Posts with mood stressed (22)

No Requiem for the Space Age: The Apollo Moon Landings and American Culture review
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2014-08-12 20:18:00
Tags: reviews books
Words: 118

No Requiem for the Space Age: The Apollo Moon Landings and American CultureNo Requiem for the Space Age: The Apollo Moon Landings and American Culture by Matthew D. Tribbe
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I did learn something from this book - the Apollo missions (really, the whole space race) were pretty controversial, and opposition to them came from both the left and right. In fact, a year after Apollo 11 less than half of the people in a poll could name Neil Armstrong as the man who first walked on the moon. (the number is higher now)

Other than that, though, the book was just kind of long and meandering and depressing. I'm not sure what I was expecting, I guess, but I was disappointed.

View all my reviews


link friday: Mayday PAC succeeds!, net neutrality, solar cells in pavement
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2014-05-16 11:59:00
Tags: activism links
Words: 482

- The Mayday PAC that I mentioned last week met their $1 million goal! They have a $6 million goal for June, which is...ambitious.

- The FCC proposed some rules that would let ISPs accept payment for faster traffic, which is against the principles of net neutrality. But they're not final yet, and you can comment on them! Here's what I wrote - feel free to copy and paste!:

I believe internet providers should not be allowed to establish or accept payment for so-called "fast lanes". I also believe the FCC should using Title II to regulate internet providers, as they are a sort of common carrier.

Here's a pretty evenhanded description of net neutrality and such, and if you want another reason to hate Time Warner/Comcast, they've been investing in broadband infrastructure much less than they used to, probably because there's very little competition. (the lack of competition would be good to mention in your FCC comment!)

- That Amazing 'Solar Roadways' Project Has a Working Prototype - wow, their Indiegogo campaign looks pretty impressive (and it's 20% funded!), although I'm guessing that they're expensive to produce. Still, they do at least have a working prototype! (thanks Doug)!

- DATA Act signed into law - hopefully it will bring greater transparency to government data.

- Why do gay couples use the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife,’ rather than ‘partner’? - from a new LGBT advice column in the Washington Post. I can certainly understand the confusion here, and I'll admit I sometimes revert to referring to David as my "partner" in some situations. But I do prefer "husband" since it seems more accurate. Also, asking which person is the "wife" versus the "husband" shows a serious lack of understanding...

- AT&T’s GigaPower plans turn privacy into a luxury that few would choose - it costs at least an extra $30/month (plus one-time fees) to not have AT&T monitor your packets and serve you "relevant" ads, under the innocent-sounding name "AT&T Internet Preferences". You stay classy, AT&T! Even Google Fiber is better than this (from their privacy notice):
Technical information collected from the use of Google Fiber Internet for network management, security or maintenance may be associated with the Google Account you use for Fiber, but such information associated with the Google Account you use for Fiber will not be used by other Google properties without your consent. Other information from the use of Google Fiber Internet (such as URLs of websites visited or content of communications) will not be associated with the Google Account you use for Fiber, except with your consent or to meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.

- All Science Is Wrong, Concludes Esteemed Fox News Panel - sigh

- How STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Is A Crypto-Truther Conspiracy Movie - wow...I remember thinking at the time that the plot made very little sense (even as I was watching it!), but I guess this makes it make more sense?


finishing Android, starting Windows Phone 7. And happy car milestone!
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2011-11-14 10:40:00
Tags: car windowsphone projects android
Words: 320

I'm basically done with FlightPredictor for Android. I started almost three months ago, so one major takeaway is that apps take a long time to write. It took a bit longer since I hadn't done any Android work before, but most of the design was just copying the existing apps, so maybe that balances out?

To set the record straight, some of my Android complaints were unfair, and once I got into the swing of things I got things working in fairly short order. (although some still stand) So it's not a terrible environment to develop in, although Java isn't my favorite language, but having to design for a ton of different screen sizes with a ton of different OS versions combined with the fact that there doesn't seem to be many standards for interaction really made it a drag.

Oh, and I tried filtering a list on David's phone and it was very fast. I'd estimate the emulator is something like 20x slower than running on a phone. Which worked out nicely since I didn't have to optimize anything further, but it sure does make testing on the emulator painful!

Next up is a Windows Phone 7 version, which I've just started. I'm guessing with the holidays it will take a bit longer than three months, but since I'm already moderately familiar with WPF/Silverlight/C#, perhaps it will go faster.


My Prius hit 100K miles last week! I've been pretty happy with it - since I bought it 7 years ago it's only had a few problems. It's averaged just under 43 MPG over that time. A quick comparison with a Camry (which gets ~28MPG):

Gallons per 100K miles23253571
Price for gas (at $3/gallon)$6975$10713

So I've saved more than $3500 on gas already, which is a bit less than the premium I paid for the car, but it's pretty close. Here's to 100K more miles!

1 comment

occupy wall street via cookie monster, scientologists, etc. links
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2011-10-25 10:37:00
Tags: politics links
Words: 481

Cookie Monster explains Occupy Wall Street. No, really, here's the text:

Yes, there always going to be rich and poor. But we used to live in country where rich owned factory and make 30 times what factory worker make. Now we live in country where rich make money by lying about value of derivative bonds and make 3000 times what factory worker would make if factories hadn't all moved to China.

Capitalism great system. We won Cold War because people behind Iron Curtain look over wall, and see how much more plentiful and delicious cookies are in West, and how we have choice of different bakeries, not just state-owned one. It great system. It got us out of Depression, won WWII, built middle class, built country's infrastructure from highways to Hoover Dam to Oreo factory to electrifying rural South. It system that reward hard work and fair play, and everyone do fair share and everyone benefit. Rich get richer, poor get richer, everyone happy. It great system.

Then after Reagan, Republicans decide to make number one priority destroying that system. Now we have system where richest Americans ones who find ways to game system -- your friends on Wall Street -- and poorest Americans ones who thought working hard would get them American dream, when in fact it get them pink slip when job outsourced to 10-year-old in Mumbai slum. And corporations have more influence over government than people (or monsters).

It not about rich people having more money. It about how they got money. It about how they take opportunity away from rest of us, for sake of having more money. It how they willing to take risks that destroy economy -- knowing full well that what could and would happen -- putting millions out of work, while creating nothing of value, and all the while crowing that they John Galt, creating wealth for everyone.

That what the soul-searching about. When Liberals run country for 30 years following New Deal, American economy double in size, and wages double along with it. That fair. When Conservatives run country for 30 years following Reagan, American economy double again, and wages stay flat. What happen to our share of money? All of it go to richest 1%. That not "there always going to be rich people". That unfair system. That why we upset. That what Occupy Sesame Street about.

After the South Park episode that mocked them, Scientologists tried to "infiltrate the writers room" and get dirt on Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

A former skeptic agrees after doing his own study: global warming is really and truly happening. (thanks David!)

The Wirecutter is a "list of the greatest gadgets". (written by a former Gizmodo writer) Obviously if you're interested in gadgetry, you should do more research, but if you just want a good camera or TV or whatever, this is a great resource!

The Venn Piagram!


Unusually good links
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2011-06-06 13:15:00
Tags: politics links
Words: 240

I usually wait and queue these up a bit, but these are too good to hold on to!

- Our Fantasy Nation?: I'll quote the beginning, and let you read the article for the punchline.

With Tea Party conservatives and many Republicans balking at raising the debt ceiling, let me offer them an example of a nation that lives up to their ideals.

It has among the lowest tax burdens of any major country: fewer than 2 percent of the people pay any taxes. Government is limited, so that burdensome regulations never kill jobs.

This society embraces traditional religious values and a conservative sensibility. Nobody minds school prayer, same-sex marriage isn’t imaginable, and criminals are never coddled.

The budget priority is a strong military, the nation’s most respected institution. When generals decide on a policy for, say, Afghanistan, politicians defer to them. Citizens are deeply patriotic, and nobody burns flags.
(via flamingophoenix, which is also an excellent username!)

- Slate uses Rotten Tomatoes data to chart the course of an actor's or director's career, and even lets you make graphs of your own!

- The Alamo Drafthouse is serious about not texting during a movie. See their latest PSA featuring an angry voicemail!

- This Daily WTF made me blink in disbelief. The first four lines:
/* this is my function to conveniently divide even when things are zero */
function safely_divideByZero($numerator,$denominator)
    /* check to see if the denominator == "php" - remember, 0 == "php" */
    if ( $denominator == "php" )

1 comment

many links categorized
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2011-05-18 10:33:00
Tags: gay links
Words: 204

long reads:
Details on the Google Skyhook lawsuit with lots of details on the power Google has over handset manufacturers who use Android. A long New Yorker article about a whistleblower of sorts being prosecuted, and how the Obama administration has been prosecuting whistleblowers just as much as the Bush administration.

John McCain writes an editorial explaining how torture didn't help catch bin Laden (although it did give false intelligence) and we shouldn't do it anyway.

gays in sports:
A former Villanova basketball player comes out and says his teammates knew at the time (and no one cared). An executive for the Phoenix Suns comes out, and players are supportive. Charles Barkley (God bless him) says pro athletes have almost certainly played on a team with someone who's gay (himself included), and who cares?

gays in New York:
Wealthy donors to the Republican party are backing gay marriage in New York. Surprised? I was. But it just goes to show a New York Republican is in a very different class than, say, a Texas Republican.

fun baseball videos:
A fan runs onto the field at an Astros game, and it doesn't end like you expect! And during a rain delay, college players joust.


I am the linkman
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2011-03-22 11:15:00
Tags: gay taxes links
Words: 161

- Firefox 4 is out today! Read about some of the changes (I've been using the beta for a while: it's significantly faster than 3.6) and download your copy today!

- Another poll shows more than half of Americans say gays and lesbians should be able to marry, which shows a "dramatic, long-term shift in public attitudes". In 2004 only 32% of Americans did, compared to 53% now. That is astounding!

- Another graph of tax rates over time - it uses relative colors rather than absolute, so it's less data-heavy than this old one, but it's certainly prettier! Yet another indication that taxes are quite low historically.

- Newly packed trains a mixed blessing for MetroRail - turns out they are meeting their projections, but they don't have money to buy more trains or expand the existing ones.

- After the Carmen Sandiego flashback, here's the story of Oregon Trail.

- Hurley from Lost visits a Lost-themed bar, appropriately named "Bharma". Jorge Garcia seems like a cool guy :-)

1 comment

Groupon for engagement photo session
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2011-02-14 11:25:00
Words: 49

Our wedding photographer Eric Hegwer has a groupon for a $70 engagement photo session. He took great pictures for us at our wedding, and this seems like a great price - check it out!

Future U.S. History Students: 'It's Pretty Embarrassing How Long You Guys Took To Legalize Gay Marriage'


MetroRail and links
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2010-05-04 11:53:00
Tags: pictures links
Words: 205

On Saturday, we took the MetroRail downtown to the Pecan Street Festival. It was quite crowded, but apparently that doesn't mean there will be Saturday service in the future. The single track problem is really a big obstacle at this point. I took some pictures:

while we were there, we walked by a booth for the Austin Planetarium, which doesn't exist yet. Did you know that Austin is the biggest city in the US with no planetarium? Or that Dallas has 12 of them? So we joined, mostly to stick it to Dallas. Jerks!

At the Palm Developer Day, I had my picture taken with my app. Nerdy, I know!

The Alamo Drafthouse is looking at eliminating lines at the South Lamar theatre and moving to a Southwest-style system. (with a followup post) They're also looking at more healthy food items.

Why do we root for underdogs?

A visualization of what color cultures associate with ideas - interesting that ones like heat, anger, truce, success are relatively uniform but death, peace, love are not.

Amazon is releasing a little bit of data about what people are reading on the Kindle, specifically the most highlighted passage - I mentioned the possibility earlier, but now I want more data!


Mood: stressed
Posted on 2010-03-19 13:14:00
Tags: politics links
Words: 155

It looks like the health care bill is going to have a vote on Sunday. TPM has constant updates. Nate Silver thinks things are looking relatively good for it to pass, although there's still time for it to fall apart. Firedoglake is keeping track of the whip count.

Remember that NY state senator who slashed his girlfriend in the face with a broken drinking glass? He got expelled from the state senate but was running for election again. Thankfully, he got crushed by another Democrat, who supports marriage equality to boot!

Wal-Mart is adding "MoneyCenters" to more of their stores, which offer check cashing at a much cheaper price than most other places. Neat!

It's official: the first Millennium Prize has been awarded to Grigoriy Perelman for solving the Poincaré Conjecture, although odds are he won't accept it. Who's up for proving the Riemann Hypothesis next?

Advice for filling out the Census for same-sex couples.

1 comment

what a weird day
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2009-07-16 16:26:00
Tags: wedding
Words: 47

Still kinda stressed in general, but of the actual stuff we have to do, everything's going fine. We did at least get Sonic drinks, so that's a plus! Later tonight is dinner with the family/dropping off some clothes/maybe buying some tea/picking up a friend at the airport...


I'm in a hurry to get things done...
Mood: stressed
Music: Dave Matthews Band - "Funny the Way it is"
Posted on 2009-06-05 13:34:00
Tags: politics links
Words: 166

Obama gave a big speech in Cairo yesterday - here's the full text and the hour-long video. Pretty impressive and even-handed.

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, and the Chinese government tried to block foreign reporters from recording by...using umbrellas.

New Hampshire passed a same-sex marriage bill into law this week, leaving Rhode Island as the only New England state that hasn't legalized it. Which is pretty crazy when I stop and think about it. The map is turning more green!

A long article about gay marriage from a Burkean conservative point of view.

Loving Day, the anniversary of the Supreme Court striking down anti-mixed race marriage laws, is this weekend.

Cool guys don't look at explosions (video).

A long "screenplay" about how hard it is to get security right - this really opened my eyes!

Pixar vs. the Rest, or "Pixar movies, they make a lot of money and people like them".

Stem Cell Contact Lenses Cure Blindness in Less Than a Month - um, wow.


post-birthday blues
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2009-04-21 13:01:00
Tags: health rant birthday work wedding politics
Words: 297

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes! I had a nice dinner and post-dinner Rock Band session (we're Rock Immortals now!) and caught up a bit with my family. And we're making really good progress on wedding stuff, so that's gotten a lot less stressful. Also, now I'm 27, which is 33, and next year I'll be 28 which is a perfect number! (after that, it's all downhill, I'm sure)

That notwithstanding, things kinda suck right now. Let me run down why, because I'm sure you're all dying to know!

Torture - So when Ex-President Bush said "We don't torture", apparently what he meant was "We don't torture, except when we do". This is not terribly surprising, but it is a little depressing. (we waterboarded one guy 183 times in a month even after he had given up intelligence) I haven't had the heart to read the memos, but I applaud Obama for releasing them.

Work - The last week of work has been the worst week in at least a year. (I wish I had some sort of device where I recorded how work went that day, then I could track the data over time and say definitively how bad last week was!) This week is shaping up to be somewhat better, but it looks like I'm going to be generally stressed for at least another month and a half.

Teeth - As I mentioned, my filled tooth still hurts, and my mom and djedi convinced me to see the dentist again. And they took an X-ray and it looks like I need yet another root canal, to the tune of $1200 out of pocket. I'm going to get a second opinion, which means more work and stress and time away from work, which means more work stress. Argh.

1 comment

seriously, things are getting busy
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2008-06-03 14:28:00
Words: 18

A funny review of Kathleen Parker's new book about why women suck and men are awesome, or something.


short post
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2008-04-30 16:26:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft
Words: 33

Put some weekend pictures up.

We downed Gruul's Lair for the first time last night! Things went rather smoothly - the whole run took under two hours. Recruited a lot of new guildies too.


The next two weeks
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2007-12-30 10:00:00
Tags: phone work mortgage house
Words: 230

Here's what has to happen in the next two weeks:

- New year's party (fun!)
- Shuffling money around in anticipation of making a down payment
- Picking a mortgage broker/company and finishing that paperwork
- Next weekend: Drive to Houston for djedi's brother's bachelor party.
- Next weekend: Probably with djedi's parents, looking at the house we're interested in again (and talking to neighbors about mosquitos?), as well as looking at a house we probably aren't interested in
- Figuring out whether a drainage ditch behind a house is bad or not
- Maaaaaybe, if all our ducks are lined up, making an offer on said drainage ditch house
- Holding the big proposal meeting for my big big feature at work (probably the most important meeting in my professional career thus far), attended by my former boss, boss, and boss's boss (and other people) which I stupidly scheduled for the day before...
- djedi's brother's wedding in Houston, for which I will have to drive down right after said meeting unless I can reschedule, which is unlikely given the number of people attending

After all that I'm gonna get me a new phone, the idea of which will hopefully get me through all of the above. I'm thinking either a Nokia 6133 or a Nokia 6263.

I'm declaring it's OK for myself to get very little else done as long as the bullet points above are hit.


just a day, just an ordinary day...
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2006-12-13 08:30:00
Tags: ljbackup politics links
Words: 465

On the way in to work this morning, I heard an editorial on Marketplace. (by David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush) He decried "populist economics" (basically the protectionist aspects of them) and sounded concerned since Democrats had just been elected. He said that, if they caused just half a percentage point of growth to disappear, that would be the equivalent of losing New Mexico's economic output, and in 20 years (assuming everything else stayed the same...) our economic advantage over China would be down to 3:2. But it was weird, because he never ever said a word about why assuming half a percentage point of growth would be lost was at all reasonable or anything. I'll excerpt from this Fire Joe Morgan post:

Then he said that maybe if Burnett hadn't mouthed off last year and been benched for the last week of the season, who knows, maybe 5 years $55 million could have been 5 years $75 million. Then, without backing that up, he then proceeded to chastise AJ Burnett for what he labeled a "$20 million dollar mistake."

You can't just make something up out of nowhere and then use the made-up thing to criticize someone for something that actually happened.

Maybe if Paul Konerko had not only hit 40 HR last year but has also invented a cold fusion machine, instead of $60 million from the ChiSox he might have gotten $50 billion from the government. That's a $49.994 billion mistake.

Hee hee. I love that blog!

Speaking of good blogs, Raymond Chen of The Old New Thing has written a book that I want. I'd ask for it for Christmas, but it's coming out just afterwards. Bad timing, publisher! The Old New Thing is an excellent, excellent blog on Windows programming that explains why a lot of the things in Windows are the way the are. (the answer is almost always "backwards compatibility", in case you were wondering :-) ) I don't even do much Windows programming anymore and I still try to keep up with it...

Last night I was working on LJBackup, and was trying to get the stupid AJAX piece (using prototype.js which I'm not terribly familiar with) to do a form POST correctly to a Ruby CGI script (also shaky ground for me). I got so darn frustrated I pounded my desk in frustration, and then my computer fan started making a scaryish noise. And then, when I tapped (fine, "hit") the computer to stop that, the hard drive started going "" which scared the heck out of me, so I had to Alt-SysRq-B to get it to reboot. And then everything was fine. And then I gave up for the night and played Wii Tennis and got to the Pro level. So there!

Flu shot today!


perhaps perhaps perhaps
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2006-03-24 13:07:00
Tags: computer links
Words: 94

I just heard 94.7 boast about how their studio was "AMD-powered". Neat!

Got a new motherboard (third one this month, for those of you keeping score at home) that will undoubtedly work out of the box and not have any problems ever.

How does one become a ninja? - now you know!

Kotaku has some awesome features today - first showing the endings of two horrible Zelda games (not made by Nintendo, thank goodness), and then showing the beginnings of them as well. I'd point out particular parts that are bad, but really they're all hilarious!


linka linka linka
Mood: stressed
Posted on 2005-12-06 13:32:00
Tags: links
Words: 189

So I was going to write a real entry, but I'm busy, and have stressful things to do. So, I'm going to reduce some stress by posting some links I've been meaning to post. (these are not guaranteed to be interesting; check your owner's manual for details)

(oh, the other thing is that I got a small job doing some google mapsish stuff for someone. Neat!)

A puppet version of Serenity (not a video). Very very cute. The other movies he's done are pretty good as well.

Boo Ford! A CNN story on the same thing.

A story about a Fawlty Towers book that apparently has the script for an unaired thirteenth episode. Neat!

So a professor at the University of Kansas (I hate Kansas, by the way) was going to teach a class debunking intelligent design. Then he cancelled the class after sending out an email insulting religious conservatives, which seemed appropriate (the cancelling, not the insulting). Then he was sent to the hospital after being beaten up on the side of the road by men who referred to the class that didn't happen. That's really quite scary.


busy again, so this is short
Mood: stressed
Music: Destiny's Child with Elmo - "A New Way To Walk"
Posted on 2005-05-23 09:28:00
Words: 190

Darn...I had lots of topics to post about on Friday, but things are getting crazy busy here at work, and so I didn't get a chance. Sorry!

The weekend was pretty good - Friday night we celebrated wildrice13's birthday, Saturday we drove up to David's sister's place to celebrate David's nephew's birthday (and my birthday, too, since it's the same as his), and stayed there until Sunday, when we drove back to Austin to celebrate Cory's birthday (and wildrice13's again) and see Star Wars III.

I thought it was pretty good. Anakin's conversion to evil happened a bit too quickly for me, but the reasons were very convincing, and both he and Palpatine did a good job acting, which was a nice change of pace. The scene where Palpatine had all the Jedi killed was quite powerful...

So another busy week - we leave for Disney World on Friday, so I'm frantically trying to get my work stuff mostly done, as well as some trip stuff (although djedi is doing most of that, but I wish I could help out more...). So don't expect to see/hear from me much for a while :-)


Mood: stressed
Music: Vanessa Carlton - "Afterglow"
Posted on 2005-02-09 13:59:00
Words: 171

So work has been busy, but not too abnormally so, and I've been kinda busy this week with activities (but most of them fun/social-related), and for some reason I've been really stressed. At some points it's almost like a minor panic attack - my chest tightens up a bit and I feel like I have to get up and walk around or something. I've never experienced this exactly before - I've certainly been stressed before, but it's never had this physical effect on me.

Hopefully it's getting better, though - I'm trying to force myself to relax and cutting back on caffeine (which I was off of for a while, but I've been having more again for no particular reason).

Also, when I was getting help removing my old hard drive from my work computer on Monday, I cut my fingertip a bit, and so it hurts whenever it gets touched. This hasn't improved my mood much, although at least it's healing now (I bled a little on my keyboard, which is pretty disgusting...)


Ah, Virginia
Mood: stressed
Music: Zero 7 - "Destiny"
Posted on 2005-02-09 12:20:00
Words: 30

The Virginia House of Delegates was busy yesterday, striking back against the two most serious problems of our time - allowing everyone to get married and people wearing low-riding pants. Yeesh...


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