Thursday, October 1, 2009

They have seasons here!

I wasn’t able to get that picture since I have had a slight geographical change as of yesterday. I went from beautiful 70-degree Southern California to a much colder 40 in Detroit, Michigan. I am guessing 30’s when I got up this morning from all the ice on everything at 4am. Yah, gotta love the three hour time difference. 4am Pacific Time, unfortunately I was nowhere near the Pacific.

The difference in time claimed another victim when I called someone back in California. To me it was 9:45am, perfectly fine for calling someone I knew would be up and around by that time. Wrong, I forgot it was 6:45am over there…and I woke them up, opps.

It’s a very busy house where I am staying. 7 kids in the house! With me there, there is now 10 people.

I am only visiting for a few days to get some work done out here, but until then, “That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch.”

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm not dead, just sleeping

Wow, long time no post. Sorry about that.

As far as updates on traffic that may come here from my sister's site, I finally started on my new knitting project for those fiber enthusiasts out there. It's the beginning of a cup cozy/holder, or whatever. I'll take a photo of what I have and post that when I get home tonight.

Since I noticed my sister had a link to my blog, I thought I better put something up before everyone thinks I'm dead.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

G8 summit

Seems President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkosy are enjoying the view in Italy at the G8 summit today.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Keep on truckin'

I have a huge respect for long distance truck drivers after a long drive. I just finished a 7 hour drive up California and not sure if I could have gone much longer without stopping to rest. The countless semi trucks I passed on the road I know have been driving much longer than I probably ever will.

Though the laws for truck drivers are confusing, there are limits up to 15 hours of driving. Its hard to imagine driving that long, resting for a certain time outlined in the laws, then getting back on the road all over again.

Be nice to those truckers, they will most likely appreciate the break from all the road rage and won't release the trunk monkey on you.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

As Heard from the Roommates V

I moved out of my old apartment a few months ago, but the strangeness of my old roommates continued. Over e-mails and instant messaging I wrote down a few of the continued madness. It looks like I can never escape.

Now, if you could only build some sort of crossbow into a flaming chainsaw you'd have a pretty good anti-zombie weapon

Engineering paper totally makes me feel like a badass

Alaskan Flavored doom makes your moose burgers taste just right while releasing Sarah Palin on the immediate area

Preschool UNIX, the latest trend in Santa Clara daycare centers

Thursday, June 25, 2009


It seems that Instant Karma has won the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf contest. For those that don’t see the correlation between karma and ice blended coffee, that is the nutty crème caramel one. Karma beat the dulce de leche Heat Wave and tiramisu flavored Thunder Road.

I understand the karma concept where good and bad actions supposedly affect you in the future. Things like walking your neighbor’s dog while helping their grandmother across the street carrying her groceries or something. I wonder what happens when you drink liquid karma though. Is that kinda like liquid courage?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pick your poison

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf coffee shop is running a contest for choosing a new ice blended drink. I have seen this done by many companies before. Unfortunately, The Coffee Bean has decided to wander into the realm of strange names for the drinks. The current blended drinks have names such as vanilla, mocha, and caramel which are fine, but the new ones are called Heat Wave, Thunder Road, and Instant Karma.

Heat Wave is supposedly dulce de leche, Spanish caramel, and means milk candy in English. How they plan to distinguish this from the caramel blended drink they already have is puzzling. Then there is Thunder Road flavored as tiramisu, and Instant Karma that is supposed to be nutty caramel crème. Wait a second, didn’t we just have dulce de leche? Oh, excuse me, Heat Wave. When I hear thunder road I think of the Disneyland Thunder Mountain ride. I wonder if this drink hurts your neck too.

Cannot forget the nutty caramel crème though. Crème is a French word for goodness sake, so now we have Spanish caramel, French crème, and Italian tiramisu! Since we are going with a European theme here maybe we should have them introduce a black pudding flavor with little pieces of blood sausage mixed in.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bush goes skydiving again

George Bush Senior really knows how to celebrate his birthday, skydiving over Kennebunkport, Maine. Jumping out of a plane at 10,500 feet is how everyone should celebrate their birthday, especially Bush Senior on his 85th.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First knitting project

It took far longer than it should, but I finished my first knitting project. I made a small felted box from a Mason-Dixon Knitting pattern. I first saw the ones my sister made and thought I would make one myself.

Since my sister was who taught me to knit, her living several hours away made some things tough to learn. Through working on my own and knitting while up at her place I got it done. She made another gray one while I worked on my green box, and you can see why they are called nested boxes.

Took me about a month, and while that may seem pathetic to me, my sister said it turned out pretty good. I guess your first project will always take longer, especially when its full of garters, purls, binding off, casting on, picking up stitches, and crocheting.

My next project is a few cup cozies similar to this, minus the plants.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Finger surgery

Don’t want to talk about it too much since I would like to keep this site rated PG. Let’s just say finger surgery this morning was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had. Cutting my finger up like sushi with only a minor anesthetic. Yah, it really sucked.

By the way, my sister knitted that pillow.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Vegan yummies

I just had a vegan meal, and I am a little worried. My credentials as a meat eater might be in jeopardy if this is not addressed soon. It was very tasty though, with Portobello mushrooms blackened on the grill outside along with zucchini and onions. To counteract the vegan I am going to have some sushi leftover from last night.
Philadelphia rolls

We ordered a frightening amount of sushi, but with the aid of my sister and her husband we managed most of it. Leftover salmon Philadelphia rolls are very tasty as well. For some reason they brought us a whole bunch of surimi rolls, so there are quite a bit of those left too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Car Audio Competition

Though I do not claim to know much about car audio competition, I am quite impressed by my brother in law’s car. His previous car had an unbelievable sound system, but unfortunately had a chance meeting with another car and that didn’t end too well. His new Mazda 6 is becoming a high end car stereo.

Through days of tuning the system he can now reproduce audio frequencies from about 15Hz through 22,000Hz. The typical range of human hearing is 20Hz to 20,000Hz. When you go below 20Hz you are able to feel the sound, rather than hear it. Having the stereo reproduce above 20,000Hz gives greater harmonics and sound presence.

I won’t be able to attend the audio competition he is attending Saturday, but hopefully he comes home with a gigantic trophy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Insanely Great Internet

I think the term High Speed Internet is a little too broad when describing connection speeds. I sit here in a Motel 6 room, where I probably will be staying for a few days, using what the hotel describes as “Broadband WiFi” and exclamation mark for good measure in the front office.

Unfortunately this is not the case. Upon checking, the speed is ranks up there with dial up. Now I realize that we have become spoiled with connections today, and maybe this was fast…10 years ago.

For that haven’t seen the 1995 film Hackers, you are missing out on some hilarious stuff, but when Phantom Phreak sees Acid Burn’s Macintosh he finds it holds the future of networking.

“Yo. Check this out guys, this is insanely great, it’s got a 28.8 BPS modem…I want it to have my children!”

And yes, that is Angelina Jolie in the blue.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

8 Legs

Not sure if you could tell by my previous post, but I am not the biggest fan of spiders. Maybe its due to getting bit by them all the time, or constantly finding them in my room, mostly from crawling through an opening in my window even when it is closed. Overall I hate the little buggers.

I walked into the kitchen tonight and heard someone watching a program on the TV. I then heard, “They then use their powerful sucking stomachs to drink the liquefied insides of their prey. Or cocoon them and keep food for months to come.” Sorry, but while opening the fridge for something to snack on, the last thing I want to hear is a narrator telling me about a spider slurping down some liquid yumminess.

While asleep I hope I don’t have some eight legged nightmare.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fun for the whole family

I really miss playgrounds. Swinging from monkey bars, climbing chain ladders, and of course going down plastic slides creating an unbelievable amount of static electricity. Sure there are so called playgrounds that can accommodate adults such as Six Flags and Disneyland, but I’d rather have some jumbo sized playground with everything painted in primary colors.

It seems you have to go with metal and plastic now, but at my old elementary school it was wood. This of course changed when it was found to be completely full of evil spiders that are out to get you, can smell terror, and only fear fire.

You can of course turn a regular playground into one fit for slightly older children, but people look at you funny. Especially when you have your camera set up with a ten second delay then run and flip around a bar. Not that I have done this of course.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mason Dixon box

It’s taking me a bit of time to finish this, mostly since I can’t sit for hours and knit like my sister. I am more just picking up the needles occasionally and doing a ridge or two. I had made a mistake and will possibly run out of yarn before it is finished, but supposedly it is rather simple to join new skeins of yarn to the old ones.

My first project has definitely been challenging since I am not completely familiar with different stitch types. I will be picking up stitches once I finish this side, something I currently have no clue how to do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mars Day

It’s Earth Day, and I guess I shouldn’t be writing this since it takes electricity to run the computer which is killing a dozen random animals or something, hopefully cockroaches. Instead of Earth Day and concerns about The Blue Planet, I say we focus today on The Red Planet.

Mars is not exactly a hospitable place, and I say we work to change this. Lets get rid of excess cars on Mars and work on planting more trees. We should take some water with us since the planet seems a little dry. Mars is smaller too, so this will probably be easier.

Mars was the Roman god of war, so up in arms people!

Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war.

Caption: RAWR!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Skin Surgery

I’m happy to say my sister’s surgery to remove a melanoma near her knee went well. She will be off her feet for a while, and has her knee immobilized so most of her time will be spent on the couch with her legs raised. Thankfully she has her knitting to keep her busy.

She has finished knee socks, a felted box, started a sweater, crocheted an apple, three apple slices, a mushroom, and an ice cream sandwich for a set of play food in the past three days. She has already finished many others including cake and pizza, which is all you really need for food anyway, the yummy diet.

She was telling me how much she hoped they wouldn’t have to do a skin graft, and that ended up not being needed. That would have been a major addition to the procedure accompanied by quite a bit of pain and recovery.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I previously had a post about strange computer programs, but an old roommate reminded me of some of the surprisingly interesting names for programming languages. Being a Computer Science major he spends plenty of time with these ones and zeros.

The only systems I can program are C and Fortran. He knows and uses far more. I don’t know how some of these names are chosen, but there is one named after a household cleaner. I guess your computer must be dirty if you start using Ajax on it. He says with code that dirty, you have to have the best detergent to clean it up.

Sure there are other uses for Ajax besides web development, such as fiction, mythology and others, but how they choose a product with a slogan of “Stronger than dirt!” is beyond me.

Then there are the animal names, among them Python, Squirrel, and Caml. The machine language Caml has a nice little camel walking around in the logo. Camels seem to be popular in the programing world, with Perl also using a camel in its logo.

If it wasn’t for this language developed by a NASA employee, who knows how xkcd would ever handle regular expressions.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Felted Box

I started my first knitting project yesterday. I had previously worked on some practice pieces, little squares that turned into arcs since I was making a few mistakes adding stitches. While visiting my sister's family over Easter we looked for something for my first one. Many start with a scarf, but that didn’t seem like something I would want to do. Instead I am making a felted box from a Mason Dixon pattern.

I picked up some greenish wool and mohair, which they call Pine Shadows, and started my box. Using much larger needles and double-stranding the bulky yarn took a bit to get used to, but it sure goes quickly being so large. I am done with one side and just started another, so I am not sure how long it will take to complete. I cannot sit for hours knitting like my sister, but I am still having fun. I’ll take a picture of mine when it starts coming together. Until then, this is a picture of the boxes my sister has made.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


My sister will soon be undergoing a procedure to remove a melanoma. This serious form of skin cancer is no joke, and I wanted to take some time to encourage people to be careful.

If you are susceptible to moles, and have had them removed you know the importance of looking for suspect skin. Living in Northern Siberia and rarely seeing the sun doesn’t mean you won’t ever get this serious tumor. Family history can contribute to your risk besides exposure to UV radiation from the sun.

Check your skin often for anything that doesn’t look right. Use a mirror to check where you can’t see such as your back. If you see a mole or skin mark that is not symmetrical, different colors, ragged borders, or larger than normal moles you should contact a doctor immediately. There are other signs, but without all the information and experience of a doctor I can only say what I have been told by my doctor.

Sorry for the disturbing pictures, but if you catch it early you can get rid of them without many problems. Be proactive about this, skin cancer is very serious.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Evil Dead IV

It looks like we will have another Evil Dead movie coming up. Many will recognize the title Army of Darkness, which was actually Evil Dead 3. It is said that it will not be a remake, which is welcome news to me. Evil Dead 2 was a remake of Evil Dead 1 already. Evil Dead 4 would be a little silly as another remake.

Bruce Campbell has cemented himself in the role of Ash, and his cameos in Sam Raimi films are always hilarious. He has had cameos in all three Spider-Man movies as well. The ring announcer in the first, a theater usher in the second, and finally the Maître d’ in the third.

Evil Dead 4 is scheduled to be released in 2010, along with an another likely cameo role for Bruce in Spider-Man 4 released in 2011. Let’s just hope Peter Parker is a lot less emo this time around.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Duel

Note: This following explanation is mostly a copy of the post on March 31st. The second 55-Fiction is below it.

A local newspaper holds an annual contest started in 1987 to write a short story in 55 words or less. The New Times accepts entries from anyone and selects some to publish in the weekly paper. The idea of writing a story in 55 words or less is not as easy as you may think. New Times criteria for the stories include a setting, one or more characters, conflict, and resolution. They are really fun to write though, and I suggest anyone give it a try.

For one year I wrote and submitted two entries, which unfortunately did not get chosen for publication. I encourage any reader to write one for fun. Much of my writing is a little ambiguous, but I find it fun that way. The second one in 49 words is called The Duel, enjoy!

Stoic statues faced each other in a dusty street.
Windows boarded up for a storm under blue skies.
A thundering roar heralds a pinnacle's crumble to dry earth.
It was over, and the other moved away.
A glint of light from a forsaken sheriff's badge discarded in the dirt.

By the picture you might see this has to do with a shootout in Western town. Leave a comment if gave it a try or what you think of the idea of super short stories.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy Foolishness Day

Happy Foolishness Day in April

Quite a few internet April Fool’s jokes came out today, some of them quite creative. For the Star Wars fan you could pick up a Tauntaun sleeping bag at Think Geek, complete with intestinal lining. Warm and lightly scented I bet.

Expedia offered a flight to Mars for the reasonable price of 99 dollars. According to the offer Expedia has dropped all booking fees, including fees on flights to Mars. The deal offers savings of over 3 trillion on a Mars vacation. Oxygen and spacecraft probably not included, just a shot out of a giant canon.

Second 55 word fiction story will be posted later.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A local newspaper holds an annual contest started in 1987 to write a short story in 55 words or less. The New Times accepts entries from anyone and selects some to publish in the weekly paper. The idea of writing a story in 55 words or less is not as easy as you may think. New Times criteria for the stories include a setting, one or more characters, conflict, and resolution. They are really fun to write though, and I suggest anyone give it a try.

For one year I wrote and submitted two entries, which unfortunately did not get chosen for publication. I encourage any reader to write one for fun, and I will include one in this post. The next post will contain the second. Much of my writing is a little ambiguous, and this is in the same vein. I won’t say the exact meaning of this story here. If you want to know and don’t see it from the story it will be below. The first one in 53 words is called Passage, enjoy!

They go in. They don’t come out.
Watching from the hall two went in. None came out.
Menacing doors swallowed them all.
An emptying hall, all go through the gaping hole.
I couldn’t help myself. I had to see, slipping through the closing doors.
Fellow prey stood to my side, “Level two please.”

I wanted to make an everyday occurrence seem suspenseful. In this case a person is watching people walk into an elevator, then going in as well. I hope some of you try it out. Leave a comment if gave it a try or what you think of the idea of super short stories.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


There are quite a few names for popular computer programs that are pretty strange when you think about it. The two web browsers I use are a good example, Firefox and Safari. I realize Firefox is named after the Red Panda native to Asia, but I can’t help imagining a poor fox running around on fire.

The logo sure looks like it’s a fox that has caught fire, the size of a planet too. Who cares about meteorites, we have giant foxes, which is much more devastating.

A Firefox falling to earth is probably the answer to the mysterious cause of the Tunguska event.

Safari makes a little more sense I guess, going around the inter-tubes on a safari enjoying the scenery. Safaris also are full of animals though, particularly some dangerous ones. I am a little scared I will be browsing some website about zoos, and a hungry lion jumps out of the screen and eats my face. Perhaps reading political news and a stinky wildebeest starts munching on my monitor.

Most bundled applications in OSX are pretty self explanatory such as Mail, Automator, and TextEdit. But there are far too many “iPrograms.” iCal, iChat, iSync, iTunes, iWork, iPhoto, iWeb, iMovie, which are a part of iLife, all of which are bundled with the operating system, not to mention the iPod, iMac and iPhone. Maybe not iWork on some computers, which is an office productivity suite.

Third party developers are also obsessed with iPrograms and iPeripherals. You can pick up an iClock, an iMicrophone, and pretty soon I am expecting to see the BMW iCar, complete with an Aqua user interface.

Pets too, can you imagine an iMongoose?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

April Fool's

April Fool’s day is right around the corner, and I am wondering what pranks I will see this year. Some very well thought out, though one I fear is my sister's. To this date, she has not pulled one, so this year may be when her sinister plan unfolds. All those years of peace and silence shattered in an explosion of foolishness.

I will be up at her place, so the terror may be quite severe. Waking up to find Tony the Terror Cat about to pounce from kitty treats on my face. There is no escape from the Doom Kitty, you can run, but Tony can smell your fear.

Perhaps on my drive north Steve will call to let me know of a RFID device wired to explode if I drop below 90 MPH. Speed 3, Revenge of Keanu! In a desperate attempt to avoid the semi-trucks dominating the freeway, my speed drops to 89. Speakers play his recorded laugh followed by N’SYNC on endless repeat, the horror, the horror!

The pressure building every year until something snaps, and California falls into the ocean.