29 April, 2005

Such a Geek

I'm such a geek. I just set up a blog on one of my machines at work, to keep people up-to-date about the condition of the server. Which is certainly a good thing, because it's the Webtrends machine, and it has all kinds of problems. But some would say, why not just set up an e-mail list?

27 April, 2005

Google Maps and Directions

Today, I asked Google Maps for directions to Chantilly, VA. It told me:

  1. Head north from N Vermont St - go 0.1 mi

  2. Turn left at Wilson Blvd - go 2.2 mi

  3. Turn right at Arlington Blvd - go 0.3 mi

  4. Bear left onto the US-50 W ramp to Fairfax - go 3.0 mi

  5. Take the I-495 ramp to Richmond/Rockville (I-66) - go 0.1 mi

  6. Take the I-495 N ramp to Rockville (I-66) - go 1.0 mi

  7. Take the I-66 W exit 49C to Vienna/Front Royal - go 6.7 mi

  8. Take the US-50 W exit 57B to Fair Oaks/Winchester - go 0.9 mi

  9. Continue - go 0.2 mi

  10. Continue on Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy - go 7.0 mi

  11. Continue on US-50 W - go 1.9 mi

  12. Chantilly-specific directions

As far as I can tell, I didn't ask for the longest, and most convoluted, route to get to US 50 past the Beltway possible.

Even better, if I ask for directions from the intersection of Wilson Blvd & Glebe Rd (less than two blocks from my house), it tells me to drive up Glebe, hang a left on Washington Blvd, and then get on I-66W when they intersect.

My house is less than half of a mile from the Fairfax Drive on-ramp to I-66W. The Wilson & Glebe intersection is even closer to said on-ramp. I ask you, what does Google Maps have against Fairfax Drive in Arlington?!

25 April, 2005

Starved for the Internet

Someone went a little too far to get first post.

Web Analysis

Just some quick stats:

Product Start Time Finish Time
Urchin 10:41:45 AM 1:07:36 PM
Webtrends Reporting Center 9:18:40 AM Still going

Now, the sad thing is, this isn't really a fair comparison.

For some background, this is happening on a Windows XP box with dual-P4 CPUs (3.4Ghz each) and 2GB of physical RAM.

The Webtrends profile is reading 2.2GB worth of log files, spread out over two servers (load-balancing). The start date is Aug 1, 2004.

The Urchin profile is for only one of the load-balancing servers, and it's start date is Jan 1, 2005. It has 20.0GB of logs to read.

Both applications are running on the same machine, obviously at the same time. Just to reiterate, Webtrends is still working on it's report. It's much, much smaller report. At the time of this post, it had made it through January 23, 2005. So at least somewhere past the 50% point.


Serentiy Trailer

Should be available sometime tomorrow.

Joy! Rapture!

UPDATE: It's up

"Define interesting."
"Oh god, oh god, we're all going to die?"

24 April, 2005

More Changes

Okay, along with the switch to Textdrive for hosting, I've moved over to Wordpress for blogging software. Serendipity wasn't too bad, but it's templating system was entirely too baroque for me to futz around with.

Let me know if something looks out of place. I think I have everything working correctly, but you never know.

19 April, 2005

18 April, 2005

Northwest Drought


Oh, and grapes, too. So it goes.

I've Been Everywhere, Man

While walking back from Lazy Sundae (hey, they did good on their last few health inspections), I got to thinking: eating bubblegum ice cream is like eating watermelon...just with tastier seeds.

Just thought I'd share the kind of nonsense that fills my head while walking around and eating ice cream.

Also bought some new earphones for my iPod from the Apple Store up in Clarendon. Sadly, they no longer carry the old skool, white earbuds. Well, at least, not without a remote control for the dock-style iPods. Which I don't have. Thanks for making me regret my early adoption of the iPod, Apple.

They're trying to sell those damn in-ear buds. Which I bought a pair of a while back, and I just hated them. My ears must be freakishly designed (and no comments from the peanut gallery), because no matter what combination of attachments I used, I could never get a comfortable fit. So it goes.

Instead, I bought the Plantronics MX100S, which has the added advantage of being a handsfree headset for my cell phone. After some fiddling around to get the bastards in my ears, I was very happy with how they felt on the walk home, and the sound was great. $40 well spent, I think.

17 April, 2005

All the Tea in China

Okay, so the gist of this story is that someone is ripping off people by selling a PB&J for $6.50 and a bowl of Corn Flakes for $7.50. (That someone would actually pay that much is an amazing act of stupidity...but oh well, people are stupid.) What I found odd was this:

THERE'S AN E-MAIL bumping around cyberspace that, because gas prices are approaching $3 per gallon, tries to put things in perspective on your next trip to the pump. In an effort to soothe your angst, the missive points out that Lipton Iced Tea costs $9.52 per gallon, and Gatorade costs $10.17 per gallon. Diet Snapple? $10.32 per gallon.

Who the fuck is paying that much for Lipton Iced Tea? You can buy a box of tea bags for less than four bucks, and that box makes gallons and gallons of iced tea. If you're going to complain about the price of something, try not picking items that you can make yourself for a lot less...you just end up looking like a fool paying for water, packaging and shipping. Same thing goes for the Gatorade, although I have no idea how much a package of the powder costs, so maybe it is closer to $10.17/gallon, but I doubt it.

Oh, and this isn't direted to the writer of the article, it's directed to whomever wrote the e-mail she was quoting. The author was smart and pointed out the folly in comparing the relative prices of gas and iced tea, seeing as how your car doesn't run on iced tea.

15 April, 2005


Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Tertiary Phase is now available on iTunes.

Also, there's a trailer for the BBC's production of the Quandry Phase.

The Tragedy

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of ravers suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

14 April, 2005

Papal Elections

Bruce Schneier talks about hacking the papal election. Well, sort of. More of a security review for the whole process, which turns out to be relatively secure. At the very least, you get a good description of just what the process is like, and how amazingly tedious it is.

13 April, 2005

Black Box Privacy

Scoff all you want at North Dakota, at least the politicians there care about privacy:

Legislation aimed at informing automobile buyers of the presence of "black box" recorders in new vehicles has cleared the North Dakota state legislature and is headed for the signature of Governor John Hoeven. The final conference report was adopted by the House yesterday 87-3 and was passed in the House on April 8 by a 42-0 vote.

The legislation essentially gives ownership of the data recorded by the black box to the vehicle owner. Black boxes can disclose whether the owner was wearing a seat belt, vehicle speed and other data. The measure requires a court order before any of that information can be used in court and prohibits insurance companies from requiring access to the black box as a condition for obtaining insurance coverage. North Dakota Republican State Senator Ray Holmberg introduced the measure after learning that the devices were being placed in vehicles without notice.

Sure, you might be cold most of the year. And not really near anything particularly interesting. But at least your black box data is safe!

12 April, 2005

Age Limit

Ah, the race card.

"In the last two or three years, the rookie of the year has a been a high school player. There were seven high school players in the All-Star game, so why we even talking an age limit?" said O'Neal, who was drafted out of high school in 1996 by the Portland Trail Blazers.

"As a black guy, you kind of think that's the reason why it's coming up. You don't hear about it in baseball or hockey. To say you have to be 20, 21 to get in the league, it's unconstitutional. If I can go to the U.S. army and fight the war at 18, why can't you play basketball for 48 minutes?"

So much about the Constitution that I never knew! Somewhere, enshrined in that document, is my right to play professional sports. What an absolutely amazing document. No wonder our country kicks so much ass! I'll bet the Iraqis won't find that in their constitution.

Although what's really scary is the idea that maybe, just maybe, the NBA is trying to encourage kids to stay in school and develop some skills that will help them after their career-ending injuries. Or not. I can't really imagine any sports league caring that much about its players.

Beer Fridge

Homer Simpson is right: The Japanese are light years ahead of us.

04 April, 2005


Last Sunday, I planted some seeds I saved from last season. Both cantaloupe and pepper, the variety of which I can't recall right now. And amazingly, they have started poking through the dirt, trying ever-so-hard to live.

  • Cantaloupe seedling - cantaloupe

  • Cantaloupe seedling - cantaloupe

  • Cantaloupe seedling - cantaloupe (different)

  • Pepper seedling - pepper (very hard to see)

Larger pictures here

How High's the Water, Mama?

Johnny Cash sings, for you, Wo Ist Zu Hause Mama?. Who knew!

Link via WFMU's blog, with an amusing bit about the emergency broadcast system.


Ah, the government gets involved again

When new STDs were first noticed about 20-30 years ago, many people believed that they could be fully controlled if everyone used a condom correctly every time they had sex. It made good sense. Just cover up any area that might be infected or might become infected.

So, basically, before 1975, people had no idea how gonorrhea, syphillis, and the like were transmitted.


01 April, 2005

Damn Lists

Damn top ten lists. Like some strange kind of virus, infecting the brain. So here's mine:

  1. "World Forum" - Monty Python (Monty Python Instant Record Collection)
  2. "Polynomial-C" - Aphex Twin (Classics)
  3. "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head" - B.J. Thomas (Forrest Gump soundtrack)
  4. "Journey From Eden" - Steve Miller Band (Box Set)
  5. "Johnny Kick a Hole in the Sky" - Red Hot Chili Peppers (What Hits?!)
  6. "Lou" - King Missile (Mystical Shit)
  7. "Guerrillas in the Mist" - Consolidated (Play More Music)
  8. "Message in a Bottle" - Peterbuilt (Totally Fucking the 80s)
  9. "James River" - Cracker (Gentleman's Blues)
  10. "Yohoho" - KMFDM (Attak)

Damn. Number 11 was PE's "Burn Hollywood Burn". That totally would've boosted my street cred!

April Fool's Ouiji Board

Did I miss the memo about ouiji boards today?

Get Fuzzy for 1 April 2005
Foxtrot for 1 April 2005

I'm surprised that the Comics Curmudgeon hasn't said anything about this.

Google Ride Finder

Google comes up with some strange, albeit cool, stuff. Like Ride Finder, which appears to combine Google maps with GPS, to help you figure out the location of participating taxis, shuttle buses, etc in your area.

Now if only I could get this info from my cellphone while drunk!

[Link via Google Blog]