Thursday, June 29, 2006

Check out my bosses artwork

http://stevecraft.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Adios Muchachos

Hey folks I wish I could have gotten a chance to see y’all before I left but things got super hectic there at the last minute…

I managed (with Taggart’s help) to get my futon out of the apartment. I took my desk to Goodwill. I put my paintings in storage. I boxed up my bike and flew out here with it. It sure was fun running around the airport with a ginormous bike filled box…

Anyhow, I am writing this from a coffee shop in Alexandria, VA. I don’t start work till next wednesday, so I got some time to run around and find a place to live, watch World Cup, etc.

It sure is crazy to be back here in Northern Virginia. Things sure have changed. It seems like someone dropped a traffic-bomb on this place.

More soon.

The Final Eight

Germany beats Argentina
Italy beats Ukraine
Portugal beats England
Brazil beats (the shit out of) France

then...

Italy beats Germany in an incredible upset
Brasil takes Portugal

and finally

Brasil bests Italy in the World Cup.

First Come, First Serve




I've got four $36 tickets (i think that's mid-field) and two parking passes to the Dynamos July 4th game @ 7:30 p.m. I need a baby sitter and two people to go with Carol and I. Who's up for it?

Monday, June 26, 2006

This weekend

I drove to the rio grande this weekend for an impromptu family reunion. My aunt chava is passing away from colon cancer and flew in from Indiana to see everyone (together) for quite possibly the last time. As sad as that sounds, it was a wonderfully upbeat event. I saw uncles i hadn't seen in years and cousins that i only remembered as children. For those of you who are aware of my rocky relationship (if you can call it that) with my father, it was not the catharsis i was expecting, but it did solidify in my mind the way that i have to handle future situations with my dad, which is nice considering that there has been so much uncertainty as to his feelings for so long. I am too much the optomist, however. At the end of the day, when most everyone had gone it was myself, my wife, my uncles henry and romel, my aunts charlene and sylvia, and my cousins talking in the living room. I am ignorant of much of the family history and so i was asking a lot of questions.

"So what was grandpa like?"

The answer came, "...oh, he was a lot like your dad..."

Coming from my uncle Henry that wasn't good seeing that he and my dad are not on the best terms. (if my cousins are reading this, please fill me in - i am totally oblivious).

"Great," i thought, "my grandpa was an asshole."

All my life i had been told that my grandpa loved me when i was born (this was from my mother) - that Mr. Chavez was crazy over me. He passed away when i was three years old. From this i had this idea of chavez-grandpa in al my young years as being a really loving and a very wonderful man (no, i can't explain the leap), but when i asked what he was like there was a pause and then uncle henry made his comment and then romel said something about him liking to kid around, then i changed to subject to his career: he painted buses. This lead to his death. He painted without the mask and died of lung cancer. What's in a name? As a child i hated the name adolfo. It was no secret that my mother's side of the family also hated my father and his name, hence i was called Killy all my life. I knew my father had caused the pain my mother felt even as a child, maybe that's why i hated my name and why i put my grandfather on that pedastal. That my father had somehow 'fallen' from an ideal. This is something that i believed until saturday evening. As a father, i embraced my own name and gave my son the same under the false impression that my grandfather was some sort of ideal-Chavez. *ugh* It feels as though i've named my kid Hitler and just though to myself, "Doh! i forgot about all that fucked up shit he did..."

My sister came away with an even grimmer experience; she decided to hang around dad out back, where i was in the front catching up with my cousins. My sister has always fought against the tide with my dad; has always fought tooth and nail for him to care and to acknowledge her. The effort has failed miserably. I was more worried for her at this reunion, hoping that she wouldn't blow a gasket and 'pop a cap in his ass'. (*chuckle*). She did blow a gasket but managed to blow it in private and maintain her composure. For that, i am grateful.

On the upside, we were able to visit Carol's brother and took a very long time to get home. We stopped along Yturria's Ranch on 77 before the INS checkpoint and peed behind a rail station house and walked along the tracks to some abandoned boxcars. It was so incredibly hot so we didnt' stay out there long, but we managed to pick up a railroad spike and a fractured white tortoise shell.

We also made a pitstop at the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi. Adolfo had a super duper ultra hardcore blast. It was the first time something really registered with him as an event. His eyes just bulged at the enormity of the boat looking at it from the 35 bridge and he got so excited to learn that we were indeed going to pay the $30 to actually go inside it! It was truly a magic moment for him and for carol and i. He came away with two toy airplanes and a 2'x3' poster of WorldWar II Airplanes.

...and becuase i know you're wondering, i took photos with my old N70. Yes, film. I hope to get it processed today and scanned in sometime tomorrow. Photos to come...

Supersonic Man!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Happy Birthday

to the Liz and to the D!

So divine.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Don't monkey with the apes

Interesting news from Spain ... legislature to consider a bill bestowing "human rights" for certain types of ape (but no monkeys). Interesting that the Catholic Church is ... um ... uncomfortable with this idea.

http://washingtontimes.com/world/20060609-101506-4499r.htm

/\/\

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Been a while ...



Hey Adolph: I'm not ignoring you ... I lost your contact info. Call me again and we'll do that lunch thing.

Hey everybody else: Been a while. Glad to hear all survived Monday's flood in H-town. Bon and I are still alive and well in the greater Austin area ... still meddlin' in the people's business. Thought I'd share a couple of pics for kicks. Although it's still not quite finished, here's sort of a before and after look at the new deck I'm building in the back yard. (You know what they say about idle hands ... and in my case, they'd be right!)

cheers,
/\/\

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Tabular Data Typing

Speaking of type constraints, I'm looking for a tool that will measure each field of a spreadsheet or other tabular data and tell me what are the best constraints to use on each column. Any ideas?

To Infinity But No Further!

So I'm taking a beginning programming class. The language is C++ and the most interesting thing I've learned so far is integer math. There are a few different kinds of numbers in C++ (and other languages), such as int (integers, plain numbers w/o decimals) and float (a number with decimals). The language handles operations on them differently. For example, when dividing two ints like five divided by two, the decimal is just dropped, so 5/2=2. If they were floats the answer would be 2.5.

My internal explanation for Why? was that different kinds of numbers were stored in different ways and have different limitations on them (because the limits of 32 bit computing seem always soon). So this morning I read this post linked from Digg and started to realize another handy reason why integer math exists: sometimes you don't want to spend your computer's time pondering the infinite.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Fathers Day!

Also, omg my nephew is so adorable!!!

Adorable!!

Whatcha readin'?

Question for everyone! I'm not terribly adventurous when it comes to looking for new blogs. I've got my standbys: Dooce, my brother-in-law, you jackasses, various music blogs. So what sites/blogs do you read daily that you would recommend to others?

Here are some of mine:

The Sartorialist (so, so cool)
A Dress a Day
Not Martha
Mister Crunchy (the guy doesn't update as much as he used to, but when he does he's spot-on hilarious)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Redemtption!

Ok, just got back from the USA-ITALY game.

Wow. The drama! The tension! The heroics! What a fun game to watch!!

Hijoles, from a biased, drunk perspective I have to say that the U.S. squad outplayed the Italians. Even when the jackass of a referee reduced the U.S. side to 9 mine the U.S still threatened more, defended better, played harder, etc. I was so happy to see our boys put up a fight. It was like watching a whole different team from the their previous game. Ayayay, it was fun to watch Ghana take apart the Czech Republic too.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Louisiana News

I haven't lived in LA for a long time, but I always have curiosity about the place. The story of Rep. William Jefferson is something I have followed at a distance ever since the hurricane coverage of him commandeering some National Guard troops to rescue a refrigerator or something from his house. The coverage on NPR this morning regarding Jefferson mentioned "two conditions" to his offer to voluntarily step down from his committee position but only disclosed one about naming a fellow Louisianian to his spot. I was curious about the second condition, but NPR's coverage seems stranger now because it wasn't only that Jefferson wanted another LA Rep., he wanted to hand-pick his successor.
Chron.com | House Dems Strip Jefferson of Panel Seat:

Within an hour of the vote, Jefferson disclosed he had offered on Wednesday to step aside on two conditions. They were that the caucus establish a rule covering cases like his and that his seat on Ways and Means go temporarily to a fellow Louisiana Democrat, Rep. Charles Melancon.

The Times-Picayune had an interesting twist on the condition that NPR didn't cover and that the Houston Chronicle called "a rule;" T-P indicates that the condition called for something less than a rule, but merely equal treatment.
Nola.com | Demos vote Jefferson off panel

In a letter to Pelosi on Wednesday, Jefferson offered to give up his Ways and Means seat under two conditions: that the party apply the same standards to other members under investigation and that it name Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, to replace him because he too represents a district that has been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Pelosi rejected the offer, according to his Jefferson spokeswoman, Melanie Roussell.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I, Brahe

The First Law Of Braheonics

It is the height of rudeness to leave a banquet before it is finished.

The Second Law Of Braheonics (added posthumously)

It is even more rude to stay until your bladder explodes

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Self Storage?

I have decided to put my huge quantity of ‘stuff’ into self-storage rather than move it out to D.C.

Does anyone have any warnings or recommendations as far as self-storage options?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Simpsons on soccer.

I'm With Stephen Hawking On This One.

“It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species,” Hawking said. “Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.”

link

I stepped around a bug the other day instead of treading upon it and that made me think of a bumper-sticker that reads something like “the Earth does not belong to man – man belongs to the Earth” which I think might be a Chief Seattle quote or something and anyhow all of this got me thinking that that if kitten spleens were suddenly found to have a property that enabled human beings to travel interstellar distances in the blink of an eye I would be all for using up all available kitten spleens to get us onto another planet.

No Kittens Were Harmed in the Posting of this Post

Tiny Houses...The Next Big Thing


OK
so my parents sold their beautiful little house in Romeoville. That's step one to moving back to the U.S.. Step two is selling their beautiful house in Mexico (starting bid at 60,000.00 USD). Step two is just a technicality though. My little familia is hoping that they'll move here sooner rather than later. In any case, step three is moving here to Houston means jumping head first into the housing market again. The last time my parents were here, they talked about the differences between purchasing an older house, versus buying a newly built one. This would decide where in the Houston area they would live. My father was more inclined to looking into a newly built house. It seems that in Katy, they are pretty reasonably priced and he wouldn't have the worries of an antiquated electrical system or something similar. So, I started thinking about what options there are in building affordable housing.

This is what I found. Tumbleweed Tiny Houses.

Conceivably, I think Killy and I could build a small house in our back yard. It seems that this house, built complete with a mini toilet and loft bed, can be built and delivered into our back yard for the great price of 47K.
woo hoo
Now wouldn't this solve the Office Space problem...

Plus, it would be a great place for guests!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why is life so cruel?

I just got back from watching the U.S. lose 3-nil to the Czech Republic. What a horrible game. I have seen every game so far (except for Japan-Australia and Netherlands-Serbia) and the performance of the U.S squad was by far the worst yet.

The only thing worse than watching the U.S lose so badly was having to hear Ex-Marlins announcer O’brien and Marcelo Balboa rattle off meaningless, distracting factoids, straight-up whining, and shallow “analysis”.

So far ESPN2 coverage has been miserable. It is much more fun to watch Univision. Even if you don’t understand the rapid spanish, at least you can tell that they are calling play-by-play action with rising and falling emotion; also, they do sensible things like SHOW THE STARTING LINEUP BEFORE THE GAME STARTS, instead of Verizon commercials…

I am very disappointed. But who knows how things will end up. Maybe Ghana and Italy will tie this afternoon. Maybe Onyewu and Pope will get their shit together. Maybe the U.S midfield will stop playing Zilker park style and start serving the forwards, etc.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

This is my creed: I float!

Today as we discussed the Zeroth Law (which I mistakenly called the Fourth Law Of Robotics) a friend of mine pointed me to this so funny

I, Rowboat

  1. A Rowboat may not immerse a human being or, through lack of flotation, allow a human to come to harm.
  2. A Rowboat must obey all commands and steering input given by its human Rower, except where such input would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A Rowboat must preserve its own flotation as long as such preservation does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Time Warner: BOOOOOO

ESPN360 is some kinda fancy streaming service sandwhich you can watch the World Cup games…but the Timer Warner does not provide access to it…

Encouraging!

Net Neutrality

I started to write a blog post about the rejection of the "Net Neutrality" amendment to the COPE act but as I started to research some more, I found it to be a pretty dense topic. It is important too. In reading the Slashdot thread on the topic, I found this post that contained the response of someone's congressperson. In it is a key bit of the telco industry position:

The problem is that over the next couple of years, large Internet sites are planning to offer high-definition video services, which will use large amounts of bandwidth and clog the pipelines of the Internet. Telephone and cable companies want to be able to charge for such large amounts of bandwidth; otherwise, they will have to pass the costs on to the consumer.
This line of argument has some serious weaknesses but I'm concerned that people who take action based on calls like Google's are ignoring the opposing opinion instead of engaging it. Worse still are the absolutist claims like, "anything less than this amendment would be a loss for freedom and innovation on the Internet." In fact, there is other legislation with nearly identical language in the works.

I can't say I'm crying about how things are turning out. I would probably most fit into the "support neutrality in theory but think it is too early to codify" camp. The telco industry moves to remove FCC policy regarding neutrality are not an encouraging development but I don't see a feasible way for the telephone companies to put their "charge Google" monetization plan in place. The ZDNet article linked above is particularly lame as it casts the issue in Democrat and Republican terms even though the prime mover of the FCC's neutrality policy was Republican and noted serial censor Michael Powell.

Another interesting quote from the congressperson's reply was this:

Rest assured that as we move through this process, I will continue to listen to the opinions of the experts and my constituents. I appreciate your comments and hope to receive them in the future.
Probably a key problem in grassroots activism is that constituents aren't seen as experts.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

You can't leave everything to markets...

I tend not to watch or enjoy Rocketboom, but I did enjoy Amanda Congdon’s interview of George Soros

I agree very much with the following:

markets are very good [at] allocating resources among competing private needs, but they don’t take care of common needs, like, preserving the market itself; that requires governmental action…

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Beep Beep.

Me tooting my own horn.
Dunno how it happened., but the Houston Chronicle featured my blog on the opinions page yesterday. Brain Salve is on the left. I didn't even submit it or anything. I just went off, ya know, like I do...and then I saw the spike in the web traffic.
Oh well. just stoked. Thought I'd share.

http://www.chron.com/news/opinion/

UPDATE: They took it down after only one day. If that was my fifteen minutes, I'm gonna be really upset 'cause that wasn't even my best trick! No, that requires jell-o.

Anyway, if you were so inclined.
Here's the post...
www.brainsalve.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

World Cup Alternatives

Check out these two international soccer tournaments:

The Homeless World Cup

Wild Cup

I think Texas should field a Wild Cup team. It is a state that retains certain trappings of nationhood. And Texas has no seat in the U.N., so it should qualify on technical grounds. And who knew The Vatican had a national soccer team.

When I lived in NYC I was headed out to the burbs one weekend with friends and friends-of-friends and learned that one of the girls in the car had coached the U.S. homeless soccer team. Needless to say, it dominated the conversation. The year she coached they played the tournament in Austria (if memory serves). She said that getting passports was tough for some of the players, but some of the players not only had passports, but had traveled to Austria previously. She also said that keeping track of the players once in Austria was an issue since they wanted to spend their time hanging out in parks and actually sleeping in them instead of in the hotels that had been booked.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Barça

On August 9 FC Barcelona is playing a match in Houston against a TBD opponent. (A team from Mexico) Right now tickets are only available to Dynamo season ticket holders. When they go on sale to the general public I am planning to buy some. Anybody else want to go?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Zedonk!

I was reading up on Donkeys this morning. I came across this factoid:

The offspring of a zebra-donkey cross is called a zonkey, zebroid, zebrass, or zedonk

via wikipedia

Anyhow, I would like to have a burro someday.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Roots

The Roots @ Stubb's

Caught The Roots at Stubb’s last night. Best funk-rock show I have seen in a while. The guitar player (?? Kirk Douglas ??) was out of control; He sang the Jill Scott vocals on “You got me” and then laid into this insane fret board adventure that busted me up like a tidal wave.

Another highlight: Questlove leading a cover of one of my favorite Michael Jackson tracks, “Smooth Criminal”.