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Showing posts from March, 2006

Water, Water

Through a desire to change my actions and with the encouragement of both my girlfriend and my boss, I began a program of drinking one standard (.5 L or 16 oz) bottle of water each day.

To many people, this does not sound hard. But I hate the taste of water (yes, there IS a taste to water) and I prefer just about anything else to drink (excluding coffee and tea—I dislike both of those beverages).

At first, I was barely finishing the bottle. Most days I would have to gulp down the last few inches in the container before leaving work or take it with me and finish it at home. During this time I came to realize I dislike drinking cold water except in specific instances. So I got smarter and started leaving the bottles out of the refrigerator.

In an online article proclaiming how to drink more water in a day, the author suggested leaving an open bottle of water at your PC. In this way, she wrote, you would be more likely to grab that and take a sip than to stand up and go hunting for a soda ma…

New Scam

Watch out for jury duty scam

Here's a new one: identity thieves who pretend to be from your local court and say you failed to report for jury duty and that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. Then they ask for your social security number, birth date, etc. Many folks who would never be fooled by an email scam will give out this info over the phone. Don't do it! Hang up and call the court yourself or go there in person to be sure you're dealing with whom you think you are.
http://www.wxpnews.com/14751X/060328-Jury_Duty_Scam

PersonalDNA

A friend's blog mentioned this, and I liked the test, so thought I'd share my own results here.

I came out as: Considerate Idealist.

I liked it because most of the test was done with sliders and grids rather than absolutes. Most personality tests are too strict in their responses-- they insist you answer one of 3 or 5 responses they provide, rather than letting you explore the gray areas inbetween those responses.

Anyway, overall I think these responses are pretty accurate.

My PersonalDNA results

If you'd like to take the test for yourself, follow this link: PersonalDNA

Bowling Update (3/22/06)

Tai and Arvin each had one very nice game, one decent game, and one sub par game. Jean was right on average the entire night. I continued my personal streak of weeks with a 200 by scoring a whopping 243 but followed that with two decent but sub par efforts.

We won the first game by 12, lost the second by 49, and then lost the third by 2 pins and finished 1-3. Unfortunately, Arvin admitted feeling some guilt for that as our anchor bowler. He needed a mark and 1 pin in the tenth, bowled a perfect strike ball, and the seven pin wobbled as far as a pin can move without actually falling over. He then just missed picking up the spare. Mr. Tenth just didn’t have it tonight. However, in all fairness, the team had a streak of opens in the 6th and 7th frames. In the same two frames, the team we were bowling against had all strikes and two spares. That was really what killed us. We went from up 100 pins to being up only 30 in those two frames. We then started marking in the 8th frame, but then fo…

Science and Super-Heroes

I just found out about this. Must ... go ... now!!!

- From California Science Center.

- From Super Hero Hype.

This puts all my geek-ness into one, nice, neat, little package!!

I'm Jonesing.

IE 7 (Beta 2)

On my home PC, I download the Beta 2 version of Internet Explorer 7, which will be shipping with the upcoming new Windows OS release.

I have to say, Windows is learning. They have finally caught up to other browsers with tabbed browsing, they have made many of their security features less intrusive, and they have done away with a bunch of the toolbars that used to clutter the IE screen.

I feel that the IE browser seems to display pages faster.

Opera, while I liked the file size and lack of intrusion, I didn’t care for the application. Firefox I enjoyed, but constantly had problems with any site running Java or certain xml code not loading. With IE 7, I seem to get all the advantages of Opera and Firefox but I don’t seem to be having issues with Java and other scripts. And I still have my Favorites tab, which is one feature in IE that I always liked and of which I made full use.

I am still a bit concerned about the processor and (especially) the memory requirements I keep reading for the n…

Equal Rights?

The Case
There is a current court case with the following facts (as presented by that smarmy ass, Anderson Cooper, on CNN—I miss Chris Brown!):
A dating couple decided to have sex. He made it very well-known in the relationship that he did not want children. The woman assured the man repeatedly that she had a medical condition which precluded her from getting pregnant. Based on her stated medical condition, they agreed to have sex without contraception. She somehow got pregnant and he is now required to pay $500 a month in child support for a child he did not want. He is suing to voluntarily give up all rights to the child and be dismissed from all responsibilities relating to that child (including paying child support, visitations, etc.).

Anderson Cooper brought in a “resident ethicist” who seemed to completely miss the point of the lawsuit as presented. The ethicist’s argument boiled down to “if the man didn’t want children, he should have used a condom or abstained from sex.” This arg…

DVD Discs

From an article/item on IMDB.com today:

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Video Distributor Says Hi-Def DVD Format Is "Price Prohibitive"

Image Entertainment, which distributes classic movies on home video, is likely to hold off releasing such films on high-definition DVDs. Martin Greenwald, the company's president and CEO, told an investors conference in Las Vegas that the cost of mastering high-definition discs is currently price prohibitive for companies like his. As reported by Home Media Retailing magazine, Greenwald said that at a meeting with Sony execs in Japan about Sony's Blu-ray format, he learned that mastering costs would be $40,000 per movie versus $2,000 for a standard DVD. Each disc would cost $2.00, twice as much as a conventional DVD.* "We have to wait until that price point comes down to a level that actually works for us," Greenwald remarked.

* emphasis mine

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My question: if the average DVD discs cost $1.00 each (as implied by the statement above),…

Bowling Update (3/15/06)

Some days it is just not your day. You know it, those around you know it, and there is nothing you can do about it. You can rail against the system, you can go meekly, but you cannot win.

Our team was run over by a steamroller. We basically bowled average in all three games, and lost by 100 pins per game (roughly). That is to say, we started with a 60 pin handicap advantage that the other team made up—quickly—and then proceeded to lose by an additional 100 pins.

In the second game, I bowled well enough to continue my streak of 200 games (203, 9 weeks in a row now), but that was a footnote to the evening. The story was that Brett, their #2 bowler, decided to bowl a 299. Yes, you read that correctly. He bowled 11 strikes in a row and left a hanging 10 on the final throw of the streak. A 299! I was one pin from seeing a perfect game. It was spectacular and the only real reason he didn’t get it was that the front desk decided to announce the 50/50 winning ticket numbers as he was on the lan…

Who's Baking Muffins?

I love blueberry muffins. Moist, soft blueberry muffins are right up there with chocolate, ice cream, grilled steak, and pancakes for favorite things to eat.

Renee, my boss at works, makes award-winning blueberry muffins. That isn’t a misnomer on my part, either; she entered them in the Orange County Fair last year and won first prize. My girlfriend, when I visited both at Halloween and over Christmas, made me very good blueberry muffins from a mix. They were large and fluffy and quite good—especially with a pat of butter and heated in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Mmmmm.

Said girlfriend picked up some of the same mix and left them here when she visited me. The first batch I tried to make turned out tiny—I misread the package and instead of making 5, I filled a 12-cup muffin tin. Oops.

This time out, knowing my mistake, I used the 6-cup tray. I filled 5 cups 2/3 full, just as the instructions said. Apparently I have small cups, because I had almost exactly enough to fill the last c…

We Who Are About to Die

There are a few tales that movies, books, and TV can express that most people will never experience. One of those, the demands of leadership, is a great story to tell using these media.

Tonight’s 24 had the main character, Jack Bauer, needing to make the decision to cause the deaths of two people by sending one of them into a toxin-filled area to deactivate a PC that was keeping the computer expert from starting the filtration system that would clear the toxins and save everyone else. Once the person opened the door, he and the other person in the room had until they took a breath before the toxins would kill them.

Kiefer Southerland portrayed the anguish and the determination of a leader effectively. There appeared to be no other way to save the majority but to sacrifice these two people, so he took it to give everyone else a chance at life. It was obvious that the decision affected him, and deeply.

Star Trek: The Next Generation hit on the same theme. Deanna Troi decided to take her co…

Bowling Update (3/8/06)

Well, it is hard to tell how we did because we bowled blind tonight. The other team is set to do a make-up round on its own prior to next week’s bowling.

Because of that, I will only mention some individual achievements:
Jean bowled a season high 167 in the first game and had a mid-150s in the third.
Arvin improved every game and was basically on-average for the day. Actually, if just a few pins fell differently, he would have had a nice night. He had some ridiculous leaves.
Speaking of pins not falling, Tai had his “A” ball tonight, but kept having 1 pin leaves on strike balls. He managed to have a nice night.
I managed to get two 200s (literally, I bowled exactly 200 in the first two games) and followed it with a 179 in the third. I missed two easy, easy spares to start the third game—otherwise I had a 600 series in my grasp. So, my streak of consecutive weeks with a 200 continues.
Now we wait until next week to find out how we did. By our estimation we likely won one, we most likely lost…

Decision

M and I decided over the weekend that it makes the most sense for me to move there at this time. While we leave open the possibility of moving back to Southern California or to some other location in the future, it appears the best option for us now.

That being said, this now opens a huge number of questions that we must resolve. Immigration is a complex matter and will likely require actual legal help to navigate. A friend at work’s wife deals with immigration as a paralegal and he’s going to ask her for some initial information for me to get me started. I also have access to the ARAG legal group through my incentives at work, so I will be contacting them shortly to start asking questions. What are the rules for Permanent Residency and/or Citizenship?

I have spoken with my boss at work and I can definitely keep my job after moving. However, there are still questions involved—do I pay taxes in California, America, and Canada? What about bank accounts—is it easier to keep my current acco…

Shakespeare's Lesser Known Poems

My English Literature background is showing... I found this hilarious!


*The Hokey Pokey*
Shakespearean Style


O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke.
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from heaven's yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt.
Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about.

V for Vendetta

Okay, they are suckering me again. I really wasn’t planning to see V for Vendetta in the theatre because they have yet to do a great job on any Alan Moore comic book on the big screen. Plus, I know that they cannot possibly get all the richness or detail that Moore wrote into a 2 hour film.

That being said, so far the previews and reviews I’ve read from those who have seen rough cuts indicate that the filmmakers have done a pretty good job of keeping to the spirit of the work. The images I have seen show a stark, militarized England. It looks like, just as in the comic, V will be both a terrorist and a liberator. It looks like Evey goes through roughly the same psychological torture/indoctrination.

One worry I still have is that, in the comic book, the story isn’t really about V. He’s a mythic figure, and you never see “his” face, so the tale is told through the eyes of those who are affected by V’s actions. Being a big-budget movie, I’m fearful they will lose that perspective and tell …

Rain, Rain...

We just had a hellacious downpour of rain strike for about 15 minutes. It was so hard that trees were bending from the relentless pounding of the rain. Flash floods were, I'm sure, sweeping down the streets and especially in the rain runoff aqueducts.

Actually, it has been wet or rainy for 4 days of the last week. At no time prior did it rain this hard, but our "winter" weather has surfaced. Looks like more to come this weekend, too.

Once More

Yes, I know I'm harping. Deal with it.

University of Arizona environmental microbiologist Chuck Gerba agrees. "The dirtiest thing you'll ever touch in a public restroom is a urinal handle," he says. Plus, water provides ample breeding ground for microorganisms. "And when you flush a urinal, you'd better step back," he quips. "I think waterless urinals are much more sanitary, by a long shot."

Bowling Update (3/1/06)

Strangely enough, we didn’t have a bad night, overall. Jean bowled two games well above average. Arvin and I had one game each above our average. However, that was not enough.

All three of us were off in the first game, with each of us bowling significantly below average and the team losing by 123 total pins in the first game alone. All three of us had our high game in the second, and we managed to win by some 30-40 pins or so. And then, while Jean had another good game in the third, Arvin and I fell flat again and we lost, although we kept it a little closer. We wound up losing total pins by around 200. Special shout-out to Arvin who nearly got a 200 (193) in the second game and had a shot to beat my score.

It was a frustrating night for both teams, as no one could find a consistent line. I tried moving right, left, adding speed, adding hook, bowling straighter—not one of the usual adjustments for lane conditions helped. I actually had a streak of 7 straight 9s on the first ball at one…