oh, you lovable scamps
Posted on 2008-02-18 14:01:00
I have seen an Obama TV ad! I heard an Obama radio ad! The Alamo Drafthouse is showing the debate in Austin! Is this what it feels like to live in Iowa or New Hampshire? Because then I totally understand their being jerks about always going first.
Preordered Smash Bros today, and confirmed the Gamestop at the Arboretum will be open at midnight.(although it sounded like all the Gamestops might be)
Learning Django, and rewriting my wish list site. It's a little trickier than I had expected but a pretty neat framework.
tgif? I dunno
Posted on 2008-02-15 13:39:00
I played ultimate frisbee last night for the first time in 2 years or so. Wasn't planning on going since I wasn't feeling my best (although much better than previous days), but they needed 1-2 more people so I gave in. It turns out I can still throw a frisbee and I'm still out of shape, as expected :-) It was fun and a good workout. (even if I did a lot of walking near the end...)
Here's a big Guild Wars irritation: when you go out of a town into the world, and do a quest, and the last step of the quest is to return the people to the town. If you mistakenly walk inside the town before the quest "completes" you lose all your progress and have to start over. (one time we sat around for like a minute before it completed, last night the people to return were following me and djedi was a little ahead and so entered the city before they got to the right spot) This sucks, and I can think of two or three ways to fix it off the top of my head.
I cannot stop being excited about Smash Bros! March 9th can't come soon enough!
Posted on 2008-02-14 10:13:00
Tags: haskell programming politics links
Appropriately, the ban on selling sex toys in Texas was overturned (although it doesn't take effect until March). I swear, the laws we pass in this state. I wonder if there's a count somewhere of which state has had the most laws overturned by a federal court?
I think my stomachache yesterday was caused by the large mocha (four shots of espresso!) I had in the morning to try to curb my headache. Then I wasn't hungry for lunch, then I was very hungry for dinner. Anyway, that's all sorted out, and my head is doing significantly better. I slept much better than I thought I would. Hooray!
From this article about Clinton campaigning in Texas:
Delia Guajardo, 63, a retired administrative secretary, was among several in the crowd who said they don't foresee Obama swaying them: "Just the Obama name scares me. It's not a common name."Seriously? Seriously?? Maybe that's why Kucinich never wins the primary?
How am I feeling?
Posted on 2008-02-13 18:12:00
Posted on 2008-02-10 14:36:00
Tags: phone pictures camerapics house politics
Yesterday djedi's parents were around and we got a lot of stuff taken care of with the house. One of the more annoying things was countertops. Long story short: I don't recommend buying countertops from Home Depot.
Well, they charge by the square foot, but what they don't say is that they charge for the waste material too - so we get charged for all the extra runoff in the crazy corners and stuff, and you pay for the space the sink takes up even though no countertops go there. That alone increased the cost around 50%. Then, you get charged for them to take away the existing countertops, which is I guess reasonable but they didn't say anything when we were there the first time so we had no idea. Also, we're leaving the nice tile backsplash in but I guess it's more work for the installers to work around it, so that's an extra $150. And the guy said that sometimes they have problems and it may be unavoidable that they damage it, so I thought that $150 covered the "expected cost" of fixing it. As it turns out, no, if they mess it up they don't fix it at all. Lovely.
On top of that, it's our responsibility to disconnect and remove the sink before installation and put it back and replace and reconnect it afterwards. And, as if spending $4K on countertops wasn't enough, they charged us $1 per "rounded corner" for a total of $7. Seriously.
Compared with this, buying carpet from Lowe's was easy easy easy and I would totally recommend that over Home Depot. Blargh.
Since countertops were way more expensive than we thought we're going to pack our stuff ourselves. We'll set a date when we hear about carpet but if you have boxes and/or a free evening to help us pack, we would be very grateful!
I'm liking having a cameraphone, although the quality of the pictures isn't great: a sign seen at closing (I guess the point is they don't get paid if you don't close so they make you comfortable - we were repeatedly offered drinks, they had plenty of pens, etc.), a sign in the wire aisle of Home Depot.
Tomorrow I leave for Houston for work. Whee!
Obama cleaned up yesterday, winning with 68% in Washington and Nebraska and 57% in Louisiana. Woohoo!
Posted on 2008-02-06 13:49:00
Tags: health work
My right eye has been doing this weird twitching for the past 5 days or so. It doesn't happen all the time, and it doesn't hurt, but sometimes it'll just start twitching like the eyelid is stuck open or caught on something. And the eye does feel a little dry. Anyone have any clue whether this is serious or not? It's a little irritating, but I can live with it if it's not the sign of some larger problem (eye falling out, for example - that would be bad).
Work meeting #1 today, big work meeting #2 tomorrow.
Posted on 2008-02-05 23:07:00
Tags: smashbros wii
I have looked into the future and lo, it is good, and takes a while to relearn controls for the Wiimote, and there is lots of Japanese. Final Smashes are lots of fun and good but not game-breaking, Captain Olimar is fun to play. All is well.
Up watching Super Tuesday results. Having fun! Kinda wired.
<a forced smile upon my face>
Mood: happy (forced)
Posted on 2008-02-05 09:52:00
despite the fact that work sucked yesterday AND I discovered I have to amend my tax return because I got yet another 1099-DIV from TIAA-CREF. Boo, TIAA-CREF. Boo.
The good news is either Hillary or Obama is running away with California! Those are some seriously crazy poll numbers for the day of. I seem to remember SurveyUSA being more reliable in the past, but there's plenty of room for them both to be wrong.
Posted on 2008-02-04 14:39:00
Tags: pictures guildwars worldofwarcraft mac computer politics
The Mac continues to get better. Three days after spilling a ton of tea on it the screen is all better, the fan no longer spins crazily, and the battery charges normally. (which may have been happening all along but I was suspicious for a while) Unfortunately, the only problem is that the "v" key (and maybe the Control key) don't work at all. So I guess I'll have to take it in and see if they can fix it, which honestly is pretty doubtful.
Assuming it can't be fixed, I'm leaning towards not replacing it since we don't play WoW much anymore (we picked up Guild Wars over the weekend...we'll see if we continue playing or not) and I just bought the damn thing. I am getting back a big ol' tax refund since I deducted a bunch of moving expenses, although the Maryland state tax situation is a little more unclear. (if there online calculator is right, which I don't think it is, I owe $500 and will be very miffed)
The cover of a romance novel I saw at HEB - thanks, cameraphone!
A work friend has an imported version of Smash Bros and I get to play it tomorrow night. I am extremely excited.
Super Tuesday is tomorrow! Some polls look really good for Obama, others look less good, so who knows. Not sure how I'll keep up with results while playing Smash Bros tomorrow night, but I'll think of something!
the laptop lives!
Posted on 2008-01-31 17:36:00
Tags: mac computer
So, it boots up and things seem to generally work. A corner of the screen is messed up and one of the fans keeps revving up and down. And the keyboard's a little crinkly. All in all, not bad.
And the up arrow gets stuck sometimes, or something?
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Music: new Smash Bros theme music
Posted on 2008-01-31 16:56:00
Tags: smashbros wii
Raise your hand if you absolutely can't wait for the new Smash Bros.
MacBook Pro: October 17, 2007 - ?
Music: Radiohead - "Sulk"
Posted on 2008-01-31 07:59:00
Tags: work house worldofwarcraft mac computer politics links
While kicking butt in Arathi Basin last night, I knocked a big ol' glass of tea right onto my $3000 laptop. A good chunk of it went in the keyboard (which made the laptop turn off which is probably a good thing given the alternatives), so djedi hurriedly mopped as much as we could off, disconnected it and moved it to higher ground. (it's currently sitting upside-down on our dining room table in the hopes that it will drain or something) I didn't have the heart to try to turn it on this morning - guess I'll see about that tonight. I did buy the AppleCare for it, although I don't know if that covers spills or not.
The weird thing was that I wasn't super panicked or angry or whatever. I was upset at myself, but I know that I'm prone to clumsiness when I'm tired. (like when I burned my thumb on the oven last week!) And if the laptop is unrecoverable, well, that would suck, but I could get by for iPod syncing and WoW playing and whatnot. It would be nice if it worked though.
Ironically, I was just yesterday reading about jwz's backup strategy and thinking it sounded like a good idea. Not that I had anything particularly interesting on the laptop data-wise (I always back up my iTunes database), but still...
Other than that, work has been going really really well this week. My mom visits next Wednesday, Friday we close on our house (!), and that weekend djedi's parents are coming to hopefully buy carpet for us and stuff, which will be quite helpful.
I'm going to miss campaigning in Florida, specifically hearing about Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani saying that English should be the national language, and then advertising in Spanish. That's some good hypocrisy, there. Via dailykos, an article in Rolling Stone about how Republican's immigrant-bashing is not going to help them, especially in the Southwest.
Finally, on the way home I heard this kinda-brutal story on NPR about how Giuliani should have taken his advice from his leadership book, complete with excerpts from the audiobook itself. (it's the story on top, not the longer story on the bottom)
a collection of links that suddenly accumulated in my firefox tabs
Music: Radiohead - "15 Step"
Posted on 2008-01-29 13:04:00
Tags: activism programming politics links
5 attributes of highly effective programmers - the title is cheesy, but it's a very good article, and it quotes The Screwtape Letters which was a nice surprise. Also on that site is The Effective Software Developer's Book List which is an impressive collection.
For Gay Democrats, a Primary Where Rights Are Not an Issue, This Time - the headline says most of it, except for this gem:
In an address last week honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a black church in Atlanta, Senator Obama made waves by lecturing the audience about homophobia. “We have scorned our gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them,” he said during the speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King served as co-pastor with his father.Awesome! (via dailykos)
Joe Solmonese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay lobbying group, said he thought Mr. Obama’s speech was the first time a presidential candidate had brought up gay issues in front of a nongay audience without being prompted to do so. “This is dramatically refreshing,” he said. “It’s a great day when we can look at a field of candidates and determine that we are comfortable with all of them on gay rights and move on to other issues.”
The Steeping Room
Posted on 2008-01-29 10:03:00
Yesterday I was having trouble concentrating in the morning and needed to get some serious design work done, so I took a sheet of paper and headed to lunch. On a whim, I found myself at The Steeping Room, which is right across the street at the Domain before. I had walked by before and kind of made a mental note to check it out, so why not?
It was a sit-down place which surprised me a little, but I got seated quickly (by a hostess who complimented me on my penguin shirt, no less!) and looked through the menu. The food choices were a little light but there were like three pages solid of teas to choose from. I ended up getting a pot of Gunpowder tea, a cup of saffron white bean soup and the Napa rolls which were very similar to spring rolls.
All in all, good stuff. The tea hit the spot and I finally got some work done. It was a little expensive ($13 for lunch) but not terrible.
blah, screw it
Posted on 2008-01-28 09:57:00
Tags: getflix politics
Another session of being frustrated at my getflix project has led me to give up the idea, possibly forever. Not only is it frustrating to do,
- I have a lot fewer movie ratings than music ratings, and I don't think the statistics are going to be particularly interesting
- The only way to get the data out of Netflix is screen-scraping (looking for particular text in the HTML) which is a) certainly against the Terms of Service b) very fragile to Netflix changing things, even small things, which means that I would have to keep maintaining it, which is pretty certainly not going to happen, so it has a limited lifespan anyway
So, begone! Next project might involve Django (per spchampion's suggestion) if I can think of something interesting to do with it.
Go Obama! He won the South Carolina primary by a wide margin, and won the coveted endorsements from Edward Kennedy, JFK's daughter, and xkcd. (not to mention Lawrence Lessig, who now focuses on anti-corruption issues) We'll see if he's able to compete on Super Tuesday (a week from tomorrow). This is the most exciting primary season in my admittedly short political life :-)
weird phone thing
Posted on 2008-01-25 16:04:00
Tags: phone programming
I was beginning to get a little worried about the new phone, since I charged it night before last and it ran out of power before bedtime. So I charged it last night and now it's still showing full power. Hopefully it's just a weird battery quirk, or maybe I had one of the side buttons pressed in my pocket? Either way, weird.
Also, I hate PHP. Any language where the expression "id" + 1 evaluates to 1 instead of (best case) "id1" or (not as good but still acceptable case) erroring should die. It doesn't help that I have no way of debugging it, just running the Greasemonkey script and inferring from the fact that the database is empty that something went wrong. Sheesh.
Super Mario Bros. (board game) probability
Posted on 2008-01-24 13:23:00
Here are the results, complete with somewhat pretty graphs.
Posted on 2008-01-23 14:55:00
Tags: phone pictures projects work
I took pictures of the latest puzzles we've completed, whereby "we" I mean "David, Miriam, and sometimes me". The last two were taken with my new phone, which is why the color is pretty messed up. (I tried to fix it in iPhoto but I may have just made things worse) So: having a camera with me at all times: pretty neat, but I'll stick to the real camera when it's available.
Speaking of the new phone, it's pretty neat! The screen is much nicer than my old one, and it's my first clamshell phone, which I think I like. It has pretty good web access, although my one big complaint is that it doesn't let apps access the network, which means that I have to use the kinda crappy web version of Google Maps instead of the super awesome one(*) that runs on the phone.
I got my car's oil changed today, which revealed that the rat that used to live(**) in our garage was gnawing on my air filter. Luckily it didn't gnaw all the way through; I don't know what implications that would have, but I can't imagine they're good.
Work is going really well today - between that and a new project at home(***), I am really peppy!
(*) - I've never seen or used said version so it may not be super awesome.
(**) - "used to" because we haven't seen any signs of it in a while, so it seems likely it's gone. We're moving out soon anyway. Whee!
(***) - which I will post of the results of hopefully tomorrow. Thanks to destroyerj for the idea...
check, check, check
Posted on 2008-01-21 09:19:00
Tags: movies pictures music house
Stuff we did this weekend that's worth mentioning:
- Saw "Juno". Good movie - the first scene had me worried that the whole thing was going to be very snappy and sound like it was written by writers who thought they were awesome, but it calmed down after that. Also, Michael Cera + Jason Bateman == win.
- Saw "Cloverfield". Also a good movie. I will avoid spoilers but I'd recommend it if you like horrorish movies. Kept me awake for a little while last night :-)
- Bought new music! In order of how much I expect to like them:
- Radiohead - "In Rainbows". Yeah, I should have gotten this a while ago but I was busy or something. Anyway, I've only heard the one track but it was pretty good and, come on, it's Radiohead!
- Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible". I listened to this on mediator and looved it.
- Nine Inch Nails - "Year Zero". I heard some samples and wasn't terribly impressed, but I like the concept so I'll give it a shot.
- White Stripes - "Icky Thump". I liked the samples I heard, so who knows.
- The Magnetic Fields - "Distortion". "California Girls" is a really catchy song but I dunno about the rest of the album. We'll see...
- Took down the Christmas tree in 10 minutes.
- Gave notice to our apartment that we're leaving.
- Went to the NI-sponsored hockey game, which was fun. The Ice Bats won!
- Bought a hot tub! We just stopped by to look at them but the '07 models were on clearance and the guy sold us the floor model for substantially cheaper than the "regular price". Anyway, we spent about what we wanted to spend so it's fine.
- Put pictures and videos of David's brother's wedding up. This was the first event that I used my Flip Video at (besides house-hunting) and let me tell you - editing the videos and such is a real pain. I gotta find a better way...(and fix the thumbnails at some point)
I do not heart huckabee
Posted on 2008-01-18 10:19:00
Tags: rant politics
Dear Mike Huckabee,
Hi! How's it going? Is it OK if I call you Mike? Great. Anyway, Mike, I read you had something to say about marriage. Something like this:
Well, I don’t think that’s a radical view to say we’re going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal.
role reversal, music recommendations
Music: Carly Comando - "Everyday"
Posted on 2008-01-17 10:18:00
Tags: getflix music projects work
This week I've been in the odd position of being really excited about work and not so excited about non-work projects. Work has been going really well - a lot of the setup for my big project is done so I'm getting into the fun part. The non-work project of pulling down Netflix ratings and analyzing them is pretty similar to what I've done in the past, but has enough different parts that just aren't interesting to leave me totally unenthusiastic about working on it. But I've already done enough that I feel like I should finish. I'll put it on hiatus for a while.
We've been catching up on Simpsons episodes from the last few months with people, and as a result I've seen "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind" twice in the last week or so. It's a pretty good episode, but the part that struck me both times was the montage-like scene where it shows lots of pictures of Homer throughout his life to some hauntingly beautiful piano music. Anyway, djedi found the song, which is called "Everyday" by Carly Comando and I bought it last night - yay for Amazon MP3! The scene itself is based on Noah takes a photo of himself every day for 6 years which is pretty creepy in itself, although the music really amplifies that. Good stuff all around, and I feel bad I missed this all the way back in 2006.
Yesterday at lunch I was really happy because of a problem I had just solved, so I went out to Pars Deli, a greek place at 183 and Burnet. Unfortunately, the parking spots are deceptively thin, and so as I was pulling in I heard a noise and realized I hit the car parked next to me. After I parked and got out, the car looked like a mess, but I could brush off most of it. (dust from my bumper or something?) There was still a scratch that was very narrow but kind of long, and I wasn't quite sure what to do, and I was mad for having done it, so I just walked away to the deli. It didn't take long for my conscience to get the better of me and realize that that was a pretty stupid/selfish/horrible thing to do, so after I ordered I went back out there and left a short note with some paper I found in the car. Not my finest hour - "doing the right thing...eventually" isn't exactly high praise.
I have a few Best Buy gift cards and kinda prompted by that I'm looking for some new music. Definitely getting the new Radiohead album, other options include "Year Zero" by Nine Inch Nails, "Distortion" by The Magnetic Fields, maybe something by LCD Soundsystem ("Sound of Silver"?), maybe something by Arcade Fire. I am open to suggestions! (surprisingly hip suggestions stolen from the AV Club's best of 2007)
Posted on 2008-01-14 14:57:00
Tags: music quiz
(stolen from cifarelli)
1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, iPod etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS
1. IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
One Of My Turns
2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?
Valley Winter Song
3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Tu Me Gustas
4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
Lux Aeterna - O Nata Lux
6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Sunglasses At Night
7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Rice Fight Song
8. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
10. WHAT IS 2 + 2?
11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR EX?
12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
In The Hall of the Mountain King
13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Down So Long
14. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
30 Sec. Bonnet
15. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Star Wars Medley
16. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Lucky Denver Mint
17. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Tonight I Wanna Cry
18. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)
19. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Time After Time
20. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
3 Small Words
Now press Next one more time and use it as your title.
Not bad; I wanna be a 30 sec. bonnet when I grow up! As I always say, "Sunglasses at night"...
some interface complaints
Posted on 2008-01-14 10:39:00
Tags: rant house
So I'm getting quotes on homeowner's insurance. Called up USAA and it was pretty easy (and cheap!) but I wanted to compare with someone. State Farm doesn't do online quotes for our area, so GEICO it is.
- It asks the distance to the nearest fire department. How am I supposed to know this in general? Can't they figure it out since I gave them the address?
- Who thinks that selecting years (or dates for that matter) from a drop down box is easier than typing in four digits?
- Now they're asking if I've purchased the home within the last 12 months...but if I say yes and put in our scheduled closing date, it complains since it's in the future. I guess I'll say no, but I think the most accurate answer is yes. Gah.
the previous two weeks
Posted on 2008-01-14 09:02:00
Tags: phone house
So the two weeks of craziness ended successfully. djedi's brother's wedding went fine, albeit a little hectically and involving more than 150 miles of driving inside Houston. (I was planning on doing a bunch of maps and showing how far apart things are in Houston, but it's not that interesting) Also a reminder to myself that, while I like people being married and all that, I don't like weddings. (the last few I've been to have been awkward, and the emphasis on the whole "man and wife" thing gets old) Which is a little sad but knowing is half the battle.
So! Going forward, this week is "we better make sure everything's OK with the new house because if we back out after this week it costs us a lot of money", meaning home inspection tomorrow and answering more tedious mortgage questions. Also, hopefully a new phone!
Posted on 2008-01-10 15:54:00
I'm not really happy about posting 2 links every day - maybe I should combine them more? Or link less? I dunno.
Tonight on Dateline This Man Will Die - absolutely chilling retelling of one of those "To Catch a Predator" segments gone wrong. NBC's response to the article. (via kottke)
After a bunch of bank account details were lost in the UK, a TV star said it was no big deal and published his own bank account number to prove it...and somebody gave some money from it to charity. Oops!
Video from CES: Bill Gates is looking for a job!
Rock Band drumming tips from Harmonix
This backup was done by LJBackup.