Archive for March, 2006

More Bathroom Adventures

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

The immovable pieces:

family sink family toilet

Suggestion A:

Family light fixture Family Medicine Cabinet Family Towelbar Family Paper Holder Family Robehook
Suggestion B:

j light j medicine j towelbar j paperholder j robe hook

Your suggestions?

UPDATED: Choose your own bathroom adventure

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

It looks like the color scheme was changed out on me . . .well, i guess i never had it “on me” so, in reality, i guess they just changed it.  new mock-up. top one is the new scheme, bottom one is old.

Guest bathroom color scheme

Question 1) Would you like your bathroom to look like this?
Question 2) Could you tolerate walking into this day in and day out if you were to stay at my place.

time is limited. vote now.

Congratulations, Mr. Jones

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006
Sir Tom Jones

For today, you are Sir Tom Jones.

Time to pick a good week to quit using Fedora . . .

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

I’m just getting to know my new fedora core 5. Some of the stuff is cool like laptop suspend works, and some of it is not so cool. Unfortunately, there’s more uncool than cool.

Backstory: I’ve never been a real fan of redhat. back when jlg sent me to get my RHCE, i wasn’t all that into it. You go in, you learn 30% linux and 70% redhat specific tools. It seems the trend is not reversing.

So, the first stumbling block was my clock dockapp. I’ve been using asclock since, well, since i’ve been using linux. asclock is nice. it’s simple. it no longer can be compiled in fedora core 5. why? because of this:

21.4.2. Imake

The imake utility is no longer used to build the X Window System, and is now officially deprecated. X11R7 includes imake, xmkmf, and other build utilities previously supplied by the X Window System. X.Org highly recommends, however, that people migrate from imake to use GNU autotools and pkg-config. Support for imake may be removed in a future X Window System release, so developers are strongly encouraged to transition away from it, and not use it for any new software projects.

and so, the just removed it. now, usually, you can go get a -compat rpm to get all that once was and is no longer. well, that’s no longer. it’s gone. gone for good. farewell, my time telling friend.

The next hurdle i stumbled upon was no more xscreensaver. now, honestly, i don’t really mind. I mean i was pissed when they ditched xlock. You went from typing ‘xlock’ to lock your screen to having to type ‘xscreensaver &’ to start the daemon and then you had to type ‘xscreensaver-command –lock’ to lock you screen. I mean, wtf? that sucks. so, no tear for xscreensaver. however, what did they move to, you ask?

The latest versions of GNOME Power Manager (http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnome-power-manager/) and GNOME Screensaver(http://live.gnome.org/GnomeScreensaver/) provide new and integrated power management capabilities.

excuse me? some people don’t want to run gnome, you insensitive clod!

This, of course, hits a soft spot with me. anything gnome hits a soft spot. why would anyone in their right mind want to be handicapped by this inferrior product that’s been designed by fools who have turned themselves over to ms windows ui programmer wannabes? everything they do is a rip of windows. heck, they even went retro windows 3.1 style with spacial nautilis. but, hey, let’s not go there.

Next up is something that was promising and now . . . sigh:

7.4. NetworkManager

Fedora systems use Network Manager to automatically detect, select, and configure wired and wireless network connections. Wireless network devices may require third-party software or manual configuration to activate after the installation process completes. For this reason, Fedora Core 5 provides Network Manager as an optional component.

Refer to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Tools/NetworkManager for more information on how to install and enable Network Manager.

So it sounds great, right? except, the only interface into this thing is an icon in the gnome task bar. great. You insensitive clod! also, on a style note, every daemon since the beginning of time has used an all lower case nameing convention. WHY MUST YOU BREAK IT! . . . YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD! I mean, is it so hard to follow a naming convention?!?

I wish things stopped there. I really did . . . but read on my young companions, for we are soon to hit the creme de la creme:

7.7. No automatic fstab editing for removable media

The fstab-sync facility has been removed. In Fedora Core , the fstab-sync program is removed in favor of desktop specific solutions for mounting removable media. Entries for hotplug devices or inserted media are no longer automatically added to the /etc/fstab file. Command-line users may migrate to gnome-mount, which provides similar functionality.

are you f-ing kidding me? wait, let me read that again . . . are you f-ing kidding me?!? why? . . . wha . . . why?!? since when is mounting devices an excerise left to the window manager? The window manager?!? I mean integrating a browser rendering engine into your OS to display a graphical view of your filesystem make more sense than letting your window manager mount your filesystems. not only that, but i will be damned if i ever type the words ‘gnome’ and ‘mount’ on the same line.

So, that being said, any recommendations? I hear Ubuntu is all the rage these days. Don’t anyone say Gentoo. i don’t have time for that shit. on this box, i’d be compiling for days.

UGC

Monday, March 27th, 2006

So, i’ve been in a rut lately with my browsing habbits, making the rounds through my favorite sites far too often only to find nothing new. I’ve made a couple call outs in the analog world and got some suggestions, but they weren’t quite the thought-provoking content i’d had in mind.

Last night, I came across waiterrant. It’s the blog of an anonymous new york city waiter and it’s a great freakin’ read. consider me sated for the next couple weeks as i dig through the past two years of this blog.
I’d like to thank the wonderful world of digg and reddit for this net nugget.

Water, Water everywhere

Friday, March 24th, 2006

A letter from a brother:

———————————–

To: xxxxxxx@afcd.gov.hk, yyyyy@afcd.gov.hk,
Subject: Re: Temporary Closure of Mai Po Nature Reserve

Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for your prompt response. But i dont know if you have studied the trends on spread of epidemics in history and the frequency at which it occurs. Prior to the industrial revolution, any kind of epidemic is relatively localized and it happens very infrequently. It is not until the modernization of technology that mobilized people and goods did it turn into a frequent and nasty global problem.

The reason for that is very simple. Prior to the industrial revolution, the barrier to global travel is high, and is reserved only for those looking for adventure and challenge. That is the same for other animals, Migratory birds are the most mobilized in transporting themselves through long distance, but even then for them is a deadly challenge if they are not fit for the task. Thus if any of the migratory birds are infected by any disease or virus, it makes it very difficult, most of the time impossible for them to cover the distance and spread the disease, to create a global epidemic. Thus the physical distance have previously been successful in localizing any kind of epidemic.

There are mainly two factors, the rate at which a new deadly virus is formed in nature, and the velocity at which species (including human) interact. Such is of course a very simplistic assumptions, but assuming all else constant, these would be the major factors that one could study. If we assume that the rate at which a new deadly virus is formed is relatively constant, then the only difference is in velocity of interaction between species. And that as i mentioned before, is drastically increased by modernization of transportation, reducing the barrier and cost of transportation of people and goods.

For these reasons I dont think that Migratory Birds are the culprit of the problem, rather i think they are victim and scapegoat to the real cause of the problem.

The evidence you gave us is not convincing as to why Mai Po is closed down. I think the major concern is the probability of cross infection between inflected birds and human beings and how likely it is for each particular area. So lets look at the facts, the number of birds found infected of H5N1 outside of Mai PO is as you said 16 counts, whereas in comparison none have been found in the mai po area. And during all these times Mai PO is under the intense scrutiny by government officials and WWF themselves, conducting numerous test to see if any birds carry the deadly virus. As far as i know none was found.

Most of the birds found that have contracted H5N1 is found in the urban areas. And when you say wild birds, I dont think you are talking about migratory birds?!?! Population density in urban areas is easily above 30,000 people per square kilometer. Whereas the population density of mai po is insignificant. On top of that there is again the velocity of people, that would have an exponential effect on the chances of human being in contact with infected birds in the urban areas.

Fact of the matter is from a risk perspective, there is a much higher chance of contacting H5N1 on the streets than in Mai Po, and for that reason, the governments action of closing down mai po and not the streets in the urban area seems highly inconsistent, in following the theme of avoiding people from contacting the sick birds and their faecal matter.

It is understandable that the government have to take the necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of the general public from H5N1. But the government havent proved to myself and others who are well informed in the issue the necessity of closing down Mai Po. The explanation is just a lot of random facts pieced together that is not only unconvincing, but also demonstrating how incompetent the government is in finding the source of the problem and combat it head on.

WE sincerely appreciate the gesture from the government to take the precautionary action to temporarily close down mai po. Good old saying of better safe than sorry. But this has dragged on for too long base on fear that is not supported by any facts. And it is time to adapt to the new facts and reopen the area. WWF was prompt to respond and comply with the government in closing mai po area, so in return the government should do the same and promptly re-open it.

Please respond with a more coherent and scientific response of why Mai PO is closed of indefinitely, or else reopen it!

Thanks and Regards
WWWW

Chaser

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006
pot of gold!

After that last horrible post, a little chaser. Here we have a rainbow as seen from the Y! parking lot. a cornucopia of happy thoughts. yay.

also a big yay posting from my new fedora core 5 install.  nothing says excitement like a new fedora release. however, if you want to use flash in this fifth installment, you’ll need some special love found here. don’t know why, but you just do.

Irritable

Monday, March 20th, 2006

I can’t remember the last time I was this irritable (perhaps it was the last time i considered california my home), but today, I am most irritable. why you ask? Why, it would be my pleasure to tell you.

This weekend the brother was away, the aunt & uncle was away, and I was looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend.

as should be obvious to me by now and perhaps should be tattoo’d on my forehead: thou shalt never relax, make plans, or even conceive the concept of individuality or personal life.

as friday approached, the task list began to grow:

task 1: wake up at 8am to let the cleaning lady in. so much for sleeping in.

task 2: pick up my 15 year old cousin from the airpart at 5:30pm on sat. so much for dinner plans on sat. night.

task 3: pick up tickets to Colma for my brother at the Kabuki theater.

task 4: mom is in town. put on the chauffer hat.

Four things on the task list. not too bad, right? wrong. Friday night i catch the kings game and we lose to Indiana. the warning lights begin to flash. I head to dinner with the team and then head back to the city. Contemplate calling some folks to see what’s up and then realize my fantasy of an imaginary house has left me with no cash to burn for that night. Go home, open a bottle of wine and drink it by myself.

7:50am rolls around and i wake up to open the door for the cleaning lady. Then I call my cousin. it turns out that he has a birthday party to go to in pacifica which is ten miles from the airport, and he wants me to drive him home to shower and then back down to pacific. I call and he doesn’t pick up, so i leave a message to tell him it’s a no go. we’re going straight from the airport to his party. go back to sleep.

wake up at 10:30. mom calls and says she’s on the bay bridge, she should be in the city soon and i should get ready to drive her to the conservatory in Golden Gate Park. I get up, shower, wait.

11:30 rolls by and she calls and says she’s going to walk to the conservatory and i don’t need to drive her. Then my uncle calls and asks if i want to go to in n out for lunch. sure.

in n out is out by fisherman’s wharf. we get there around 1pm, order food, sit down. I get a call. It’s mom. “When are you going to be back? I don’t want to walk to the conservatory anymore. it’s too far.” Nothing I can do but listen to her complain about why i’m eating so late (gee, maybe it’s because i spent the morning waiting for her?)

get back from fisherman’s wharf and check my cousin’s flight. it’s five minutes early. Mom get’s back from the conservatory, and i need to drive her back to my grandmother’s place for the night and then head out to pick up my cousin.

I get to the airport at 5:40pm and call the cousin. straight to voicemail. Call again. straight to voicemail. circle the airport and call again. straight to voicemail. repeat for the next 20min. finally, he calls me. “Jason, where have you been?” Where have i been?!? turn on your f-ing phone! I’ve been calling you for the past 20min! wait. deep breath. he’s only 15. I pick him up. “Did you get my message?” I ask him. “Yeah, except I don’t have the birthday present.” I look at him. I glare. You have to be f-ing kidding me. Couldn’t bother to let me know before i left the house?!? Deep breath. He’s only 15. It’s a girl’s birthday party. Can’t have a family member showing up to a girl’s birthday party without a gift. Looks like i’m driving home.

On the drive home the cousin tries to start some conversation. He borrowed my bag for his trip, so he says thanks for letting him borrow it. Then goes on to say:

“Y’know, your bag smells.”

I ask, “what did you do to it?”

“Nothing! but, it smells like weed.”

“Then you must have been smoking weed.”

“I didn’t! I swear!”

I look at him. I glare. deep breath. end the conversation.

The drive to the airport, back home, down to pacifica, and back to the city takes two hours. On the way home for the last leg, i call up some friends to see what’s going on. They’re catching V for Vendetta. Sweet. all in.

Have some down time before the show starts. Go to Kabuki to pick up Kev’s tickets. Spend ten minutes looking for parking about five blocks away. Get to the box office. Tickets are sold out. message the brother to let him know.
The next four or five hours go by without a hitch. Ate dinner. watched movie, grabbed beer.

Wake up the next day for lunch with Mom. It’s during the Kings game. son of a bitch. games missed this year is something like 15 or 20. That’s more than the past three years combined. The kings lose. damn, that’s two in a row. I hate not having my own place. I hate not having a tv, not having a couch, not having a cable package that more than 13 channels.

Have lunch. people talk about my imaginary house which has sucked all my money away and left me with nothing but false promises and a quickly dying possibility of ever inhabiting the money pit that is home ownership. April 15, they say. Just like they said January 31. Just like they said there would be people working on it this past week. This house doesn’t exist. The chances of me dying are greater than the chances of this house getting done. It is a fantasy. a fairy tale. But, santa clause is dead, and elvis has left the building.

Lunch finishes up, mom leaves for sacramento, the brother returns from his weekend on the slopes. “Did you get the tickets?” he asks. Did he not read his messages? apparently not. “No.”

Next, he tells me the honda is in the shop (could have told me sooner, maybe?), he has to take the VW. He’ll drive me to the shop tomorrow morning to get the honda around 9:15am today. I tell him i can take the bus. He says, no, don’t worry about it.

9:15 arrives this morning. I’m ready to go. I get a phone call. Brother is running late. will pick me up at 10:00. alright. no problem. I turn the laptop on, kick off a cvs update and start reading the weekend email/bugs. 9:45 comes and the brother waltzes in. “are you ready?” he asks. I start shutting down and packing things away. brother looks annoyed. he says, “I have a meeting at 10:00pm, could you hurry it up?” can i hurry it up?!? YOU are the one that’s make ME late. Can *I* hurry it up?!? I could have taken the bus and avoided this situation, but we followed YOUR plan!!!!!

I get to work, start looking at the todo list and get a call. It’s the brother. “Ever hear of a company called plantronics?” he asks. Yeah. i have. apparently, they’re running this contest to win a free headset. my brother wants to enter, but he has to refer three emails. “Can i use all of the email address i have for you?” he asks. Thanks brother. just use my email addresses as your f-ing spam hole. really appreciate it. really f-ing appreciate it.
If your last name or your mother’s maiden name is Wong, leave me alone. just leave me alone.

Brilliance or Common Sense?

Saturday, March 18th, 2006

Once again my morning session with KCBS managed to garner my ire. This time is was a story about CBS’ online streaming of the NCAA tournament free of charge. y’know, kinda like watching television is free of charge?

anyway, the story goes on and they bring in another analyst who’s just singing the praises of CBS. Granted there is a bit of conflict of interest considering KCBS is owned by CBS, but whatever. what really got me was when this analyst said, “This is a brilliant move by cbs.”

Brilliant? . . . Really? . . . Brilliant?!? No, this is not brilliance, this is mother fucking common sense! I mean any fool you ask would tell you that they’d want to see what they want, whenever they want to (tivo, anyone?). Giving the people what they want is brilliant? No. Relativity, that’s brilliant. String theory, that’s brilliant.  Ron Artest-for-Peja and the latest Burger Kings commercials are brilliant. There’s nothing brilliant about CBS streaming. In fact, I bet you the engineers at CBS have been trying to make this happen for years. I also bet you the people who stopped those engineers are the same spineless folk who are going to take the credit for making this “Brilliant” move.

Which brings me to another question: why am i getting so ticked off by AM radio these days?

Happy Last Day In the Office, JLG!

Friday, March 17th, 2006

JLG Mooooo JLG
Congrats, Sir! Don’t be a stranger! and don’t play with your udders in public.