Monday, December 19, 2005

Movie Review: King Kong

I saw King Kong with my wife last night. She loved it, except for the parts with giant insects. I'd never seen any of the original films, so it was an all new story to me. I didn't know how much I'd like it, as creature flicks are not my normal fare, but I can say I really enjoyed it. It's definitely one to see in the theater, both for scale of what you see on screen, and for the awesome sound work. I only saw through the CGI at one point, and that was only a matter of seconds. Everything else looked very good, although I didn't spend a lot of time trying to "pick at the seams". It's a little long, but not too bad, and it doesn't feel drawn out. Any shorter, and you'd start feeling it in the story line. It did have a nice epic feel to it. While it wasn't too gory, it's not a kid's film, both for the violence, and the sad ending. Overall, definitely worth seeing at full movie price, and even braving opening weekend crowds for. 8.5 out of 10

Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Time Tackiness

So, it's coming up on the Christmas time of year. Of course, here at work, it's been around for several weeks already. We've already been hit up by our customers for prizes to give away at their office parties. A few even go so far as to inform us they will be taking a large discount off their next invoice if we do not provide a gift. However, today topped all. One customer called up to find out where the gift we were supposed to send them was, because it hadn't arrived yet, so we were expected to drop everything to get them a tracking number on it. Of course, it had been delivered yesterday, but it still struck us as being very tacky! Maybe I'm just too sensitive though, would you conisder it as being beyond the boundaries of good taste??

Friday, September 09, 2005

Slow Down and Hear the Windchimes

As I came in late tonight, I heard our windchimes. We have three sets near our front door, and I realized that I hadn't actually heard them in probably months. My wife and I used to just sit outside, and listen to them. Nowadays, I can apparently not notice them for months on end. So, I took this realization as my personal, time to slow down notice. Of course, slowing down is hard! I work full time, my wife is working contract work now, and is looking for a permanent job as well. We have two children, who are less than 2 years apart in age, and both less than 2 years old at the moment, so sleep at night is still not a guarantee around here. Plus, I'm pursuing a hobby, and doing some tech work for a theatre group. And we are currently house searching. And thinking about throwing a party for our friends. And ... you get the picture. I honestly don't remember when life became so hectic that my wife and I barely see each other during the day. But, I missed the windchimes, even if I didn't realize it at the time. So, I'll be trying to slow down occasionally, to savor being alive in general. After all, we only get one go around, so we better enjoy it while we can, right!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Rated PH for Parental Humor Only

This one will be short. I was playing Cranium with my wife and her family, and we came upon a Gnilleps (spell a relatively easy word backwards in one try without writing it down first). The word was diaper. It's spelled repaid! I dunno exactly what the meaning in there is, but it cracked me up for quite a while. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2005


So, yesterday was my birthday. And NASA's. And Sysadmin Appreciation Day. Which is cool because I like one, and I am the other. So happy days to everyone!

Monday, July 25, 2005

This discovery was part of work today. No wonder the computer wouldn't wake up! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Stupidest Lawsuit Since the World Began

The Stupidest Lawsuit Since the World Began as declared by Groklaw, may very well be that. It's taking place in France, but there are no shortage of absurd examples taking place here in the United States of America. Look up almost anything involving the DMCA for starters.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Optimus keyboard

Now here is a keyboard that has me drooling. And hardware peripherals aren't exactly something that gets me started usually.
But the idea of a re-programmable keyboard, who's keys display exactly what they control in realtime sounds pretty cool! Now, I'm sure you'd have to do some work getting the proper pictures set up if you were creating a new key mapping for a program, but the reward might be worthwhile!
But, conversely, I can see this getting hijacked as well. One moment you are browsing the web normally, and the next your keyboard is displaying all kinds of NSFW images all over it! Very not cool! But, in the end, I'd buy one if it was available today. (Assuming infinite resources!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Markl's Thoughts: Shipping Software

I was directed towards an interesting (to me) read the other day, Markl's Thoughts: Shipping Software. I especially like his thoughts on what shipping software means. As software evolves away from "the disks in the shrink wrapped box at (Best Buy/Fry's/Wal-mart)" and more to "just something I don't remember exactly where/how I got", the lines of shipping and delivery are rapidly blurred. As are others, such as what exactly the product you are paying for is. Many Linux distros are based on you paying for support, and access to their central database of software updates. Updates which, like the OS itself, can be freely gotten elsewhere, but which they neatly gather and package for you. You are paying for the convenience of one stop downloading, and integration into their installation tool, and often a little QC testing, or package customizing. Try quantifying a price on the value of that. I've often wondered how businesses will make money with Open Source Software. In my opinion, it is clearly superior to proprietary closed-source offering on many levels, but from a business plan perspective, it has many challenges to be faced. But, even business models and economic theories change over time, just ask Adam Smith!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


I was talking to my mother the other weekend, and decided to ask her some questions about my grandfather. I didn't know him real well, as he died while I was young, but I do have a few memories of him. One of the things I asked her was what different jobs he had held, as I knew it was a long list. She came up with over 21 different occupations he had held at some point while she was growing up. And, the vast majority were entrepreneurial in some manner. A few things struck me, both similarities and differences. For one thing, he hated working for someone else. He would do it for a while, but once he saw a better way to do something, if they didn't listen, it wasn't long until he left. He wasn't arrogant, but he was extremely mechanically inclined, and a natural problem solver. I find I have some of the same tendencies. Once I see a (in my opinion), better way to do something, it bugs me to no end if my suggestion gets ignored. I'm not the mechanical genius he was (he designed, built, and sold his own well drilling rigs for a while, quite successfully), but you don't have to work long before you find someone doing something, who obviously knows less about it than you do. However, the flip side is, he did things on his own. He ran a drive-in movie theater, ran a gas station, was his own boss. Me, I might think about it, but then I'd start wondering what permits I'd need, how much it would cost, how to get started, if it would work, and I'd never act on it. He did things, I think about doing things. And, that's one thing I'd ask him about if I could, how to be more like him. Did he ignore the permits and do it anyway (he did live mostly in really small towns), or did he know something about obtaining them too? Or did he simply set about learning whatever he didn't know that stood between him and his objective? I know it wasn't an education difference, as he didn't get past 5th grade, and well, I did. Or maybe that is part of the difference. Maybe he had to work harder to overcome that (not that it was a huge handicap back then), and that drive is what empowered him. I don't know. But, I do know I admire him, even if I barely knew him.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Well, looks like Google is expanding Gmail quite a bit more. I just noticed that my number of available invites jumped from 6 to 50. So, if you somehow don't already have a Gmail account, now's the time to ask for one. I'm overflowing with invitations, and I imagine this is true for most, if not all, other Gmail users. And, just in case you don't know what I'm yammering about, Gmail is the free web based e-mail service offered by Google, currently on a "by invitation only" beta test. It offers 1GB (or 1,000MB if you prefer (and yes I know that deep down at heart, it's 1,024MB, let's not confuse people ok?)) of storage for your e-mail and attachments, which at it's launch caused many other providers to scurry and vastly increase the size of their provided storage space as well. (The quickness of which implies that it was a fairly trivial change, there was just no incentive to offer increased storage space to their customers before.) Gmail also offers free POP3 access, so it's useful even if you hate webmail. (Which I previously did, but I find Gmail is far nicer.) And, when using it's webmail interface, Gmail has quite a few innovations which make it very nice indeed. But, the tour explains them far better than I could. Yes, Gmail does have it's detractors. Usually either due to the ads or the longtime storage and search capabilities. The ads are far less annoying than on other services I've used. They are text ads, no flashing banners, they are relevant to the subject of the e-mail conversation that is on screen, and since they are on the side, not the top, I honestly find them to be really subtle. (As in ignorable without any effort.) As for the storage and searching arguments, (sometimes combined with complaints about the e-mails being read to generate the ads), well they don't bother me. Bots read the e-mail, not people. They are suprisingly accurate at choosing corresponding ads (or sometimes just related links. It's like searching without having to tell the search engine what you are looking for.), but not perfect. Once you see some of the same word, different meaning ads you'll quickly realize that there is no human behind them. My biggest question is why pick on Google for this? They are doing minimally invasive automated word recognition on e-mails that aren't exactly encrypted in the first place. There are far scarier, and almost never mentioned, examples of real time data monitoring out there. Primarily, credit card companies, and their fraud prevention. Anyway, my point was, I've got invites just on the rare off chance that you haven't been invited already, and want one.