Archive for April, 2007


My Daemon

I’d read Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series almost two years ago and really loved it. Smart, adventurous and provocative. Not long after I hear it was going to be made into a series of movies, starting with the first book, The Golden Compass. While I’m always dubious of Hollywood creations from existing stories, I am still looking forward to this one, which premiers in December.

Just a bit ago I was perusing various blogs and ran across Panxa’s Daemon Entry. Naturally I had to take the test! You can see the results here. It’s kinda slow with the Flash, though, so you can see a breviated version after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry…

Comments Off on My Daemon | Catergorized: books  geek  movies


A Moving Story

So as I mentioned yesterday it’s been quite a week of moving. Mostly it was just work, sometimes it was irritating, but there is one good story.

At my place of employment we had rented a big garbage container because everytime there’s a move there’s a lot to dispose of. For some reason this time there was more than usual (probably because of the new furniture) and the bin was getting full. At some point during the day a neighbor from several blocks away decided he would use our bin to throw away all of his crap.

We came outside to see our bin overflowing. It did not make us happy. Fortunately this neighbor didn’t bother to remove his name and address from his garbage, so two of the guys I work with loaded it up into a truck and at the end of the day delivered it back “home”.

Based on the contents of the garbage it seemed that this fellow had just moved into a new place and when the boxes and bags were delivered back to the origination point three guys were coming out of the apartment; probably the guy moving in and two friends who helped him move. To their credit they didn’t say anything and just kept walking like they didn’t know or care what was going on.

But I can imagine that they were not happy getting all their crap back on their doorstep!

Comments Off on A Moving Story | Catergorized: life  work


Movingest Week

I just had the movingest week ever, and by “moving” I mean picking stuff up and transporting it to another location.

Last week we did the heavy lifting to help Mookee to his new condo. Piano, bed, couch, boxes, running machine, etc. Yes, running machine… The kind usually found in a gym. I’ll miss the *thud thud thud* over my head. At least I won’t have to worry that my ceiling will collapse.

On Friday and Saturday we finished what will hopefully be the last in a vast series on internal office moves to get everyone’s location in alignment with the corporate reorganization that started at the beginning of the year. The hardest part about the reorg was moving everyone around. While it was only 27 people this time, it spanned three floors and took almost twice as long.

Then today I helped more friends move to a new apartment. I thought the worst part of today’s move would be hauling two people’s stuff up to the third level in a San Francisco Victorian era building but no, it was the insane envy and jealousy I experienced when I saw the view. The bastards (and I mean that in only the nicest of ways) have a view of about a quarter of San Francisco. The only thing I’ve ever wanted out of my living experience out here was a nice view and it’s the one thing I’ve never had for myself.

So now I’m tired, sore and beat. In fact I involuntarily fell asleep mid-sentence in this article. If I didn’t have to do several things today before going to bed (and no, they can’t wait till tomorrow) I’d be dead to the world till tomorrow.

Comments Off on Movingest Week | Catergorized: friends  life  san francisco  work


Energy Imports and Usage

With America freaking out about the price of gas ($2.29 seems so quaint now!) and especially this weirdness regarding how much oil we get from Arab countries in the Middle East, I was rather surprised to learn that we only import 28.87% of our total energy use in the form of crude oil.

I learned this a couple days ago at a “brown bag lunch” sponsored by my work place where guests are invited to speak on a range of topics. This particular topic was about how to reduce our carbon footprint and was given by Joe Sciortino from the 11th Hour Project. It was interesting but for me the most fascinating part was the chart (click on the image for a larger version). Joe had gathered the information for this chart from the Energy Information Administration, a division of the Department of Energy and I hope he doesn’t mind me using it here.

I really wish I had a percentage breakdown of where those oil imports were actually coming from, as a good deal of it comes out of Canada. In fact we import more oil from Canada than any other country at apprx. 796,219 thousand barrels. Saudi Arabia, the greatest producer from the OPEC nations, is at 570,137 thousand which is even less then we import from Mexico. Granted these are 2005 numbers, but the ratios seem consistent over the available data.

So why are we so “dependent” on Arab oil? Why all the rhetoric about “energy independence” when we would live (with an apprx. 30% increase in oil prices) by simply cutting out *all* oil imports? The chart’s simple truth has my brain wheels spinning.

Comments Off on Energy Imports and Usage | Catergorized: political  thoughts


The Beastie Boys

You know what’s strange, cool, disturbing and hopeful? The Beastie Boys have been on the scene for over 20 years now. They’re in their 40s and still bouncing around the stage like a pack of exuberant kids that had too much sugar.

I just caught Awesome: I Fuckin’ Shot That! and from a distance they look like any teens and up close you can see the creases. They go against our culture’s idolization of youth, youth who continue to fill their culture coffers. My hat, if I had one, is off to you, Boys.

Comments Off on The Beastie Boys | Catergorized: audio  movies  thoughts


Kate Beckinsale is Barbarella?

I’m generally not one to talk much about celebrity gossip but upon hearing that Kate Beckinsale might be tapped to star in the remake of Barbarella, I just had to share. I remember seeing the original as a teenager. Actually, I don’t remember much because it was at the tail end of movie night. My impression, though, was that it was one of the hottest things I’d seen since I was 13 and saw The Sword and the Sorcerer in a theater in Korea. At that time any kind of nudity got my hormones raging.

It wouldn’t react the same now and, to be honest, I probably won’t see any remake of Barbarella (sorry, Kate) in the theater but eventually it will make it’s way to DVD or cable. At that point I’ll watch it. Since this is a Hollywood remake I predict I’ll be disappointed but with the story but I’ll be happy to see Ms. Beckinsale, mini-skirts and all.

2 Comments | Catergorized: movies


Dealing with Sleep

How do you deal with sleep? More specifically, what do you do when you can’t sleep? Some people try reading a boring book. Others try a warm glass of milk. Work out. Meditate. Have sex (partnered or solo). Pop pills. Listen to soothing music. Drinking.

I don’t have a coping methodology that works for me. What I need is an off-switch for my brain. Once I have an idea in my head, once my intellect is engaged, I have a hard time stopping it. Reading tends to engage it even more. I just finished reading The Otori trilogy because it kept me up. Working out (swimming) works only if I don’t do it very often. Same with drinking. I can’t bring myself to drink warm bovine lactose.

Pills just make me feel like crap in the morning and I don’t take them anymore. I know friends keep encouraging this but it ain’t gonna happen. Similar to meditation. I know it’s supposed to empty the mind but it just seems to energize mine. Sex… Not really an option.

How do you deal with not being able to sleep?

7 Comments | Catergorized: life


Things I’ve Been Listening To

Some random bits I’ve been listening to.

Ruby – Kaiser Chiefs (Let it never be said that romance is dead…)

I Hate It That I Got What I WantedClearlake (I don’t know what got into me but I don’t expect that I’ll get any sympathy)

Medicine Bottle – Red House Painters (It’s all in my head I said banging on the piano…)

Mama’s Room – Under the Influence of Giants (Something’s got my fill and it won’t get through my head but there’s something missing…)

Fly Me Away – Goldfrapp (I wanna be the one that you call…)

Steady As She GoesInfadels (Find yourself a girl and settle down…)

Le Disko – Shiny Toy Guns (If what they say is true you’re a boy and I’m a girl. I will never fall in love with you.)

Lover I Don’t Have to Love – Bright Eyes (You write such pretty words but life’s no storybook…)

FidelityRegina Spektor (All my friends say that of course it’s gonna get better)

All of these were found going without a destination through the iTunes Music Store except the Red House Painters, who I discovered when I lived in Prague. I was reminded of the song again recently and had to get it.

Comments Off on Things I’ve Been Listening To | Catergorized: audio  life


Today’s Thoughts

In no particular order, here are a few quotes or thoughts I had at a seminar I attended today…

Honesty and competency are required for trust. Without trust you cannot lead.

Servant leadership: you serve the people you lead.

What’s the difference between an extroverted and introverted engineer? The introverted engineer looks at his feet when he talks to you. The extroverted looks at yours.

Because a friend disagrees with you doesn’t mean they aren’t loyal.

You might ask just what this seminar was about based on those quotes. It was a management seminar and while I learned some interesting things it was, as usual, the things that had nothing to do with management that caught my attention.

2 Comments | Catergorized: life  thoughts


Conversational Dentistry

Why do dentists almost always feel the need to have conversations with their patients? Not that I’m complaining because it does help the time pass, but when my mouth is yanked open wider than normal and with sharp implements causing sharp pains I think it might be a bad idea to ask me if I saw the latest TV show.

3 Comments | Catergorized: life
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