Sunday, December 03, 2006

Mysterious squeaking metal sound fixed. I climbed the attic ladder and sprayed WD-40 at the axle of the roof ventilator. There's no room to stand up there, so I reached and shot from a foot away while standing on the ladder. WD-40 rocks.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Randomly surfing the web, I found an interesting blog entry containing this quote:

"If a person suppresses those very things that make his personality unique, if he blurs and dilutes those distinctions which mark him as different from all others, then in a sense he has marred the only gift it is truly in his power to give." --John Garlock

I deleted a few recent blog entries, regardless.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The UT football crowd of about 100,000, in 100+ degree temperatures, generated a psychic hum that made me feel like part of a vast, spooked herd. A new scoreboard called "Godzillatron" allowed corporate logos to outblaze the sun. My head was, yes, adorned with an orange hat, sporting a silouette of none other than the white horned beast itself. I was a stranger in a strange land...

OU Sucks!!!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

i wandered into an antique store on burnet where a fresh shipment of mexican 50's movie posters had arrived. i also picked up my retro 50's chair from copenhagen saturday.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Went to the "Rumble on Red River" tonight, a badly promoted, badly planned boxing event. You can sort of see the empty seats in the picture. All of the fights were mismatches. The best example of this was the last semi-main event pitting "King" James Johnson, Jr., against Billy David Thompson. The guys threw jabs for about 1.5 minutes, then Johnson connected a few times, and Thompson, intending to show that he was tough enough to take punches, exposed his jaw and made a "bring it on" gesture. Johnson immediately connected with a right, Thompson went down, and the small crowd erupted with derisive hoots and laughter. The title fight was also one round, ending in a KO.

The highlight was meeting Ernestine, who was displaced by Katrina and who could only shake her head and laugh at how bad the fights were, compared to the fights she went to regularly in N.O. We were in a row of empty seats quite close to the ring, in adjacent seats. When katrina hit she was stranded at the New Orleans convention center for four days, and went straight to the Austin convention center after being evacuated. I offered to get her a beer, and she said she couldn't take the "watered down" stuff. I said "I'm getting a Shiner Bock, it's not watery." She dug a five out of her pocket and I got us two. She had not had Shiner yet, and admitted it was OK. It was funny talking to her, almost everying she's tried to enjoy here: music, food, sports, hasn't held a candle to where she used to live. Even when she caught the Rebirth Brass Band at SXSW, the stage was too small to hold all of the musicians. She said she was taping the taylor vs. wright fight being shown on HBO tonight. It was a small miracle anybody showed up for the Red River Rumble.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I didn't think Fox could surprise me anymore, but they just aired a spot for the Competitive Enterprise Institute and their "We Call It Life" pro-CO2 ad campaign. CO2, it seems, is being unfairly maligned by the liberal establishment, and citizens must be mobilized to put an end to senate hearings that might result in CO2 being categorized as a pollutant. It's not a pollutant! This little girl cannot possibly be exhaling pollutants!

The CEI website has similarly nauseating supporting material, but I found the bio for their Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy, Myron Ebell, the most telling; They list WITH PRIDE the fact that Greenpeace and other activist groups labeled him a bad guy. It epitomizes the awfulness of modern American Politics: issues are not fought on the basis of ideas and facts, but on who can assemble a better blacklist. Greenpeace blacklists Ebell, thereby allowing Ebell to blacklist Greenpeace and pander to his conservative base. Americans on either side of political spectrum can be cowed into an "in group" more easily than they can be persuaded by information.

I buy the argument I heard on Nova. Unless drastic action is taken in the next 10 years, global warming will become irreversible. We currently can choose between keeping the only climate civilization has ever known, or force our children to adapt to a new climate with unknown consequences. My trust goes to scientists (and even politicans) who explain an inconvenient truth when it arises, not to Institutes that launch ad campaigns to snuff the life out of reasoned public discourse.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Wild Thing

Stayed late at work today, but time is meaningless when you are wrapping up a problem. On Monday I was told that the software I've been working on for the last two months has to compile on older system software. (I was told to roll back my gcc version a notch.) Things broke. It was depressing. I got to work with a programmer I didn't know well who maintains the test computer running the older system software. The problem centered around an unrecognized system "accessor function", __ctype_b_loc. Which still reminds me of Tone Loc, but deals with the concept of locales, allowing the rest of the world to enter yuan symbols, umlauts, and upside down exclamation marks into the computer. Everybody I talked to seemed united around the idea of the gcc compiler version being the only thing to dictate the presence or lack of functions such as __ctype_b_loc. But there was a whole other side to the problem. The compiler version (gcc) and the system C libraries (glibc) can be updated or rolled back independently of one another. Even after I was told to roll back my gcc, I was still testing my code on a non-standards complaint version of glibc. That took 8 hours to figure out. Sitting there like a solemn chimpanzee in my cube, making people wonder if I was slowly dying. I wrote a very short patch file that makes the old system software deliver its ctype lookup tables in the manner of its newer replacement. I hacked linux. I got a "clever" from the programmer who helped me get started, perhaps the most nurturing comment I've received since starting the job. Then I realized that after all the quiet hours, I also learned the way to TEST for the correct version of glibc. It is a good addition to my skill set.

Last week I solved the problem of depth soundings coming out the system like swiss cheese, several layers of partially complete depth grids rather than one grid that contains everything. And a few weeks before that I fixed a bug caused by small rounding errors in the float datatype.

I am keeping my job.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Today was my biannual bout with stomach flu, or food poisoning. I don't know which. It was painful and ran its course exactly like it has before. I ate cold pizza and fresh cocktail tomatoes. The last time I ate a cold pork chop and a peach. Learn from my stupidity. Heat up anything that is conventionally eaten hot, and rinse produce thoroughly. I wonder if pesticides have something to do with it. Both times I ate very fresh produce; perhaps pesticides lowered my resistence to bacteria.

It's like huge fingers pinching your intestines for four hours. I don't want to experience it again.

I watched the movie Thumbsucker last night, speaking of poor hygeine. The DVD packaging leads one to think of a nutty, independent film along the lines of Napoleon Dynamite. It's a sentimental coming of age story with a linear plot and a happy ending. The Polyphonic Spree guy ...let's see IMDB... TimDeLaughter did the sountrack and I think in ten years the film will make people grateful for the present. More realistic than a John Hughes film, but so crowded with big name actors that you sort of wish somebody like Anthony Michael Hall or Pedro might stroll into a scene. Keanu Reeves is poorly cast as an existentialist orthodontist. The casting by ...let's see IMDB... Jeanne McCarthy made me think "hair fetish" and "big budget". The writing is just OK, maybe more thanks to the novel than the screenwriters. I liked The Squid and the Whale better.

Friday, March 17, 2006

In the thick of SXSW. Last night Claire and I saw Mogwai (left), Belle and Sebastian (below Mogwai). Tonight it was Morrissey and Goldfrapp. (My picture of Morrissey was so blurry there is no point posting it.) Goldfrapp was very cool. Early 80s disco with driving beats and heavily synthesized voices. "Crystalline voices" as their website puts it. I'm thinking glam-sex decadence is where it's at.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Time alone at home can be such a delicious yet somehow incomplete thing. The Christmas holidays played themselves out, I got to see so many things, the west texas mountains, trendy chicago restaurants, a beautiful, real christmas tree in my mother's livingroom, my loved ones.

I cooked carne guisada tonight, drank a few Sierra Nevada celebration ales, marked down at HEB because the holidays are over, celebrations are over, and beer bottles with poinsetta leaves on them are over. My iPod is playing the best shuffle I could ask for, as I ran around snapping these photos Pee Wee King and his Gulf Coast Playboys played the Tennessee Waltz.

I realize I look fat and I resolve to lose enough weight to erase the sagging layer around my jowls. I went out for a walk tonight and met my across the street neighbor, Jay, he is an engineer for Verizon and an avid bass fisherman. He invited me out. I have tackle. I've been carrying fishing tackle around with me for, like, a decade, five or six moves, finally I may get to use it.

I'm just so fucking happy to have my own house.