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Showing posts from February, 2008

Review: Quarterlife

So, I pretty much spent this afternoon watching all 33 extant webisodes of Quarterlife, a melodrama about 5-7 late-20somethings who aren't really going anywhere with their lives, but who have plenty of spiffy dialog.

The central plot vehicle is Dylan, aspiring writer who's turned to blogging (really video-blogging, but who's counting) to express herself and her opinions, particularly on her friends' lives.

(Aside: This is the central tension in blogging--how honest do you want to be? What if someone reads what you wrote about them. That lead to the downfall--and deletion--of my "private" blog. Anyway, Dylan doesn't pull any punches good for her.)

The rest of the cast follow anon--Dylan's daddy's-girl bff Deborah, her trust-funded boytoy Danny, the starving artist vidographer Jeb, and Lisa the slut. Love triangles and Mobius Strips emerge. Relationships fall apart, reform, then fall apart again.

Having watched (essentially) the whole series at a…

Update: Whitney's Tonsilectomy

Whitney's surgery went just fine...she was in and out into recover in ~20 minutes. She's resting comfortably at home now.

Off work for a couple days + quote of the day.

"Nipples" -- Maria Combs, age 1 yr.

(Yep, Whitney proclaimed that baby girl said that the other day.)

* * *

Whitney's getting her tonsils out today at 11:30am. It's an outpatient procedure, but she's scared to death nonetheless.

Anyway, I'm off work taking care of her today & tomorrow, and the kids are going to Louisville with Stu & Cathy.

For those so inclined, prayers are appreciated. I'm sure everything will go well, but you know our luck...

Hyundai Elantra Touring mini-site

More info on that cool, euro Elantra Touring from the auto show:

Touring Mini-site

Just checking out the specs:

- 24mm front & 21 mm rear swaybars
- Factory B&M Short throw shifter
- 140hp (yeah, it's a Hyundai Beta engine...)
- Stiffer springs & dampers (EURO, BABY!!)

Might have to go drive these when they hit the dealers...sounds like a redux of the Protege5 (or the Plymouth Colt Vista for the 21st century)

Casinos in KY? Dead?!

link


After the committee meeting broke up, several expressed doubt that a compromise could be reached this session. Stumbo, for instance, said the horse industry may have asked for too much and doomed any casino proposal.

"What you saw today was an industry that cut off its nose to spite its face," Stumbo said. "I think the bill's probably dead."


w0000000000000000000t!

Maybe this isn't a fait accompli, afterall!

AUTO SHOW!!!

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Made a pilgrimage to the Cincy Auto Show on Saturday:

Cincinnati Auto Show 2008

Impressions, briefly:

VERY impressed with the offerings from Hyundai. They seem to fill every niche (aside from Hybrid), and the interior materials and fit/finish are great, for a good price. Particularly loving the Elantra Touring, which is a proper hatchback version of the elantra. Eminently practical, getting 30mpg.
The rebirth of the car. Interest in Trucks & SUVs was nil...the crowds were all around the cars and some crossovers. "What's the MPG?" seemed to be the question of the afternoon
GM's message is diffuse, and the model line doesn't make sense. GM should axe pontiac, GMC, and Buick entirely, and fold those lines into Chevrolet and Cadillac. The Lucerne, in particular, would make a lovely FWD model, and the Lacrosse could disappear entirely.
SUPREMELY unimpressed by ChryCo. Aside from the Minivans and Jeep, this company is toast. No one wants a Dodge Ram that gets 12 …

Anti-Xerox HP video

Ah, when nerds make viral videos (SFW): Link

Maria's First Birthday

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Maria's First Birthday

Check it out!! My gal's One!

V-Day rant

So, several days ago, I faced that yearly task--picking out the perfect Valentine's Day card for my wife.

I've approached this different ways in the past: One year, I eschewed getting her anything, proclaiming V-Day as "the invented holiday that makes no sense". Results were predictable, in hindsight. After that, I spent several years executing my usual card-search routine:


Enter Store.
Walk to card aisle
Find appropriately topical card. (That is don't buy "Granny you're my valentine" if you dating Daisy Fuentes.)
Ensure card is in English
Purchase said card as quickly as possible
Leave


That's the way I've always bought cards. If you're a man and you can't buy a Birthday/Christmas/Valentines/etc. card in under 4 minutes, turn-in your man-club membership card on the way out.

This year was different. I actually went shopping for the card, and I had Maria with me, so we took our time and navigated through several cards before I found one …

Reviews: "End of the Spear" and "Black Snake Moan"

One the face of it, you'll find few movies more different than End of the Spear and Black Snake Moan: One is a tale of Missionary zeal, the other a gritty portrait of depravity and betrayal.

Thanks to an accident of Netflix and the sickness that descended upon our family, I got to watch both within a twelve hour span, and the messages of both harmonize -- Redemption is available to anyone.

In Spear will see a dramatization of the true story of Western missionaries who seek to contact and convert the killer Waodoni tribe of Amazonian Ecuador in the 1960's. A group of 4 men contact the stone-age tribe, then land their plane and befriend several of the tribe, only to be slaughtered hours later. Later, the wives of the slain men enter the jungle to continue their husbands' efforts, leading to the conversion of the tribe and the end of their murderous, warlike ways--"The End of the Spear".

This was a hard movie to watch--death is omnipresent, and we watch murder and …

Recommended Blog: "TheTruthAboutCars"

Link

Brock Yates and some other ex-C&D guys have a new home, and so far, I like it:
- More terse and coherent than autoextremist.com
- Profane. Gotta love some locker-room profanity when talking about cars.
- Not TOO profane.
- Simple, easy visuals, good RSS feeds. Are you listening EDMUNDS!?
- Did I mention terse? Edmunds.com, particularly Karl Brauer, treat the internet medium as a license to blather....forever...
- They review cars people might actually buy and give honest opinions based around the target audience of that car. Is a Ford Ranger awful? Compared to a Lexus, sure. As a small, effective work truck? It's awesome, and these guys say so.

Check it out.

Meta: On version-control techniques

I've been thinking alot about version control lately, because we're undertaking a big move from Clear Case and it's Unified Change Management (UCM) process to Subversion, which is the source-control equivalent of the Wild Wild West--anything goes, wheee!!

Meetings were held, proposals submitted, cost advantages debated, and finally the Big Muckety Muck cowboyed-up and made the call--we're going to subversion and saving a gagillion dollars.

As with many such decisions, this was communicated to the worldwide distributed sites with the utmost care, forethought, and consideration. That's right--it was 13th out of 15 slides in a Powerpoint deck. Aforementioned plebians reacted with anything from curiosity to outright rebellion.

...but, I digress....

So, I'm in the unique position of having experience in both systems--we rolled-out subversion in my old job and grew to love its power, flexibility, and simplicity. It worked, it was consistent, and it stayed the heck out…

Still here...

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(Written using IE 7, since Firefox 3b2 is still as unstable as a tween headed to a Hannah Montana concert...)

I was up until 11 checking-in & building code for our 2/15 deadline, and it seemed like 10 seconds afer I closed my eyes, the weather radio started its DEEDLE-DEEDLE-DEEDLE of a warning:

"...has issued a Tornado Warning for...Scott County in Central Kentucky." Jumped up and checked the radar and, sure enough, God's own squeege was headed across the state. So, we woke-up the kids (1:15 am...ah, family time!) and huddled in our secure bunker, a.k.a. the 4-foot-wide half-bath in our hallway.

Yeah, that's the only room in our house without an outside wall.



Anyway, the sirens went off, we hung out for 1/2 an hour and went back to bed. Surveying the damage this morning, we lost two pieces of flashing off our eves, but nothing worse. The storm hit the house head-on, from the South/Southwest, much like a ship heading into the wind. Had it come directly west, i…

Pimp my ride, Stu edition...

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So, my esteemed father-in-law had a little birthday surprise of his 60th birthday of his own: A Ford 500!



(Not his, obviously...)

He picked-up a 1 year old Limited model (leather, the works...) at Crossroads Ford in Indiana. It had only 10k miles on it, and I got to take a test drive yesterday.

It's a very well-executed car, and a great replacement for the Crown Victoria: Tremendous interior room, comfort, and driveability. The car stops, turns, and steers like a Euro sedan; driving it, I kept thinking "Volvo" or "Audi". I found the suspension tuning particularly impressive--not harsh at all, but very well controlled...bumps caused one well-damped motion. There was no float or wallow; the car went where it was pointed and changed directions better than it ought to given its size.

The only complaints I can level: No telescoping steering wheel (but, power-adjustable pedals, so that's minor), and general lack of grunt from the 3.0 V6. Reviewers have said…

17-14...wow...

- Two Years, two Mannings.
- Wes Welker deserved MVP.
- Give the MVP to the Giants' D...they kept Brady on his back.
- Was Giselle hired by the NFC?

If it's possible, I feel BAD for the Patriots? An unblemished season, and then beaten in an ugly, hard-to-watch game that felt like Muhamed Ali's Ropeadope, played on a football field.

Best commercial: The Bridgestone "Scream"

Nevermind...the Saturn Astra's a dud

Wow...I've been underwhelmed before, but just...wow.

Okay, so let's review: I had a bout of unaccountable Car lust starting earlier this week. The Astra was the newest Euro kid on the block, all sexy and angular. So, today, I took a detour on my way to work and drove one.

Walkaround: The car is handsome and substantial...it really doesn't look like an economy car, but rather an upscale small hatch, a segment the MINI Cooper created. Doors open and close with an assuring thunk. The hatch is pure euro, complete with parcel shelf and a good-sized storage area with the seats up. The rear window is very small (but we'll get to that...)

Interior: Hard plastic abounds, and control layout is just bizarre. I adjusted the trip computer trying assuming that was the cruise control, and nearly got into an accident trying to turn on the radio. A large LED screen dominates the upper dash, and the center stack seems to be going for the waterfall effect from Volvo. The driving …

Politics: And then there were Four. (okay, Four-ish)

Looks like we're down to Obama -v- Clinton, McCain -v- Romney. There are other players, but it's apparent that Huckabee can't play on the coasts, and Super Tuesday should seal that.

Probably the best phenomenon of this primary season hasn't been the campaigns or races themselves, it's been the "race to decide" among the media. I used to identify this as a Fox News only phenomenon (NEWS DAMNIT!), but it seems to spread to others. Thing is, the networks seek certainty--Who's the front runner? Who is soon to be out?

Last year, McCain was done because of financing problems and intra-office ego issues. Then it was Huckabee the reincarnation of Jimmy Carter, the aw-shucks guy from nowhere. Then it was Obama and Clinton was done. Then Mitt Romney was dead and buried. It's just frigging tiresome...it's just like those stupid meetings in the corporate world that have 20 minutes of material and 1 hr of time--people start making things up.

Yes, I…

Random TV goings-on...

Joey: "I wish we had cable."

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LOST why do I care again?

Eli Stone actually made it through a whole episode and found some stuff to like. On the whole, I'd rather sleep, but eh. This one gets the biggest award for "Zero chemistry between main character and his ice queen fiancee."

Oh, and Sydney's dad from Alias is a co-star. He pretty-much plays the same character. And 'Ed' shows up in flashbacks as his Dad.

* * *

I'm just ready for a day off and some sleep. If I felt like a superstar last week, I feel like congealed oatmeal this week.

Quote of the Day

On the Superbowl:


It's like the going-away party for that dirty mistress that's been there for twenty weeks, making you forget your wife, kids, and bills. Time to send her off in style.


Not the way I'd phrase it, but quasi-appropriate.