Legal Gay Marriage!

Filed under: news @ 15:09

What? Gay people finally getting the rights everyone deserves after generations of abuse and oppression?

Oh… I see… Spain you say. Well that’s more believable.

Spain: 1
USA: bigoted

My Dad is a 1337 pf0tosphp h4X0r

Filed under: neat!,photos @ 13:31

Adams Family 06-19-05

That’s a composition of two photos. One of which my dad took himself. Without a timer.

Plus it’s a good photo of the fam. Rawk on, Dad.


WordPress — 02:22

Another WordPress update. It’s a security release, so you should definitely upgrade.


Tatie and Ked!

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,shenaniganity @ 10:54

Any weekend involving Bert driving the wrong way through a drive through (“hello…”) is a good one as far as I’m concerned, but this one had the added bonus of seeing Katie and Ted get hitched. Their wedding afforded me the opportunity to make an ass of myself at the reception, meet the fun group of people that are Ted and Katie’s friends, watch all the bridesmaids giggle and coo over Bert’s “Bye Bye Bye – ‘N Sync” dance routine, and see Jeff get rejected by an eight year old (let’s face it Jeff, she was a much better dancer than you are).

But enough interesting specifics. On to the clich├ęs.

The wedding itself was lovely, and the aforementioned shenanigan inducing reception was a load of fun. And regardless of whether it sounds trite, the Bride looked beautiful, and the Groom… well… I guess he looked a little less bald. The only thing I would have changed about the whole proceedings would be to have ordered better weather (sorry Michelle). It was way too humid.

The event was also a nice venue for self reflection. While weddings have the potential of being depressing for all the single guests, Katie and Ted’s managed to instill in me a small bit of hope. Ted sure as sure married up; perhaps there’s a chance yet. I took notes, and he said he’d be willing to provide some tutelage. I’ll likely take him up on the offer: “Ted’s proven guide on how to trick women”.

Cheers to the happy couple. May your days be forever brightened by the companionship and love you share, but still filled with the sunglasses needed to block the harmful rays reflecting from Ted’s denudate scalp. Many blessings to you both.


Titan II Missile Museum

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,thoughts @ 15:53

I was in az.us this past weekend visiting my grandpa with my dad (and the rest of my family) for father’s day. While we were there, we visited the Titan Missile Museum: the only Titan II missile silo left after the other fifty-three were intentionally destroyed in 1984 as part of the Titan II ICBM’s retirement. (Tidbit: when the silos were demolished, they were left in ruins for six months so the Soviet satellites could confirm their destruction before being relandscaped into reusable property.)

It was pretty freakin’ cool. The tour started with a walkabout on the grounds above the actual installation. From above, you can look down through the silo door and see the vast tower of armament looking back up at you surrounded by its various service platforms, vibrational dampers and supports. (Tidbit: the jets on the Titan II were so powerful that, if ignited in the silo, they’d shake the missile apart. Massive streams of water were injected into the jet’s exhaust flow so that the resulting steam could absorb and dissipate the energy safely.) The thing is just plain big. (Tidbit: really big.)

Once underground we got to see some of the control center and learn about the daily operations of the compound. My mom even got to turn the brass key (Tidbit: Allen and I figured out it wouldn’t really be all that hard for one person to launch the missile instead of the two that the military had carefully designed the system to require). She annihilated “Target 2”; has that woman no compassion?

But what affected me most was the whole (inter)national culture behind the installation: Mutual Assured Destruction. Peace through Deterrence.

I’m no Cold War history buff. I’m no sociologist, no politician, no philosopher. But these seem like horrible guiding principals. What about Peace through Dialogue? I understand that there are big threats in this world and carrying a big stick makes those threats a lot easier to handle. But how much money was spent on this project and those like it? What if that had gone toward education or international (or, hell, domestic) aid? Would people be so enamoured with the idea of blowing up the U.S. if we didn’t have such a gigantic military machine building weapons capable of destroying most of the rest of the world?

People say the best defense is a good offense. I say the best defense is to not have people hate you. (Tidbit: that’s a lot harder to accomplish.)

A stupid survey

Filed under: news @ 13:56

I’ve seen it floating aroung the internet here and there over the past several days, so I finallly decided to look at it: Intel’s ranking of the top 100 “Most Unwired Cities Survey“.

‘Unwired’, here, is taken to be a good thing. The survey attempts to judge the wirelessness of those cities it ranks: wireless hotspots and the like. The problem is that it doesn’t do what it says it does.

Firstly, it doesn’t rank cities as the title of the survey suggests, but metropolitan areas instead. This isn’t that big of a deal, and, indeed, the explanatory notes make this fact explicit, but it’s still sloppy. More importantly though, this does not rank the top most unwired cities.

The survey describes its task three separate times:

  1. In its title: “Most Unwired Cities Survey”. This is false.
  2. “Intel’s 3rd Annual ‘Most Unwired Cities’ survey ranks the top 100 U.S. cities and regions for the greatest wireless Internet accessibility”. Sloppily written but one could argue that it’s true.
  3. “Below are the top 100 cities and regions in the United States for wireless Internet accessibility, where you can unwind and unwire:”. Also false.

Given the above quotes and their respective veracities, can you guess where exactly Intel tries to pull the wool over people’s eyes? I’ll give you a hint, they attempt to trick you with marketing, not statistics; it’s in the language they use, not the numbers they produce.

Answer: They only surveyed the largest 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and there is no reason to expect that the set of the largest 100 metropolitan areas is the same set as that of the top 100 most unwired.

Allow me, if you will (and what choice do you have), to illuminate the problem with an example. If someone gives you five apples (and you know nothing about the original selection process this person used to cull five apples from the millions that exist) and tells you to arrange them in order from biggest to smallest, you would never think to say “I’ve just ranked the five largest apples”. Or, rather, if you would think to say that, there’s probably a career ahead of you with Intel’s news department. Intel did not rank the “top 100 most unwired cities”, they ranked the largest 100 metropolitan areas by their unwiredness. Big difference.

Cruising the internet, there are a lot of people who recognize this difference, but there are a vast number, still, that got duped.


Feel the mighty power (or don’t)

Filed under: a group of folks,news @ 08:09

I just went over to Jeff’s office to drop off the garage door opener. As I jogged down the stairs, I saw an orange ladder and some maintenance people working on some sort of something which needed maintaining in his hallway. Taking no notice of them, I walked over to Jeff’s doorway which was occupied by one of his office mates saying something like “aren’t you supposed to stand in a doorway?”. I looked at him oddly and said “excuse me” and the gentleman said “oh, sorry” and let me by. Everyone else in the office had clearly very recently stood up and were discussing something of some interest.

“Did you feel that?” Jeff asked.
“Yes you did.”
“We just had an earthquake?” I asked incredulously.

Apparently so. The greater Los Angeles Area was just struck by what has tentatively been labeled a 5.3 earthquake [See also these pretty pictures]. It hit right when I was just taking notice of the maintenance people. The rumbling noise I heard I attributed to the something the mainenance people were poking at, and the shaking I didn’t feel at all as I jogged down the stairs.

Everyone thought this was oh so funny.

I was pissed. I’ve never felt an earthquake before, and here I was, right in thte middle of one, but I couldn’t be bothered to notice.

I swear the big one’s going to hit this weekend when I’m in .az.us, and Jeff will be surveying the rubble that will be Caltech laughing, “Oh, man, Mike is gonna be pissed.”


AJAX Comment Preview

Filed under: blogging,neat! @ 19:09

UPDATE: The documentation for this plugin is now on my AJAX Comment Preview page. All the talk below of the installation being hard is out of date. Things are much easier now.

I’ve looked around occasionally for a good comment preview plugin for the site. There’s a few “Live” preview plugins around, but I find an as-you-type update of your comment really annoying. Plus, those plugins are entirely javascript based; they can’t know what the server will do to a comment after it gets sent off, so it’s not robustly WYSIWIG.

There seemed to be no good pre-fab solution fitting all my criteria:

  1. Not live updating (who’d have thought you’d need to specify the negative)
  2. All content filtered through WordPress ensuring solid WYSIWIGnitude
  3. Delicious AJAX goodness to avoid hard refreshes

So I made my own.

Read more…



Filed under: a group of folks,blogging,neat! @ 13:09

I’ve been interested in a while in some sort of centralized feed reader. Currently, I use NetNewsWire on my laptop (a fantastic program), and Thunderbird at the office to keep track of all the sites I read. The problem is that the one reader I use doesn’t know anything about the other; I get fed the same articles in both.

Read more…


Apple has sold its soul to the devil

Filed under: news,thoughts @ 12:18

Many have already heard Apple’s official announcement at WWDC 2005 that the company will be transitioning to Intel brand processors.

This announcement brings up some interesting questions. Will I be able to buy a cheap PC desktop and install OS X? Will some kind of Windows emulator be available (making the transition from Windows to OS X extremely easy for anyone)? Is my current hardware fated to a doom of ill support and obsolescence?

And, of course, is Steve Jobs in league with the denizens of hell?

Apparently, the first Intel Inside Mac will ship by June 6th, 2006. 666: indeed, the veritable number of the beast.

The answer, I believe, must be “yes”. How else could they gain such a legion of fanatics (in which I suppose I must count myself) if not by the means of the occult. I suppose I should not exclude the possibility that Mr. Jobs is himself the devil, but I’d have thought Satan would be better at predicting the future. Though, to be fair, all of Mr. Jobs’ false promises over the years may have been entirely intentional. It all may have been part of Satan’s tricky scheming.

At any rate, beware Apple. Their good design sense is just part of their twisted mask of deception. Do not be tempted by their sexy aluminum laptops, their vast expanses of widescreen flat panels, or their clean user interface. Every time you use a Mac, you’re communing with the lord of darkness.

I hear he’s pretty fun guy, though, so it’s not all bad.

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