Posts with mood peaceful (7)

Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House book review
Mood: peaceful
Posted on 2013-11-28 19:47:00
Tags: reviews books
Words: 144

Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White HouseDays of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Baker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book is quite long, but it has a lot of fascinating details about the Bush presidency. I was most interested in what it had to say about the whole Iraq war thing - what I took away was that there were people who were thinking about going to war with Iraq very soon after 9/11, and while the administration may not have falsified intelligence about WMDs, it was very clear what the White House wanted to find which probably had some influence on the CIA.

It also talks about how Cheney did have a lot of influence during his first term, but his influence definitely waned by the second term.

Anyway, I'd definitely recommend reading it, even at over 800 pages(!)

View all my reviews


link friday: bank robber becomes a law clerk, homelessness is way down, "Same Love"
Mood: peaceful
Posted on 2013-08-30 15:00:00
Tags: links
Words: 378

- Shon Hopwood and Kopf’s terrible sentencing instincts - a blog post written by Judge Kopf about Shon Hopwood, who Kopf sentenced to 12 years in jail for robbing banks. After Hopwood got out, he went to law school and will be clerking for a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Down in the comments, Hopwood himself responds and they have a rather pleasant conversation! This comment on Hacker News sums it up well:

I feel like I'm in some fantasy alternate reality, where prison rehabilitation really works, and where the Internet is used for polite, intelligent, and uplifting discussion.
Just wonderful!

- The Astonishing Decline of Homelessness in America - thanks to programs put in place by Obama and George W. Bush(!); unfortunately, the sequester may threaten the progress we've made.

- Macklemore’s “Same Love” Is the Only VMA Performance Worth Remembering - this song has come up a lot on the radio stations we listen to lately, and every time I get chills. It just sounds so heartfelt (and the bit by Mary Lewis is beautiful!)

- How Poverty Taxes the Brain - thinking about financial problems causes a mental burden that is the equivalent of losing 13 IQ points.

- Booker OK With Speculation That He’s Gay: ‘So What Does It Matter If I Am?’ - excellent response from Cory Booker, who's running for the open Senate seat in New Jersey. Another quote:
I hope you are not voting for me because you are making the presumption that I’m straight.

- Bill Watterson: A cartoonist's advice - words by Bill Watterson, drawn by someone else (who does a good job mimicking Watterson's style!) I miss Calvin & Hobbes!

- College Footbal Grid of Shame - the "Admirable/Embarrassing" scale looked questionable at first, but there is at least a methodology to it. Also, Rice is just where it should be - in the upper-left quadrant :-)

- The Killing Machines: How to think about drones - good long article in the Atlantic. I'm glad our drone strikes have dropped off dramatically.

- English Letter Frequency Counts: Mayzner Revisited - using a bunch of Google book Ngrams data to get more recent frequency tables for letters, digrams, and words. Fun fact: R, L, and C are more popular than they used to be. (I'm a big R fan myself!)


Have a good Labor Day weekend!


link me baby one more time
Mood: peaceful
Posted on 2011-01-28 10:36:00
Tags: gay links
Words: 178

A recent poll shows again that the nation is split in thirds on gay marriage (with one third supporting civil unions but not marriage). 46% of Republicans support either marriage or civil unions! And there's the usual age related pattern as well. HRC has some more encouraging polling. (.pdf) But there have been a bunch of anti-marriage and civil unions legislation introduced in the states - if you see your state on that list, write your representative!

Netflix published the averaging bandwidth of their customers with different ISPs. Unfortunately the chart is a little hard to read, but I think that's Time Warner near the top? (Time Warner and AT&T are, annoyingly, very very close in color...)

An article on Slate about Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a really cool idea (get people to fund your project, nobody pays if you don't reach your funding goal), and I chipped in for the Hip-Hip Word Count because I love me some data :-)

Health care reform: not exactly popular but support for repeal is not particularly strong.

A cute live-action level of LittleBigPlanet.


sleep to dream
Mood: peaceful
Music: "1979" (IMH)
Posted on 2008-06-11 10:01:00
Tags: health dreams
Words: 343

My dreams have been bad lately - not nightmares, but unhappy enough that I toss and turn and wake up a lot each night. (or is that causing the bad dreams?) Example from last night:

I was with the Phils (including wildrice13!) and we were about to go on stage before a lot of people at a talent show or something. In the dream, I had been out of the Phils for a few years and it was sort of an alumni performance. (but most of the people were in it now and knew what was going on) We were just about to go on and Kevin (the director when I was there) took the piece of paper that had the set list on it and cut each song on a separate strip and rearranged them, and it was about that time I noticed that I didn't know some of these songs, and I hadn't sung any of them in a looong time.

So we went on and were about to start and I panicked and it went horribly. We started off from each other and sorta tried to fix it and we should have stopped singing and started over but we didn't. We finished the whole song that way and did a few more that were also horrible. We did a gimmicky "1979" and "1975" set (in the dream, "1975" was a song) so I got to sing with wildrice13.

That was pretty much it. It seemed a lot worse during the dream, of course. I played some GTA last night and "1979" came on the radio so I guess that's where that came from?

On a random note, I had some fillings done yesterday. They had to numb my gums an extra time since I felt a little bit at first so my cheek was numb for hours afterwards. And because my back molar needed filling and it was right below a salivary gland it took them three tries to fill (and they eventually had to use a different kind of filling).

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weekend shenanigans
Mood: peaceful
Posted on 2008-04-14 09:18:00
Tags: projects worldofwarcraft links
Words: 185

This weekend we ripped through Zul'Aman - first time for downing the bear boss in 20 minutes, downing the dragonhawk boss, downing the gauntlet and eagle boss (one-shot!), and downing the lynx boss. (I got a nice new chestpiece - now my frostbolts cast in 2.45 seconds!)

I've also been working on a new design for my frost mage DPS calculator - here's the new version versus the old version.

We also went to a few birthday parties and bought a new bed from Austin Discount Mattress, and took a very few pictures of said events. I'm going to take my camera places from now on instead of relying on my cameraphone - while it works in a pinch, the pictures are blurry and the color is always a bit off. I also learned that alcohol + hot tub is bad news for me, even after just one glass of wine. I got extremely woozy and lightheaded after a little while, and it all happened very fast. Anyway.

We need a Wikipedia for data - as an avid consumer of data, I heartily agree!

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People


RIP webmajig
Mood: peaceful
Posted on 2008-04-07 11:00:00
Tags: projects links
Words: 168

So I've been working on this startup in my spare time with some people, and it died Saturday night for reasons I'm not going to go into. The consequences are I'll have a little more free time and I'm looking for a new project! More work on the WoW Frost Mage DPS calculator is a possibility, but it doesn't honestly sound that interesting. I'm working on rewriting my gift list site in Django, but that's not really catching my fancy either.

We watched a lot of Battlestar Galactica this weekend, including the Season 4 premiere. Here's an primer to catch you up, or alternatively a video version called "What the frak?". Here's an old feature on what the heck Donnie Darko was about, which I found interesting.

And if you like people talking fast (long live ze frank!), check out Zero Punctuation, which is a 4-5 minute weekly review of video games. The gay jokes get a little annoying, but honestly it's worth it because it's pretty hilarious.


recent happenings-on
Mood: peaceful
Music: U2 - "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own"
Posted on 2006-06-07 09:10:00
Tags: politics
Words: 453

The Senate votes on the Federal Marriage Amendment today, which will not pass. On NPR on Wednesday, I heard a good series of stories about it, including a fiery speech by Harry Reid (D-NV, Minority Leader in the Senate) decrying the amount of time being spent on it since it has no chance of passing. Update - it failed 49-48, (so only 49 senators voted for it). Only one more person voted for it than in 2004, despite the fact there are 5 more Republicans in the Senate, and the AP calls it an "embarrassing defeat to President Bush". Woohoo!! (and I'll stop updating this post now)

Something I've been forgetting to mention - I got a summons for jury duty! I'm very excited. Unfortunately they have this new online system to sign up, which worked great, but I feel like I missed out on part of the experience. No matter - it's apparently a new system that isn't used many places. Anyway, I'm scheduled to serve sometime in mid-July (I'll find out more details before then)- w00t!

Went to the Round Rock Express game last night with Doug and Lucas - Teresa was supposed to come, but little Timmy had had a long day and was very tired and cranky, so she stayed home with him. We only ended up staying a few innings since Lucas was tired, too, but it was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful night, and it's very relaxing sitting in the grass behind the outfield wall. Also, Lucas was in a very inquisitive mood, but in a cute way, not an annoying one. We had quite the conversation when I was driving him to pick up Doug from Dell :-)

After reading "Baseball Between the Numbers" (a birthday present - thanks, Mom and Dad!), I fired up the old Win Expectancy Finder data to figure out what the expected number of runs in an inning is, given the current situation. Got the data collected, now I just need to write a frontend to it.

So after my bold statement of my goal, getting sound working on my computer was quite easy. For posterity, I have an MSI RD480 Neo2 motherboard, which has an onboard Realtek ALC880. All I had to do was download the Linux drivers, untar and run the install script. Dunno why that didn't work last time, but whatever.

Also, Google announced Google Spreadsheets yesterday. I signed up and got in - if anyone wants to try it out I can let you share my spreadsheet. It looks neat, but I couldn't think of anything to put in a spreadsheet. Also, I finally got my invitation to Google Analytics so I've been playing around with that. Looots of stats available :-)


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