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The Indefinite Article.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Futbol Madness

So, I have been playing soccer out at Zilker Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I usually come in to the office early on those days so's I can scoot out by 4:45 and get in on the early action. By around 5:45 or so there are a handful of small sides (6 on 6) games going on. Games last until the sun go down around 7:00 o'clock. It is marvelous. I love playing soccer so much! I want to play every day! In fact, I think that next week I will start playing on Wednsdays and Fridays...

Last night my Futbol Madness was only encouraged by the US National Team's 2-0 victory over Guatemala in World Cup 2006 qualifying match.

Also, I found out this afternoon that KOOP will be airing a soccer-only radio show!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Speaking of watches, i saw this a few weeks ago and it has been on my mind ever since. I was especially reminded of it this morning. My alarm clock went off at 5:30 (15 minutes fast) and when i awoke, i was completely awake with no grogginess. Could the alarm have awoken me as my sleep was at it lightest? If so, if the watch does what it supposedly says it does, then it might actually be worth the hundred and fifty dollars. Waking up clear-headed, even when i have more than six hours of sleep, is a very rare thing indeed.

Cylon Stopwatch

Okay, digital watches since the beginning of time have had some standard features. There is the stopwatch with lap counter. There is the countdown alarm and the countdown alarm with count up after the alarm. Here is my entry for another standard wristwatch alarm: The Cylon Alarm. The Cylon Alarm counts up until you click the lap/Cylon arrival button and then counts down to zero and makes a chime. The counter then counts up until the lap/Cylon arrival button is clicked again and it counts down from the product of the first amount of time and the second amount of time.

What the bleep...and other Liz ramblings

My yoga instuctor recommended the flick to us.....that was enough warning for me, but it got my interest at the same time. I like woo woo stuff, so that I can rationalize why I think kittens can talk and stuff.
My favoite short film was Little Terrorist. It didn't win anything, but it is very touching.
I recently bought a new album from Itunes, an artist named Carla Bruni.
it's all in French, I think Pablo may like it, but it's kind of chicky at the same time.
M Ward is playing Friday night at the Parish for $10-Taggart highly recommends this artist.
Long time No blog.
Killy-are Claire and Wes really moving to Chicago?

Mac OS X MySQL Won't Start

If you ever update MySQL on your Mac (I thought I would run 3.23 forever too), and have an issue starting it up, delete the updated version and the receipt directory in /Library/Receipts and reinstall. It will work fine after the reinstall. Since I'm really not up to the task of re-permissioning lots of things in mysterious ways, reinstalling does wonders.


Transparent Desktop: The Next Level

PB on Table
Originally uploaded by mmdc.

Okay, this is double mac-nerdliness: In Mac OS X, you can set the terminal application to use a picture as the background. In this picture, the terminal application is set to display a portion of the "transparent desktop" image and the desktop picture has the standard transparency.

I decided that one of the problems with my transparent desktop is that the lighting condition changes during the day. Maybe I could set up a chron job to switch the picture on hour intervals or something so that it would match the real background throughout the day. I also need to make one for the external monitor too.

To do this I need to:

  • Make or buy a camera mount or tripod, and
  • Finish watching the completely addictive Battlestar Gallactica series Paul set upon me through Todd.

Doh! I just had my next transparent desktop idea: Have a mirror behind the PowerBook so that you can see it mirroring the back of the back of the laptop through the desktop.

Favorite Anachronisms

Sara's use of the word "hooey" reminded me that the other day Amber, Todd and I were chatting about some of our favorite anachronisms. Here are a couple I can remember right now, add yours in comments!

  • Doesn't truck
  • Sure as shooting

7:35 AM

Speaking of movies. Last night Liz and I went and saw all of the short films nominated for academy awards at the new Alamo Drafthouse down south. One of the films and our second favorite is called 7:35. The entire film is online and can be watched at the previous link. Please watch it because I know it will make you laugh.


Not just any High School Kids Beat MIT at Robotics Competition

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Nothing more than I know.

If you haven't heard of the movie What the Bleep Do We Know!?, you're not alone. It barely registered with me when it was released, but then I started hearing rumbles about it as it was released on DVD. I don't recall why I urged Brian to Netflix it, but I did, and we watched it last weekend.

My analysis: religion has rejected science for so long that the scientists behind this movie have now created their own religion. Quantum mechanics as religion? It's a wacky, wacky movie and certainly not worth watching unless you've got a really, really, wide-open mind that accepts things like "kittens can talk!" and "I could probably fly right now if I wanted to!"

I wanted to know if anyone here had seen it and, if so, what you thought. Because I think it's a bunch of hooey. Hooey!

Monday, March 28, 2005

BBEDit 8.1: SVN Support!

Looks like another nail in the coffin for CVS.

BBEDit 8.1: SVN Support!

Looks like another nail in the coffin for CVS.

Hoppy Birfday

To you Paul I am to be wishing to you to be having a good birthday.
Much pushing down of buttons on the tops of cans of shaving cream and attaching of safty razors
to their handles. Wish I was their to laugh at you geriatric ass.


I have a flickr account, everyone.

Easter Dinner

meat and corn
Originally uploaded by killy.
This was the first time that i hadn't used charcoal to cook. Usually, i use a bag of matchlight to get the fire started and then throw some wood on top of that. Yesterday, instead, i started it with a small handfull of pecan kindling. All the wood used was from the pecan tree in the backyard from a recnet pruning, with the exception of two oak logs that i used to get the temperature up.

We had a good showing, Melissa brought her daughter, riley, and her mother over; ann and scott came over; krista, eric and cole (neighbors & another classmate of adolfo's) came over; and then my mom stopped by. I managed to cook just the right amount of food this time. Normally, we cook WAY too much food and end up with leftovers that don't get eaten.

This time, i grilled only one chicken, about two pounds of fajitas, five hot dogs and three ears of corn. Carol prepared a pot of beans, salsa, and guacamole. Krista brought over a yummy rice caserole and a fruit tart. Ann brought a key lime pie (thanks ann!) ...

The kids had a good time picking up eggs in the backyard and running around.

I'll conclude this with an observation: i've never seen scott wear tennis shoes or jeans. This amazes me.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by pmercado.
Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie Bodie!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

who's the birthday boy?

Pablo's the birthday boy!

happy birthday big guy!

The coolest Flickr 'thing'

Has anyone else seen this? It's a flash based postcard browser that allows you to seach for tags like, say, Adolfo, or Dodgeball.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Charro 3 and Charro 4

Charro 3 and Charro 4
Originally uploaded by killy.
We visited Fiesta on Airline today. It seems that the worse the neighborhood is, the better the local Fiesta is. This one didn't have all the outside vendors that the HIlcroft and Bellaire Fiesta have, but it did have a great bakery, tacos, an on-site jeweler (when we walked in he was using a blast of steam to clean off some old rings; another was busy working on a watch), and a pretty good fish department.

There was, though, a roasted corn (helote?) that hadn't opened yet. That is something to keep in the back of my head seeing as how Adolfo IV loves corn on the cob.

Another thing they had in there was an island full of hats (charro and otherwise) and traditional outfits. Carol was oggling a 'too-colorful' skirt, and put a white shirt in the basket. She would later put it back though, replacing it with a large metal stock pot that as she put it, "would be perfect for making carne guisada."

Complete! .. well, sort of...

Originally uploaded by killy.
I got the parking brake cable that had kept me from finishing the brakes this morning from the Landmark Chevrolet Parts Department. After a full day of picnic-ing and running around with the family, i got into the garage and got down to it.

First thing i did was cut the broken cable and remove it from the parking brake mechanism. I then re-assembled the drum brakes and put those on. (Putting that in one sentence really doesn't speak to the amount of time this took.) I had to make one trip to NAPA to buy a small bucket of grease for the adjuster screw and the contact points on the backing plate. I got it all together (eventually) and took a photo with the new drum.

I started on the other tire. As soon as i took of the old rusty drum i saw that the parking brake cable on this side was also broken! There was also a spring missing from the parking brake strut, which may or may not be entirely necessary since i've been driving (and stopping) without a spring on the passenger side parking brake strut for some time.

As you can imagine, this is frustrating. More so because i had thought that earlier in the day as i was spitting watermelon seeds that the chances of two parking brake cables being bad was pretty low -- and put that thought out of my head completely.

Of course, it's also kind of exciting cause i'll become only that more familiar with my car. As adolph put in a comment in my previous cavalier post, it's pretty fascinating to know how to 'do stuff'.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Transparent Desktop

Transparent Desktop
Originally uploaded by Amber & Adolph.
Some days, I wish I had a tripod. Other days I really really wish I had a tripod. I think I am going to go down to Breed's tomorrow and make one.

Other People's Transparent Desktops

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Another bus ride home ...

triphome - 1
Originally uploaded by killy.
It occured to me today as i was standing on the light rail platform at Dryden and Fannin that the world is very very loud, particularly right where i was standing.

With two buds in my ears blaring the Strokes, i could hardly make them out. It wasn't as if there were ambulances or screaming children right next to me either. No, just passing vehicles, the occasional '...llagara el tren en un minuto' (100 decibles - the loudspeakers are impossible to get away from, by the way), the mutter of other commuters...

i put away the ipod and just stood there. even reading was out of the question. all i could do was stand there and take it and that was most frustrating of all. All in all, i hate commuting in this manner for this reason alone.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Speak now or no telling me later how much my camera sucks.

If you know anything about me, you know I'm not big on gadgets. I kept the same cell phone for four years. Now I have the cheapest one Verizon sells and I pay $20 a month for something like 50 weekday minutes per month. My computer is a refurbished Compaq from when I worked at Compaq, so it's about 4 years old, not including its time as a new computer back in '98 or whenever. I don't believe in handheld organizers because I have nothing to organize and most people who have them don't either.

I was one of the last people on the planet to get a digital camera, and it's been the only gadget-y thing in my life that I've really enjoyed. But its battery-draining screen and its inability to take quick photos has made me see that it's time for something new. And though I be buried in debt with no end in sight, I'm going to use my tax refund for a new camera. I could make a decent payment on a credit card or whatever, but that's BORING.

So I've read through some back issues of Wired, I've looked online, and here is what I have come up with:


This actually isn't mentioned anywhere in Wired. The one they have most recently liked that is in my price range was a Casio camera. Yes, I know, Casio? Given how cheap it is and how Wired seemed to really love it, I went in search of it, but no one is selling them other than the Casio website. It's listed on Amazon and Best Buy, but unavailable for some reason. Anyway, using the guidelines from the Wired article, Brian and I went to Best Buy and looked at the selection. This Olympus looked like the best choice for my price range. The Wired article panned the little Canon PowerShots and I'd feel uncomfortable with something that small anyway.

So tell me what you think, camera geeks.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


So if you ever hear me talking about my mom making "popcakes," this is what I am talking about. Pure eggy, buttery, powerdered-sugar-on-top goodness! As you can tell by the pictures in the link, a popcake is made in an iron skillet. Since there isn't likely to be more than one of the same size in a house, my sisters and I always have to wait our turn for one. Oh so good! (Ann sent me a link to this via email.)

Dodgeball Delight

Here is a short clip of the beginning of a game. I can hardly imagine ethan, kathy, sara, or brian watching this and then not coming to the next game. This is what it's all about.

Pure JavaScript Forms: Real World Lesson

So in "Pure JavaScript Forms: Step Two" I figured out how to make a form display what I wanted it to display without putting in any application logic into the display HTML code using Javascript. Since then, I've used it in a controlled production environment once and I have learned a first lesson: Escape the variables you are putting into Javascript!

A Javascript array is set like foo = array('bar','yabba','dabba','doo');. The value of each element in the array is set within single quote marks and each element is separated by a comma. What if one of the values was "O'Bar," so that the array was now set by foo = array('O'Bar','yabba','dabba','doo');? Javascript thinks the value of foo[0] is O not O'Bar. After that it probably makes an error and doesn't process anything else. There are a number of other special characters besides the single quote mark that must be treated specially in order for Javascript to accept them in the array. This special treatment is known as escaping special characters. In Javascript, a single quote that you want treated as part of the value of the variable rather than the end of the variable should be written as back-slash single quote (by back-slash I mean the one above the return key), like \'. The Javascript standard published by Sun says that there are eight characters that must be escaped and three character encodings that can be escaped (character encoding refers to how letters other than the bare-bones a through z and standard American punctuation can be represented using that bare-bones set of letters).

crushed snail

crushed snail
Originally uploaded by killy.
It was such a beautiful morning we all immediately got dressed and went for a walk around the neighborhood. If it weren't for all the worms, slugs, and snails out on the sidewalks, you would have never known that it stormed last night.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Congratulations to the Catamounts

Last night the Vermont men's basketball team defeated Syracuse in the NCAA tournament. Their victory brought back a lot of memories for me. I am a big fan of college basketball and my favorite team, the Princeton Tigers, often makes the tournament, but rarely gets past the first round (they had a terrible year this year, but that is another story). In 1996 Princeton defeated the defending champion UCLA Bruins in the first round. It was Pete Carril's last win as head coach. Pete Carril is a Princeton living legend. It was an amazing upset and a beautiful retirement gift from the Tigers. The Catamounts' head coach, Tom Brennan, is also retiring after this season. What a wonderful way to go out. No matter what happens after this point, they will have given their coach the ultimate retirement gift.

I remember vividly the night the Tigers beat UCLA. I was house-sitting in Philly for a friend who was on vacation in Portugal. When it was all over over, I was on my knees with my arms wrapped around the TV. There was a coffee table tipped over between me and the couch that I had been sitting on. I have no recollection of actually moving from the couch to the TV, but I remember every second of the final minute of that game.


Originally uploaded by killy.
It's dodgeball season! Maybe we'll even get a mud game goin' on tomorrow. For those of you in the Houston area (this means you sara&brian and ethan&...eathan's wife -- so sorry!)

The games will commence at 1 p.m. at Mangum Manor Park, just down the street from my place, and tend to end just a couple of hours later at 3 p.m. It's a super good time and a hell of a workout since we play chinese prison rules.

I am known as the nightcrawler for my blue dodgeball outfit. I have a feeling that Super Dave Osborne will also be making an appearance.

Here's a map for you to follow to my place. We can walk from there - i need help carrying the balls.

carol and the chimenea

carol and the chimenea
Originally uploaded by killy.
A little more about my wife:

we spent friday night with an old co-worker of carol's, melissa. we sat around the chimenea after adolfo had fallen asleep and drank tecate. i got the chimenea aflame with hardly a problem, even though i couldn't find my long handle lighter. I twisted up a piece of the Houston Chronicle Sports Page, grazed the yard for small dry sticks, and then made a teepee out of larger dry pecan sticks from a recent pruning.

Most of the conversation centered around melissa's recently finalized divorce, and it had me thinking, yet again, about my own father, my new fatherhood, and the relationship that i have with my wife.-- (it also reminded me that i have to finish the current OE book i'm reading) -- Melissa's former husband was just as selfish as my own father was at the time of my paren't divorce. Both of us were hard pressed to understand the thinking that would go through someone's head when faced with infidelity; how one could simply overlook the incredible losses you would face: trust, confidence, respect ...

When i was photogrpahing my wife poking at the chimenea i was at my most peaceful - my most quiet - my most confident - and i thought about what was really there: my wife's (and son's) uncontrollable urge to poke things; my son sleeping peacefully in the bed that was once nude, but is now stained red (and the time that i spent doing that in our new home); my wife's chimenea that came from my step-father who unlike my own father is part of my life ...

and these things - these vast interconnected memories that lie in the most banal items of my daily life - i don't think i could handle losing

I remember seeing bathroom graffitti that puts infidelity in perspective:

"No matter how hot she is....
is sick of her shit."


Commuting with the Chavezes

Breakfast for Adolfo
Originally uploaded by Amber & Adolph.
So Carol, Killy and Adolfo hosted me when I was in Houston for work last week and I had the great fun of observing their morning routine. It starts really early with Killy cabinetting the dishes from the dish washer and starting coffee and making peanut butter toast. Carol focuses on getting Adolfo ready for his day at Montessori school. There seems to be a lull in the action as Adolfo eats, then everyone rushes out to drop him at school and head to work. This photo set tries to document that morning routine.

Friday, March 18, 2005

From the NYTimes

"It seems to be a new phenomenon," he said, "obviously symptomatic of our shift away from empiricism in science to faith-based science."

Adolfo eats minestrone soup

Adolfo eats minestrone soup
Originally uploaded by killy.
Most days, i take the bus home. Which bus i take depends on when i can manage to slip out of hte office. The ideal scenario is this: i leave the office at about 4:22, i 'fast walk' to the light rail stop at Dryden and Fanin. The train will arrive just before 4:30 and will drop me at Main Street Square at about 4:55 (yes, it takes 25 minutes to get downtown) where i rush off the train and run a block and a half to try and catch the '50 Heights via Hov'. If i make it, i will be dropped off in front of Adolfo's school right at about the same time that carol gets there. We pick him up together and ride home in familial bliss.

If i miss this particular bus, i end up waiting an extra 20 minutes for the '50 - Heights, Hollister'. This bus will wind through downtown, down memorial, down washington, down heights blvd, down 19th, down shepherd, to 43rd and eventually reach my neighborhood in about 50 minutes, for a grand total trip time of 1:45 minutes (not including the five minute walk home from the bus stop) from the time that i got off of work (4:30)

wednesday, i had missed the hov bus and ended up on the long trip home. instead of enduring it, however, i jumped off on 19th and met up with carol at Collinas where we had dinner.


my beautiful wife
Originally uploaded by killy.
Carol doesn't get out very much. Last weekend, we were unable to get a babysitter so i ended up going to sara's party alone, leaving carol with adolfo all night.

We don't get to hang out together anymore. Our alone time consists of the first few minutes that we wake up ("will you make coffee while i take a shower?"), the few minutes we have riding through traffic into work ("...so how is work?..."), and then the minutes after adolfo has fallen asleep ("did you hear what adolfo said?") ...

i immediately think of people i know that have more than one child and i feel like i have nothing to complain about. am i 'strong' enough for a second child? if we had another one, i guess i wouldn't have much of a choice ..

just thought i would remind you...

that the bends is a really good album and radiohead is a really good band.

so i am sitting here feeling good/bad/cheesy about relating to the music piped into my skull as i type. it is a bit of an odd experience sitting in front of the computer and listening to music from the iPodlette that happened to me. i think i am going to go stand on the front porch and listen to the rest of the album.

it is a beautiful tomorrow.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Do it because I can't.

I want all of you Austin-anians to spend an hour in either 1. the new Whole Foods or 2. Waterloo Records and count how many celebrities you see in town for SXSW. Bonus points for awful photos surreptitiously taken at bad angles.

No points for Elijah Wood.

too much Verve!

the problem with hosting your site, your email and your client's sites with the same hosting company is that if one of those elements has a problem it is very likely that ALL of those elements will have a problem. this creates an amazingly frustrating time period during which you cannot work on any of several projects, nor can you easily communicate with any of the effected clients.

Trip To MD Anderson

lost at mda

Well, the team over here at Handwire that worked on MD Anderson finally made a road-trip down to Houston to see the fruits of our labor. It was simply amazing to see our work in the physical space. It was also great to see Killy Chavez in his professional habitat. Also, as this foto sadly illustrates, even we the great architects of Access Wayfinding System got totally lost...

Oh! And I almost forgot some other great parts of the trip:

Kolaches!. I hereby assert that the greatest kolaches in the world can be purchased and consumed at Hruska's on Hwy. 71 between La Grange and Columbus (in Ellinger).

Great Turkish Food! For late lunch we had some super great Turkish food at the Istanbul Cafe. It is located somewhere in the Rice Village. I recommend it to all y'all Houston type people.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Sir William Petty (1623-1687)

From The Life of Sir William Petty by Lord Edmund Fitzmaurice (1895)

In 1650 an event occurred which made his name known in the whole country and opened up the way to a larger career. One Ann Green had been tried, convicted, and executed at Oxford on December 14, 1651, for the murder of her illegitimate child. Her execution seems to have been carried out with a combination of clumsiness and brutality characteristic of the times. It was observed "by the spectators that she seemed to take an unconscionable time in dying, so her friends went to assist her in getting out of this world, some of them thumber her on the breast, others hanging with all their weight upon her legs, sometimes lifting her up and then pulling her down again with a sudden jerk. At length the Sheriff was satisfied, and the unfortunate woman was certified to be dead. The body was then cut down, put in a coffin, and taken to the dissecting room.

When, however, the coffin lid was opened she was seen to be still breathing and to "rattle," "which being observed by a lusty fellow who stood by, he, thinking to do an act of charity in ridding her out of the reliques of a painful life, stamped several times on her breast and stomach with all the force he could." Just at this moment, however, Dr. Petty and Dr. Wilkins appeared on the scene, and recognising distinct signs of life, decided to attempt to revive the supposed corpse. They wrenched open Ann Green's teeth, poured cordials down her throat, and persuaded a woman to go to bed with her to restore warmth. Signs of life soon began to appear; The doctors bled her, ordered her a julep and so left her for the night. In two hours she began to talk. The dead had come to life. Though legally defunct, she is said to have survived to marry and become the mother of children, in spite of the Sheriff and to the confusion of the hangman.



Monday, March 14, 2005

Nice to meet you, Adolph.

There was a day, oh, I don't know, a million years ago. Autumn. My closest, best friend Amber told me she liked this guy where she worked. She said his name was Adolph, but said nothing else. I imagined a bald man wearing a trench coat, because frankly, people, I'm not all that creative. I heard nothing else of him for weeks, it seems, because I was wrapped up in the beginning of my own new relationship, in that place where someone could scream into your ear for hours and you wouldn't notice because, ahhhh, you're in love.

Suddenly it's Christmas and we're all over at Adolph's funky little apartment and the light rail hasn't yet begun to run, but there's the track outside. My younger sister brings empanadas from Fiesta. Brian, my love, made a quiche. We meet Adolph, who is so far from being bald that I can't imagine anyone being unbalder. Nor is he wearing a trenchcoat. In fact, he's jovial. And his apartment is funky, reeking of bachelor-hood and arty tastes. Immediately we are not put off, which is good because if you're immediately put off by the best friend's new boyfriend, you're sort of awkwardly quiet until they break up, and that could be a while off. Except for the actual "yums," which we didn't realize then was just Adolph's natural response to any kind of food. We now find this entirely endearing.

I remember very little else from that day, probably due to the mimosas. But here we are, a million years later, and my little Amber is getting married to your little Adolph. And I'm posting to your group blog in an attempt to blend these cultures.

Hello everyone, I am Sara.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Houston vs. Brooklyn

Yo, I swear, the blogging in Brooklyn was OFF THE HOOK! We used to go out late at night to Prospect Park and we would plug our laptops in to the base of a street lamp and just blog our crazy asses off until the sun came up.

And the pizza was better too.

Our Little Cowboy

Escorting mama to the entrance
Originally uploaded by killy.
We spent our sunday morning at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. We saw llamas, cows, bullls, pigs, turkey, chickens, and ponys. We ate corn, hamburgers, ice cream, and a turkey leg. We saw the Ballet Folklorico Azteca de Houston. (Danger - flash web site with loud mexican folk music) We rode a pink elephant ride and won a little red puppy at the dart game. We watched the go-carts and had a cup of ice cream right before we headed to the car.

Ethan - let's give him a big chairjockey welcome ...

Ethan is a co-worker of adolph's who in-frequently posts as 'annonymous' to our blog. Some other interesting things about ethan: He is from Brooklyn. He used to work at a golf magazine. He has very strong feelings on 'unpack photos'. Expect series after series of ethan unpacking the miscellaneous packed items of his life.

Expect 'that-sara-person' to join us soon too. She has taken down her own blog just so she could join ours.

A tender moment

A tender moment
Originally uploaded by killy.
It's a lot of fun these days, talking with adolfo. Sometimes, like here, he'll just quietly start talking with carolina or i about whatever is on his mind. We don't always know exactly what he is saying, but his facial expressions keep you enthralled in all the little sounds that are coming from his mouth.

He looks so serious sometimes, talking about his teachers at school, or how so-and-so got time out, or about how this-or-that is so big. Mostly, though, it's how he looks at us when he talks to us. Sometimes, when carol is talking with him, he puts his little hand on his chin like he's really really intently listening (i guess he is!) or he'll grab my face and stare into it when i'm talking to him.

this was saturday, i think.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Something I did today

honda_air_filter - 1
Originally uploaded by killy.
I changed out the air filter in the honday today. i haven't driven it yet, but i wonder if i'll feel as dramatic a performance difference as you see in the two filters here.

Now that i think about it, i think this is the first time that the air filter has been changed since i've owned the vehicle. In two years (maybe longer) we've put 54,000 miles on this vehicle. A 100,000 mile warranty doesn't last for very long living in Houston.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Computer Question

Hey guys, my tech support brothers! I was wondering -- why is explorer not running as fast as it used to? Now we have a cable line, too, so it should be running better than ever. But I've noticed that after a few searches on google it crashes or starts running very slowly... Also, is anyone else able to open the Gallery page on the converse website? we can't open it and i didn't know if it was just our computer or not. www.converse.com


The Office iBook

[administrator@Administrators-Computer:/]$ uptime

10:11 up 344 days, 1:55, 5 users, load averages: 0.00 0.00 0.00
[administrator@Administrators-Computer:/]$ /usr/bin/sw_vers
ProductName: Mac OS X
ProductVersion: 10.3.1
BuildVersion: 7C107

I think it got completely shut down last year by someone who was overly helpful, but the little office iBook has almost been running for a year! It is lightly used, although it's mysql and php installation are constantly used by the content management web app it runs.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Some Cool Paintings

I found some neat paintings on flickr.

A new power source

I've got a dead PowerBook G3 here in the office. i've been asked to try and revive it to make sure the info on it gets erased before it gets shipped off to 'the warehouse' (where old MDACC equipment goes to die/auctioned off) It's a black case (is this a WallStreet?) with s-video out on the back and power bricks on either side on the bottom.

i'm assuming that it might just be the power brick and cord that i need. does taggart happen to still have that old wallstreet lying around? if so, could you send over the powercord with adolph this weekend, so i can at least turn this thing on? i'll have it back to you in a jiffy.

of course, this thing could simply be dead, but i'd like to test it out with a power cord that i know works.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A trip to the library

library - 3
Originally uploaded by killy.
I went to the Houston Public Library (downtown branch) after work today to do some research on the history of my neighborhood. Mangum Manor is officially 50 years old. In December 1954, the neighborhood's first residents, the Sullivans, moved in to 5019 Saxon. At the time, Donna Lynn (my current street) didn't even exist. It wouldn't be for another 15 years that what is now 290 would exist, at least, according to the key map book, 1969; that is the first year that the freeway makes it's appearance, but it stops right at pinemont. beyond that it is represented by a dotted line pointed north east with the words "Proposed NorthWest Freeway" alongside it.

Searching for just Mangum Manor turned up only two articles, both from the 1954 Houston Chronicle, about the acquisition of 109 acres of land for the development by a 2nd generation italian immigrant DeGeorge. The land was bought for $300,000 from the Sauer family who had lived on it for 150 years. The Sauers were Dutch immigrants who had received the land from a Spanish land grant in the early 1800's.

Do any of you hisotry buffs (read: Tudeau1 & Trudeau 2) know much about the Dutch in Texas, Spanish land grants and/or the Sauer's?

The Amusement Park of Food

This is what USA Today had to say about the new Whole Foods in Austin.

SXSW Tunes

The SXSW Music Sampler BitTorrent! I'm not sure if it a good or a bad thing that it is 2.63 gigs. No, it can never be a bad thing to receive for free 2.63 gigs worth of music. The unfortunate thing about the file size is that I started downloading last night and as of this morning still had 6 days worth of music to go. The nature of BitTorrent is that you get all the bits in no especial order, so you can't start listening to any particular song until the entire download is done. Additionally, the concept behind BitTorrent is that as you download material you immediately start uploading to other downloaders. If you look at the stats below, I have uploaded about 3 times what I have downloaded. Because of this, I can't run it during the day--it would take too much of the upload bandwidth (which is less than the download bandwidth) so we can use the VOIP phone. Maybe by the time SXSW is over I'll have the whole thing. I'll burn a DVD of it so you guys don't have to download it (unless you have bandwidth to burn and can run it day and night and get the whole thing before me!).

Happy Birthday Todd!

Happy Birthday Todd!
Originally uploaded by Amber & Adolph.
Such a nice dinner at Hutt's. Such yummy chicken fried steak. Such a heroic pose before a milkshake!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

i've got my eye on you...

so i took adolph's advice and started playing with this nifty little thing. i expect to see a lot more pics from you guys. i am watching you.



Pictures Of Beetles

Happy Birthday To Todd!

Monday, March 07, 2005

a nice surprise at work today

today I got hooked up with the sweet 21 inch widescreen flat-panel dell display ...

so now with a little help from Synergy and this little trick I have almost enough monitor space to get my work done...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

An Series of Unfortunate Events ... and a stopping point.

I started to replace the pads, drums and rotors of the Cavalier on Saturday afternoon. My first stop was Auto Zone where i purchsed all i would need: two rotors and pads for the front brakes, a set of pads and drums for the rear brakes, some grease to regrease the cleaned up compoenets of the caliper and the touching points of the brake pads, and a bottle of Dot 3 brake fluid. I also picked up a new set of plastic windshield wipers; the old metal wipers had long since disintegrated and rusted - a small thing to take care of while i was there.

I got home and assembled the pieces in order of how i planned to work. i would start on the driver's side front wheel and then move onto the passenger side front wheel. Once i was finished with the front disc brakes i would move on to the more arduous task of having to dismantle and reassemble the rear brakes.

Once I got the lug nuts loose i lifted the car and placed it on a jack stand. i removed the tire, exposing the front disc brakes. I sprayed it down with brake cleaner and realized quickly that i would have to turn on a fan to blow out fumes; an old floor fan i had in the garage worked like a charm.

While i was waiting for that to dry up, i read over the removal instructions again from my handy Chevrolet Cavalier illustrated repair books (Chilton's, i think). On my back, finally, i realized that i didn't have a Hex socket to remove the caliper from the roter, so i headed to sears to buy a hex bolt. got it (3/8" hex caliper socket) and came home.

I got the caliper off, replaced the old roter with a shiny new one, removed the old pads, greased the new ones, and set them into the caliper. When i tried to replace the caliper onto the roter, i realized that i hadn't used the c-clamp to push in the piston; soon after i also realized that the c-clamp i had was too small for the job (of course!).

It should have been a simple trip to auto zone, but instead was a full family trip to Target, cause Carol was aching to get her and the baby out of the house (it had been wet and muggy all day). So an hour later, i return with a shiny new c-clamp and get the caliper back onto the roter. It should have been uneventful from here, but it wasn't -- the threading (of what i thought was the caliper) was stripped. when i tightened down the caliper hex bolt, it just spun and spun ...

i went back to auto zone and bought two new calipers.

when i got home i realized that it wasn't the caliper threading that had stripped, but the bolt itself.

i went back to auto zone and returned the calipers for two new caliper hex bolts. because i was being extra careful not to have to come back again, i immediately noticed that these were larger than the original hex bolts (in length). i was told it was okay.

when i got home, the hex bolt socket i had originally bought was too large for the new hex bolts.


i went back to auto zone and over bought: a full set of hex sockets.

came home and finished the front right tire. and did the passenger front disc brakes without incident.

i was hoping my momentum would carry me through to the end. i lifted the back fo the cavalier and popped off the driver's side back tire, disassembled the drum brakes, and began to reassemble them with new hardware.

upon re-assembly i noticed that the connecting loop at the end of the parking brake cable was broken (see pic - this would explain why the parking brake wasn't engaging).

I got the cable off of the brake assembly, but i couldn't release it from the other end (see pic).

i went to BACK auto zone hoping to find out that i only had to replace the tip of the piece... but it turns out that this piece is a dealer piece; i will have to go to a dealership in order to get it.

UPDATE: the cable i need is available at Landmark Chevrolet on the North Freeway for $30.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Earth Donuts

Originally uploaded by Taggart & Elizabeth.
Bought a half dozen donuts from whole foods this morning.
They have to be good for you right?

Municipal Transport

Originally uploaded by Taggart & Elizabeth.
If Austin is so hip to be square why dont we have cool public logos.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Global Light

I think it would be really cool if future computer interfaces supported Global Light. In Photoshop's layer actions or whatever there is a setting for Global Light. If you keep all of your actions set to this, if you adjust that light, then it adjusts the lighting in all the different kinds of settings. You can also take any adjustment out of global light if you want it to look some other way. Likewise, it would be really cool if your computer interface was set up so that you could adjust where the virtual light source was so that all the shine and shadows fit your needs. For example, on my Macintosh operating system computer, the light is from the upper center. It works out pretty well for me because I have several lamps about that could maybe make shadows like that. However, if I had only a light to my right, then it would be all off-kilter. The shadow should not fall on the center in that case, it should fall on the left. Additionally, the drop shadows and shiney-nesses of web pages should follow a browser's global light setting.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Pure JavaScript Forms: Step Two

One of the things I periodically ask myself is "what was it that I was doing before I forgot what I was doing?" In some ways, my learning of JavaScript in making pure JavaScript forms has brought me to that point. In step one, I made one straight html form that could serve a few different contexts and a script that would hide or reveal the portions of the form germane to each context. The purpose of this is to eliminate server-side scripting from the html guts of the form. Since JavaScript can use the Document Object Model (DOM) to modify the form without placing any code within it, it is an ideal technology to act as a glue behind the server-side brains that determine the form context and what should be placed in the form, and the client side html.

In step two, I've delved deeper into JavaScript and figured out how to do a few things: write or set values into the form items, place arbitrary message text within a cell of the form table, and color rows of the form table. The latter two are important because a form needs to let a user know if they left something important blank through a text message and visual cue.

So the final step is to clean up the variables and deploy it.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I Love My Dog

Originally uploaded by Taggart & Elizabeth.
I have always liked dogs, but I never thought I would be one of those people who always talks or thinks about my dog like he is a very close relative.

He can be a stinker at times but I love my dog.

selected shorts and the best lunch ever.

Last weekend Adolph and Amber gave me their tickets to see the Austin presentation of Selected Shorts. it was a blast!

the event was held at the Paramount Theatre downtown. it was nice and cool, with a light mist filling the air. somwhow the rain, the briskly moving people and their dripping coats/umbrellas/walkers/guide dogs made the whole thing seem more sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

On a completely different note, i had the best lunch ever today. that's right; bacon and cheese biscuits. MMMMMMM-MMM. that's good eatin'.

OOP in JS, Part 1 : Public/Private Variables and Methods

I think Paul turned me on to this page a while back:OOP in JS, Part 1 : Public/Private Variables and Methods It is something I keep meaning to read and just now took a look at. And as soon as I do, voila--it solves a problem for me.

(Actually, the problem may be my lack of formal JavaScript training rather than the specific problem I had, but that is another matter.)

So yesterday I was working on step 2 of the pure javascript form and I ran into a problem where Safari would lock up when the script was written a certain way. If I wrote it in a different and incorrect way it would work in Safari, but not in Firefox. I narrowed the problem to an iterator loop that referenced a function with another iterator loop. Paul gave me a hand in looking at it and found that the first loop referenced a variable named i that was also present as the iterator in the loop that was used in the first loop. So I renamed all the i's and everything worked great. This morning I read about public/private variables and methods and realized that instead of controlling the loop with (i = 0; i < formRows.length; ++i), I used (var i = 0; i < formRows.length; ++i), the i would be good only within that function. The var declaration means that this variable named i is only used in this function and not in any iterator that references it. Yahoo!