A reminder to myself to read some of these Condensed Writings of Philosphers.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Using my trusty friend, the StumbleUpon toolbar, I found this Declaration of Revocation by John Cleese.
I also found the three hour, three part NOVA series on string theory. Maybe I'll watch some of it right now.
Posted by Greg on Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
Tale of dead soldier and his little girl was elaborate hoax
Click here after visiting the link above to read the faux-articles. Beware, the writing is trite and thick with cliches; read with caution.
And then there's good fake news:
Posted by Greg on Friday, August 26, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Toshiba Laptop, about 4 inches
My Computer monitor, about 4 and a half inches
The New Mac Mini - A whopping 6 inches
The New TV - Yes. That's right. 8 and a half inches.
The Doubltree gets a paintjob, sides first.
DJ Choice's Backyard Party Music
Warning: This post might sound trite and I've given away everything in the title. Thankfully, there are pictures to keep your huge mind occupied. They're over there-->
Ok... I'll run through this as quickly as I can. Given the importance I give to this issue, this could take some time. Pour yourself a glass of Carlo Rossi and stay awhile.
R and I finally bought a TV. Now we won't be those people who, when you tell them about something that you saw on TV, say something along the lines of, "oh, I don't own a TV." Granted, I've never said that, but we'd been without one for long enough that I had to bite my tongue a few times.
I digress. The new TV showed up today, four days ahead of schedule, given the free shipping. When they say five to seven business days and it comes in 2, I'm a happy man. We bought it from a place called buydig.com, which I found through pricewatch.com, my favorite online pricing site. The new TV is a Sharp Aquos. We got it because of an advertisement that was played relentlessly while we were living in Spain (I never like to admit having given into advertising, but here it is). It's very nice. The design is well thought out, with panels in the back that cover all the cables and wrap them together really well so that they don't get dusty and aren't visible from the front.
I took the new TV out of the box and placed it on top of the shelf. Then I looked in the box for the chords and found the most monstrous powerbrick that I'd ever seen. Apparently, as our appliances become more compact, the powerbrick grows ever larger. I wonder what's in there! Someday I vow to bust one open. For the time being, I need all of the ones that I've got. After witnessing the massiveness of this thing, I had to measure the other powerbricks in the living room for the sake of comparison, hence exhibits 1 through 4 on the right there.
The first is the powerbrick for my laptop. It's only four inches wide and maybe half an inch high. I understand that it's supposed to be portable, so it needs to be small. What I don't understand is what that powerbrick is doing differently than, say, the next one down, the one for my computer monitor that I'm always convinced is blurry (maybe I should stop leaving my glasses at work).
When I first saw the powerbrick for this computer monitor about a year ago, I thought it was huge; and you have to admit that four and a half inches is pretty wide.
But then there's the Mini. If there's anything wrong with a Mini, it's the six inch wide and two inch high powerbrick. At least it still fits underneath the couch, but I swear it has the same volume as the computer itself. I got over the size of the mini powerbrick sometime last week while I was discovering my newfound love for the Macintosh. (I wonder if someday apple will come out with a Washington apple computer, or Golden Delicious, or Idared or any of the other ones [see this quick list from Google Sets for all the examples])
I'll have to digress again. The powerbrick for the new TV is 8.5" by 2". It's insane. I'm not complaining, though. It fits under the bookshelf; it's out of sight. What I don't get is why it needs to be so big. What's going on in there? What kind of crazy power conversion is happening?
What I do think is that whatever's happening actually needs to happen. I can't imagine that the image-conscious people over at apple wouldn't have tried to make their powerbrick smaller. Then again, maybe everyone is just trying to live up to the name "powerbrick" by making the stupid thing more brick-like.
I suppose I should address the other pictures before I end this. One is a picture of the old Washington Terrace hotel, which apparently was a Doubletree before it became the Washington Terrace and has now been purchased by Doubletree again. They're repainting the outside and started at the edges and are moving towards the center. It looks ridiculous, hence the picture.
The last picture is of a CD that I saw while at CVS this evening. It's a CD called DJ's Choice "Backyard Party Music". All DJs do is choose music, so it's good to know that we can trust them to choose songs that end up being sold on a compilation at CVS. Ridiculous. The tracks on the back that I remember are were:
Hot, Hot, Hot
You Should be Dancing
...and many more
That's it. That's all I've got. Remind me to buy that CD.
Posted by Greg on Monday, August 22, 2005
Sunday, August 21, 2005
This thing is pretty incredible. There's plenty of software already on it, and there are plenty of sources for free software as there's a lot of Unix compatibility built in. Spent some time updating the other molt be site. Also went and got a haircut today and had my first drum lesson. Yes. I'm taking drum lessons. Don't ask. It was fun. So there.
Came home. Fooled around on the computer and took some pictures for a design gig that I have coming up. Painted over the spackling job I did in the bathroom two weeks ago and then did some of the door frame before realizing that the paint wasn't the exact same color. Oh well, guess this just means I'll be painting the entire bathroom here at some point in the near future.
Waited around for R to get out of work and downloaded some new widgets for the Mac OS. Our friend C came by on a whim and the three of us went out and ate at Thai Tanic, a very well named and moderately priced Thai place.
Ok. That's it for me. Too late for coherent thought.
Posted by Greg on Sunday, August 21, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit. Without doubt, these dreamers do not deserve wealth, because they do not desire it. Even so, a well-organized society should assure to such workers the efficient means of accomplishing their task, in a life freed from material care and freely consecrated to research. -Marie Curie, scientist, Nobel laureate
Sent via blackBerry wireless handheld.
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Look what I bought this morning:
It is glorious. I bought a new desk to go with it too. I'll have to add up a picture of that later. In the meantime this blog should provide you with some amusement.
More on this Mac switch later. I have no loyalty to the crap that is PCs... just all of their free software.
Posted by Greg on Sunday, August 14, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
The Secret Machines @ the 930 Club (8/11/05)
R and I just got back from seeing the Secret Machines [turn yer speakers down if yer clickin']. We didn't stick around to see the Kings of Leon, because we're that cool... and we have jobs and things to go to. I'm not too big of a fan of the Kings of Leon, anyway, though I did like their Holy Roller Novacaine single. Here are some quick notes on the show:
There are bands that play a show that will sound exactly like their CD and other bands that won't. The last time I saw The Secret Machines, it definitely sounded a lot more like their album. This time, as an opener not necessarily playing to their core audience and with an hour and fifteen minutes to toy with, things sounded a bit different.
Originating from Texas and now based out of NY, they opened with two songs off of their debut LP, "Now Here is Nowhere" (I believe they were the title track and Pharaoh's Daughter). Then they launched into five new tracks. The first new one sounded like the title should be Where Were You and was reminiscent of their other material, but the rest weren't as discernible and I think might likely end up as b-sides. The last of the five involved almost zero drumming (five cymbals somewhere in the middle). For a band that is so focused on their drumming (and rightfully so as their drummer kicks ass), this seemed like a bit of a mistake.
Post lack-of-drums song, the group went back to their solid material with You Are Chains, the Road Leads Where it's Led, and First Wave Intact.
None of these songs sounded straight out of the studio, but there are varying opinions on whether or not a band's performance should sound like a loud, live version of their album. I prefer a mix of the messing around and the recognizable... As lont as it doesn't drone on too long. R thought that they droned on; I liked it.
The singer (far right) missed his cue at the very beginning of their last song and blew the opening of one of the verses as well. Of course, unless you'd sat around listening to the album a bunch like a wannabe music critic, you'd never have noticed... wait a second... crap.
There was a lot of good rockin' out and I was happy to see them again. They weren't as good as the last time, but I'd definitely chalk that up to them being the opener and using the opportunity to test out new material, new sounds, etc. It was awesome to get a peek at what their new stuff is going to sound like and what they can do to stretch their old stuff when they play live.
Also, the first opener, the helio sequence, was excellent. They're another two piece drum/guitar group from Portland, OR, just like my new favorite band, viva voce, except these two aren't married... I imagine.
Posted by Greg on Thursday, August 11, 2005
dads raise other dudes kids more often than you'd expect
and let's hope that the increased number of people trying to quit somking post-Jennings death also encourages the govt or the smoking cessation product companies to lower the price of smoking cessation methods so that it's not the same cost as smoking a pack and a half a day; it would definitely be cost-effective to hand it out for free.
Posted by Greg on Thursday, August 11, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Oops, U.S. knew of al Qaeda cell before 9/11.
I guess this all pivots on the definition of the verb "know" and whether or not you can say that the US "knew" something or if it was just a group of 10 people who work for a super secret group that "knew" something. Nothing hammers home a mistake like some hindsight, but you'd really think that the 9/11 comission would have picked up on this one. Oh well... at least Bush and the neocons got their "new Pearl Harbor", right? Remember what those crazy assholes over at Project For a New American Century said? No? Read page 63, column 1, sentence 1 of this pdf where it reads "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor."
At least they called it "catosrophic".
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Given the title, I might as well cut straight to the chase: should I be blogging everything?
The main problem is that this website lacks the anonymity that would make it possible to really write down everything I think. If that anonymity were around, I could write nasty things about you. Yes you. The person reading this right now.
I could also write things about my job that are more detailed than "work sucks". (Then again, is there really that much more to say?)
I wonder if people writing autobiographies have this same problem... Memoir writers too... though, I think they have an easier time of it for some reason. How much can authors write about the same people that they know will end up reading what they've written without hurting their feelings or just feeling guilty.
It's not like I suddenly thought of someone this evening that I really wanted to write about and started on this tirade. I think I was thinking more generally about how some people at work had found out that this site exists and might be reading it. Something in the back of my head makes me think that I might have to start self-censoring about certain topics if these people that I interact with "professionally" are going to be reading this. And then I get pissed off and think that I should be free to say whatever I want and not let what others might think or say affect what new stupid comment I have on a web page. This must be how real authors do it. They must not give a shit what the people reading what they're writing think. If you ask me, that's insane and requires a certain type of person. Maybe that's why they're writers and not Healthcare Consultants who wish they weren't Healthcare Consultants.
Then again, a blog isn't supposed to be a deep personal journey into somebody's emotions. Those should be reserved for a) diaries, b) psychologists, c) drunken rantings, d) the blogs of 13 year olds or e) interviews on E! True Hollywood Story. (Rose and I no longer have a television. That reference took a lot out of ye 'ole memory banks.)
I'm going to turn into one of those people who brags about not owning a television unless we get one really, really soon. [I just spent twenty minutes pricing different television on pricewatch.com and got disgusted with how much sweet flat panels cost... then I started pricing out a Mac at mac.com and then I started pricing out the RAM to go with the new Mac back over at pricewatch again... so much wasted time.]
I highly recommend checking out Time's list of the 50 best sites of 2005, it's definitely worthwhile. The New York Public Library digital gallery is actually a really well designed and coherent site. Bless those librarians, what with the protecting of the free speech and their love of all things internet and information and whatnot.
I also played some of the (sorry) lame games on orisnal.com. I couldn't make them, but they're still not nearly as fun as Grand Theft Auto or a lot of the games found at channel4.com. Hrm... ok. I should really go to bed.
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, August 09, 2005
I'm becoming guilty of ignoring this blog. I'll make a personal promise to actually update it with something semi-interesting tonight. In the meantime, I'm going to remind myself to read this article on: TIME.com: Can You Believe in God and Evolution?, as it has a part in it by Steven Pinker, who is a kickass linguist and generally smart person.
And also to check out their link to the supposed "50 Coolest websites of 2005"
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Friday, August 05, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
A Disturbing Ad for Coal
Every Town has a Majestic
The Grassy Knoll
Willie's Bio Diesel
What long limbs they have
The Groom's Side
Either Weezer stole theirs or they stole Weezer's
A Still Mullet in a Fast Paced World
They're there on the right. I will say this: we had a great time. The wedding was a little awkward because the two sides were so different. Austin is a really cool town. We also got to see some good friends from Dallas that we hadn't seen in a long time. Work this morning was not exciting.
The first picture there on the right is of an ad that was in the DC metro on the way to the airport. The text reads: "An abundant American resource, coal provides more than half of America's electricity. It's reliable, affordable, increasingly clean. American energy for today and tomorrow.
American Needs Electricity From Coal" I suppose this message is directed more towards congressmen or policy makers and less towards me. I love how they push the "American" part of the message so much (four times in three sentences, nice!) I also like that coal is apparently "abundant" and for "tomorrow", but there's little mention of strip mining. Are those mountains "for tomorrow"? Is the toxic runoff from those sites "for tomorrow"? (see the article "Death of a Mountain" in Harper's April, 2005 issue for an interesting look at the coal industry).
The next picture down is of a theatre in Dallas. R pointed out that every town has a "Majestic" theatre, but this picture turned out pretty well, so I thought I'd throw it up.
Next up is the one and only Grassy Knoll. The book depository is now a museum and, if one is inclined, he/she can go to the sixth floor and stand exactly where the FBI/CIA/Mafia told Oswald to stand... I kid, I kid. But seriously, that Oliver Stone movie raises some very interesting questions about Joe Pesci's hair and shows off Costner's pre-The Postman acting abilities.
It's tomorrow, so heregoes: We spent Thursday night in Dallas and went to Cafe Madrid for dinner and then out to get some ice cream. Cafe Madrid is an excellent tapas place that serves the genuine same stuff that one would get in Spain with the genuine same service that one would get in Spain. It was awesome.
The next day CA went to work and LS, R and I started our drive to Austin after stopping at the Cole Haan where LS works to pick up a belt for your truly, seeing as how I forgot one... Like an idiot.
The next picture down is the truck stop that we went to somewhere near Waco that sold bio diesel. Heck Yeah! I was so excited that someone is actually selling gas that's at least partly made from plants instead of dead dinosaurs. Perhaps this is a good juxtaposition with the coal ad from yesterday? Either way, it was pretty exciting. Granted, I've heard that bio-diesel isn't very cost effective as far as producing it is concerned (i.e. more energy is spent growing it, harvesting it and refining it than one can actually get from it.) I wonder, though, if the people who say this are taking into account that what's being changed into fuel is also being used as food... So the energy isn't all spent on making new energy, right?
Either way, this truck stop was filled the brim with ceiling fans... it was quite noticeable. All the same model of ceiling fan too, so we didn't get the impression that they were trying to sell them. The probability seemed higher that they were just really into ceiling fans... I wish I had a picture of that. R got some beef jerky, which I ate the majority of, and I'm pretty sure LS got some Funyuns, the spelling of which really tears me up inside for some reason.
After we got to Austin, we went to the Bride's house (did I mention this was all for a wedding?), had a some meat from the barbecue and then had LS drive us to our hotel. R had to go to a rehearsal dinner as she was a bridesmaid, so LS and I waited around until 5 and then went to the airport to pick up CA, who got a one way flight from Dallas down after work. His flight was only $39. Those are close to European prices... Uncanny.
The next picture is of the series of murals above the check-in counters at the Austin airport... The people have really long arms that look like they'd be useful for jumprope, bubble blowing and some of the exact same other activities that the characters were engaged in. LS and I got a cup of coffee while waiting for CA and weren't there more than 15 minutes before he showed up, thereby interrupting the awesome episode of Bassmaster challenge that was playing on the TV in cafe. Then the three of us went to their hotel, admired its filth ("Is that blood on the sheets?"), called a cab and went out to dinner to meet LS' cousin and his girlfriend.
We had dinner at a place called Guero's, which used to remind me of the new Beck album (did you know Beck was a member of the church of Scientology?) and now reminds me of a bland corn tortilla. Beef tips are good. Beef tips are less good when surrounded on all sides by a bland corn tortilla... I don't care if it's "hand made right there at the restaurant," it needs salt. I'm glad I went, though. The salsa was good, the beer was good and the atmosphere was good too.
After dinner, we went out to 6th street, which, as previously blogged, is like the Bourbon street of Austin. We met up with R and the rest of the wedding crew at a place called Jackalope and ended up going home around midnight.
The wedding wasn't until 7pm on Saturday, so I had plenty of time to get sunburned. R and I had breakfast with the rest of the Bridal party and then split up. She went off to go shopping at Target and to do hair and makeup. I called up CA and LS and we went out for lunch with LS' friend Misty. After lunch (where I almost ordered a Texas Frito Pie, but then listened to my heart/arteries and said, "No."), we called up LS' cousin and decided that we should all go "toobing". "Toobing" is really just "tubing". "Tubing" is floating down a river in a round rubber tube. It's awesome. You can bring beer. There's nothing like spending the afternoon floating around drinking beer and burning your chest to a crisp. I highly recommend it and wish that we could have done if for longer. LS' cousin, Chad, really seemed to wish that we could have gone on a longer ride (there are some that can last 6 hours), but it was all my fault and we didn't have enough time to do any other river except the local river. This gave me a chance to see a lot of the local color. I still wish we had had more time to float a longer river...
CA and LS drove me back to my hotel in downtown Austin, where I changed into my suit, called one of the other guests that was a semi-acquaintance who wasn't in the bridal party and had her pick me up to drive me to the Four Seasons. We stopped by the bride's room to drop something off (not my department on what it was) and then went to the bar for a quick Gin ant Tonic before the 17 minute ceremony.
The ceremony itself was extremely interesting. The bride's side (which we were on) was mostly tan, well-dressed, Puerto Rican people. The Groom's side was mostly pasty, jeans-clad, Texans. As you can see from the picture with the Groom's dad on the left, there's a guy in jeans in the middle and another fellow wearing a cowboy hat, short-sleeved plaid "dress" shirt and khakis. I'm not big on being a fashion snob and I'm not big on the idea of stuffy formal events such as marriage, funerals, etc., but I wouldn't put up with anyone showing up to my wedding dressed in a cowboy hat and plaid. There was another, much younger guy at the top of the stairs that the bride walked down who was dressed in slacks and a dress shirt, but the dress shirt was only buttoned midway up his chest and he was wearing sunglasses. Again, I'm no snob, but I wouldn't stand for that either. Were I to get married, it would either be a jeans/t-shirt backyard cookout type affair, or an "I'm uncomfortable in this suit, so everyone has to be uncomfortable in a suit" deal. My anger at this lack of dress code piqued when one of the guests at the reception was wearing shorts and sandals. Either way, the culture clash made for an interesting and oddly sad evening at times.
After the reception everyone was invited out to the bar where the bride and groom had met oh so many months ago (eight? six?). R and I only stayed for a beer or so and ended up back at the hotel around 2am.
The next morning, CA and LS picked us up around 10 and the four of us all drove back to Dallas. The last two pictures are pretty easy to sum up. One is taken as we were coming back into Dallas and is a picture of the sign for a WhatABurger fast-food joint. As CA pointed out, their "W" symbol is remarkably similar to the "W" symbol used by the formerly awesome band Weezer (now making songs that have rhymes like 5th grade songs about diarrhea), so I thought I'd take a picture.
The last one is of a poor soul that my camera happened upon in the Dallas airport as we were leaving. He had a very stretched out Led Zeppelin shirt, glasses, a "half mullet" with some hair that curled around his ears and plenty of other ridiculous stuff going for him... So I had to... You know... Get his picture. I thought it turned out well with all the people swirling around him and him just standing there.
It was a great trip. The wedding was a little weird and depressing, but seeing everyone was awesome and it was great to get out west and do a long drive that wasn't from DC to NY.
Alrighty, that's about all I've got. We arrived home to find that the kittens hadn't been as well cared for as we'd hoped (a full litter box and a lot of brown spots). Work on Monday and Tuesday was pure hell... Well, not that bad, we'll see what tomorrow delivers (I'm hoping it's 42 3" D Ring binders and 5 boxes of 3 Hole punched 8 1/2" X 11" paper or I'll never get my task finished on schedule! Hahahaha! Wait that's not funny, that's really lame...)
Posted by Greg on Monday, August 01, 2005