The wedding is over. Lisa and Mark are hitched. The entire family is tired.
Tomorrow my little family returns home.
Too tired to do anything but pack. Blogging will have to wait.
Currently I'm on vacation in Cincinnati. But I'm working.
My sister-in-law is getting married on Saturday and there is plenty to do. At the moment, I am updating one of the computers and securing it against attack. It only had 27 Critical Updates to patch...
Not to mention the anti-virus scan...
Tonight is some sort of family dinner and I actually need to wear a jacket. It's hot here and the cicadas are loud. For all of LA's problems, weather and insects aren't issues back home.
California uber alles.
Today my parents, Pete & Judi Pusateri, celebrate FORTY YEARS of being married.
My mother wrote up the weekend on her weblog.
Stop for a minute and think about what it takes to go forty years in a marriage. It is an amazing accomplishment.
At dinner, I toasted them for forty years of marriage and to forty more. I hope you will too.
I'm in an Apple Store with my mother and she's considering buying an iBook.
Help. I'm surrounded.
OK, I'm tired of the virii.
If you are a Cruft reader and you use Windows, please go to Windows Update right now and hit Scan for updates, and get your system patched up.
Do it right now. I mean it. Don't make me come over there and yell at you.
Next, make sure your anti-virus software is running. If you don't think you have anti-virus software, go to Symantec and download the trial version of Norton Anti-Virus. Then install the software.
Do it right now. I'm not kidding. I'd hate for your computer to be a part of the virus problem. If you don't run anti-virus, I'm going to come over to you house with a baseball bat and smash your computer so it can't carry any more virii.
Regularly I get comments on the past entries of this weblog. People must find the posts via a search engine and think somehow I'm watching every single post for comments daily. An understanding of how weblogs and comments work is not pervasive.
Here are the kind of comments I get on my post about Burger King Tacos:
IM OVER THE ROAD TRUCK DRIVER. I WAS IN FLORIDA A FEW MONTHS AGO AND DECIDED TO STOP AT BURGER KING AND TRY THE NEW TACOS I HAD HEARD SO MUCH ABOUT.I GOT TWO TACOS AND WENT BACK OUT TO MY TRUCK TO EAT.TIME I GOT TO THE TRUCK THE STORE WAS CLOSED. I SAT IN THE SLEEPER AND OPENED THE TACOS AND TO MY SUPRISE THE TACOS LOOKED NASTY THEY HAD TAKEN A HAMBURGER PATTY CUT IT IN HALF AND PLACED IT INTO THE SHELL WITH CHEESE LETTUCE AND SOME KIND OF SAUSE PUT INTO A MICROWAVE AND HEATED IT UP. I ATE BECAUSE IT WAS LATE AND THEY HAD ALREADY CLOSED. BIG MISTAKE I GOT SO SICK AND STILL GET A SICK FEELING EVERTIME I PASS A BURGER KING. I AM SO GLAD THEY STOPPED SELLING THEM BUT I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO BRING MYSELF TO EVEN TURN AROUND IN A BURGER KING PARKING LOT LET ALONE GO IN AND EAT.
Posted by: TED on July 22, 2003 07:18 PM
I LIVE IN PENNSYLVANIA. WHY DID YOU STOP SELLING THE TACOS?????? FINALLY AFTER YEARS OF NO MORE JACK IN THE BOX FOUND TACOS THAT ARE VERY MUCH LIKE THEIRS AND I JUST LOVE THEM AND SO DOES MY DAUGHTER. PLEASE BRING THEM BACK; GUESS I'LL HAVE TO GO BACK TO MCDONALDS BECAUSE THE TACOS ARE WHY I WENT TO BURGER KING
Posted by: LINDA on August 19, 2003 12:10 PM
Ted had a bad experience and Linda thinks I am Burger King. There's not much I can do to help these people.
Sometimes I do get comments that need a reply. Take a look at some of the comments in the post about Red Licorice Soda:
this is jeffrey patskan and i would like to try your red licorice soda how can i purchase it or where can i buy it thankyou. and you can e-mail me thanks and have a nice day.
Posted by: jeffrey patskan on August 4, 2003 12:10 PM
this is jeffrey patskan and i love pepsiblue soda and it is my favorite soda thankyou. and here is a blacklicorice flavored sodadrink for you to try and you take pepsibluesoda and you mix it with a little orangedrink and you get a greenish darkgreenish color and that is how you make blacklicorice flavored soda thankyou and if you try it you mighnt like it too. and you can also share this drink with kids too. and you can e-mail me thanks and have a nice day too.
Posted by: jeffrey patskan on August 19, 2003 06:33 PM
this is jeffrey patskan and i really do love pepsiblue soda thankyou. and i hope that you enjoy my blacklicorice flavored sodadrink because i tried it when i made it and it was sweet and good thankyou. and i like all kinds of soda too thankyou. but my favorite is pepsiblue soda and my favorite one also is the new blacklicorice soda drink that i made thankyou. and you can e-mail me at email@example.com thankyou and take care and have a nice day too.
Posted by: jeffrey patskan on August 19, 2003 06:53 PM
Not only does Jeffery come to realize that I am not selling soda, but attempts to share his knowledge with me. I can appreciate that. Here's what I wrote back to Jeffrey:
Thank you for your idea for black licorice soda. The next time I get to the store, I'm going to pick up some Pepsi Blue and Orange Soda and make Black Licorice Soda.
Keep up the good work!
Here is a recent comment that I love:
fuck this fuckin website, fuck...
Posted by: pj on August 16, 2003 09:42 PM
Evidently pj has some issues with my site.
Anyone else get weird comments on their sites?
Intrigued, I bought one. Today was the first test of it. As usual, I documented the event.
This is the package as it arrived. Looks good.
I opened the package and it had a bit of a cheap feel to it. The warming area was shiny and felt greasy. The workmanship left something to be desired.
Notice that I brought the warmer to work to test it there. You don't think I'd risk my home computer with this thing do you?
Unfortunately the USB Warmer didn't warm very well. Perhaps it would be better called the USB Lukewarmer. The blue LED in the USB flashed nicely, and the red/green LED on the warmer also flashed nicely. Too bad it didn't warm anything much. To think the instructions warn against burning yourself...
The engineer in me got the better of me and I popped the back off to see what was inside being lukewarm. I was a little suprised to see two voltage regulators used as the 'heating element' of the warmer. The designer was counting on the byproduct heat of the LM317T regulators to be enough to keep coffee or tea warm. It was a bad idea. I think they need more power or different regulators.
Not to mention the soldering job itself. I think I could have done a better soldering job than this in elementary school.
Overall, the device is a piece of crap, not worth the money or the time I spent playing with it.
Lessee here, the weekend is almost over and I still don't feel rested. Perhaps I got too much sleep. Perhaps the music will get me going.
On Saturday night, I went out with James and saw SWAT. I was pleasantly suprised. SWAT is a good action movie, no more, no less. The movie had the feel of the TV show (which remember watching on TV back in the day) and didn't go off the deep end in effects or plot. The basic ideas were plausible as opposed to the Bad Boys 2 invasion of Cuba.
At the movie I saw the trailer of Timeline. I read the book it's based on a while ago. It looks to me like they changed the plot quite a bit. Crichton gets involved with the filming of his novels, so I'm sure it will be fine, but I hope they keep many of the key parts of the book in the movie.
Today, we went to go see Steel Conflict, a robot war event.
I've been to a robot fighting event before and knew it could be fun. The event itself was at the Petersen Automotive Museum. An amazing place in itself.
Unlike the last event I went to, this event was outdoors. The sun made it harder to see what was going on inside due to glare, but it was fun nevertheless. People really put a lot into the robots and it's great to watch them go into battle.
This is my favorite robot. It's 7 feet in diameter. On the inside you see those red areas. The inside of the robot spins like a washing machine. When another robot goes on top, it starts getting bludgeoned by the spinning bars. Quite impressive when you see the robot shredding the wheels on another robot.
I'll have to keep an eye on the Robot Fighting League site to see when the next battle is scheduled in LA.
I guessed I missed posting on Fair and Balanced Friday. My brother did a good fair and balanced post though. It's Saturday morning and finally life has slowed down a bit.
Yesterday evening, James and I went to go see Pirates of the Caribbean . Damn that was a good movie. I really enjoyed the film. Even the British uniforms were dead on accurate. You know my Age of Sail thing. Coming in November is Master and Commander, a film based on the novels of Patrick O'brien. Russel Crowe stars as Jack Aubrey. Of course, I much prefer C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower stories, but I'll take what I can get when it comes to Age of Sail stuff.
I digress. We saw the movie at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood. The film was played digitally on screen with a high end DLP projector. This technology is the future of cinema, and it looks good. Once the price of the equipment drops and a good method of distribution is developed this will be the way most people see movies.
I got a nice note from Norah telling me how much she likes Cruftbox. She's just starting out into blogging and I pointed her toward using Typepad instead of Blogger. You can cheer her on at Cogitations.
Speaking of Typepad, I saw great demo of it this week. We use Movable Type at the office for a few things and while I was in New York, we had a meeting with some 'influential people' about Typepad and the future path of Movable Type in regards to using them in business. Typepad is quite impressive and the future MTPro software should be able to help a wide range of businesses organizations beside feature hungry, power bloggers.
If anyone else is just getting started into weblogging, I highly recommend going with Typepad.
In other news, I guess in need to help out my NYC friend Keith. It seems he didn't have a flashlight, batteries, radio, or even emergency cash. I guess out here in LA we take the earthquake threat seriously that everyone seems to have emergency supplies in the house. I'm glad to hear that he and everyone else I know in New York made it through fine.
I stumbled upon VentureBlog, which is an interesting site for people that deal with technology planning. I deal with a lot of this stuff at work and even deal with our in-house VC people from time to time, so I find much of the stuff relevant to the discussions we have at work. It's buzz & tech heavy, so consider yourself warned.
Gizmodo continues to be a fun site. The amount fo new gadgets rolling out is astounding.
While on my trip to New York I finished Google Hacks and started Guns, Germs, and Steel. Yes, I know I asked you all for suggestions and promptly ignored them. The day before my trip I walked into a brick & mortar book store and had to buy something. I couldn't remember what people had recommended, so I bought what I had been pondering.
The DaVinci Code will probably be next since three different people recommended it to me in one week.
Alright, that's enough for now. Time to get started with the day.
Tomorrow will be Fair and Balanced day. Please take part.
I returned home after the plane ride, walked into the house and began sweating.
My assumption was the that the air conditioning was off, but when I looked at the panel, it was running.
After much investigation, I finally found that the entire chiller coil was frozen over with ice. Solid ice. I just spent the last 2 hours trying to defrost it.
The fan needs to run all night and probably all day to get all the ice melted and the water cleared out before I can turn on the AC again.
What a welcome home. Time for bed.
As I type this, I'm somewhere over the middle of America in the plane heading home. Unfortunately, I put the computer into standby and most of the battery drained.
Here's a bit of randoms thoughts on my last five days in New York.
On Saturday night I arrived into town, checked into the hotel, and promptly found my self with nothing to do. I checked my email and saw a note from Keith at Unrelated News about Wifi access in the city. I gave Keith a call and we decided to go out and have some drinks.
The different thing about going out with Keith is that we had never meet before or even talked on the phone. Keith was the old room mate of James, my wife's cousin. We had been reading each others weblogs for a while and exchanging occasional emails.
I took a cab downtown and met up with Keith in front of a bar. We grabbed some drinks and started chatting. It was like talking with an old friend. We knew what was going on in each others lives and were able to talk about past events. I had a good time. The fact that the internet had allowed us to get us to know each other fairly well before actually meeting was fairly amazing.
TIme to shutdown the computer due to battery issues. More later.
Busy day. Several different meetings in several parts of town. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in nice places around town.
New York is one expensive town.
OK, time to go out and smoke cigars.
WiFi access at the Starbucks at Central Park West is good. I'm sitting here with a coffee and obviously typing away. There isn't much for me to do today, so I am going to wander around NY a bit.
Michele asked me to pick up some fabric for her down in the Village, but the store isn't open yet. Perhaps they are closed on Sunday. So until I figure out what to do, I'll just sit, surf, and drink my coffee.
My location and how to reference it in NYC is a bit of mystery to me. Supposedly this area is called 'midtown'. I don't know the zip code. Are zip codes important in NY? How will I find a movie?
There are three young Italian women sitting nearby. One of them has been ranting nonstop about something for 15 minutes. Every couple of minutes she pauses and says, 'eh?' waiting for the others to acknowledge here. They murmur something and then the rant continues. I wish I spoke Italian so at least I knew what her problem was. It's really bugging her.
Currently I'm at 41,000 feet in a private jet. It's 12:50PM PDT.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm flying to New York today. Yesterday I got a phone call from the company travel group and they asked if I wanted to fly out on the company's private jet instead of on United. What else could I say but "Yes!"
This is one of the kick ass perks of being inside on the evil trans-national corporation.
I think the plane is a Gulfstream something. There's about 10 seats and a galley. The chairs are more like Lazy-Boy recliners than aircraft seats. Each seat has a personal monitor jack for watching DVDs, music channels and even 110 AC power outlets. Everything is made of wood and leather. There are only 5 passengers, 4 adults and 1 child. It is quite a luxurious way to travel.
America is scrolling by beneath me, a patchwork of farms, desert, highways, rivers and mountains. This flight is not making me want to take more flights, it's making me want to drive across the country and see all the things I'm flying over.
I'm leaving an hour for New York. I've got a business trip and I'll be in NYC for a few days.
Hopefully the hotels and local hot spots will allow me to blog from Manhattan.
I hope my liver can take four days in The City That Doesn't Sleep.
Wandering the net I stumbled onto a story about raising the Tricolor from the English Channel on Critical Section The Tricolor was a huge car carrier ship that sunk last December loaded with expensive European cars.
The way they are solving it is pretty damn cool.
Be sure to check out the whole Critical Section site. It's a pretty cool weblog.
I finished my most recent book a few days ago and am ready to start a new one. On my nightstand is Illium, the new book by Dan Simmons. It's a big book around 600 pages that will take me a while to read. I'm not sure I feel like a reading another long novel right now.
I am looking forward to the Tivo Hacks book, but it's not out yet. I've looked over the table of contents and it appears to be chock full of cool stuff for me to play with. There's another two books coming out, Hacking the Tivo and Hacking Tivo, but neither of them are out yet either.
Maybe it's time to go off the normal path and finally read Guns, Germs, and Steel, supposedly a great book on history.
What to do, what to do? Perhaps a trip to the library is in order.
That's all for now. Back to surfing the web aimlessly for you.
I finished one of my birthday books today.
This novel is mix of old style detective novels and cyberpunk. In the future the technology exists to move a person's consciousness from body to body. Death is avoidable for a price and bodies are regularly sold as 'sleeves'.
Takeshi Kovacs is a specially trained warrior/diplomat known as an Envoy that is pulled out of storage work on a case for a weathly man from Earth. The story launches into a firestorm of action and plot twists.
The author doesn't let the technology get in the way of what is really a detective novel. Piece after piece is laid as you discover what is going on along with the protaganist from his point of view rather than seeing everything from the omniscient POV that is common in many Sci-Fi novels.
If you like crime and detective novels, this book is for you. It's a quick read, and the pace is good for reading a chapter at a time.
Over at PVR Blog, Matt was talking about video extraction. He mainly talks about the difficuly of doing it on the Series 2 boxes. I decided to make up a page about how you do the extraction on a Series 1.
You can read it here: Video Extraction from a Tivo
As usually, I put in some highly detailed graphics....
Friday I took the new Gold Line to work. I got on at the Mission station and rode it to Union Station, where I switched to the Red Line. From the Red Line station at Universal City I took bus 96 to the office. $3 for the fares. I had plenty of time to read my book and I didn't have to worry about anything.
I was quite pleased. I only wish LA had an even more extensive rail system.
That night I took the train back to Hollywood & Vine to meet up with Michele to have dinner and see a movie. The girls were with our great, new babysitter. After dinner we saw the movie Buffalo Soldiers. The story takes place in Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. A few people are worked up that the story shows the US soliders in a bad light surrounded by drugs and crime. Unfortunately, there is much truth in the portrayal of that era. I had several friends that joined the Army after college and were stationed in Germany. They told me stories about the rampant drug use and the low morale.
The actors in the film did a good job, but the director couldn't seem to make up his mind about what the story was. A romance? a crime story? the fall of an anti-hero/ You don't really feel for any of the characters and don't care a tremendous amount about what happens. The action switches direction in someplaces for no reason, and there is no follow-up the what happens to several of the characters.
It's worth a DVD rental, but it wasn't worth a a pair of $14 Arclight tickets.
On Saturday I took the train up to Arcadia and did some shopping. I actually got to the shopping place faster on the train than if I would have taken the car. I'm getting hooked on the train.
Today I went down to my parent's house with the girls. I introduced them to Model Rocketry. Last week I picked up a set of Micro Maxx mini rockets. The only pack 200 milli-newton/seconds of thrust so they only go up 50-75 feet. The quiet street my parent's live was perfect.
The girls loved the rockets and wanted more. I only had three mortors, so I have to order more. Good times.