Archive for November, 2006

2006.11.30

Merging

Combining the best of two systems to make it twice as bad.

Comments Off on Merging | Catergorized: thoughts

2006.11.29

San Francisco Values

Markos at Daily Kos is calling on all those (primarily blow hard Bill O’Reilly) who slander “San Francisco Values” (a jab against Nancy Pelosi) to remember a few things that those values begot.

Since O’Reilly boycotts everything he hates, I look forward to his boycott of all Bay Area-origin products. Same with every conservative who bashes San Francisco and the Bay Area. So no iPods or anything Apple. No HP computers. No Google. No Yahoo. No eBay. Those conservative bloggers using Blogspot, MovableType, or TypePad? Sorry. Those products are Bay Area-based.

Also no Adobe or Macromedia products. No computers, either, since most run on AMD or Intel. No tax preparation using Intuit products. Cancel your Netflix subscription. Cancel your TiVo subscription. Remove your Network Associates or Symantec virus protection software from your computer. Unplug your Netgear wifi router.

Don’t wear Levis (or any kind of jeans), Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, or buy your kids Gymboree. Avoid LeapFrog learning toys. Boycott Pixar movies. Boycott any movie using George Lucas’ ILM special effects shop. Stay away from Treos and other Palm devices. Don’t let Charles Schwab manage your portfolio. Don’t bank at Wells Fargo.

He listed a few things that are in the Bay Area and not exclusively San Francisco and forgot a few things, some of which were brought up in the comments, like Rice-A-Roni (the San Francisco treat!), the martini (we can argue its origin all you like; it was San Francisco), the first Irish Coffee in America, VIZ Media (bringing you fine anime and manga), Dolby, Bechtel, Craig’s List, the origin of the United Nations, feared prisons, and the future Starfleet Headquarters. :) What is missing from the list?

San Francisco Values… sure there are flaws, like the hippies, but overall there are many good reasons why San Francisco is considered one of the best cities in the world.

2 Comments | Catergorized: san francisco  thoughts

2006.11.23

A Wii Little Joke

One of Mookee’s nephews was talking about how if you bought two of Nintendo’s new Wii console games you’d get a Wii Wii. Ah yes, little boy humor.

Comments Off on A Wii Little Joke | Catergorized: games  life

2006.11.22

Dear Tourist in the Rental Car

Dear Tourist in the Rental Car,

Perhaps you were not aware but here in America we don’t use the metric system. While the metric system has many things going for it, not the least of which is that it make sense, we in America like to do things the hard way.

Therefore when you see that sign in front of you that says 45 MPH it means “Miles Per Hour”. A mile is ~1.6 of your kilometers. 45 MPH is about 72 Km/H (kilometers per hour). You were driving about 30MPH, which is about 48 Km/H; I bet you felt like you were speeding. However I have news for you. On American cars the MPH are on the outside in large numbers and the Km/H are on the inside using much smaller numbers.

Speedometer

It is obvious that you are driving based on the Km/H numbers. Please learn the difference between Km/H and MPH and YOU WON’T HAVE PEOPLE LIKE ME ALMOST REAR END YOU AND HONK MY HORN AT YOU. Slowing down even further after the fact doesn’t help your cause. You obviously earned enough money to come visit and rent a car so you can’t be completely stupid. Figure it out.

Thank you,
-doug.

PS: By the way, flipping me off doesn’t really hurt my feelings. It makes you look like even more of an ass. Whatever language you were yelling at me was quite colorful but since I didn’t understand, I don’t care. I’m sure your girlfriend/wife/prostitute sitting next to you thinks you’re really classy now.

PPS: Since it started raining I hope you at least figured out how to put the top on your rental convertable. Then again, maybe a little water will cool you off.

Comments Off on Dear Tourist in the Rental Car | Catergorized: grrr  life

2006.11.21

Get Your Music on iTunes!

Being someone who makes music, you want people listen to what you have. Of course you could go play open stages and gigs in small venues that smell of stale beer, but for the solo jockeys out there another option is to work through TuneCore. They seem to have a decent business model that is musician friendly. Has anyone used their services?

Comments Off on Get Your Music on iTunes! | Catergorized: apple  audio

2006.11.19

Stupid Fraking Hippies

It’s shit like this that makes me mad at the naivete and misplaced idealism of the hippies. It is the most embarrassing fact I have to deal with living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Living on their houseboat off the Marin County coast, anti-war activists Donna Sheehan and her partner, Paul Reffel, concocted a way for the world to communally create a lot of peaceful vibes.

They want everyone to have an orgasm on the same day.

As if having sex has resolved any problems. Ever. Don’t get me wrong, I love sex and orgasms and all that stuff as much as anyone else. But sex is the punctuation mark in the novelization of a relationship; take out the words and you just have commas and (hopefully) periods all of which are essentially meaningless. This is true even of one night stands where the sentence is a seduction but a semicolon in the middle without context looks, well… pornographic.

These hippies seem to forget that pleasure in the form of an orgasm is not always peaceful. Sometimes it is aggressive and even violent. They also forget that people have been having sex for all time and, coincidentally, people have been killing each other for just as long. I think they forget that their perspective is just one perspective, just like it’s my firm belief that the world would be a better place if I were in charge. The difference is that my belief is somewhat based in reality while the hippie’s are based on an escape from reality.

1 Comment | Catergorized: grrr  san francisco  thoughts

2006.11.17

Wealth Entitlement and Populism

I was delighted to read Jim Webb’s editorial on the pages of Wall Street Journal Editorial Page. I like the Roosevelt-esque populism he espouses.

The most important–and unfortunately the least debated–issue in politics today is our society’s steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America’s top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country.

This ever-widening divide is too often ignored or downplayed by its beneficiaries. A sense of entitlement has set in among elites, bordering on hubris.

Essentially the rich feel they are entitled to their wealth. Mr. Webb outlines many of their excuses and rationalities. None of them really hold any water.

The problem is that in the long run these elites are undermining their own stability. Eventually those with less are going to rebel. The article quotes an Economist article (requires registration to read) that warns that there could be serious economic consequences if we do not change direction, including a more protectionist attitude among the population. Warren Buffet wrote a really good and simple explanation of some of the consequenses in the frame of trade imbalances that help a few people get rich now, in the short term, at the expense of most people in the long run.

Of course there are a variety of criticisms of Webbs article, and some of them are even fairly valid. It doesn’t change the fact that the rich are getting richer and the rest of us aren’t really reaping any benefit. Trickle down theory is a failed idea. The rich give themselves jobs they mostly aren’t qualified to hold, give themselves exorbitant salaries and benefits packages, yet seem answerable to no one, not even stockholders. Some of them are honest but on the whole I trust their integrity almost as much as I trust Al-Qaeda to convert to Christian monestaries and promote peace for the rest of their lives. Some of them realize they are a part of society as a whole, but most could care less about the rest of America so long as the money keeps coming.

As more and more people become aware of the Enrons and WorldComs and the Halliburtons and various war profiteers (which I’m sure we’ll see plenty of in the coming years)… As more people see that our trade imbalances threaten to ruin their own prosperity and the prosperity future generations… As more people see more jobs exported to India, China, Mexico, and other cheap labor countries so a few people can make more money off of a bottom line… As more people see the rich getting richer while they can’t afford even basic living… I’m sure the cry for protectionist policies and mandatory equity equalization will be heard across the country from the bulk of the American population.

There are far more people who make less than $100,000 a year than there are making more. I don’t begrudge people making money; I’d love to make more. But I would like to earn my money, instead of having it handed to me on a silver platter with a golden parachute when the shit hits the fan. I’m against protectionism in general, so if we can avoid the problem by fighting it now, even with a populism that seems diametrically opposed to this elitism to eventually find a balanced solution then I’m all for it.

And now it’s late and I’m tired and my train of thought is drifting. End of line.

4 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts

2006.11.16

Final Draft Full Screen

I’ve been using Final Draft for a little while now, and one of the things that really irritates me is it doesn’t seem to have a full screen mode. Maybe I’m just stupid and can’t find it, but if it’s there it needs to be OBVIOUS. If it’s not there, why isn’t it? Is making a full screen mode that hard?

1 Comment | Catergorized: grrr  technology  writing

2006.11.11

Uphill Both Ways

Uphill Both Ways 5th Anniversary Spectacular
Uphill
Both Ways
Last night NHK and I went to go see our favorite San Francisco comedy team, Uphill Both Ways, in their new show THE UPHILL BOTH WAYS BIG FAT GRATUITOUSLY-EXPLOSIVE GENETICALLY-ENGINEERED 5th ANNIVERSARY SPECTACULAR DEATH BATTLE ON ICE… AND THINGS! Somehow there’s only two guys in the troop at present but Colin Benoit and Dave McKew handled the stage so well with such humor and energy that every time I see UBW I keep wondering why they haven’t completely broken out and made it big.

Last night’s performance was done in their excellent 31 Skits in a Hat format. They put the names of 31 of their routines in a hat and the audience picks the show for the evening. NHK picked Big Kitty: Part Meux (WMV video; 13.5MB. Also on YouTube) and I picked Elevator Music Battle (WMV video; 13.4MB). Two of my favorites of the evening were A Boy And His Tree and Peanut Butter & Jelly, both of which you can watch here (and a few more here) along with other brilliant skits.

We left right after the show but Colin and Dave, excellent show. Please don’t ever stop! BTW guys, did you know the Wells Fargo ATM skit reminded me so-o very much of the Republicans up to very recently. :)

If you’re interested in catching their current show, they will be performing at the Dark Room Theater on December 1st, 8th and 15th. You won’t regret it!

1 Comment | Catergorized: life  san francisco

2006.11.08

Mercury Rising

Mercury In Transit
Mercury in Transit
I almost completely forgot that today Mercury passed in front of the sun. I know… You’re thinking, “Big deal.” But it is a big deal! The event only happens about a dozen times a century, and is only visible from Earth about half the time it does pass between us and the Sun. The next event will be on 2016! I’m glad ZionVlad reminded me. Even better for us, a local store that sells telescopes had two with special filters set up on the street to let people passing by gaze at this rare event. BTW, never look at the sun through a telescope directly. You won’t like the results.

Mr. Vlad (wtf is “zionvlad” anyways?) brought his camera and I snapped the picture you see there. If you click on the picture you’ll get a larger version and Mercury is that wee dark spot. It was hard to keep the camera still, so it’s not terribly clear at all, but it’s still pretty cool. Of course the best pictures, as Banana Boy pointed out, are at the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. Check out this picture! I love the green. In the telescope we were using you could actually see the surface of the Sun.

It’s these small things that remind me of what a wonderous universe we live in.

Comments Off on Mercury Rising | Catergorized: friends  life  science
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