Showing posts from May, 2004
Shots of A rather stormy ft. knox (Pics courtesy of Whitney)

Had a fair to middlin' day: Kept chanting "Look a-head...Look a-head" to myself throughout the course, but I couldn't seem to put all the pieces together. DNF'd or coned every run; just wasn't that much fun doing that. We had 3 heats, with 5 runs each (before the last heat was shortened to 3 runs b/c of weather), HS was in the 2nd heat.

We had a huge 9 drivers. most were newbies, but three of us were there with race tires: Scott, Joey, and myself, and I ended-up 2nd. I was very close to Scott's times, and had my head been in the game and all, I could've challenged him.

Had a bit of fun after that regarding a call to AAA from a guard shack to get a certain Green Ford Taurus containing all my necessary worldly belongings unlocked before the tornado hit. But that's another story. In short, we got the car unlocked, and thanks to Scott, David, Todd, and myself, we got my t…
So much for my fancy-schmancy Palm Tungsten T. It's hosed. i'm staring at a blank screen that just says 'Reset', but whenever I reset it, it brings me back to the blank screen.

>>sigh<< this is me paying the stupid tax for buying a device I really didn't need.
Today on the Netflix bandwagon: Chicago

Full disclosure: Whitney hates this movie, and has been very vocal about it, so that's probably colored my view here.

What we have here is an opera/musical that centers around Roxie Hart, philandering wife of a lowly mechanic who figures to sleep her way to a shot at Vaudeville fame. When her lover comes clean about being a furniture salesman who fed her a line to bed her, she shoots him in a jealous rage. The plot describes her time in prison, the environment of 1920's Chicago, and the role of media in justice (or, in this case, injustice).

Roxie is an anti-hero: Unhappy with her lot in life, she uses every conniving trick imaginable from the traditional (sleeping with a benefactor) to the trite (pretending to be pregnant to curry sympathy) in her quest for fame. Her husband Amos is the perfect, if dull, foil: Madly in love with Roxie, he tries to take the blame for the killing, hocks all his goods for her defense, and STILL takes he…
Thanks to NetFlix I've seen one of the best films ever made: The Godfather

Words really don't do justice to the mastery of this film. From the first moment at the Corleone wedding, Coppola presents us with dozens of interesting, round characters. He captures not only the story, but also several picturesque locations: 1946 New York, Sicily. Color, texture, and smell flow from the screen to your cortex.

The main thread of the story involves the Corleone family, most prominent of organized crime's "5 Families". As the story opens we see Brando as Don Corleone, aged patriarch, founder of the family. His three sons, hot-head Sonny (James Caan), simpleton Fredo, and college-kid-cum-war-hero Michael (Al Pachino) lead the magnificent cast of surrounding characters. Mainly, we see the story through Michael's eye, his feelings of duty, honor, loss, rage. As he becomes first a pawn, then a killer, then a victim, then a calculating leader, we go through the changes…
I need to find a new apartment, or a house, or something. Paying my rent every month is KILLING ME.

Sat down tonight (yeah, Friday night, all by my lonesome >>sigh<<) and took a serious look at my finances, considering the extra expenses of gasoline and autocross every other (or every!) weekend. The short end of it, it's not great. I really need to pare-down some spending or get some more income, which is patently absurd, because I feel I'm OVERPAID.

I'm anticipating a raise (effective in August), but until then, i'm at a point of depressing equilibrium...

On the bright side, I'm having quite a bit of fun. Dave would not be especially proud of me, but as I've acquired all the toys I'd lusted after, maybe I can rachet-down the spending and save a bit.

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There are some...interesting...houses in the outlying areas around G'town and Paris that are going for like $60k-$100k. Probably not sexy houses, but hey :)

Well, wish me luck, guys. Big red is in the shop for its midlife

Just dropped-it-off on 2nd Street at Auto Tech Service for every maintenance service known to mankind, short of an engine + transmission rebuild.

>>sigh<< It's only money, right? Heck, cheaper than buying a new truck. Or a 300C

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I haven't said this in almost 3 years of working here: Today is looking pretty darn boring. I've got some documentation to work on, but until I get some questions answered via email, I'm kinda stuck on my big workitems. Breezed through two technical books in the past two days:

Bitter Java

This book is basically a diatriabe about anti-patterns. Just as with all intelligent life, programmers find rules-of-thumb about how to do certain repetitive things in our code. We call these "Patterns" or "Design patterns". Well, in true thesis/antithesis form, Bruce Tate and his cronies came-up with this book to discuss anti-patt…
"For Some, the Blogging Never Stops"

That's right, cyber-citizens! Put down that laptop with the wireless connection, stop recording your thoughts, and back away slowly with your hands in the air! The intelligensia are freaked-out by people expressing themselves en masse.
defining moment: going sideways down the entrance ramp onto New Circle Rd after I goosed the throttle in Big Red. I countersteered and got out of the throttle, and the rear-end came back into line, but that was a real pucker moment.
Lots of randomness today:

Learned that the reality TV phenomenon is likely to continue, as it's sheer economics: Whereas scripted programs must be rerun in order to recoup production costs, networks can make a profit on a single showing of a reality program (no pesky writers or actors to pay...). I wonder how long it'll take us to get to the "Jumping For Dollars" scene in The Running Man, where some hapless contestent grasps for $100 bills as Rotweilers nip at his heels.

* * *

Discovered some really cool software, and not all of it just good for writing programs. One particular one I like is a brainstorming tool called FreeMind. Screen shot:

Kinda cool way to develop thought-trees, complete with HTTP links, icons, pictures, whatever.

* * *

I've been avoiding writing about my latest reads, but I guess I should record that I actually read these two novels by Orson Scott Card:

Ender's Game

Ender's Shadow

The premise of both books is a future after two invas…
autocrosstraining:n. (colloquial)

The act or enterprise of exercising muscle groups heterogeneously to participate in the activity of autocross

:-) Some neologisms are a little too good to pass-up.
I'm so spent I can barely hold my eyes open to write this.

but I WON! I WON! No voodoo, no tricks, no luck. I was up at Kentucky Speedway at Sparta, and I ran 5 clean runs without hitting a single cone, knocking .2-.6 of a second off each pass up until I won my class. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction was enough to get me home alive.

I was so dirty and grimy, I left a ring in my tub after I took a bath. Blech.

* * *

On a completely mundane note, I'm bidding farewell to my first Discover card tonight. Having had it three years, they expired my previous card and sent me a new one. In my catatonic state, I couldn't find the card in the packaging; instead, I only found the hated 'Discover2Go' thing that's not-quite-a keychain. Bleary eyed and incensed (though clean) I called customer service, where a sweet-voiced girl named Miranda calmly told me to look harder in the packaging. I would've been embarrassed, but that'd have required energ…


It smells, it's hot, it's hilly, but it's neat! Went to the zoo on Sunday (yes, after hanging-out with mom and dad after my long day buying susan's Escape, below)


Random: me and my father.

I went with Susan on Saturday to buy her new truck: put that in your blog, cut and paste the following into blogger:

<img src=""/>

What a day...I drove down to Jackson to talk to Steve and Susan about the Library's needs for new server, and then Susan, her mom Flo (nee "Flo-Bess"), and I were going to go to Hazard to buy her an Escape. We left for Hazard a little after 11. She had her mind set on one with a moonroof, V6, 4WD, and the works.

Well, we got to hazard, found the truck she loved, and they wouldn't budge on price. We figured-out she had to have a 2005, and they had a $1k rebate on 'em. These trucks were listing for $27k or so, but we were offering $24-$24.5 to start. No joy in Hazard.

I thought that would be it, honestly. :-) I was wrong.

So, then we went to West Liberty, to the same dealership where Dad and I bought that monstrous Black-on-Gray 1991 Fo…
Well, found a way to sign-up for google's new Email Service. Instead of the paltry 2MB you get at hotmail or 4MB at yahoo, they give you a whole GIGABYTE of mail storage.

my new address:
Ahh...the first evidence that the automotive driving public is coming to its senses.

The Hummer H2 is starting its long, welcome sales slide into oblivion. The 11mpg behemoth, the symbol of American largess seems soon to join the Ford Excursion, whose porcine mass would seem to preclude any sort of excursion whatsoever, in the automotive junkyard.

Perhaps, finally, America will wise-up and choose more efficient options for taking Timmy to soccer practice. Seventy-five dollars per bi-weekly fillup will do that to ya.
Scan of the Evolution School coursemap from last Friday.

It's a bit confusing, from the map above, but let me esplain:

Start-out at the lower left, pointing towards the slalom. Enter the constant-distance slalom on the right and alternate until you get tothe 5th gate. Trip the timing light and that ends segment 1.
Take the 360 going clockwise first time. Exit heading towards the top of the map. As you exit, trip the light again, and this ends segment 2.
Go up to the top of the course and do a 90-degree bend to the left, arc-ing back towards the starting line. when you get back there, do a 90 turn into the sweeper, and trip the light, ending segment 3.
Continue your arc up to the top left of the course, and switchback through the Chicago Box, taking a (now gentle) right-hand towards the 360-degree turn. As you trip the lights, again, that's segment 4.
Finally, exhausted, take the 360 counter-clockwise. When you trip the lights again on your exit, segment 5 and your run are comp…
As the world has passed me by in the intervening days, I've sought some sort of response to its events. For some reason, it's been like another 9/11 for me, my eyes dimmed, my heart sad. May God grant me just a moment to get out what burdens my heart:

I am no dove, understand. I believe war is a sad reality that will be with us until humanity's life is snuffed out. As has been said, a person may be intelligent, empathic, and willing to compromise, but people on the whole are xenophobic, scared, and violent. People wish to acquire as many resources and as much power as they can, which is just peachy until encoutering another such group. Thus, war is reality.

Nicholas Berg died this week, in full color, on tape. I have not seen the footage, but from descriptions, he was forced to make a statement to a camera before his hooded captors, and then he was beheaded. This was no guillotine or headsman's axe: His head was sawn from his body by a knife, slowly, then shown…
Well, an altogether disappointing last few hours.

I got home and hand a hankering for some atmosphere, coffee, and internet connection, so I decided to head for the Lock and Key. Got an extremely disappointing cup of Kenyan coffee for $2. Okay, consider: a whole POUND of the stuff might cost $10. That's a pound of whole beans. I don't mind paying for exceptional coffee, but $1 to $1.50 sounds more reasonable to me. On top of that, the coffee tasted under-strength, like they're trying to stretch their profits a bit. >>sigh<<

The Sumatran the other day was excellent, so maybe this was just an abberation.

Then, enjoying my cup of bland, overpriced coffee, I was chatting with my mom when their router went belly-up. Tried everything from my end, but to no avail.


* * *

I was a good boy today; got to the gym immediately after class let out and did 20 minutes on the StairMaster, work of Satan that it is. After about 10 minutes, I hit my s…
I know I know...lotsa pictures, not much substance in the past few days.

I've been overawed with my new broadband/wireless/powerbook.

lots going on:

We're about to release the next version of my product. LOL...I'm so braindead and burnt-out about it that all I can say is: "it's almost over".
I'm in a new Web Services class. Cool stuff, it a rehash of a basic idea from the 1970's
The Castle on US60 at the Fayette/Woodford county line burned down last night
Finally got some pics from Derby Breakfast in Frankfort on May 1st.

For some reason, this picture is autocross for me; it's the anticipation, the course, the car, the man, the weather.

Some pics of my cousin's wedding from nearly a month ago
Well, I've finally (re)joined the information age at full speed:

Got my cable modem set-up last Tuesday and I waited a whole 6 hours after that to get my wireless router/firewall setup. Now, i've got both my powerbook and my dell running through it wirelessly on 1.5 Mbps connection to the internet. Nummy :D

Also, in the package I get 10mb of web hosting, so guess what's going there? PICTURES! For the past few weeks I've had a trial .Mac account, but that's proven to be cumbersome, considering I have all the photo storage/editing/upload stuff I need right here in my powerbook. So, i'm going to drop that when the 60 days runs out and migrate my pics over to my new adelphia hosting. don't think I'll bother with an actual site w/them. My blog keeps me busy enough as is.

Weekend has gone famously so far. Evolution school (see below) and then yesterday wtih Whitney up in Louisville. I was utterly exhausted after my day on Friday out in the heat, but w…
Some pics from the evolution school I took on Friday:

Ahh..nothing like MINIs in the sunrise

A little symmetry as Ron (left) and Mark (right) change their street tires for Khumho Ecsta V700's. Rons would delaminate from the heat by the end of the day.

This is Ron's MINI about to head out on course. We had two parallel courses, both exactly the same, so both groups compared times against one another. I was the fastest MINI, but Mark was right behind me.

It's good to be loved:

I tested out the scenario with your modified version of code and it seems to work great! Tremendous effort!

I am contemplating whether I should propose Oxford to include a new word 'Harold' in their latest version of English Dictionary which would mean 'Rock Solid'!

From my co-worker and friend in India, Subrata. I love that guy; I'd work with him anywhere, anytime.

* * *

Edit: Like Harvid needs a bigger
Life is what happens during the pauses:

The pause when a suckling babe looks at his mother and smiles
The split second your realize, yes, your dad's let go of the bike and you're riding on your own
After making love when you gaze at your beloved
The time when the sun's setting and you gaze at your land, and your home
That second after an exceptional performance, right before the audience explodes in applause
The moment on the autocross course when you've just had an awesome run, and you haven't even looked at the clock yet and you just go "YEEEEHA!"

The main idea here is "pause". Take a moment to reflect, and it staunches that feeling of "life is passing me by". I've done much more of that in the past month, and I've seen tremendous dividends.