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The Indefinite Article.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The Trixie Update

The Trixie Update This is an amazing project.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Idea of the Day

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

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

my luby's holiday

howdy everybody.

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

you can get some insight on that experience here.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thankgiving Cutie, Part II

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

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

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

Thanksgiving Cutie

Friday, November 26, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving From Indianna!

Thursday, November 25, 2004


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

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

This Weekend + A Day

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

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

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

Monday, November 22, 2004

Thanks Judynet!

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

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

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Principality of Sealand

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

Read more about this here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


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

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

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

House of the Spirits

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

Monday, November 15, 2004

Something's going on...

In the Chavez Household.

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

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

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

Lets take a look at the suspects:

Martha, the old man's wife

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

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

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

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

Radio Pod?

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

As posted on boingboing.net

Saturday, November 13, 2004

pablo mugging it up at the mall.

check it. pablo inaction.

10 Years of Proper Gander Celebration

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

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Have You Seen The Incredibles?


Grand Theft Auto: Sim City

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

This is just amazing, really.

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

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

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

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

The heart said yes, but the body said no

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


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

Even though ...

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

A grand total of ...

52.4 miles once i get home tonight.

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

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

Monday, November 08, 2004

How Awfull!!!!

You and these people need to start a support group.

Improbable? Funny? Horrible? Tragic? Sad?

I don't know how to describe it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of those "holy shit" moments in computing

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

cure for insomnia

sweet, sweet sleep.

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

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

Address Book Exporter

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

Sunday, November 07, 2004

First Smiles

JPEG Problems

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

A long saturday and a full sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

but i did it!

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


This can be summed up:

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

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

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

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Some Cool Illustrations

Here from here

Thursday, November 04, 2004


A photo of our little chili pepper from Halloween:

Voice Cover

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

Gizmodo : BiblePlayer for iPod

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

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

The Story of the Election

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

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

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


and Executive.
My Brain Hole hurts.

A disappointing day

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

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

... and God Bless America.

Bush Winner, Kerry Loser

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

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Update

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

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

Its over.

I Voted!

and now i'm having an All American meal!

The Election

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

Monday, November 01, 2004