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Archive: March 14, 2010

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remembering Daniel, year 6

Sunday,  03/14/10  10:09 AM

Daniel Jacoby - foreground / backgroundThis is being typed through a fog of tears.  It is the sixth anniversary of my friend Daniel Jacoby's death, it is a Sunday morning, and I am thinking of him and counting my blessings.  I always say that Daniel left a lasting impression on me, that as a result of having known him I think like him a little, and it seems that with each passing year I learn more and am able to think more like him.  

A few weeks ago I nearly died, I was hit by a car while riding.  That was a formative experience, and now, thinking about Daniel, I can see this helped me to think like him even more.  I've just had the most amazing week, traveling in New York, and coming home yesterday to ride the Solvang Century.  And here I am, alive.  I am trying to maximize each day knowing it could be my last.

On March 13, 2004, I received an email from Daniel, subject: death announcement.  It begins: "By the time you read this I will be pushing up the daisies".  We all knew Daniel had not being doing well but this email was a shock, and just sitting here six years later I can still feel the adreneline I felt then, the sadness, the sense of loss.  I did not know then what a rich and amazing source of happiness and gain his death would turn out to be.  The email contains these lines:

I hope each one of you does something meaningful with your life. 
Not just conquests or making money but something that changes someone elses life for the better.

Words to live by, or perhaps to die by.  Certainly Daniel did many things that changed many lives for the better, mine not least.  Onward!


week of 3/8/10, redux

Sunday,  03/14/10  10:43 AM

Amazing Rodin sculpture at the NY Metropolitan Museum of ArtWell I had the busiest week ever, whew; last Sunday I flew to New York and spent a whirlwind week meeting with customers.  Squeezed in between were some great dinners and a visit to the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art, which unexpectedly featured some amazing pieces by Auguste Rodin (link is to some of my pics.)  After a delayed return flight which turned into a red-eye last Friday, I rode the Solvang Century yesterday in 6:43, after 0:00 sleep (more on that to come).

... in the meantime it's all happening ... here's a filter pass ...

Google's Pi day logoHappy π day!  3/14, get it?

Puppy!  In which Joel Spolsky announces his retirement from blogging.  I'm going to miss Joel - assuming he's really retiring, which only time will tell - he certainly wrote some great stuff over the years.  I do find it rather funny the way people have to declare transitions like this.  Why not just stop writing, and leave the door open to start writing again later on?  That's what I've done, and so far at least I've always come back.

This is so true: In the land of Twitter, blogging is king.  "Perhaps the smartest thing that Twitter did was to enable easy linking from tweets."  Perhaps.

the secret origin of Windows - early Microsoft (wow!)The Secret Origin of Windows.  A great insight into the early days of Microsoft...  "Windows needed to be finished, not further tweaked in any way that jeopardized getting it out that summer without further embarrassment."  Wow, what a cool picture, would you buy an operating system from those guys?

iPad Pre-Orders: For Idiots Only.  And so we have confirmed what we already knew, there are a lot of idiots out there.  Count me among them; my iPad is safely ordered.  WiFi-only model, minimum configuration.  Stay tuned (delivery 4/3)!

Dave Winer ordered one in a moment of insanity.

Here's a question: Does HTML5 really beat Flash?  The answer, "no".  Of course in the case of iDevices and Apple's support for Flash, it isn't a performance issue at all, it's a business issue.  Flash could be way faster and it wouldn't matter.

Google Apps Marketplace makes its debut, surprising noone.  The smartphone competition is a war between platforms, not devices or applications.  How interesting !?

Google Maps - now with 'bicycling' directions, including bike lanesCool!  Google Maps gets bike lanes / directions.  I tried it out in Thousand Oaks, and it found the bike lanes, yay!  One quibble, really they should have called it "cycling", not "bicycling".

Sandra Bullock wins Best Acress for The Blind SideCongratulations to Sandra Bullock, who won Best Actress last weekend for her performance in The Blink Side.  Finally an actress I could root for...  check out her reaction to winning a Razzie for the same performance.

How Did A Film No One Saw Win An Oscar?  I was wondering the same thing.  The Hurt Locker?  Never heard of it before, and certainly didn't see it.  That's what happens sometimes in these popularity contests...

Ars Technica: How ad blockers hurt revenue.  Well, duh.  But this is a Prisoner's Dilemma, and I doubt too many people will inconvenience themselves with crappy ads if they don't have to.  Cue the violins.

As you know, our "healthcare reform" is really "insurance reform"; we aren't changing healthcare so much as the way we pay for it.  President Obama understands this, but his public statements are pure hyperbole as he confuses Cause and Effect.  "Any company will - and should - raise the prices of its goods or services until they reach the point where they are constrained by competition. Our government has followed a perverse policy with regard to health care, by limiting the extent to which health insurers can compete against each other and thereby constrain each others' prices. The obvious solution, if we want to rein in health insurance costs, is to 1) broaden competition in the industry to the maximum amount possible, and 2) repeal all mandates that require insurance companies to charge for coverages that many people don't want."  Exactly, but neither of these two steps are part of the plan.

Nancy Pelosi on healthcare: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."  Uh, that makes sense, yeah, by all means let's vote it in before we've seen what's in it.  Yikes!

Tron Legacy trailer. Oh yeah.OMG, Tron Legacy looks amazing.  I echo Kottke; F**k yes.  BTW I just happened to be listing to Falco's One Night in Bangkok while watching this.  Worked perfectly :)

Mike Taylor wonders Whatever happened to programming?  "I want to make things, not just glue things together."  Same.  C++ spoken here :)

In tectonic news, the massive mag 8.8 earthquake which shook Chile moved the city of Conception at least 10' to the West.  That's ten feet.  Whoa.

Adding insult to injury, a 7.2 aftershock hit in the middle of inaugural ceremonies for present-elect Sebastián Piñera.

Moths hydrofoiling - way cool!Three minutes of Moths hydrofoiling.  Yay!  And absolutely does not violate "the inverted pyramid for video" dictum; it gets going right off the bat.  Awesome!

all-black Penguin (!)Who needs a tuxedo: all-back Penguin discovered.  He might be a non-conformist, but I think he looks rather sharp :)

Some cycling news: Alberto Contador wraps up Paris-Nice.  It was in this race in 2007 that he first showed world-class form, winning that last stage up to Eze in an impressive blast up the hill.

magical street graffitiAnd here we have Magical Street Graffiti.  Wow, these *are* amazing, and all the more so for being viewable from multiple angles.

ZooBorn: baby dolphin!And finally, ZooBorn of the Week, a baby dolphin!


Solvang Century, x4: in 5:45 on 0:00 sleep

Sunday,  03/14/10  11:56 AM

Yesterday I rode the Solvang Century, for the fourth time.  That's the most I've ever ridden a single event; I first rode it back in 2007, before I was really into riding Centuries and such...  at that time just finishing was my goal, and I was most proud of myself for having done so.  I've since moved on to various "ultra" events but I still enjoy Solvang; I enjoy having 4,000+ riders on the road, and the little towns in Santa Barbara County's wine country, and now I pretty much ride it for time.  This year I managed to ramp up the difficulty factor by returning from New York Friday night on a late flight which was delayed into becoming a red-eye; for the record it took me 6:43 elapsed, 5:45 riding time; pretty good after 0:00 sleep!

I posted a bunch of pictures in case you're interested...

Here's the route, the "usual", with about 5,200' of climbing...  most of it comes near the end, climbing Foxen Canyon, and in my long history of doing this ride I've bonked and cracked badly on that part...  but not this time.

the route: 99 miles, 5,200 feet

A highlight of this ride was passing through the Santa Rita Hills, home of the world's greatest Pinot Noir; here's a picture of the awesome Sea Smoke vineyard, nestled up in the hills at the West end of the valley...

the awesome Sea Smoke vineyard

Overall it was a fun ride, I'm glad I did it.  If nothing else it helps get me into shape for the Solvang Double Century in two weeks...

still smiling after 70 miles, only Foxen Canyon left...

Cheers all and see you out there...


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About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained