Friday, April 29, 2005

Luther Burger

Today I tried a new construction of fast food called the Luther Burger. The idea is to take an In-n-Out double double (protein style) and use two Krisky Kreme donuts as buns. All I can say is 'Oh my God is that good'. And working out the math it comes to under 1000 calories, so it's not as bad as I first suspected.



Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Timed my ride...

When Lexi called today to let me know that she was going to Caltrain home tonight, she asked me to time my ride so she could know how long it took me. Well this was something I was meaning to do anyway, but with someone epecting a number I was a little more digilent and looked at my cell phone for the time as I left topix and arrived home. It was 60 minutes on the nose.

Modding Comfort

It's amazing how comfortable I'm getting at ripping apart comercial hardware to make some tweaks to improve it. I've always had this fear in the back of my head that I would never be able to put things back together. This partly comes from the story I heard about that bridge in England that was built by ancient peoples and stood without the rocks needed affixing to one another. A mathematician in his curiousity and hubris, took it apart to see how it worked. Long story short it's now held together with glue. And partly my fear comes from practical experience where, for example, my power drill doesn't work any more.

But I wanted a hard drive for my PS2. They have software that will let me jukebox between one game and another on an installed hard drive, and since that's such a great feature for my xbox, and no soldering is required for my ps2, I figured I'ld give it a go. This requires Sony's netowrk adapter (found retail), but I didn't feel like shilling out $1.50/Gig for disk space for sony's IDE hard drive, so I went online found a forum with people who got other hard drives to work, and checked to see if Fry's sale this weekend would be ok. It was listed as working, though next time I'll read the comments before I purchase.

Turns out the network adapter's ide power and communication plugs don't quite have enough play to allow the hard drive to attach properly. Well I ripped the thing apart (gently with a screwdriver), found I needed a #6 Torx screwdriver, got one at OSH, used my tin snips to allow for some more play on the power adapter, and then plugged everything in.

Now I'm just waiting for the jukebox software to arrive.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


My plan is to bike into work with Lexi tomorrow. The camelback I bought is a few sizes too small (apparently I have a large chest. I should have remembered that from when I bought my backpack). So when I wear it biking, while I don't have to balance one handed to drink water, I do have to work a little harder to breath with a constriction device on.

Given that I will probably not want to wear spandex all day at the office, I do want a change of clothes. This meant either exercising my diaphragm more than I had planned, or dropping off clothes at the office tonight. Well, I might be over-exargerating the camelback problems because I had decided to go with the backpack solution.

That was until I remembered that I had left my bike at the office today. I had every intention of taking it home with me, but it slipped my mind as I left today. Well looks like I'll have to work obn my one handed balancing tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2005

R.I.P. Winston

On friday Rich had Winston put to sleep. I've only seen him in his later years so I never knew him as a vibrant energetic puppy, but even at 15 he still had a love for life, even if it was so severly hampered by the afflictions of age. And while I know that he's better off this way, I still am saddened.

In the great tradition of death, it has made me think about mortality. Not inherently my own, but more that of the creature that I love more than I really would have given myself credit for a year and a half ago. And while Ishy is still but a puppy, I know that unless something stupid happens on some mountain climbing expedition, or some drunk driver swerves into my lane, I'm likely going to end up in a similar position in a dozen years.

Nope. I can't write anymore. I couldn't earlier this weekend, and I tried now, but I just can't get anything else out. I'm gonna go find his rope, and have a tug of war, and not think about this anymore.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Go Cerberus

No, not TKG. Actually this post is about my new graphics card. I've been meaning to get a new video card for my home computer for a while now. The on-board vieo chip on my motherboard uses the AGP bus, so I couldn't run dual monitor before and I was looking for a PCI card I could use to get a second monitor. I found one at BestBuy (which will also let me play Doom 3 now...I may have to go back later today), and when I did I learned it has two independant VGA outputs. Yay. I now am using three monitors on my 'Taco Desk', and have a dedicated Firfox and Winamp monitors to keep the clutter under control.

Ishy made some friends

Since I spent 5 days in Colorado last week, and am going to spend next weekend packbacking with the ICO kids, I called off ICO rafting this weekend so that I could spend some quality time with Ishy. I've been hitting the gym pretty hard of late, which means that he doesn't get to spend nearly as much time with me (or anyone else) as I would like. It seems that there is a Doggie Day Care place that will open up near my house soon, and I think that I will enroll him when it does.

But back to this weekend...My favorite place to take Ishy these days is definetly Fort Funston. It's huge and off leash. And while the hike we took in Palo Alto let him stretch his legs and run around a little more, I was constantly paranoid I would get a ticket for not having him on his leash. And there were no other dogs to socialize with.

Well we got up early today. I suppose 7:00 a.m. isn't really early when you get up at exactly that time every day, and the weekend just continues the trend. A with this early start we made it to the beach just before 10. Which as it happens is when a very friendly group of San Franciscans always come to walk their dogs. Ishy was quickly assimilated into the pack (it's hard not to when your the meat in a three dog humping sandwich), and I got a chance to meet some friendly owners.

Based on how tired he was when we got back, I'ld have to say that he had a good time.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

The world has gone Hi-Res

I finally broke down and went to an optometrist who has given me a prescription to deal with my nearsightedness. Starting yesterday I've been wearing contact lenses. It's apsolutely amazing the differences that exist with the world when you can see it in a higher resolution. It feels like I've just gone a generation forward in video game console technology.

Although it does come with some down sides. I was watching T.V. last night and put on an Aqua Teen re-run. I can now all too clearly see Meatwad's eyes when he blinks. Thanks Tea Girl.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Pictures from Colorado

Don't know when I'll write up about the last few days, but here are some pictures.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Big Balls

A long time ago, back when the internet boom was still a gleam in its geek's father's eyes, Shay and Rob went to help get off of the ground. In the course of their work, their favorite test search string was 'Big Balls'. Partly because it's a fun thing to type into a search widget, but also because the main result was this really cool Knex set which was called 'The Big Balls Factory'.

As a thank you for their work, etoys got them one of these that we put together one night in the Caltech dorms. It was a tun of fun to build this huge (5 foot) structure and eat cheesy poofs and just get geeky with construction toys.

Anyway, they've apparently made a new version of the Big Balls Factory with some different cool things for the balls to do on the way down. And since Toys R' Us seems to have it on sale right now, I picked one up and spent last night putting it together.

Here are the pictures from the construction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

iPod One

Guess downloading music is completely legit now that the president does it. Apparently, his 'Charley' is in charge of downloading the right music too.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Bike Ride

This morning, Bryn, Bob and I went for an inagural Topix engineering bike ride. My new bike was a lot of fun to take out on the hills. Even if it did take me a little while to figure out the clips on the pedals. I've got the kind where the shoe actually attaches itself to the pedal so that you can get some extra force from the upswing of your legs. Not that I know how to do that, or noticed it's usefullness. I was too busy gasping for air on the hills.

It's gonna take me a little while to get used to going uphill. My gym experience hasn't really been preparing me for that. I suppose that this will help kick my complacent ass into losing the last 10 or 15 pounds that I keep meaning to get around to. Because I suddenly understand why people make such a big deal about a couple of pounds here or there.

On the other hand, I did alright on the flat lands easy keeping up with (and occasionally passing) my companions. Hopefully I'll get a chance to get in hill shape about as quickly as Bryn and Bob get reaccustomed to riding.

And I got a couple of firsts out of the way. My first flat tire. Apparently whoever had installed the inner tube didn't think that keeping an even density of tubing around the tire was necessary and bunched a lot of it right near the valve. Good thing I had purchased a spare, and that Bryn was with me to show me how to replace it.

And my first fall. It seems that it's standard operating procedure that as you get used to the lock-in shoes, you fall over a couple of times as you forget how to get your foot out when you stop. And while the shoe did cause my spill, I had actually already come to a stop and had one foot on the ground. I had thought, "Hey I should get my other foot on the ground while I stand here" at which point I lifted up and pulled the bike off balance, tumbling myself into the brush.

At least I got my first fall out of the way and managed to hurt nothing but my pride.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

New Bike

Bryn has been partnerless in his morning bike rides for some time now. Well since about when google went public and Jeremy moved to England. Because of this, he hasn't gotten a chance to go biking much. It's always hard to motivate yourself when no one else is counting on you to show up. And since I've been doing a lot of stationary bike at the gym, the idea came to me that I should start riding out of doors.

Of course this idea occurred to me several months ago, and I'm a lazy, lazy man. But today I put aside some of that laziness and talked Bryn into coming bike shopping with me. I really didn't know what I was looking for, or how to shop for a road bike. And perhaps Bryn talked me into a slightly higher end model than I had originally intended for my first real road bike. But it's really cool, and I'm looking forward to taking it on some monster hills in the area in the coming months. Especially as summer starts to hit the valley.

The Bike

In the Context of My Living Room

Friday, April 08, 2005

Muscle soreness

And one more thing. I started a massive push on upper body strength at the gym this week. Four nights a week of arm work (push muscles mon/wed, pulls on tue/thurs after climbing), and while I only got three nights in this week, I'm in some monster sorts of pain in the morning. I'm really looking forward the the next 24 hours of laziness.

But, with any luck I'll get to be 'ripped' at the beach this summer.

Since I've opened the floodgates...

I haven't posted in almost a week so here's the quickie highlights...


I had been worse than usual lately and went through 3 pairs of sunglasses in almost as many days. I have a tendency to lose them, so I only buy cheep sunglasses (I think that might be part of my fear of getting real glasses). But I went out this weekend shopping, and actually opened up the passenger door to drop stuff off in the front seat and what should I find but the two lost pairs of sunglasses sitting together between the seat and the door. Now I need to figure out what to do with 3.


And what I had been shopping for was a pair of scissors. I got it in my head to try to give Ishy a trim. Bad idea. Only professionals are going to cut his hair from now on, and as soon as it's long enough to fix, he's going to one. But I was staring at two pairs, one nice, normal, and silver. The other was titanium. And in spite of not being able to come up with a single reason why titanium was better for scissors (like I care about 1oz of weight) I still had to give into my geekdom and buy the cool metal.

New Toy

And speaking of geeky toys, I just got a Canon SD500. It's so cool. It's tiny and takes 7 megapixel shots. I'm not sure what I'll need that resolution for, but I'll come up with something. And it turns on in almost no time. That was my biggest complaint with the G2. That it would take forever to boot (like 5-10sec.), but this goes from pressing on, to taking a picture in under 2 seconds. Very snazzy.

And here are my first day pictures

Damn you SBC...

Yet another reason for me to hate the phone company. They make me feel lonely. Well not lonely, exactly. Their new ad campaign features the Eric Clapton version of Leila. This song will perpetually remind me of Jaime as she was the one to correct my malapropism (I thought it was "Lay Low"), and she then set it as her ringtone for when I called. The radio ad just makes me miss the time we had together.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Speaking of fellow social unease feelers...

It's amazing the differences I've experienced in the last year. Case in point.

Symmantec's new aquisition SafeWeb has had a mass exodus of developers of late, so Smashcock had a party to celebrate Yuri's passing to better things. I of course call him that becuase his name is Babcock which was the ending of many 7 syllable lines of juvenile college limericks. While there I had an interresting set of experiences.

I'm can actually nbe a lot more self-confident and assured than I give myself credit for. There were a couple of new faces, a couple of old faces, and a couple of pretty faces at the party tonight. I actually made the rounds and talked to everyone. It was really weird talking with the 'techers. There was a naivite vibe from them that I wonder if I ever had. Mostly stemming from simplistic ideals of engineering ruling all. But the subtler points of the value of your social network were completely lost on them, and the ideas of alpha-male-ism (which is my internal phrase for just sticking up for yourself) were eye opening. It was certainly very odd to be back to talking on brute technical details as though they were the end-all-be-all.

And then there was the pretty face. She was cute, and while I missed my first opportunity to go and talk to her, I jumped at the second. Conversation was easy (relatively), and I didn't rely too much on either adrenaline or alcohol to get me through. She laughed at my jokes and I thought it went well. Later (while watching an episode of the Family Guy -- a competitor for her attention was working against me, and rightly so after I pulled an incredibly immasculating move on him) she kept making eye contact to make sure we were laughing at the same points. Granted that's my interpretation, but she was looking my way at all the right times.

I just wish I had had the balls to ask her phone number. Now I have to exploit the social web and hope I don't get cockblocked (which is actually likely given the look of the web). Not quite the path of least regret, but I'm still working on it.