Wow, 20 blurkers forced into the light. Well done folks.
As promised, here is a picture of Michele in the new car.
It's a been a light week for weblogging and heavy week for work. The company is trying to get it's shit together, but it's not easy to turn the wheel of the ship. A few of us try to sneak into the wheelhouse and spin the wheel until someone tells us to stop.
The good thing about work today was that I got to play with the HDTV Tivo. It is quite sweet. The picture loks great adn they are recording the full ATSC data stream, and aren't compressing it at all. It's probably a year away from being in stores, but I lust after it already. The picture is quite tasty.
I also had a chance to play with the Series 2 Tivos with the new features. We don't watch enough TV to justify to have two, but the access from the internet is enticing.
Lastly, I got the door prize at the meeting. It was a Wristlinx wrist FRS/GMRS radio. I tried it out with Zoe a bit but everything was distorted. I think that they could have been too close. I'll try it again tomorrow outside.
We had the Superbowl party on Sunday and Brad wrote up the story of the broken window.
My wife, Michele appears to have her weblog groove on.
I've got an all day meeting on the glories of Media Asset Management. I know, I know, you are all jealous.
Until then, I have something for you, yes, you, the loyal Cruft reader to do.
I check the referrer logs of the site religiously and see that the site gets viewed by many people. Yet, most of you are strangely silent.
A few days ago I read this Geekychick.net post about blurkers. In the post she defines blurkers thusly:
Blurker (BLUR-kur): n. 1. One who reads many blogs but leaves no evidence of themselves such as comments behind; a silent observer of blogs. 2. One who reads many blogs but has no blog of their own; a blog-watcher or blog voyeur.
I fear this describes many of you. Today, your job is to raise your hand and say hello and emerge from blurkerhood.
Click on the Comments link below and post answers to these three questions.
1) What is your name?
2) What is your quest?
3) What is your favorite color?
Special bonus question: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
I expect plenty of answers when I check the weblog tonight.
Don't make me post your IP addresses...
Howdy readers. I've neglected the weblog for a few days. Real life does tend to take priority. Over the weekend I often thought about things to post, but I didn't take the time to post.
On Saturday we prepped for the Superbowl party and got to repair the deck step that got broken at the last party. I enjoyed the task of drilling into masonry and using lead anchors to mount the replacement step. Tools = fun.
Michele and I agreed to take a break from throwing parties for bit. Since Christmas Eve, one month, we had thrown 4 parties (Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Zoe's Birthday, and Superbowl Sunday) and helped run a geocaching picnic. Whew...
Sunday, before the party, Michele told me to go get a haircut. She made the arrangments for me to go to a 'men's salon' in the nearby Paseo mall. Whatever. I walk in and say, "I'm Mike and I'm here for my haircut". The lady greets me and hands me a clipboard. Linda like a new patient at the doctor's office. She asks me to fill it out. There are questions like 'What types of salons have you previously visited?' Types of salons? WTF?!? 'What products do you use in your hair?' I put in the stupid goop that Michele buys for me somewhere. Who knows what the name is? I tell her I'm almost out of hair goop, and somehow by magic, new goop appears. Sometimes it changes a bit, but she assures me it's the same thing.
The one good thing about the haircut is that they put a hot towel on my face. Boy o boy, that feels good.
Soon enough I was back in party mode. The highlight of the party was the turducken. Here's the story of the turducken for you to enjoy.
Today I had to deal with the effect of the Sapphire/Slammer SQL worm at the company. I got the call at 7AM that all company systems were down.
ALL. SYSTEMS. DOWN. A fargin nightmare...
I'll go into that fun later. Time for sleep now.
After 5 minutes I had the thing working. Fucking fantastic! Michele is stoked and I'm the hero.
Life is good.
I'm home from the meeting and can write a bit more.
The gathering was interesting and I'll probably go again. I had brought my cantenna along. I wasn't sure exactly what the meeitng woudl be like and thought it might be useful. As it turned out, the reception in the IHOP was good and I didn't need it.
Many people wanted to look at the cantenna and ask me questions about it. I tried to explain what I could, but I'm not sure how clear my explanations were. A reporter from the LA Times asked me a few questions as well. Who knows, I may end up in the paper.
I mentioned that the cafe.com people spoke about their business. It was interesting, but hard to follow since I was on the side of the room and couldn't follow along with the powerpoint slides he was talking from. There aren't any cafe.com sites near Pasadena right now, so I doubt I'll be using it anytime soon.
The next presenter was Cliff Skolnick of the Bay Area Wireless User Group (BAWUG). He had driven down to Los Angeles to discuss what the Bay Area folks were working on. He discussed there work on developing a free network of 802.11 access points for use by the general public. He mentioned several sites that I need to look into a little more including freenetworks.org, nocat.net, nodedb.com.
After I do some reading I'll have a better opinion of what these guys are up to in San Fran.
So I'm sitting at the IHOP in Pasadena at the Southern California Wireless User Group (SoCalWUG) meeting. They (we) have taken over the entire back room of the IHOP and have converted it a wireless heaven.
The room is packed with well over 50 people. They are discussing the recent stories of the GPS jammer and the idea that Michelin is going to put rfRFID tags inside all their tires.
7:42 - Now the cafe.com guy is talking. They have a hotspot network in LA.
7:57 - Eating pigs in the blanket. Drinking coffee.
8:06 - Cafe.com talk continues. Mmmm, strawberry syrup....
8:23 - Cafe.com guy telling us that Starbucks & Boingo are evil.
8:36 - People are saying that 802.11b rules and that 802.11a sucks.
8:43 - 20 minutes of laptop battery left. Many questions for the cafe.com now.
8:51 - They are giving away a couple Wifi cards and a Belkin WAP as door prizes.
8:54 - Cliff Skolnick of San Francisco Free Networks groupis explaining about free networks.
9:00 - Running out of battery. I should have brought a fully charged battery. Later.
Plenty happened today. My eyes have been acting up again and I could only wear a contact in my left eye. I got about halfway through the day at the office before I couldn't face staring at the screen for the rest of the day. The idea of driving home in the dark this way was unappealing too. I headed home to give my eye a rest.
Michele had decided that the car she wanted for the last month was no longer the car she wanted anymore. I had been ready to buy it and had done tons of research on it. She went on a test drive and told me that the BMW station wagon was what she wanted instead of the Volvo. I was tired of dealing with "we are buying a car soon" issues and decided to pull the trigger. I knew all the issues involved, called the dealer and cut a deal.
We are now the proud owners of a BMW 325i station wagon. Pics to follow when I have a chance.
I recently stumbled upon the Southern California Wireless Users Group and they are having a meeting tomorrow in Pasadena. I think I'll go and see what it's all about. With my cantenna, I should fit right in.
In other news, Mister P. is going to jail.
Brad has converted to using Movable Type. Bravo!
Alright, time to go close my eyes.
Earlier in the day, I bottled the beer. The girls helped me out and I ended up with 40 12 oz. bottles. In a week I'll crack one open and give it a taste.
The sample I tasted wasn't bad, but flat beer never tastes quite right. I'm hoping the bottles get a good head on them.
In other news, President Bush's tax plan appears to bankrupt Social Security by 2017. Nice going.
OK, time to watch Man vs. Beast with Martin...
The girls are tired from all the fun of the weekend. They are lounging about today. They have to take turns on who is in control of the TV in the front room. Mira cried while waiting for her turn to watch a tape. Once it was her turn, Zoe got upset and began to cry too.
I carried her to the back room so she could watch something else. She was all teary eyed as I told her should could watch anything she wanted. She said, "It's all boring!" I told her should could watch Monty Python. Instantly she cheered up.
My daughter loves Monty Python. I'm doing a good job.
The in-laws are away to the airport and I have a day off thanks to Martin Luther King. In honor of Dr. King, I will quote him here:
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Michele updated the color scheme and a bit of the layout on her weblog.
Paul has been playing around with his weblog template has a story about an imposter of me!
Mr. P posted a nice video clip on his site. His direct links aren't working, so you'll have to go to the main page and scroll down to the January 19, 2003 post.
News of the stupid:
It appears that San Francisco has banned Segways. What a bunch of morons.
Today I plan to bottle my beer. Pictures to follow.
Righty right, here's the update. Plenty of photos...
Here's a picture of the new laptop. It's most tasty.
Yes, I know you are jealous.
We had another Twinkie Eating Contest at work on Friday.
I handed out the Twinkies and the race was on.
I won the first race with the slow time of 16 seconds. We raced a second time and Gary won with a time of 10 seconds. He swallowed the twinkie whole. No chewing. He almost couldn't do it, but he did.
We had the Team WWDN Geocaching Picnic today. There was much fun to be had. I previously hid five caches at the park. I handed out the coordiantes and everyone went to go find them.
Zoe found the first cache. I think everyone had a good time. In any case, I enjoyed my self. It happened to be Snow Day at the park and the city had dragged in tons of snow. The kids got to play in the snow and throw snowballs around.
If the rumors are to be believed, it looks like we are headed to Mars. Supposedly, the President will announce approval of a NASA nuclear rocket and the goal of putting a man on Mars by 2010. I sure hope it's true. Earth needs it's space program kicked into high gear. I've got my fingers crossed.
It's a little before 7AM and I'm up with Zoe. She's playng Animal Crossing on the Gamecube. I'm laying on the couch with the new laptop.
Yes, you heard right, new laptop. I finally took the plunge yesterday and after doing much research bought a HP ze4220 notebook computer. It's got a ton of whiz bang features even a combo DVD/CD-R writer drive.
I booted it up last night after the kids were asleep and Michele and I watched as the computer booted for the first time. In short order I was downloading all the recent patches and slapped in the wireless card. For all the issues that exist with Microsoft, I have to admit that Windows XP is one smooth piece of software. I unplugged the network cable and the laptop switched to the wireless card seamlessly. I am quite happy.
Today is the geocaching picnic. I prepared the mini-caches last night that I'm going to place at the park for the others to find. It should be a good time. I'm going to place them early and then hopefully pick up a lunch at Kentucky Fired Chicken. I know it's not the healthiest place to eat, but it sure does work good for picnics.
I don't have any great linkage for you all this moring. I need to eat some breakfast and drink a cup of coffee now. Later.
My vision is blurry and I intend to sleep soon.
You should go check out Brad's site. He compares me to a Maori warrior.
Well over a year ago, I posted about Burger King Tacos. In the comments there, Tom K. said this:
The tacos are the greatest, and I know dozens of transplanted New Yorkers here in Northern Virginia who are going ape over them. Just like good ol' Jack in the Box....but, sadly, they've been discontinued permanently at all Burger Kings around here. Everyone I know is boycotting BK and I can't believe they got rid of the best fast food out there. Is anyone else having this problem???
Since he posted it in a story from August 2001, none of you would see it. Any reports of Burger King tacos disappearing in your neck of the woods?
I was quite enthused about watching the Man vs. Beast show on Fox. Matt has a good writeup about it. I couldn't stop talkinga bout it this morning. The girls and I were enthralled. Today, when I got home from work, my daughter's were watching it again. I've raised them well.
Alright, time for bed. My mind is wandering...
So here I am in Lucky Baldwin's waiting for the weblog Meetup to happen and no one else is here. I brought my cantenna and used it to wardrive an access point somewhere in the building and now I'm on the net.
Len just showed up so I'll stop the blogging now. Time to drink.
Today is my father's birthday. The girls and I went out to dinner with him and my mom tonight to celebrate to the Parkway Grill in Pasadena. The food was delicious and we had a great time. Happy Birthday Dad!
A few days ago I finished my latest book, Big Fish by Thomas Perry. It's another crime novel more in the vein of Metzger's Dog as oppposed to The Butcher's Boy. I quite enjoyed the tale of a smuggler's life and the involvement of some 'hollywood types' into it. It was a fast read, and I'm glad I got it from the library instead of buying it.
The last few days have been busy with family in town and work. The upcoming weekend will be busy as well. Perhaps I should go to bed early to get some rest.
Some of you may not be interested in my going to sleep, so here are a few links for your enjoyment:
I can eat a twinkie in 12.85 seconds. That beats the local record of 13 seconds.
Chris and Dave were telling me that they had a speed Twinkie eating conference over the weekend and that Chris had won with a time of 13 seconds. Brad was nearby and stated that he could beat that. Someone tossed him a twinkie and the stopwatch came out. I decided to make an attempt too.
Brad attempted to shove the entire Twinkie into his mouth and swallow. I went with the 3 bites with seperate swallow method.
Here I am winning the contest while Brad is still masticating. Note my Survivor style form with tounge display and raised arms.
12.85 seconds, I dare you to beat it.
Purely hypothetical question here...
Imagine that your wife had an unnatural love of stapleguns and loved to use them to attach everything from christmas lights to party ribbons. Now imagine that she wanted to use the staplegun to attach a sheet over a window. That would mean stapling directly into plaster.
Is it so wrong to question the use of a staple gun inside a house on the walls?
I moved the beer from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter. I measured the specific gravity and the rough calculation is 4% beer. Not bad. A few more days to eek out the last bit of fermentation and I'll bottle it.
Tivo announced several new options today at CES. They are all great. I don't knwo which one to get...
You can get a Tivo with a DVD player built-in.
You can get a Tivo with broadand access that you can access from the internet and move clips to other Tivos in your house.
You can get a Tivo that records and plays HDTV.
Will all you stop worrying about me? Sheesh it's not like I'm gunna keel over.
All the sudden, a few days after my vacation finishes up and I go back to work, my body is revolting against me. I've got a cold, my right eye feels like someone is stabbing an icepick into it, and my right elbow hurts from spending too much time at the computer at work.
I've been trying to eat well, get some sleep, and stay off the computer at home, all to no avail. I feel like going home taking two vicodin, drinking a beer and sleeping for two days.
In other news, MartinMartin has got his weblog groove on.
Some have asked (ok, one person asked) how the blogrolling thing was working. For a limited time, you can take a look at my blog test page. As the weblogs get updated, they pop to the top of the list and get a (new) flag next to them. Weblogs that don't get updated drop to the bottom of the list...
Make sense? OK, gotta go back to work.
A while ago my old webhost Binaryblocks went out of business. I wrote about it here.
It appears that the former owner of Binaryblocks has got back into the web hosting business. Thanks to Pengo, a poster on my site, binaryblockssucks.com, I took a look at aractelnetworks.com. That's the exact same site as the old binaryblocks site. Jason changed a few names and left everything else the same.
When Jason Piercy let binaryblocks disintegrate, it cost me money that I had paid for hosting and it cost me money to get my data off the servers he was reselling. PERSONALLY, I WOULD NOT BUSINESS WITH JASON PIERCY, ARACTELNETWORKS, OR BINARYBLOCKS AGAIN. You should make your own decision about whether they are reputable companies.
I would suggest to all of those harmed by the binaryblocks collapse to post something about the link between binaryblocks and aractelnetworks so that when people do web searches, they find this information out.
Update: If you find this post, you might want to read this update.
Thanks to my brother Matt and his skill with photoshop, the pictures below of the kids in the snow look much better.
I noticed all the comments about the football game. I'm not a huge football fan, but I must comment on one thing. A few weeks ago, I saw the clips of Terrell Owens pulling the pen from his sock and signing the football after scoring a touchdown. This was met with shock and dismay from many.
Here's the truth. It was funny. It was hilarious. It was knee slappingingly funny.
I wish there was more stuff like this in the NFL. The XFL guys had the right idea.
When a scientist finally invents a replicator, a device to make an exact copy of a item, that scientist will be a parent.
They will not invent it to get rich or save humanity. They will invent it to make sure that each child has exactly the same thing. No more arguing over who gets to play with the new toy. *bzzzt* Ta-da, two copies of the toy.
This morning I had to deal with much yelling and gnashing of teeth over the new copy of a Hello Kitty video game. If only I had a replicator....
Zoe turns 7 today. Amazing. I know it's cliche, but it only seems like yesterday Michele was waddling around pregnant getting diapers and a crib ready.
I had a meeting at work I couldn't get out of today so I missed out on the fun. Michele took the girls up to the mountains so they could play in the snow. Zoe took a skiing course.
Here are a few pictures:
Zoe on the lift
Mira sliding down the hill
Yah, you probably don't care for the pictures, but they are my kids and I like the pics.
In other news, I've been playing around with blogrolling and it appears to work if the blogging tool updates the weblogs.com and blo.gs sites. Movabletype and Blogger Pro have this built in. Other systems make it a bit more complicated, but it can be done.
So if you can set your system to ping weblogs.com and blo.gs, please do it. Thanks.
One last thing before sleep.
When Michele and I went to Amoeba records on Saturday I picked up two albums. I had read about The Roots - Phrenology on Doc's site and others so I picked it up. I also got a copy of the new System of a Down album as well. Michele got the new Red Hot Chili Peppers and a mini-ep of G-Love & Special Sauce.
I really like the Roots CD. I haven't had a chance to listen to the SoaD CD yet. Hopefully on the drive to work tomorrow I'll have a few minutes.
The last day of my long vacation has turned into night. What did I do? Seems like not much.
We lounged around this morning reading the papers and I was able to enjoy a full cup of coffee. I finally got my ass in gear and went out to the garage.
I cleaned up the garage quite a bit. I pulled out two garbage cans of crap, swept and got things in order. I also took time to fix a broken power cord and replace the end of a hose that broke. The TV was on and I saw the end of Pittsburgh/Giants game. I can't believe people left the stadium early.
After the garage, I took photos of a bunch of crap and put it upon eBay for sale. Two items have sold already!
I thought about going out on another geocache but I just couldn't get my ass in gear.
I guess I should write up my geocaching stories now. This week is going to get busier and busier.
The sugars to alcohol conversion is taking place now in the wort. In other words, the yeast is working and the brew is on it's way to being beer.
In other news, I did a geocache today solo. I thought it would be a simple cache, but ended up being quite a hike. More alter.
The kids are at my parents and Michele and I went out to see The Two Towers at the Cinerama Dome. Michele was seeing it for the first time, so we went to the best theater in LA. Afterwards, we had dinner at the East India Grill on La Brea. Great food!
I brewed the batch of Belgian Ale last night. I even used Brad's wort cooler. Very nice.
I pitched the yeast around 7PM and it's still not fermenting. It's been almost 14 hours now...
I'm starting to worry. I worry every time I brew that the yeast won't start. It's only happened once, but the fear haunts me.
Please start fermenting....
For a long time now I have been dismayed at the general news about cloning as a 'frankenstein' science. Politicians get in front of microphones and declare to 'stop cloning' as if it is some terrible thing.
I flet rather alone in my view that cloning, like many other fruits of science, is not inherently wrong, but could be used in wrong way. Is electricity wrong because people can killed in an electric chair? Are painkillers wrong because some people can abuse them?
I read in the LA Times yesterday a great essay about cloning. Go ahead and read it, I'll wait.
That essay pretty much sums up my view of the cloning issue. This quote from teh article is dead on: "The soul of science is found in courageous thought and creative experiment, not in restrictive fear and prohibitions. For science to progress it must be given the opportunity to succeed or fail."
The writer of the essay, Michael Shermer, is guy that fights for the triumph of reason over fear and ignorance. I wish we had more thinkers like him in the public view.
Ok, I'll do the Friday Five before shutting off the computer.
1. Do you wear any jewelry? What kind?
I wear two rings. On my left hand is my wedding ring and on my right is a ring Michele gave me on my first Father's Day.
2. How often do you wear it?
I don't take them off.
3. Do you have any piercings? If so, where?
No. I'm not a piercing guy.
4. Do you have any tattoos? If so, where?
Yes, one. On my chest is Michele's name and her symbol.
5. What are your plans for the weekend?
The only plans are dinner and a movie on Saturday night since the kids will be spending the night at my parents house.
Today on Slashdot I read about a new Star Trek episode based on the original series called Starship Exeter. I downloaded the movie from a mirror and checked out a few clips. I didn't want to watch it on the computer, I wanted to watch it on TV. So I converted the .mov files to .mpeg files and then burned the show as a VCD.
I was then able to watch an episode of Star Trek from the comfort of bed. The episode wasn't bad either. It had many of the classic scenes from The Original Series like a red shirt getting killed and shirts getting ripped during a fight.
I finished Masters of Deception and The Skystone this week. Both were pretty good. My hacking & phreaking took place before the events in Masters of Deception. The Skystone was great book melding Roman history with Arthurian legend. I was bummed to find that the next book in the series was not at the library. I picked up Big Fish by Thomas Perry instead.
I'm listening to Henry Rollins on Loveline now. It's a rerun, but it's worth listening to anyways.
Enough for now.
Help me dominate the world. Click here.
I was all ready to brew some beer today. I got out the gear I had recently purchased and started going over everything. Everything seemed in order, except the spigots that fit into the fermentation buckets. Take a look.
The damn spigots are missing. I went through everything three times. THey simply forgot to send them to me. I can't brew without them, the wort would spill out of the gaping hole. I could try to rig up a plug of some sort, but brewing is a finicky business. Patching the hole with duct tape would lead to some odd flavors.
The store is out in Riverside and I should be able to pick them up tomorrow. Why aren't they open today!!!
I trust that everyone had a fun New Year's Eve and now awaken ready for a new year.
We had a little get together and celebrated the New Year with the kids at 9PM - Midnight on the East Coast. We had shot off some fireworks earlier in the night and watched the Dick Clark Dropping of the Ball countdown at 9PM. The kids were excited and happy with all the fun and games.
We cleaned and cleaned until about 11:45PM before trying to get ready for Midnight. Soon after, we hopped into bed, tired from the long day.
Currently, I'm typing this from linux. Yesterday I got the Romtec Trios II installed. I booted up to the linux drive that I hadn't booted in months. It did not like my new video card at all. After messing around a bit with Mandrake 8.2, I finally decided I needed to install Mandrake 9.0 and wait for the release of Ximian Desktop for 9.0. Currently, Ximian only supports 8.2.
Right now I'm trying to get SMB browsing up on the box so I can grab files from Michele's computer. I miss Red Carpet, it makes things so much easier with dependencies.