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The Indefinite Article.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Secret

The secret to a perfect frittata or omelet? Room temperature eggs. Take them out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan to cook them.

I agree with Sara See

I saw Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy yesterday at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater on South Lamar. Before the movie started the theater presented a bunch of clips from the BBC production. I was grateful to see the clips because they really helped set my expectations for the movie that followed. In the BBC television production it is evident that the screenwriters attempted to be very faithful to the book and radio productions- hoping that the cleverness and wit of Adams' language would carry the comedy. But this approach proved disastrous and after watching a few of clips I felt sad and depressed like Marvin but not in a funny way

The movie on the hand takes a much looser approach and manages to succeed as a comedy. This success stems mainly from the quirky performances of dear Zaphod, Ford, Arthur and Trillian--their performances are funny not because of what they say, but rather how they say it. So I recommend this movie. It is fun to see Adams' universe beautifuly realized in a slick cgi production and it is fun to hear Zaphod twang arrogantly stupid like a galactic Gee Dubya. Oh, yeah you should check out the Zaphod Beeblebrox Campaign Video: go to the iTunes music store homepage and look for this:

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

It's great. Go see it. Don't pay any attention to whatever it is the critics are saying because they're not being very generous. Even Brian loved it. And my sister and her husband. Go see it.

Friday, April 29, 2005

PowerBook Battery Abstraction

The aluminum cover of a PowerBook G4 12" battery has a series of holes. The holes are there for the battery gauge lights. If you remove the cover, you can look through it. This is one of the pictures I took through the cover.

Unpacking Tiger

Unpacking Tiger
Originally uploaded by Amber & Adolph.
It came in this afternoon, about 20 minutes ago and here are the pics!

Latest Spam:

Subject: NEXT OF KIN TO Mr. Michael Trudeau

Legal Practitioner,
Solicitors & Notaries,
Property & Civil Law
Tele : 234-8032237980.

Dear Trudeau ,

With compliments and respect please I beg your pardon for this unsolicited nature, it was out of desperation and Curiosity that made me to contact you, to introduce myself.

I am Barrister Usman Johnson, a solicitor at law. I am the personal attorney to Sir (Mr.Michael Trudeau ), a national of your resident country , who used to work with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) here in Nigeria, is referred to as my trusted client.

On Sunday, 27th of January 2002, my client, his wife {Lady Anna and their three children{Elizbeth,Dexter and James} were involved in terrible bomb blast that took live of innocent souls and unfortunately over 1000, people lost their lives and my client and his family were part of this people that lost their lives.

In view of this please view the web page below http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2698081.stm
Since then I have made several enquiries to your embassy to locate any of my client's extended relatives, this has also proved unsuccessful.

After these several unsuccessful attempts, I decided to track his last name over the Internet, to locate any member of his family or any close name to his, hence I contacted you.
I am contacting you to assist in repatriating the money and property left behind by my client before they get liquidated or declared Unserviceable by the security company where this huge deposits were lodged, particularly the security/financial company in Cotonou-Republic of Benin where the deceased had his account valued precisely to be Fifteen million eight hundred thousand United State Dollars.

The sercurity company has issued me a notice to provide the next of kin or have the account liquidated within the next twenty one official working days.

All I require is your honest co-operation to enable us seeing this deal through. I guarantee that this will be executed under legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law.Please send me your mailing address and your direct contact telephone numbers.You can contact me through my alternative e-mail address : usmanjohn99@yahoo.co.in

Looking forward to your swift reply

Truly yours,

Barrister Usman Johnson.

Yahoo! India Matrimony: Find your life partner online.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Wuuuauuggh. Harharh!
See also Darth Vader's blog.

Tiger Tracking

Every 18 months or so, a new big game hunt: FedEx | Track

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

take note

notice how one for the lady's has 9
count them
NINE comments


Roll Tide

Before we moved to Houston Kathy's employer sent us down here for a visit to check things out. On the way home I bought a souvenir. It was dark red ball cap with an interesting school emblem on it. A big T flanked by a small a and a small m. I wore it around NYC without incident until we decided to move to Houston. That's when the trouble started.
I can't take any more of the whooping and constant commentary. It's just a hat for god's sake. If I am never called "Aggie" again it will be too soon. Over the weekend I was in Atlanta and I bought what I hope will be an uncontroversial replacement, at least in this part of the country: A University of Alabama cap. I just need to stay away from Auburn and I will be commentary free.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

background problem

anybody else not seeing the background graphic?

Monitoring The Blogs

More and more non-profit and corporate organizations are realizing that they ignore the blogosphere at their own peril. If not closely monitored, blogs can surprise an organization with a storm gathering around their issue or brand. At the same time, blogs provide an opportunity to reach so-called "influentials"—those members of society responsible for influencing mass opinion within their personal and professional circles.

Issue Dynamics is media relations type company. Check out their sweet Blogger Relations services. My favorite is the Blog Monitoring bullet point that offers to help organizations "track and respond to blog postings before they grow and 'jump' to traditional media sources".

My Neighbor Totoro

Watched another great one from Hayao Miyazaki last night, My Neighbor Totoro. You should probably have some Pringles handy when you watch it.

Also, this guy is fun to read about. I mean, how cool does this sound?

During batting practice, he experimented by moving his right foot - the front foot in his batting stance - a couple of inches away from the plate, opening his stance and spreading his legs four more inches apart. He said those minor changes allowed him to lower his bat angle slightly.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Per Amber's Request - One for the Ladies

In an effort to cater to the females in our group who are feeling increasingly alienated by the frequent geek speak that populates chairjockey, i'm revealing my deep inner feelings about a recent drama that has me in its grips:


i am going to have to make a difficult phone call. i don't want to do it, but i'm going to have to. i'm having the conversation that i will inevitably have with my father in my head. it has been replaying since this morning, when it was decided that the phone call would have to be made. sometimes, i am aggressive and petty. othertimes i am sensible and polite.

what bothers me most, however, is that the call has to be made in the first place. this is a natural reaction to something that i don't want to do in the first place, but aside from my own defense mechanisms, in this particular case this phone call should never have been necessary. no one expected him, especially me, to show up to the wedding.

6 months ago i advised my sister not to invite my father. reading that sentence now makes me shutter much in the same way when i hear about people who commit crimes against children. It rattles me to the core, and i can understand why, at the time, lynda did not heed my advice: i must have sounded overly cruel and maybe spiteful; although, that was hardly my intention. A wedding announcement was addressed to him (and not his wife who has a tangible dislike for my sister) and sent off into what i knew would be a 'void'. She would never hear from my father, the wedding would happen, and life would continue as it has since my mother backed out of the driveway in Brownsville.

A similar scenario played out in 2001 when carolina and i got married. I sent an invitation to my father (and not his wife - i have my own issues with her; but also out of respect for my mother who would obviously be a little more than annoyed with her presence) and got much the same phone call that my sister received this weekend: a rant about how not inviting his wife puts him in a bad situation (i can't understand why); about how he can't believe that we think he doesn't love us; and about how we're always making him feel bad.

I am not a fighter. My sister is. The phone call i received four years ago ended with a very matter of fact explanation of how uncomfortable it would be for my mother and him explaining that he would be unable to make it (i can't even remember why - but i already knew he wouldn't show.) Lynda's phone call dissintegrated into a series of back and forth accusations (noted above) and crying. It crumbled even further once he called my other sister (nytashah) to ask her advice and cry to her. (If anyone has any doubts about where my drama-queen tendencies come from i guess they are from my dad, even though i could have sworn it was my mom who had cursed me with that.) My sister got that conversation second hand and decided that she doesn't want him there anymore.

I told her i would do it without thinking about how difficult it was going to be. This is a problem i have.

As i'm writing this i am realizing how much is really being left out. To a certain degree i really wish i knew everything about the relationship of my father and mother. On the phone with my sister my father swears that he loved my mother and that the both of us were conceived out of love. This i don't doubt because of the incredible capacity for love that both my sister and i have. The relationship died with one shot, from what i understand. My father cheated on my mother with one of his students (he was a teacher (chemistry?) at the time). It was a scandal that embarassed my mother as well as destroyed their relationship.

Even at 3 years old, i remember their final fight.

The ugly feelings lasted in my family for a very long time. My mother being the youngest girl in her family and the sweetest made it very difficult for the family. There is still a lot of lingering hatred. I, as a child, received the brunt of this hatred. I looked just like him, when i was 'bad' i was acting like him. i was made fun of for my name. i hid behind killy, so to speak; now that i think about it no one called me adolfo as i was growing up.

It wasn't so much of an issue at my wedding, being that it was in chicago and much of my family wasn't able to attend anway. Actually, my father's brother and sister showed up. Lynda's wedding is admittedly a much different story. Most of the family should be there.

So i am going to call my father and ask him to stay home.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Joel on Software - The Road to FogBugz 4.0: Part II

Joel on Software - The Road to FogBugz 4.0: Part II

"The moral of the story is that given two email messages with the same semantic content, the terse one is more likely to come across sounding rude. But given the amount of email correspondence we have to deal with here, we don't have time to be Emerson on every customer support email."

Friday, April 22, 2005


cmd-shift-4 and then spacebar



Everybody Relax, My Teeth Are Fine

My Dad has rarely given me advice, but he did tell me once that regular trips to the dentist will make my life immeasurably easier. He gave me that sage advice about 10 years ago. Coincidentally (top that one todd), 10 years ago was also the last time I went to the dentist...

So as I headed to my dentist appointment this tuesday I was very nervous. I reviewed the status of my mouth: My gums had started to bleed when I brushed. My front teeth were chipped and cracked in a couple of places (maybe the roots were dead!). All of my teeth had lost the pearly white color of youth and health and now they looked like exhaust pipe smoke and smoggy yellow slats of broken concrete! I was surely doomed! In headiness of youth I had discarded my father's advice and now all of my teeth were rotten! I probably had 20 cavities, periodontitis and the dentist was probably going to recommend immediate emergency root canal surgery with no anaesthesia so as to teach me a lesson...

I almost cancelled my appointment. It is pathetic but I have had health insurance for almost a year but I avoided making a dentist appointment until now because I did not want to know for certain that I had done what I suspected I had done: irrevocably fucked up my teeth.

You see, I am weak. If I have some kind of worry or anxiety, rather than confronting the problem and finding out the truth of the matter I prefer to let the matter wallow in pool of probability and possibility until this pool starts to stink so much that I can't sleep any more and then maybe, maybe I will deal with the issue but most likely I will let the wallowing go on for a while longer until something forces my hand. So anyhow this whole oh my gosh i fucked up my teeth thing was typical...

But this tale has a happy ending because upon the recommendation of a co-worker I went to Dr. Schade's office where Connie the super nice hygienist spent a great deal of time and energy scraping the crap off my teeth all the while explaining sweetly and intelligently how yes I had some work to do get my teeth back in shape, but no I had not irrevocably fucked them up.

So at the end of they day I am happy to report that I do not have periodontitis, nor any cavities, and my front teeth while chipped and cracked are otherwise healthy.

But have I learned my lesson?

Safari's Table-Copying Behavior

NSLog(); - Safari's Table-Copying Behavior

This has long been an annoyance for me. However, the not bad thing is that the string is regularly formatted and can easily be changed to something useful with regular expressions. At first, I made two BBEdit Text Factories; one changes the Safari copied table string into tab delimited and the other changes it into an html table.

I continued thinking about this topic and wrote a cleaner shell script for the Safari table to tabs problem:

pbpaste | perl -p -e 's/(\r|\n)/\r\t/gi' | perl -p -e 's/\r\t\r\t/\r/gi' | perl -p -e 's/\r\t/\t/gi' | pbcopy

I'm certain that someone better at Perl can rewrite this to be shorter. I wrote this one because I was copying Safari tables into a Windows XP device over RDC and pasting into BBEdit, executing the text factory, and copy/pasting into RDC, which was a pain. I have plugged the script into Quicksilver, so that the workflow is copy, QS command (command space for me, then type ta to select the script and return to execute), then paste. No more shifting between three apps to get what I want!

Buy High Sell Low

I really dislike the week or two after buying something. It is the time when something better typically becomes available, like NuPower's High-capacity Replacement Battery For Your Apple PowerBookG4 12". I can't say I didn't know they were coming, but I didn't know they were coming so soon.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Day

Today marks one year since Carol and I bought our home on Donna Lynn. It seems like no time at all and an eternity all at once. We (all three of us!) have made some fantastic friends (Krista, Eric and Cole) and love every minute of our existence there. Though i am perpetually concerned with the smell of the house (errant balled up diapers; old rotting pieces of half-chewed cheese; old leaky sippy cups of milk left under the couch), i am filled with a euphoria like none other when i enter. I have a hard time getting this across to Carol a lot: I like to be 'home'. On a saturday morning she is ready to dress and get in the car, but i am perfectly content to water the back yard, or turn the compost, or even just stare at the sun as it streams in through the back windows.

Even more, however, i like seeing my son at home. When he runs back and forth from the bed in his room to the stove in the kitchen i know he's going to remember that route he's going to remember the transition of rug to parquet wood. one day, he's going to trip and fall and he'll remember that; and so he'll remember the house that he grew up in. he'll remember his room and he and his mom and dad drinking oatmeal in the backyard.

Another cool thing that i've gotten used to is the Wacom Intuos 2 9x12 pen tablet. I started using it earlier this week only after my co-worker said that he just wasn't going to use it (he has a hard time adjusting to new things).

For the last month or so i've been using Flash MX 2004 to build a flash presentation to present at our annual RSNA meeting as an example of what we will be offering this year in terms of electronic presentations. After reading a good amount of 'beginner' material on Action Scripting i got started and finsihed a small presentation that i've allowed to just sit in my head for the last week or so. I showed it to Dr. G, who was an electronic presentation judge at last year's RSNA conference and he seemed pretty excited at the prospect and at the presentation itself. I got a lot of good feedback from him in terms of the way that Dr.s would want to navigate (which is the hardest part about building the presentation - navigating erratically from slide to slide and image to image).
The presentation itself, i thought, was done the 'long way'; that is, using the timeline to create tweens and fades. This only makes me apprecaite what i found on the the Flash Exchange so much more. I don't quite understand it (paul will one day explain it me next to the chimenea, i hope) but i managed to download some tween classes that allow me to script tweens rather than build each one on the timeline.

I'll post a copy of the presentation later tonight and the flash file if anyone is REALLY interested.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

uncle pablo and little baby devin

Originally uploaded by Pablo Mercado.
On friday night I heard my nephew gurgle on the phone and my heart told me that i should use money to buy a last minute ticket to denver to see my sister and her baby boy and my mom and dad and so this is what i did i flew out saturday morning at six am (thanks todd) and spent the next couple of days watching the glow of family love do what sunrises do ... oh it was beautiful to see my sister so gentle and sweet with her son ...

Mimi wo Sumaseba

Well, I just got back from watching A Whisper Of The Heart- a beautiful movie that features a popular John Denver song and a fat cat. It is a Studio Ghibli production, the same folks that brought you Porco Rosso, Spirited Away, etc, so of course the art is just lovely. The coming of age type story ain't so bad either. My recommendation is that you brew some coffee (it is almost 2 hours long), sit in a comfy chair and enjoy story telling at its finest.

Monday, April 18, 2005

New Halo2 Mapz!

Bungie.net : Top Story

You must be assimilated.

IN the news today it is said that Adobe is buying Macromedia. Any thoughts.

You must be assimilated.

IN the news today it is said that Adobe is buying Macromedia. Any thoughts.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The popular musics of the day.

I've known Amber for over ten years, yet her taste in music remains a mystery. A couple of days ago, while I visited Austin (and managed not to get a contact high from all of the clearly very high drivers there), she mentioned liking the Polyphonic Spree. I remember in high school she liked the Violent Femmes a lot. And she's been to a couple of Ben Folds shows with me. Other than this, I'm in the dark. Though, to her credit, she's pretty much up for trying anything, as evidenced by the many bad Houston bands she's willingly seen with me.

Adolph I've known for less time. Two and a half years about. All I can discern about his taste in music is this: he'll rip anything you give him onto his ipod. And when he plays stuff from his ipod for mood music, most of it really doesn't sound much like music at all, rather more like scientific experiments of what music could be if all of the human emotion was kicked out of it. (Love you, man.)

So, longtime friends of Adolph (LFoA), I ask you: what is it that Adolph likes? Adolph himself can answer, but I'm just wondering if it's as much a mystery to anyone else as it is to me. Amber mentioned that they don't talk about music, so I wondered if his tastes are a very private thing or if he just doesn't think about music enough to talk about it.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bluetooth K!VM Anyone?

I've been keeping up with the O'reillynet developer weblogs and there is a guy documenting Dude, I *got* a Dell! over there. As he described the cable clutter and ugliness I started thinking, what if you could have a Bluetooth K!VM (!V cause it wouldn't have Video). Would a Bluetooth K!VM be a hub that used USB to two or more computers, or would there be a way to plug in more than one pairing ID on a single Bluetooth device. Like I pair one ID with one device and then pair another ID with a different device. The Bluetooth keyboard could handle the switch from one to another and communicate the switch to the mouse.

Of course, I kind of like using Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection client to connect to Windows computers because it works very well and doesn't hog up my whole interface, like switching between computers on a KVM does.

Finding Nemo on Ice

Finding Nemo on Ice
Originally uploaded by killy.
Our neighbor called carol at work and offered us three tickets for the Finding Nemo on Ice at Reliant Stadium. Carol quickly agreed to take them and called me at work.

We got there just right after the show had started and made it to our seats in the dark. We settled in and watched the show.

Right after this picture was taken, Adolfo declared, "I'm finished," and jumped into carol's arms. At that point, which happened to be five minutes after we sat down, it was time to go. The first thing that flashed through my fatherly mind:

"I just paid $8 to park here for five minutes"

Adolfo was more than content to walk back and forth in the foyer and look around and so were his parents. I was more than a little distrubed by the lip sync-ing ice skaters myself; although the costumes were kinda cool.

Tiger Performance Boost?

This seems to suggest that we can expect quite a performance boost with the next OS X release...

What do you think about this?

This just in :

iPod Shuffles are machine washable!

althoug it is an undocumented feature it turns out that if some nameless (and kinda tired) person accidentally leaves his Shuffle and keys in the cargo pocket of his favorite grey pants, then runs said pants through a fairly standard washing machine (cold water, not too much soap) all three items (shuffle, keys, pants) will come through none the worse for wear!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Originally uploaded by Taggart & Elizabeth.
Had six hours to kill in Manhattan.
took some pictures.
Only wish I had more time.

Funny Telemarketer...

The phone rings. I get up from my chair. I answer it ont he third ring. Immediately, i recognize it as a telemarketer 'cause of the din of the legions of telemarketers around him. I say "hello?" He says, "Can I please speak to a male or female in the house?"

I am laughing as i hang up on him.

Tiger Disables iBook Spanning ?

Yikes, there is some talk that the upcoming Tiger release of OS X will disable the ibook monitor spanning hack. That would be horrible! Is there any hope?.

Kung Fu Hustle

I recommend the movie Kung Fu Hustle (Gong Fu).. I think its by the same director (Stephen Chow) who did Shaolin Soccer. Any how I saw it over at a buddy of mine's place; he does not own a television, rather he has a Sony VPL-ES2 projector hooked up to his Tivo/Powebook/XBox. The movie was projected onto a wall and was ginormous and looked great! Before the movie we played a round of split-screen Halo. It was fantastic fun on the big screen!

Also, has anyone caught Robot Chicken on Adult Swim? Holy mole the Two Kirks and a Khan bit almost had me pissing my pants...

One more thing: I just received a sweet pair of cheap (30 bucks!) but quality running shoes from Vitruvian Running. My boss, a serious marathon runner (he placed first in the Austin Men's category at the last Freescale marathon), recommended them:

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

GTA: Lego City!

Too much funny

Monday, April 11, 2005


Originally uploaded by saracress.
Despite the fact that my heavy coat is still in the backseat of my car, spring has come and almost gone. I started to feel summer while I was walking around the Houston arboretum today. But my walk was very pleasant nonetheless. Enjoy these days while you can because it's going to be disgustingly hot soon.

EFF: How to Blog Safely

Just in case you guys didn't see it, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has provided a guide on "How to Blog Safely." I haven't read it. Will read later and update with my take on the usefulness of the guide.

the new hotness

That's right; i broke down and bought a new iBook. i went with the stock configuration and will be ordering some more ram shortly. it was not really my idea, i blame my car.

you see, i left my headlights on the other day effectively draining my battery. so i called my insurance company, they sent out a jumper-truck, the battery was charged and all was good. i did, however, need to leave my car running for a while to recharge the battery, and i felt silly just idling their in the lot. so i took the car for a ride, just letting it take me where it wanted to go. little known fact about my car: it loves the mall. i do not know if it is the camaraderie of the parking lot, the blazing hot concrete or what, but the mall is where it wanted to go.

Who am i to argue with the wisdom of my venerable Ford? well, since i was there i wandered around, checked the latest fashion trends, and, after a real hard sell from the apple store hawkers i (begrudgingly) walked out with a brand new iBook.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Holy Smoke: This is Cool!

Flickr: The Memory Maps Pool

Amber was checking out tags today and clicked on "googlemaps." This is one of the neatest (unintentional?) implementations of technology that I have seen in a while. Maybe I think it is really cool because I'm the sort of person who pours over maps looking for personal landmarks. I was looking up my old friend Ashu today and found his parent's address, then put that in Google and looked at a map and then pointed it out to Amber and shifted the map somewhat north to where Dad and Talbot live now and then further north to the house where I grew up. Google's pointer is actually a bit left of where the house is. It points to a spot in the street in front of the Scaaf's house. They were three doors down. Sorry, but I just left this blog post for a while as I just took a trip on the Red River down to the Mississippi.

Pick One: Incredibly Stupid or Smart

Gore's new media venture seeks to blend TV, Internet / Former VP says his Current network gives viewers a voice:

"The pods will include a job-market spot called 'Current Gigs,'' a report on spiritual trends called 'Current Soul'' and segments about parenting, technology, fashion, music, politics, the environment and relationships."

Gore says that "those who are using the Internet are often watching TV at the same time. . . ." Do people really do that? Did he get that thought seeing dumb TV tuner features on LCD monitors? If they are "using the Internet" concurrently as they are using TV, do they shift focus on the computer during the boring parts or during the commercials? Is Gore going to convince advertisers to pay for spots on a network that encourages viewers to shift focus away from the TV during commercials?

The short segments are "perfect for the MTV generations,'' adds Arlen, who thinks the idea of viewer-created content is great, as long as somebody exercises quality control. Network officials say Current's online audience will vote on the videos they'd like to see make it to the tube, [but] with network editors [keeping it crappy].


Originally uploaded by Taggart & Elizabeth.
Just in case nobody has seen this set of pictures from seattle I thought I would post them to the blog via flickr. I am very proud of them.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

"I hope to go out on patrols at night, find some illegals," said Mr. McCarty, who had his .38-caliber pistol strapped to his leg as he stood outside the citizen patrol's makeshift headquarters here in Tombstone, the town where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday engaged in a shootout with the Clanton gang in 1881. "I need some excitement. And this is better than sitting at home all day watching rattlesnakes crawl out of the den."


the estimated seven million or so illegal immigrant workers in the United States are now providing the system with a subsidy of as much as $7 billion a year.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Volume I

I recommmend Star Wars: Clone Wars to all y'all Star Wars fans. The animators are the folks behind Samurai Jack. The direction is great. The space battles and light-saber action is non-stop. It is a great lead up to Star Wars Episode III.

Manual Page For bbedit(1)

I discovered today that command l (that is a lowercase L) selects a line in BBEdit. Very handy! It is especially handy because if you use soft line breaks for readability, a double-click of the mouse only gives you one soft break line, command l will give you the entire line without regard for soft line breaks.

As I was looking up documentation to link to on this topic I ran across this:Manual Page For bbedit(1) and found the really handy technique of piping command line stuff into BBEdit:

ls -al | bbedit -t "My Directory Listing"

One of the Things . . .

One of the things that might appear to me at some point about living in Shreveport is the out-of-the-way-ness of it. In this Gizmodo post, there is a map of Verizon wireless coverage. Except for the freeway veins, one of the principal east side of the country vacant spots is north Louisiana and the Mississippi delta. The weather there is much more pleasant than Kentucky and West Virginia or north-eastern Arkansas and south-eastern Missouri.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Mindy and Annabel and pink dresses.

Originally uploaded by saracress.
It was a long slog through dozens of potential bridesmaid dresses. Some good. Some very, very bad.

Toward the end of our shopping trip we landed on the one that we feel is elegant, attractive, and will look good after we've all done 50 bicep curls a day for the next four months. Which we're all planning on doing. Yeah.

Right. So it's green and short and cute. It's not these pink things. Go check out my latest photos and you'll see more of our day.


All of this talk about the pope is reminding me that Kathy and I were in Rome not all that long ago. It feels like it has been years since I traveled abroad, but it has only been a little over 6 months. We went to the Vatican and toured St. Peter's while we were there. It is a pretty impressive place. The scale of it is very difficult to describe.

Other highlights included a great Sardinian restaurant that served a mean (pun intended) wild boar, and our B&B which had a fantastic roof deck (we were the only guests). After Rome we spent a few days in Venice and then Vienna.

Making the Transparent iBook

The idea I had for seeing the computer's back in a mirror behind the transparent desktop was as much of a production as I thought it would be. It kind of boils down to angles and lighting. Along the way, the ability to accurately preview or immediately see results up close and large is handy. After somewhat figuring out how to mark the location of the chair and the mirror on the chair so it could be removed for the back shot and replaced for the final picture, I have a better idea of what problems filmmakers face. Why is it that there is not a commonly available tool for determining the proximity and relative position of things? Why don't cameras have GPS, laser rangefinders and digital theodolites? Can I gauge the distance from a camera to the object in focus by the focus setting stored in the picture file?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Dodgeball Revisited

fashion shoot
Originally uploaded by killy.
Adolph's dad made me do this. He posted what could only be described as a trudeau comment: "This was a fashion shoot, right?"

What was i supposed to do? I couldn't just let him get away with that.

Creighton & Jett gaming '007'

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
This photo is from Mr. Trudeau's flckr account of his son and a friend gaming.

i can't really tell what system they are playing on, but my experience has been that '007' games are generally pretty cool. i had a bit of a problem with controlling one of the newer versions on what was undoubtedly a ps2 or xbox controller, but i have a problem overall with the bulkiness of today's controllers. it's pretty frustrating when you want to get your frag on, but you can hardly figure out the controller.

Kudos to older gaming systems like the super nintendo which still had a pretty 'simple' controller. Even more genius (and giving away my age) were the atari controllers with it's single stick and fire button. If only they were made sturdier.

Now that i'm thinking about it, i think i would much rather keep a series of blister making moves in my head (up+down+left+left) for speciality moves rather than having a croissant-sized controller with 16 buttons on it.

Another Saturday

I thought i would make it to autin this weekend, but, sadly, i cannot. This morning was the neighborhood yard sale. Carol set a table with old picture frames, a fanless ceiling fan, and a load of old t-shirts. Everything was sold by 10:30 with a total in our pocket of $5.50.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Trying on Glasses

Trying on Glasses
Originally uploaded by Amber & Adolph.
One of the hazards of trying on glasses is that if you need glasses, you can't really see what you are trying on. This is an issue that I have faced throughout my life. Once, I got an eye infection and couldn't wear contacts and had to pick out a pair of frames while barely able to open my eyes--it was an awful experience and made worse by the fact that I made a terrible choice. Since glasses are kind of expensive and very personalized, they aren't things you get to try on for a week and return if it doesn't work out. The decision you make will become part of your face for a long time. Enter the digital camera. I take a picture of myself with the frames without lenses, then put my glasses back on to see the picture! All opticians should have these things.

I ordered a pair of frames that are slightly different than my current pair and I ordered lenses made of real glass instead of plastic. They should be ready in two weeks or so.

The Pope is Dying

My next door neighbor died at 5:00 a.m. on wednesday morning after a protracted battle with cancer. Another neighbor is in the hospital after a suffering another mild heart attack. And now, the pope is dying...

As long as i can remember the pontiff has been ill. Yesterday evening CNN reported that the pope has received last rites and today he is at death's door. This news touched me the same way that the news of a distant relative's death would: a deep thud from inside my chest.

I was raised 'very' Roman Catholic and spent a good amount of my young years attending various church functions; at one point, i was the president of my youth group at St. Mark's the Evangelist Catholic Church. My mother was a 'reader' on selected Sunday masses and i was frequently an altar boy. Even once i passed from a being a 'boy' into a younger man, i continued to serve mass dressed in an altar's boys alb that was too short for me. In my early youth, my mother coached a girl's softball team for a league confined to church members. Our weekdays were consumed with practice, and the weekends were for games where my grandmother (the candy-lady) would sell candies and pickles to the masses.

Everyone we knew had a quincenera, wedding, or other rite of passage at the church. It was the center of our lives.

As a small single-parent family fresh from a divorce, new to Houston, and living 'alone' for the first time, we all slept in the same bed. I remember my mother crying a lot. In order to get to sleep, we all prayed together. My earliest memories are of praying with my mother in bed. My mother used to have three plastic rosarys, two solid color ones (i can't recall the colors) for my sister and i, and a multi-colored one that she would use to pray. She taught us how to do the sign of the cross; she taught us the Our Father, and the Hail Mary. I can't remember actually finishing a rosary. My sister and i were asleep before the third set of beads.

I can fall into prayer easily, and when i do (unfortunately, this is not often) it is comforting. The Hail Mary tumbles from my mouth as a near sigh. The Our Father is a long string of soft hisses, and rolls and pops from my lips. My body tingles and i feel my shoulders drop.

My mother hung a bamboo roll up with an image of the pope printed on it (she still has it in her kitchen) in our living room. As a child, I only knew that he was the head of the church and that he had(has) a direct line, so to speak, to the 'big guy'. the closest i ever got to him was meeting a Cardinal (whose name i have regretfully forgotten) at the Seminary retreat i attended when i was still in High Schol. (Yes, i attended a seminary retreat for young men considering the priesthood. I was voted most likely in my senior class to become a priest.)

I can recall the assassination attempt, and his eventual face-to-face meeting with his would be assassin which ended with the pontiff fully forgiving him.

In other news: a bird has taken up residence in a hanging pot in our back yard. Carol's rosary vine, which she had gotten from Amber Scott when she still lived in Austin, had outgrown it's pot, so carol decided to split it up into two, keeping one out front and the other in a hanging pot in the back yard.

begin countdown.

that's right. one year from today me and lil' D are gettin' hitched. this is not (NOT) an april fool's bit. please consider this your official notification and humble request for your presence at our pending nuptials.

i like that word, 'nuptials'. it is vaguely titillating.

more details as they occur.