Archive: August 14, 2010

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my life as an oriental curry

Saturday,  08/14/10  10:48 AM

If variety was the spice of life, his present existence must be an Oriental curry
                                                 - Hornblower and the Atropos*, C.S.Forester

Hi y'all, checking in from home, where I find myself finally after an amazing few days... at work, in Vista, with nonstop meetings, calls, presentations, and job interviews, and then yesterday I flew to Oakland with Alex and we visited UC Berkeley and USF, about which I will have more to say in another post.  It all leaves me tired and energized at the same time, with my mind racing while my body idles.  And in the meantime, it's all happening...

(Last night I definitely put my spindles to use, and slept like a log :) 

Can sex make you more beautiful?  "A Scottish study found that thrice-weekly action stripped at least four years off participants' faces, and getting busy even boosts immunity and reduces heart disease. There are beauty bonuses, too - sex perks up your appearance instantaneously."  Seems well worth trying! 

Related: Women put weight before sex.  "More than half of women, and 25 percent of men, would opt for a summer without sex over gaining 10 pounds."  The question is phrased incorrectly however, because having sex all summer would probably cause you to lose 10 pounds.  Well worth trying... 

Also related: you don't need heavy weight to build muscle, just lots of repetition.  I think this is why those "body pump" classes are so effective, they encourage less weight and more reps.  Well worth trying :) 

Something to do this weekend: World's largest artwork created on frozen Lake Baikal.  Wow.  Imagine waking up one morning and saying "I think I'll make ice artwork on the world's largest freshwater lake".  Yeah.  I can see it.  And actually now you can see it; please click through, the art itself is amazing... 

My real todo this weekend: upgrade my laptop to 64-bit Win 7.  I am running VMWare almost all the time now, I need the extra virtual storage.  fXf

Wow, what a classic 1973 Sony ad: "This could be the tape deck you'll leave your great-grandson."  Amazing that while the ad contemplates the possibility of new instruments ("whatever weird instrument your great-grandson will be playing") it doesn't think about the progression of recording technology.  I wonder what medium *my* great-grandson will use? 

Paul Graham talks about What Happened to Yahoo.  "Why would great programmers want to work for a company that didn't have a hacker-centric culture, as long as there were others that did? ... without good programmers you won't get good software, no matter how many people you put on a task, or how many procedures you establish to ensure 'quality.'"  Indeed. 

John Gruber linked it also, and notes this quote: "It’s hard for anyone much younger than me to understand the fear Microsoft still inspired in 1995. Imagine a company with several times the power Google has now, but way meaner."

Times for iPad.  A feed reader which looks like a newspaper.  Seems like this might end up being the closest think to a "killer app" we know.  I might try it :) 

Glenn Beck quotes Thomas Jefferson: "If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?"  Said in relation to gay marriage, and it definitely applies, but also true in so many other situations... 

How excellent!  Flying squid:  "The paper's authors argue that 'gliding' is too passive a term to describe what squid do when they leave the ocean for the air: 'flight' is more fitting."  And jet-propelled, no less! 

Scott "Dilbert" Adams thinks an index fund based on Big Round Numbers would work.  "1) When the DOW is exactly 300 points below a big round number such as 10,000, 11,000, 12,000, etc., the fund would buy the stocks in the DOW, weighted the same as the index.  2) When the DOW rises above its big round number by 300 points, the fund would sell everything."  Amazingly, it does seem like a good idea...  "If this strategy worked, someone would already be using it, and you would know about it. What fascinates me is that it feels to me as if it would work while at the same time every bit of my knowledge, experience, and common sense tells me it couldn't.

This will be much-linked for sheer coolness: World's largest tidal turbine unveiled in Scotland.  Yeah it is massively cool but note that it generates just 1Mw of electricity, a teeny amount. 

How Google routed around Sun's licensing restrictions on Java ME.  Essentially they built their own byte-code interpreter.  Seems like an obvious move, weird that Sun didn't anticipate someone would do this... 

I love the Horse's Mouth's Fish on Fridays series...  this might be the best ever

*As a teenager I devoured the Hornblower series, reading entirely through it more than once, and a fair number of random quotes still circulate in my head.  I wish I could be a modern-day Hornblower, and sometimes I think I am - don't we all?



Alex and me in SF

Saturday,  08/14/10  11:42 AM

Yesterday.  Up at 0500.  Coffee.  Shave.  Long sleeves?  Yeah...  Out the door at 0530.  Burbank 0615, Southwest to Oakland.  ZZZzzz... stretch!  Rent world's ugliest car*.  Onward to Berkeley!  Slight sun, wind breezy.  In the town, cute.  *The* University of California beckons.  Excited!

the Camponile towers over UC Berkeley

Tour at 1000... our guide Nick is awesome.

Nick explains: special parking for Berkeley's sixty-five Nobel Laureates :)

meeting Berkeley's oldest resident: a T. Rex

Alex is excited - Cal definitely exceed our expectations

Both jazzed, Berkeley was cool.  And impressive.  And exciting.  We could both see Alex there.  Onward.  Across the Bay Bridge.  Find USF.  Have time.  Lunch!  In Haight-Ashbury, cool.

lunch at the People's Cafe on Haight

Up up to the Lone Mountain.  Tour at 1430.  Long Powerpoint.  Blech.  Walking tour better...

USF: at the Lone Mountain high above S.F.

touring USF - okay but socks not flying

Now 0430.  Have time.  Tea...  Debrief.  Back over Bay Bridge.  Dinner 1730 at Five Bistro in Berkeley.  Steak + Pinot + sorbet.  Nice.  Back to OAK.  Return car.  Wait [forever] for shuttle.  Security.  Run to gate.  Whew.  Southwest to Burbank.  ZZZzzz... yawn.  And home!  A good great day.

any day with Alex is better than any other day, and this one was great


the joy of solitude (New Yorker 8/2/10)

Saturday,  08/14/10  06:45 PM


"The joy and pain of solitude"
J.J.Sempe nails it again

(...brings back the Death Ride and a thousand others...)


on top of the world

Saturday,  08/14/10  06:52 PM

This afternoon I went mountain biking up Palo Comado and China Flat and Simi Peak, and I ended up with the view of the world looking out over Simi Valley and Camarillo and Oxnard and the Pacific Ocean.

And you may ask yourself... how did I get here? :)

It was 102º and not an easy trail, I definitely had to work, but how great was it, with U2 accompanying, out there all by myself, to be rewarded with such a view.  I may do it again tomorrow!


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