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Showing posts from October, 2004
Random, cool xhtml based slideshow template. Yep...a slideshow in a browser, no software (*cough*Powerpoint*cough*) required.
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Zardoz

Key learning: When your somewhat-off, reminds-you-of-your-freaky-ex-roomate friend at work says a movie is "kinda weird", don't watch it.

Sean Connery wears a diaper (or sumo garb, take your pick) throughout, and basically the screenwriter creates a vision of "Brave New World" crossed with "A Clockwork Orange".

Definitely some cool moments, but not worth much. Thankfully, with netflix, it's free. :D
Big red now has some new Bilstein shocks, thanks to my father, some air tools, and a little elbow grease. It took us two-and-a-half hours, but knowing what I know now, I could probably do it in about an hour's time.

The jack only slipped once, but we had two jackstands under the frame at the time, so the whole process was injury free, minus some bruised knuckles.

The new shocks firm-up the ride of the truck, but it's not punishing. It just feels more planted and controlled than before.

Stayed the night at their place, catatonically watching the Red Sox complete their sweep of the Cardinals. Bedtime was midnight; morning came too early at 5:30. I made it through some DENSE fog to Lexmark by 8.

* * *

Until next Tuesday, I'm the acting team lead for my product. Stress and lots of typing emails will result, I'm sure. Still, I'm excited...that, along with a new project I get to work on has me "giddy as a schoolgirl"

* * *

No one knows who will win the …
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Pics of our recent MINI-club run to Red River Gorge


Marshall, dear Marshall...if only you'd read this
End-of-time watch, day 2: The Red Sox are ahead 2-0, despite 4 errors in last night's 6-2 win over St. Louis. With Pedro Martinez slated to pitch on Tuesday in St. Louis, the Sox are on track.

* * *

Ahh, the weekend. The MINI rally over to Natural Bridge was fun, if only because I met another guy named 'Harold', who drives a Yellow/Black MCS, a 2002 model he picked-up via the Suzuki dealership he works at. He dented one of his 17" wheels on the way there, so Whitney and I helped-out by donating my MC spare tire (MCS's don't have spares...from the factory, they use run-flat tires). It looked kinda funny, but it seemed to hold-up well.

Anyway, the Red River Gorge was beautiful, probably right at peak color, or may just a little past. First, we had lunch at the Nat'l Bridge Lodge, then we hiked up the 1/2 mile trail to the Bridge. From there, it was into the Gorge proper through the Nada Tunnel, then to Sky Bridge.

The group was a bit more relaxed tha…
Just had a 2 hour meeting cancelled...yay!!

My spirits are riding high today. We had our SCCA club meeting last night, and it was one of our best meetings ever, with 25 members attending. Heard good stories about CENDIV up in Cincy, Scott's travails with his new (old) ZX2, and the wheel that fell off George'n'Dee's motorhome in Maine (Wrong part in the wheel spindle, it turns out).

Waited-around this morning and picked-up my new Bilstein shocks for my truck, and talked to Dad, who quickly agreed to a father/son project for putting them on. :-)

Best of all, after my blow-up yesterday at my office-mate, I have the office to myself, at least this morning. So, the door's closed, the overhead fluorescent lights are off, and I'm looking forward to some productivity.

And I get to see my baby tonight, and go on a MINI outing tomorrow. Isn't it great?!
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Requiem for Alex Kingston, who's leaving ER after 7 seasons.



She's never been one of my favorite characters, but seems she's leaving the show on bad terms, the suits at NBC deciding her character was getting too old and dowdy to attract the 18-35 demographic.

So now, we have the new rock-star wannabe resident. Lovely.
Muhahahaha....the list of Cancelled fall TV shows is growing.
Man, the truck has been making a dent in my pocketbook here lately: First, a new set of tires (see below) that I got installed today at Ashley's wheel and brake.

I had them investigate a noise in the steering. Turns out, I had a bad inner tie rod on the right side, so there's more moolah.

Still, the paint's nice and shiny, and it's nice for tooling around in, plus there's just something intoxicating about a V-8.
Can it be possible that BOSTON will pull it out against the yankees?

As I type this, it's the top of the 9th, one out, and runners at the corners for Boston, with the Sox aheadd 9-3. Aside from a slip in the 7th by Pedro Martinez, Boston has been flawless.

Can it be?
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Ronin

This movie is alot of flash for not much substance, but it's watchable, with Robert DeNiro doing his best Sean Penn impersonation and statuesque eye candy from Natascha McElhone. The car chases are incredible, and make a decent spy thriller exceptional. By the end, nothing seems resolved, save many dead, stereotype characters.
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Bullitt


This Steve McQueen vehicle (pardon the pun) from 1968 is a real bore, featuring an amazing, non-sequitor car chase between a Mustang with a 390 Big Block V-8 and a mean, black Dodge Charger with a big-block 440 V-8. Minus this scene, the movie is unwatchable: Slow, with under-developed characters, the film meanders from one scene to the next, with little flow.

Oh, and the Dodge manages to lose five hubcaps during the chase scene.

Meh.
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Bill, Bill, Bill-san. Glad to see you have such interesting taste in post cards :-)

Something's up: All of first line managers in my department are here at 8am, sharp. I smell presentation to the department head :D

I finally did get some sleep last night, if only 4 hours or so.
As seems to be the norm these days, it's way too late, and I'm way too awake. Somehow in my last two weeks, I've managed to upset my circadian rhythms so that I'm groggy every day at 2pm, and awake each night very late.

I've always joked that I've lived with sleep debt since my Sophomore year in college (didn't sleep for 7 months straight, really), and the results are there--I can fall asleep easily within a minute of going to bed. Well, up until the last two weeks anyway.

I don't know if it's work, the shortening of the days, anxiety, or what, but something is messing with me.

* * *

Work is, well, work. After my prolonged nap this afternoon (yeah, I know...nap late in afternoon == no sleep that night.), I looked at my finances a bit and realized I have a pretty good thing going. Decent job that's not too demanding. Decent benefits. Overall mediocrity.

The world has, what, 6-7 Billion people in it by now? Given that, how can one individu…
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MEAN!

Oh my....never seen such a funny, profane, pissed-of squirrel
Latest Gossip:

Chris Brown is a full-time minster of worship and students at broadway baptist church in lexington.
Geeze...this is a what's known as a slow news day:

Asexuality: It's not just for amoebas anymore

Study links gene to homosexuality

Intellectually, the article is attractive. Gay men inherit a gene that in women causes fruitfulness and in men causes fruitiness.

Does explain the prevalence of homosexuality throughout history, when, logically, such men cannot reproduce and pass-on their genes.

Still, I'd argue there's much more nurture than nature at work here. The distribution of homo/heterosexual men within a given society varies much too widely: In ancient Greece, nearly every wealthy man was wholly or partly homosexual; it was a societal norm. Unless all of their mothers were carrying this 'fruitful' gene, such a skewed distribution points towards learned behavior to me.

Do people have tendencies? Absolutely! However, social mores will determine how those tendencies find express, in all but the most extreme ends of the bell curve.
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:-) So deliciously WRONG:



Ah, the things I could do if I had a Lotus Elise and more money than I know what to do with....
Watching the debate tonight:


"The solution to all our problems is getting people retrained for the jobs of the 21st century."
-- George Bush


You know what? Not everyone needs to be a programmer, or a database administrator, or a .com CEO. Not everyone needs a college diploma. Forcing adults to endure another 4 years of school just for the sake of getting an entry-level job belittles both those unfortunate students and the for-pay institutions that must digest them.

What we DO need is a way for honest high-school graduates to earn a living. The elimination of manufacturing, tradesman jobs, and skilled working-class jobs is killing the middle class.

I'd argue that in order to have a sustainable social and economic structure, we need to plug the ever-widening hole in our skillset. Most of these jobs come from the 19th century or earlier, not the 21st century.
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Well, after sliding SIDEWAYS onto the interstate yesterday in the rain, I have a new set of Yokohama Geolandar's in 245/75R16 headed for Ashley's Wheel and Brake.



should be there either friday or early this coming week.
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Some days you slack, some days you procrastinate. And then, there's today:




Which OS are You?
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Idyllic weekend spent up in Louisville, relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of life. Lovely :)

Watched quite a few movies:

The Girl Next Door


Good, not great flick. All the players are B-list, aside from Elisha Cuthbert, but the story's heartwarming and somewhat interesting. It's an unoriginal rip-off of "Risky Business" in many ways.

Porky's

Ah, the infamous Porky's, the movie that reminds us why we're really glad we're not horny teenagers in 1950's Florida. There is ONE scene that makes this movie watchable: The hilarious sex scene with a young Kim Catrall as Miss "Lassie" Honeywell. Aside from that, this is a diffuse, pointless, anacrhonistic period piece that tries to string together a series of moneyshot vingnettes ("Girls in the shower", "Having Honeywell in the morning", "Boys at the whorehouse", "I'm just a Jew") with the merest hint of a unifying thread. It commits the only un…
Random "Apprentice" complaint:

Okay, so you set-up the only woman with a molecule of leadership skill to fail, then you FIRE HER!?

Disgusting.
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Props to William Randall, Esq. ( a.k.a. Bill-san ) for an awesome postcard with a cool picture of the Buddha of Todaiji Temple in Nara, Japan.

This is the place where an inflammatory blog entry that would've gotten me fired once was.

If this had been an actual emergency, the announcement you just heard would've been followed by official news or instructions. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.
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Quick reactions to the Vice Presidential debate last night:

Edwards: Sharp, smooth, and effective throughout, thought at times he came across as the Southern Snake Oil Salesman. He spoke directly to Cheney, toe to toe, and his closing remarks were moving and they've stayed with me. He scored several blows, particluarly on health care, Iraq, Halliburton, and jobs, but none was a knockout. Honestly, I'd like to live in the America he described, a place of strong middle-class, consensus, health-care, good environment, and progress.

Cheney: Throughout, Cheney was the bitter herbs to Edwards saccharine. His job seemed to be reminding us of just how BAD things were right now in the world, implying that the two Democratic golden boys hadn't a clue about really how to fix it. He didn't scoff nervously the way Bush did in his first debate. Instead, he was measured in his defense of Bush/Cheney policies and in his attacks on the Senatorial voting records of Kerry and …
Book of James in one sentence: "Have some self control, and do God's work".

I don't know why, but I got up this morning with an urge to read the Bible. I made myself some coffee, turned off the radio + tv, and sat down to read whatever struck me. My marker from the last time I was at church was in James, so I began reading this tidy, direct book and it just floored me.

"Desire fully conceived leads to sin, and sin fully conceived leads to death." (James 1:15) Death not of the body, mind you, but of the spirit. This thing--desire--is the thing I struggle with most in my life. Work, cars, food, women...at varying times throughout my life, all have consumed me so much that they've stolen my time away from God. And right now, while I'm not away from Him totally as I've been at times, things are somewhat distant.

And, in general, the man who has self-control has an advantage. If he can back away from his natural instinct, he can get ahead in li…
Great...that annoying Mr. Dyson who invented the vacuum with per-fect suckshion was inspired by the Mini

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Haven't been able to post from work for the past two days...so here goes.

Cool Article on a MINI in a rally

I think they've blocked me from posting to blogger at work...or else blogger is down.

Testing 1...2...3....4...
Rant I saw on slashdot this morning while I tried to avoid thinking about how utterly dead our project is:



What it does meen is I now have a legal basis for beating the cr@p out of the Starbucks clerk when he doesn't understand I just want plain black coffee.

It's worse here in Israel, where the idea of coffee is synonymous with milk. Every time I go somewhere for coffee it's a 5 minuet ordeal, that I am not caffinated enough to deal with.

"Caffe, Shovar, ein Chalav, ein sukar" (Translation: Coffee, black. No milk, no Sugar)

"Espresso".

"Lo Nescafe",(Trans: no instant.)

"Ah Nescafe Latte" (Trans: Oh, you must be wrong, and want Instant coffee mixed with steamed milk)

"LO! Nescafe, im maim cham. Ze Oh." (Trans: No you freaking moron. Put instant coffee in hot water, nothing else!)

"Maim? oh Chalav?" (Trans: No one actually drinks coffee like that here. You want it with milk)

"Look I'm a f@#$ing American. M…
Joe, have a look at this.

Basically, it's Kodak (KODAK!) suing Sun Microsystems over a horribly generic patent they bought from Wang computers back in the 1990's. It also means (depending how you read it) that every software system that uses dynamic-linked libraries, e.g. ALL OF THEM, infringe upon this patent.

Software patents are insanity.