit's automatic tag closer needs all tags closed by either a closing tag or closed by an ending slash. However, all of Coldfusion's inline tags can be closed with an ending slash except for <cfelse>. However, by putting the if-else statement in a cfscript tag, BBEdit's tag closer will ignore it. Whee!

Friday, September 17, 2004

I Love Doonesbury


Ghost in the Shell part Deux!

See the trailer!

Things Fall Apart

It's a tough thing, you know, being young and still relatively new in a career field. You know enough by now, you feel, to be compensated well, and yet there are still so many mistakes to make and learn from.

Take plants, for instance. They have a troubling habit of dying on you when you least expect it. Sure, a customer has just spent thousands of dollars on a new garden. They have every right to expect things to LIVE, don't they? And, so, what do you say to a client who has just spent $2,000 on two gorgeous burgundy "Bloodgood" Japanese Maples when one of them dies? Well, it could have been she didn't water it right. Or, maybe, it had some sort of root disease that wasn't obvious when you planted it.

Or, maybe the drainage holes in the bottom of the planter got clogged up with soil and the tree drowned. Shouldn't I have known to line the bottom of the planters with fabric first to keep the holes open? Well, what about when my boss, who has been in this business twice as long as me, confesses he didn't know to do that, either?

Things fall apart sometimes, and there's nothing you can do about it except say, 'I'm sorry,' and refund the customer their money, even though it really stings because you know that an extra couple thousand in your pocket right now sure would feel nice ...

You can't blame yourself for acts of God, for not knowing, for being a human being just trying to do your best and do the right thing, gobbling up knowledge as fast as you can, but somehow realizing it probably isn't ever fast enough.

And then there are moments of greatness that keep us all going. Speaking of moments of greatness, has anyone seen Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (Comedy Central) lately? That man is on fire!!!! His career is most definitely exploding -- it's so refreshing to see someone point out all of the glaring hypocrisies in politics today and be so damn funny at the same time!!!

I think we all still have a long way to go before our careers reach their peaks -- check back in 5-10 years, maybe more ... just remember, Jon Stewart was making bad movies 5-10 years ago and now look at him go!! Anthony, my hubbie, was mass producing animatics for advertising cos., a job he felt was shallow, soulless, and incredibly stressful just 5-10 years ago. It was a real low-point for him -- and now he's just starting to feel like, after years of struggling to make it as a freelance artist, he's getting the jobs and the exposure he really wants ...

It ain't easy, that's for sure!! One thing Anthony tells me when I get discouraged is, "Cream always rises." I think what he's saying is that, when you're truly doing what you feel most passionate and happy doing, and when you work really hard and don't give up, that you have within your heart a level of purity and committment that eventually causes you to rise up out of the trenches and succeed at what you do.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

TODD

THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF ADDICTIONS.

FOR SOME IT'S THE BOTTLE, ALWAYS DRINKING.
FOR SOME IT'S SMOKING
FOR SOME IT'S PORN
FOR SOME IT'S EATING

AND FOR SOME IT'S WORKING. BE CAREFUL. TOO MUCH AND TOO MUCH PRESSURE IS REAL BAD FOR YA.

IF YOU WEREN'T GOOD ENOUGH TODD, YOU WOULDN'T HAVE PISS FOR WORK. IF YOU WERE IN THE POOR HOUSE AND COOKING UP AN OLD BOOT FOR SUPPER, THEN YOU MIGHT HAVE SOME REASON TO DOUBT YOUR SKILLZ.

I IMAGINE THAT DOUBTING YOURSELF HAS GOTTEN OLD. POSSIBLY YOU TIRE FROM THAT SAME OLD CAT'O-NINE TAILS ACROSS THE BACK.

I WON'T BE ABLE TO TELL YOU YOUR GOOD ENOUGH AND HAVE IT DO THE GOOD WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ON THE INSIDE.

I SAY ALL THIS CAUSE THAT SORT OF SHIT IS TEARING ME DOWN AS WELL. I HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN SEEING COUNSELORS AND THERAPISTS FOR THE LAST THREE MONTHS AND HAVE A MARRIAGE THAT IS STRAINED TO MAXIMUM CAPACITY AND THREATENS TO BREAK.

YOU GOTTA FIND THAT SPACE TO GIVE TO YOURSELF THE SUPPORT YOU NEED, ON THE SMALL SINGULAR DECISION LEVEL. ALL THE TINY SMALL EVERYDAY LITTLE STUFF. GOTTA FIND SPACE FOR TODD TO BE SUPPORTED. CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, YOUR NO ONES BITCH.

THIS KINDA SHIT IS COSTING ME ALOT TO FIGURE OUT.

I HAVE BEEN LIVING MY PARENTS AND BROTHERS IDEA OF WHAT A LIFE SHOULD BE. SQUASHED MY OWN VOICE DOWN SO FAR THAT IT CAME OUT IN OTHER WAYS THAT WERE QUITE DESTRUCTIVE. HAD NO BELIEFE IN WHAT I WAS CAPABLE OF, HAD NO BELIEF IN MY OWN ABILITY TO CHANGE MY OWN LIFE EVEN THOUGH I SAW THAT IT WAS NO GOOD FOR MY WIFE AND GIRLS. TO WEAK TO STAND UP FOR MY IDEAS OF WHAT WERE TRUE FOR ME. THOSE IDEAS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY VALIDITY AND DEFINITLY NO GROUND TO BE HEARD.

IT'S REAL SHIT OUT THERE, THIS LIFE STUFF.

ALL I WANNA SAY IS THAT, I HEAR YOU TODD, AND I BELIEVE IN YOU.

clients

so, my clients sure do trust me. which makes me feel funny. that damn responsibility thing of mine is in constant overdrive with all these people pinning their hopes and dreams of succesful business ventures on my narrow shoulders. 'we're counting on you' they say, sometimes just with their eyes, sometimes they really say it.

am i letting them down? am i good enough? am i working hard enough, smart enough? the answer i always give myself is 'no' but i just can't stay up all night everynight working on their stuff. i can't know everything. i am already operating far out of my core competency; i'm creating products from ether, trying to configure CMSs, writing marketing/ad copy, managing projects, everything but frickin' DESIGNING crap.

driving me nuts. ok, i'll quit bitching now and get back to work

written on a client's laptop which i am watching until she gets back from a doctor's appointment. see what i mean?

D2X!

A gallery of high resolutions D2X photos!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Blue-Tooth Ache


Been spending alot of time equally hating and loving my new phone.
This is the T608. The semi-proto-type CDMA Bluetooth phone from Sony-Ericsson.
It's semi-cousin the GSM T610 is much loved and hailed as a shining hero and example of
blue-TEETH.
The T608 is it's Bastard Cousin put for adoption and taken in by the
evil Foster-Parent SPRINT.
It has blue-tooth...and yes it works OKAY with ISYNC which is pretty darn cool. Love it.
However it was only semi-finished when Sony-E decided to pull the plug on it's CDMA
development. SO it is massivley buggy.
EEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRR.
Adolph I can imagine you are the only one who would be slightly interested in this so check it out
www.T608.com.

Reading: A Million Little Pieces. By James Frey
Listening too: Garden State Soundtrack//Mason Jennings
Watching: Hopefully THX 1138.

SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY

ON THE WAY TO WORK THIS MORNING I WAS LISTENING TO THE RADIO AND THE DJ SAID HERE COMES "SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY" BUT A VERSION YOU'VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD BEFORE.

I LIKE THE SONG SO I LISTENED AND PROCEEDED TO BE BLOWN AWAY.

SOME CLEVER AND TIME EFFICIENT PERSON HAD TAKEN OUR DEAR PRESIDENTS VOICE FROM MANY DIFFERENT SPEECHES AND SPLICED TOGETHER A GREAT VERSION OF THIS SONG.

THE DJ SAID THAT IT WAS FOUND ON THE WEBSITE - PASSPORTAPPROVED.COM - NOW FOR SOME REASON I COULD NOT GET AROUND THE SIGN IN PAGE, BUT IF ANY OF YOU WANT TO TRY, IT IS DEFFINITLY WORTH THE TIME.

READING: LITTLE MEN - LOUISA MAY ALCOTT

LISTENING: BLACKALICIOUS - BLAZING ARROW

DRAWING: BRUSH PEN AND SKETCHBOOK

you say want issues? i got your issues right here.

John Kerry on the issues. Includes voting records.


George Bush on the issues


there. issues. enjoy.

Comment on comments from previous Post

From: Campaign Fog

Killy wrote:
Amen to that, adolph. It's inconceivable to vote for Bush but it's equally difficult to endorse someone so, i hate to put it so harshly but, seemingly empty


Sometimes I too get the sensation that John Kerry is "semingly empty". And then I think about his Senate testimony and activities after coming back from the Vietnam war and I think, this guy had principles and balls. But what happened since? My mind turns it into some Darth Vader thing where I imagine that slowly over years John Kerry got parts of him chopped, melted or blasted off by political realities until only a small core of this former self remains...

But equally difficult?




To Rake or Not to Rake ....

How could something as seemingly simple as raking the yard turn into a controversy among gardeners? As it turns out, leaf mulch is one of the best natural soil improvers around. Take a look at any forest floor and you will see a thriving plant community bolstered by rich, humusy soil that has built up over decades or even centuries of leaf accumulation. It supplies all the nutrients plants need as it decomposes and breaks down over time AND it insulates your plants in the winter and protects them from freezing. How many times have I wished for a nice bag full of leaf compost in my city garden, bereft of a lush tree canopy, while so many people elsewhere are bagging up their leaves and throwing them into the garbage heap??

So why has raking the yard become an American past-time? Namely, keeping up with the Joneses, it seems -- many communities feel pressured by their neighbors to keep up the aesthetic appearance of a green manicured lawn year-round, even though this ultimately means more time and money spent on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides over the course of the year because your plants aren't receiving the nutrition they need in the soil naturally.

So what if raking is just plain fun? Well, then, rake away, my friend -- you might spare the backyard, though -- maybe you could put everything into big piles and then relish jumping into them and dispersing the leaves back into the yard again. Or, to aid in the decomposition process, many people find a leaf shredder attachment to their landmower helpful. Or compost bins are great as a place to store all those leaves until they break down into a rich soil that can be spread back out into the yard without raising any eyebrows from your neighbors.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE ADOLPH!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

On and on, and on, and on ...

Yesterday, it rained. As soon as we got into the house from work, adolfo heads to the back door. "Outside, backyard?" he asks. Carol takes him outside and i change my clothes. From the bedroom i can hear carol open the door. "I think we might need to rake."

When i step outside, the wind is softly blowing, but its hard enough to put some a leaves into a freefall. The left side of my backyard is covered in leaves. The right hand side is bright green.

It isn't long into raking that i am thankful my mother bought me a rake even though i already had one. She had paid the extra 5 or 6 bucks for a rake with a comfortable foam handle. 45 sweaty minutes later nine neat piles of brown leaves and not so ripe pecans lumbered on my lawn. Four 30 gallon trash bags later, my yard was clear again, but i can't imagine that it will be for very long.

As i watched one, two, three, four, leaves gently fall from the tree with the slight breeze, i wondered to myself how many times i would rake before i hated raking; at this point i can't imagine hating it. We were all raking outside by the end of it. Carol had brought me some gloves so i could use the crappy blister-maker rake and adolfo followed us around stomping into the leaf piles.

Although, i could see how after a millenia of picking up after someones leaves one could tire of this. Perhaps the Entwives were just fed up with the Ents leaving their shit everywhere.



Reading:


Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris

Hearing:


The Postal Service

Watching


Finding Nemo for the 300,000,000th time.

The Music

So its been a great couple of weeks for my ears. First, Latyrx has been been blowing up rythms all along the insides of my brain. Great stuff, and apparently the duo is coming to town in October!

Also, thanks to my local Fairy Godparents aka Taggart and Liz I got hooked up with a ticket to the Shins concert the other night at Stubbs. I had never been to Stubbs before, it is a pretty swell venue. The show itself was great. Those kids from Albuquerque write some pretty good pop songs and they have a great live presence...

Also, still can't get enough of Grandaddy. Been listening to Sumday

What y'all listening to?

Campaign Fog

"Many Democrats are mystified by the direction of the Kerry campaign. If you look at the last several months ... and you look at the Abu Ghraib scandal, and the war in Iraq not going well, and a sluggish economy, and job losses in swing states like Michigan and Ohio - you'd say Kerry should be ten points ahead now ... The fact that we're talking about Vietnam, not Iraq, is an indication of Kerry's failure to present the campaign on his terms." - From "Kerry's Brain" in the Sept. 20 New Yorker

Monday, September 13, 2004

My Other Sister is Pregnant!!!!!

That's right, my sister Sara and her husband Aaron are expecting!!!! WHOOOO-HOOOOO! So that means that Susan's kid will be born in February, and Sara's in May! I am so happy!!!!!

hosting and the like

Adolph, before you go jumping into a Verve account check out These guys. they have all the same stuff but you can get a gig of space for almost the same price as our 300Mb. it looks like a pretty good deal to me. i think it's where i am gonna go when my verve account expires.

dotMac Renewal Coming Up

MacInTouch was pimping Amazon's sale on dotMac membership renewals. I'm not certain of the specific renewal date, but I should probably make a decision on whether to renew or not this month. There haven't been any amazing deals or upgrades to the dotMac system in a while, and it is looking less and less compelling all the time. I wonder what it would take to get adolphtrudeau.com (hosted at Vervehosting like chairjockey.com) set up into a reasonably easy to maintain dotMac-like space?

More Election Thinking

One of the big bummers is that this election doesn't seem very substantive. It is kind of funny because just as the technology for candidates to reach out to everyone within a nation become possible, the people running for office seem less and less interested in talking about real things in substantive ways.

I guess the problem with that is that candidates would likely sound like the Federal Reserve Chair Allen Greenspan who is like this oracle spouting what could be wisdom, but that you have to decipher into human-speak. In his last congressional testimony he made an interesting distinction between Social Security and Medicare.

Basically, with Social Security, the government knows what future obligations it is making and can take it into account. However, the cost of Medicare can't be predicted--it is an obligation that is made without knowing the cost.

He also had an interesting observation of the nature of government expenditures. More and more government is making long term obligations rather than making decisions with the annual budget. This means that politicians can essentially fulfill campaign promises this year but put off paying for it until many years from now.

Maybe I'm just missing long and persuasive arguments about these things because I don't watch too much TV or read a paper every day. Maybe they aren't talking about it because both Bush and Kerry are all that different on the topic, making it a moot point.

Lord of the Rings Risk Game

From the comments of a previous post: Yesterday I finally played the LOTR Risk game Killy gave me for Christmas (2?) years ago. I played with the guys who accompany their significant others to knitting Sunday. The game is complicated, idiosyncratic and interesting. Basically, it is like Risk, but with a twisted map, different piece counts (1,3,5 instead of 1,5,10), a special piece that must attack and win specific territories to get cards that are kind of like mission cards but which can be played at any point as circumstances or the card itself warrants, and the game play is limited by the ring's progress across the board. Additionally, there are territory cards that you save, match and turn in for additional re-enforcements like regular Risk, but the numbers of additional troops don't scale up and distort the game like the traditional game.

The ring moves into a new territory with each player's turn and if it is moving from a territory controlled by the 'dark' forces, then that dark force gets to roll to 'find' it. The roll has to be 12 on two six sided die (some exceptions apply), so there is a slim chance, but a chance nonetheless, that the game may end on the first turn--after you just set up 45 pieces apiece plus 2 special piece--188 pieces on the board to start! I'm not certain how many territories the ring has to go to reach Mount Doom, but once it does, the game is over. There are a few spots on the board where the "good" forces must roll more than a 3 to keep the ring moving forward.

The board is really interesting because it is a rectangle with no around the world travel. However, on the west there are some sea lanes with specific ports to travel from one to another noncontiguous space to another. Additionally, there are mountains and rivers that block travel between bordering territories, so you have to watch the map carefully.

The rules do not allow for 'rolling' attacks, so you can't just put all your pieces on one territory and go on a trip around the world in a turn to wipe everyone out. Instead, you have to spread your attacking forces out to move forward in a line, since you can make multiple attacks in a single turn.

In addition to gaining a special card when conquering certain territories, the special pieces add one to your highest dice roll, attacking or defending and there are certain territories with a 'place of power' that also add a plus one to the highest die of the defender (for a total of two if you have the special piece there). The special pieces can also be lost if a territory is conquered. You start with two and if you lose both you can place one with re-enforcements on your next turn. You also get an extra troop on each "place of power" that you have in the re-enforcement stage of your turn.

[Update:] At the end of the game, you count up all your assets, kind of like Monopoly, only the house and hotel like troop characters don't count. It is kind of depressing when "good" essentially wins because the ring got to Mount Doom, but one of the "dark" forces won because of territory holdings. However, it is kind of nice to avoid the bitter end of classic Risk, with epic-length dice rolls.

A Funeral This Morning

I went to the funeral this morning of the spouse of the bike tour's logistics contractor. I had gotten to know him from the various social events around the tour time and felt the loss, not only from my appreciation of him but also in respect to his spouse Barbara, who I deeply respect and esteem as a senior colleague.

I dashed out an email to the office staff this morning, as is our custom to let one another know if we are going to be out of the office for a time. As I wrote it I encountered a verb tense quandary--do I mix tenses or keep everything in past tense? In some ways it is beside the point: there are more important things to do, like being on time for the funeral, than think about how verb tense is an expression of my general world-view or religiosity.

Still, it stayed in my head and I had a greater appreciation for languages without verb tense, like Chinese. In some ways I felt compelled to write about Mike in the past tense. This follows the tradition that the game is over when brain activity ceases and your body starts to decay. As a not very religious person, am I expressing atheism by referring to someone in past tense, as if they were not just traveling to whatever afterlife they believe in? This is sympathetic to a fault though, as most religious people still use past tense in referring to people whose bodies are clinically not alive.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me!

Okay guys, you are invited to my place for a birthday get-together this coming Saturday evening. maybe we'll take the train downtown, maybe it'll be early enough for some museum, details will be TBA right here.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Adventures in Linux

While trying to rid his PC of spyware and virii, Ryan inadvertantly wiped out some important DLL files, rendering his Windows ME install unusable. Since the hard-drive was ok I was able to boot up the machine with a boot-disk and copy off all his documents, some of which were papers he wrote in college! Satisfied that I had salvaged all the important docs I downloaded a copy of Debian, burned it to a CD and tried to install it. Everything went well until it came time to install a Display Manager. No matter what I did I could not get KDE or GNOME to run properly. After several attempts I gave up and decided to give Mandrake a shot. In contrast to Debian which installs from a small (300MB?) ISO and then downloads the rest of the packages, Mandrake requires 2 Gigs worth of stuff. Anyhow, to make a long story short I finally got Mandrake up and running. I copied Ryan's docs back to the hard-drive and opened up the MS-Word docs with OpenOffice ... and they work fine!

Check out the screenshot, pretty slick, eh? I can't wait to install this on Killy's old PC!

A Great Burning Eye

In the first paragraph of this article I immediately thought of Sauron and the great burning eye. This isn't to say that the Pentagon is an evil place or whatever, but that one of Sauron's weaknesses was his micro management. If he wasn't watching his peeps, they mostly didn't know what to do.
Micromanagement for Global War: "The U.S. Department of Defense is considering providing the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) with a real time combat command capability. This would mean that the JCS, led by its chairman, would have a combat command center in the Pentagon where they would use current satellite communications to directly control combat forces anywhere on the planet."

Friday, September 10, 2004

Java running out of control for CFMX on Mac OS X?


has anyone else had issues with java runnign wild on their machines? I'm associating it with Coldfusion, but I'm not certain if that it really it...

Pregnancy and Being

It's different than I thought it would be,
Seeing mothers with their swollen bellies
In the days before I had mine.
I had imagined the sensation of weight
Would be all in front, but instead it's
All on top of my spine and pelvis.
Mostly it's a feeling of great compaction,
An increase in gravity or density or both.
I am struck by all the dualities of being:
United but Separate,
Heavy but Light,
Temporary but Forever,
Fierce but Vulnerable,
Confident but Trembling,
I am both Butterfly and Coccoon.

More on the iMac G5

The iMac G5 Developer Note is out and it is pretty interesting to compare the block diagra to the Powermac G5 Developer Note's block diagram. The iMac stacks up pretty well, considering what it is and specification-wise beats out the PowerMac's internal optical drive bus, with ATA/133 rather than the PowerMac's ATA/100. Otherwise the differences mainly have to do with the single rather than dual processor (and associate dRAM handling) and the iMac's lack of PCI-X slots.

New Version of ImageWell

There is a new version of ImageWell out. I like it a lot better because it is a card-carrying quit-able application now, not a weird menuling that doesn't always behave as you would expect. It does have more features, but the stuff that it did well, ftping up screenshots and the link without a lot of fuss, it still does well. I think the menuling concept had promise, but that people will understand the current version more.

It's the dishonesty, stupid

"Overstating the 2004 deficit," the center wrote, "could allow the president to announce significant 'progress' on the deficit in late October - shortly before Election Day - when the Treasury Department announces the final figures."

BBEdit 8

So, none of my old licenses would qualify for the upgrade program, so I bought the new BBEdit. It is the application that I do most everything in, so I guess that keeping it current isn't such a bad thing. I'm intrigued by some of the new menu items, as seen on the right, as cleaning up crusty old code is one of those repetitious and fairly well definable things that an application aught to be able to take care of.

Also, it does a good job of translating accented characters into HTML with the Translate menu item (which I don't remember in 7...). I was able to quickly find out how to do an accented "e," as in "é." ¿Ça vá?

Netflix

This week I broke down and subscribed to Netflix. I'm wary of it in the sense of being wary of tv-time creep: What's next, cable, a Tivo, pay-per-view, WebTV? But at the same time the whole movie rental system is so completely broken that I'm missing a lot of cinema simply because I don't like rental stores and I don't like going to rental stores.

The first set of three DVD's are modern classics, things that I want Amber to see and that I haven't wanted in a long time (Chunking Express and The City of the Lost Children) and something that I probably should have seen but thought it would be unbearably cheesey: Amelié. I recently picked up the Amelié soundtrack and found it a worthy replacement for that 8.5 Souvenirs album, which I typically find too-raucous when I'm in the mood for frenchy-sounding music. I have a feeling that she will like City of the Lost Children, as she liked The Triplets of Belleville, but I'm not as sure about Chunking Express. I think the last time I watched it, a few years back; I had to fast forward through the saccharine parts.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Machinima

I read this interesting article about Machinima: Filmmaking's Destiny this morning. Machinima is a fancy word for cinema made with machines, especially that which is made entirely within software. One of the emerging methods of machinima is video games, specifically first person shooters, like Doom or Halo. Red vs. Blue is an online series that uses Halo to make animated films. This link is to a quicktime movie, Wild Wild Web program, "a primer . . . on how the internet is different from the real world."

I'm wondering how they do this. One way would be to put a DV camcorder in between the X-Box and TV and record, then import the DV into a video editing application. I wonder if there is a way to get a digital out of the X-Box.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Amazing

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5941187/
I started "Reading Lolita in Tehran" the other day because I feel this overwhelming urge to understand The Other point of view, so different from our own. Who today could be more different from myself in every way than an Iranian woman? Her life is a surreal page out of "The Handmaid's Tale" -- a comedy of errors, surely, only no one is laughing, and the theater is empty except for a man outside with a machine gun who eyes you up and down suspiciously. Must conform, must keep silent, must avoid eye contact.

A world without color. Black to hide yourself, to become invisible, to go unnoticed. It's safer this way. But how did this nightmare grow to envelop an entire society? Silence is the mind-killer. Long before the Islamic Revolution began in Iran, a seed must have been planted in the minds of a few loud and angry zealots. Their madly impassioned cries grew louder each day, a seductive tyranny that gradually drowned out the silent. Mind your own business. Don't dare to tell them what you really think. Let yourself become a victim. Over there is a band of students gathered around someone who is yelling about the decay of Islam, the corruption of the west, the whorishness of women. A lunatic, you think! No one will ever pay him any mind.

If only more people had been brave enough to disagree. But apathy numbed their tongues. And, later, fear kept them that way. Slowly, the dissidents increased in strength and number -- and one day became a force that could no longer be stopped from enforcing their horribly self-righteous tennets upon the land: self-annhilation, segregation, censorship, control.

A shocking reality that makes me wonder, how far are we from that way of life? How many twists of fate does it take for an extremist group to take over the destiny of any country? What if fundamentalists took over our country and forced us all to turn off our stereos, burn our copies of "Lord of the Flies" and "The Catcher in the Rye," unlearn to dance, and all dress the same -- and then set about trying to bring about the glory of a fiery Armageddon? Is it a leap of fiction to suggest such things? Isn't there already a religious zealot in the whitehouse and hasn't he already proved himself to be a lover of shock and awe? Someone who wears his own ignorance as his only badge of dis-honor, with a cowboy swagger, and the arrogance of someone who never questioned himself in any sort of deep and searching way? The unexamined life is not worth living, unless you are president, of course.

And where is the media through all of this? Where is the voice of dissent? Where are the heroes of eloquence and reason? I can't hear them!! That's what bothers me most of all about this election. Dick Cheney can try to blackmail the public all he wants, and what's his reward? 24-hour replay on news stations across the country. What good does it do to report insanity if you cannot produce the antidote? Fair and balanced reporting is a myth. Silently rolling tape of only the most sensational statements made by public figures does not encourage debate or sane thinking of any sort.

But then we should know better than to expect the media to be champions of either self-examination or individual rights. Who is more of a conformist than your local news anchor? Who with plastic hair and pearly teeth and expressions of the most banal nature greets us from our television sets each morning? Mainstream media strives to blend into the masses, trading idenity and imagination for what is most likely to sell copy. They might as well all be dressed in black. They might as well be silent like the rest of us.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Most Important Election in a Generation?

At the end of Frontline this evening, they promoted their next one, about the election in November. In the spot, they pimp this as the "Most Important Election in a Generation." I'm not certain if it fits that bill. It would seems that as far as generational things go, the Clinton election and re-election would be more significant generationally because both Bush and Dole were of the WWII generation and Clinton was of the Baby Boomers.

Well, what is the significance of that? asks Amber. In terms of outcomes, the significance is debatable. However, the life experiences of people typical to the two generations are far different. This may or may not play into how they approach the world, but the torch has clearly been passed. In this generation, the contention is between people of somewhat different backgrounds, something I'm working on writing about, but is between people of the same generation.

In terms of generational importance, I hope that Frontline is referring to the potential mother lode of Supreme Court appointments. The justices last an outlandishly long time and deeply affect the most important issues of the day. I think the stakes here are the equivalent of wiping out an opponent in Risk for the purpose of taking their cards. Unfortunately, I'm not really certain which candidate makes sense in the long term.

For some issues, such as reproductive rights and legal reforms, the choice is pretty clear: if you want the government deciding if you can get a medical procedure or if you can sue a company that wronged you, vote Bush. On the other hand, government secrecy is a growing and pernicious issue that may be larger than any other. It looks as though the government covering up wrongdoing through official secrecy goes back to the very beginning. The old school constitutionalists also known as conservatives may be a better bet on this issue.

ColdFusion Tricks

Evaluate
One of the technical problems I faced today is how to call a variable with a variable. Specifically, I have a list of variable names with an associated form input type. The variable names correspond to variables from form input and from a database query. In ColdFusion, how do you call a variable-variable? The trick is Evaluate.

Monday, September 06, 2004

The Curse of Dick Cheney

People who find Cheney's extremism as vice president surprising have not looked at his congressional voting record. In 1986, he was one of only twenty-one members of the House to oppose the Safe Drinking Water Act. He fought efforts to clean up hazardous waste and backed tax breaks for energy corporations. He repeatedly voted against funding for the Veterans Administration. He opposed extending the Civil Rights Act. He opposed the release of Nelson Mandela from jail in South Africa. He even voted for cop-killer bullets.

From:The Rolling Stone

Happy 40th Birthday Killy!!!

me and my bad habits

i have noticed that i approach most of my projects like they are little fetish objects, built by and for me. that is wrong, counterproductive and frustrating in so many ways.

i spent a good deal of today being petulant and cranky about a requirement for a project that prevented me from building a site in the way that i would have preferred. the question is : what friggin' difference does it make?

in some ways the way i want do it is limited, in that it results in a site that is built to work in more modern browsers, IE 5.5 and newer. the code is 'nicer' but the end result is largely the same as the site that i am going to build, the one full of html hacks, transparent shims and all kinds of silly tricks i thought i had 'outgrown', but works in really old browsers. but it won't validate. how much does that really matter?

i don't know

on a completely different note : here is a sequential set of pictures i took on a lunchtime walk from paul's apartment to the chipotle downtown.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Church

We went to church this morning. Adolfo sported a blue pair of slacks, a long-sleeved blue collar shirt and conservative tie along with his brite white stride rites. i should have gotten a picture, but i didn't. The service was nice (not too crowded) and the homily, i thought, was excellent.

I ran across this:

Hamilton Pool

Andre and Zoe came into town this afternoon.
He took off to Hamilton Pool and speculated about upcoming
ten year high school reunion.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Be Thankfull You Have Macintohes

Amber is trying to get her PC laptop from work configured to Kaveh Kanes network. She can get it to initially connect, but there are other links in the area that come in and out, disturbing her connection. I'm not certain why it tries to connect to other routers when it already has one. It is very annoying.

Supporting Others Through Affiliate Programs

On MacInTouch today, they note that they have signed up for the iTunes Affiliate program. I'm wondering if this works for other people using the same link. For example, could I support MacInTouch by adding their link to this website?

ZELL ON EARTH!!!!!!!

Zell Miller what a loone.
After he spewed hatred and a plague on men he challenged chris matthews to aDuel.

The Daddy Files

so the baby is dressed in jeans, his white shoes, and a white tshirt. he look adorable as we are dropping off his mom at work. he cries, but i take him to mc donalds on kirby and 59.

i take him out of the car. he is saying, "...eggies, pancase..." he's hungry. i know he is. i feel like we might look like one of those mc d's commercials: happy son, happy daddy on a day off from school and work.

there are a lot of cars for the drive thru so i carry him in. i carry him up to the counter where i order two deluxe big breakfasts -- lots of eggies and pancakes. i order an apple juice for him....

"...and i'll have just a mi....


it is at this point, in my arms, that adolfo iv unleashes a tidal wave of cheesy milky vomit that drenches my entire left side (shirt & pants), drenches his little body, face, arms, and spills to the floor like a brilliant hawaiian waterfall. i am not joking when i say there was a lot. i mean, a lot. a whole lot. my whole face dropped. the man behind me had a laugh aching to bust through his teeth. the lady behind the register handed me a bunch of paper towels with a completely straight face.

i remain calm. i apologize to both the people immediately around me. As we walk to the bathroom i can hear the lady at the register calling for a mop. I pull off his shirt and try to clean him up as best i can. i have no spare clothes for him. i pull off his shirt and rinse it out int he sink. i use it to wipe up his pants. i do nothing about my own drenched shirt.

i get our food through the drive thru and head towards adolph's house, hoping he is home. he's not home. adolfo is clamoring for food in the back seat. i give him half a biscuit as i start down san jacinto towards home. i give him a little bit of egg.

i get closer to downtown.

somewhere right before the bus station he pukes again. everything. pukes almost as bad as the first tiem. the car seat is covered in puke. his pants are soaked. eggs, biscuit and more cheesy milky puke is everywhere. i pull over into a side street immediately and step out of the car and into the back seat. i have a limited amount of wipies. i clean him up with what i have and the wet shirt i had taken off of him earlier.i take him out of his seat and wipe up the seat too.

at this point i am a little frustrated.

i get him back in the seat and he starts clamoring for more food. i explain to him that i can't give him anything till we get home, which we do quickly.

at home he gets water and a movie to help him relax a little bit....

just now he ate a whole pancake in about 2 mins. he is hungry. clamoring for food. i am waiting to see if its going to come back up. i suspect that it won't, but you never can tell...

Zell Miller's Speech

fear and agression.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Bluetooth Bots

I had a flash of thought this morning when I sawthis article on BoingBoing.net. Future semi-autonomous robots will likely have a crawler unit and an airborne unit. The crawler is relatively slow but contains the brains, the airborne unit(s) will carry the sensor package. For example, the crawler moves along an isolated facility perimeter controlling airborne units that can look over and around things that a ground unit would have trouble with. The crawler unit might have a dock where the airborne units would be stored and recharged; perhaps they would only be deployed when an area of interest was unobservable by the crawler.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Winbox


Amazon.com: Software / Brands / Microsoft / Operating Systems


I've been thinking about getting a second computer for the house. Initially, I was considering an older iMac or the like. However, I'm really not interested in another computer face with associated desk and chair and keyboard and mouse in my apartment. I'm more interested in having access to the files on my external hard drive. Additionally, I have a new-found need to see what websites look like on a Windows PC, so I'm thinking that Windows XP Pro and Remote Desktop Connection will do the trick. Additionally, the computer could act as a print server so Amber (or anyone) could print stuff without using my computer.

Specifications:
* Minimal video (will be run headless most of the time)
* Moderate CPU (suitable for file servering and running a browser)
* Lots of disk space
* 802.11g networking (so it can hang out by my desk without a cord running to the cable modem)
* Some sort of remote control mechanism
* Runs lots of different windows browsers

Questions:
* Is there a Linux/BSD distribution that could use Wine or the like to run Windows web browsers?
* Is there an easy to use remote connection like RDC for a Linux/BSD distribution?

Dear Griffin Technology

Dear Griffin Technology,

If you would please make an iSight to iPod connector I would very much appreciate it.

The iSight to iPod connector would:
* Put iPod in disk mode.
* Accept DV signal from iSight.
* Store iSight DV signal into a named folder on the iPod.
* Have a start/stop button.
* Have a disk full indicator.
* Connect the iSight to the iPod in a handy way.
* Be able to connect the iSight to the iPod via a long Firewire cable as an option.

The iSight probably has greater power requirements than your iTrip, so the connector would have to have a battery of some sort. That isn't ideal, but the handiness of the connector would be worth it. I would buy one for $50-70 as soon as they are available. I'm certain that many other people would as well.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,

Adolph Trudeau

imac emac

well being a emac user I was a little disappointed that the emac looks like it is going to be discontinued.
Price/function wise the g5 imac is a real bargain.
My emac handles 100m files easily without problems, and files from digital cameras without hickups.
The new Imac has a lot more power than my emac and as far as upgrading a new imac
seems dreamy just because of the space I could save.
what seems funny to me is that in 20" terms you are getting a 1.8 ghz G5 for 600 dollars.
the 20 monitor alone sells for 1299 and the imac is only 1899......odd.

Hannah Kathryn Gholson

In case you missed the email, there is another Gholson now:Hannah Kathryn Gholson. What is up with early September babies? My cousin's second was born Sunday . . . Killito a couple of years and a couple of days ago . . . Amber M a few more years and a couple of days ago . . .