Archive for April, 2006

R & D

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

So, with dave getting hitched in less than 5 months, I’ve been tasked to pick a few wines out for the reception. I’ve decided to go with good value wines. Particulary, wines around the $10 price point. I’ve had a few wines in mind, but haven’t been able to track them down in the bay area, which reminds me that i need to place a few more phone calls this week.
The wines i had in mind are:

  • Solaris Cab Sauv – $10
    This puppy is just easy drinking at a great price. It does fall apart after breathing a bit, but consider the price! If you’ve got a few extre bucks, spring for the reserve.
  • E. Guigal Cote-d-Rhone – $13 @ astor in NYC, $10 at The Wine Club in SF
    Solid wine. Consistent year-over-year. Always a dependable option. You’ll see it in the $30 range at restaurants.
  • Ventana Cab Sauv – ~$13
    If you’re sick and tired of the state of california wine making, you’ll like what ventana has to offer. straight up old school, earthy cab. yum.
  • Sagelands Cab-Merlot – ~$14
    Actually tried this one for the first time at a Y! tasting. At first swig, i thought it was probably ~$25 – $30. Ooodles of complexity. If you like being taken on a journey, this is a good choice.
  • Canoe Ridge Red Table Wine – < $10 Yeah, it's a table wine, but it's a mouthful and tastes like anything but a old, watered down grape juice.

You might noitce a lack of vintages associated with those. yeah, i’m a bastard.

Anyway, i’ve been having trouble tracking those down. So far, i’ve only been able to grab a bottle of the Guigal. so, I decided to to a little R&D into new, sub $10 wines. It’s been a while, i admit, but it’s mostly because all my favorites that used to be around $10 are now around $15. inflation. what a bitch.

From what I’ve been able to ascertain, there are two main wines stores in SF: K&L and The Wine Club. It’s not too bad considering that it’s one short of a triumviate similar to NYC’s Astor, Union Square, Sherry-Lehmann. My time at K&L was cut short due to YAFF (Yet another family fire drill), so I didn’t get a good feel for their wine selection. fortunately, i was able to spend a good amount of time at The Wine Club and picked up a couple recommendations from the staff:

  • Pacific Estates Cabernet Single Vineyard – $9.99
    Uh, yuck. Don’t bother with this unless you like unremarkable wines. Reminds me why i’ve stopped trying new wines. Unfortunate because the paso robles folk have had such a good record with me.
  • Viu Manent 2003 Cab Sauv – $9.99
    The label said 16 months in french oak, and i was sold. This thing is rich up front and gives way to a mineral-oak finish. I’d imagine this would be much better with a food pairing as opposed the sit-alone-at-home-and-drink type of drinking that i usually enjoy.

Tomorrow, off to pick up another bottle of the Viu Manent,and maybe some new selections. hell, at $10 a bottle, it’s cheaper than a night out on the town.

It’s been rumored . . .

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

that the following is a depiction of the Hand of God.

Hand of God

although the rumors are unconfirmed, what is known at this time is that, whatever it may be, it hurts.

Welcome to the other side (Part IX)

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

I returned from california a different person. It’s interesting what death does to people. The significance we place upon it. the doubts it raises. the demons it surfaces.

The fall semester of 2001 is a blur to me. I really don’t remember much from those three months. I do remember returning to 30 hour weeks and working on . . . something.

The main pre-occupation at the time was searching for a job. Well, not really a job, but a temporary source of income in my post-collegiate days. Somewhere along the line i had gotten it into my head to pursue a graduate degree. I think it was something about not being satisfied with my skill set. Little did i know a graduate degree wouldn’t help me in that department.

Anyway, november arrives, i call up some friends at Intel to test the waters and before i know it, i have another co-op. no interview. no screening. just an offer letter which i gladly accepted. Not a bad deal, actually. better pay, great weather. Sure, i’d have to deal with the stiffling culture, but it would only be temporary. I just had to find an apartment to rent cause there was no way i was going to live at home. Things were pretty set.

It’s interesting how things can change.

December rolls in. I want to say it’s December 17 or 18. We’re still in the tin box. John asks to speak to me. We head downstairs into what used to be the architecture school’s computer lab.
“So, i pissed some people off yesterday,” he says.

nothing new. i wait for something interesting.

“So, i pissed these people off, and now . . . i have an open job req for a full time programmer. I was wondering if you were interested.”

“Yeah, i’d be interested! What’s the timeline?”

“Well . . .,” he starts to make knots with his fingers and scrunches up his face. uh-oh, here comes bad news. “I’d need you to start within a month.”


hmm . . . need to start this job in a month except i’m supposed to be in cali working for intel . . . . hmmmm . . .

I guess the decision wasn’t that hard. I sat on it for a couple days before i called intel to tell them i wasn’t coming. that part didn’t go so well. i guess as a consolation, john took my resume and doctored it to fit the HR reqs for the job req.  now, that i think of it, i don’t think i’ve ever seen the final copy  . . .
Anyway, a quick apartment hunt and one christmas in asia later, I was offically a full time member of the CCIT family.


Thursday, April 27th, 2006

The other day my aunt asked me whether i was happy we sprung for the house instead of the condo. The question was phrased in the vein of “aren’t you glad we got the house instead of the condo?”
to give a little backstory, the condo vs. house question was decided by my aunt. my input really wasn’t asked for or considered, but i like to think i weighed the decision heavily in my mind. it came down to value vs. cost/lifestyle. The condo was in soma, close to the action, but more expensive. The house was cheaper, a bit of a fixer upper, but out in the boonies.

anyway, my reply focused more on the indefinite answer do to lack of experiential evidence in the vein of, “gee, i don’t know cause i’ve never had the condo experience.”. sounded pretty logical to me. i think she was a bit disappointed with my answer. she then proceeded to list the pros of the house decision. it retains its value better, there’s a grocery store nearby, yadd, yadda, and finally:

and it’s close to the beach, so you could run there . . . oh, but you don’t run

that’s right. i don’t run. I just sleep all day.


Monday, April 24th, 2006

What a bunch of horseshit! I can’t believe artest was suspended.  He gets his lip split and manu gets to play on. Manu runs into ron-ron and artest gets suspended!  unbelievable!  it wasn’t even called a flagrant foul! how can stu jackson look himself in the mirror? the state of nba officiating has seriously slid down the pole like a stripper collecting tips. sad . . . just sad.  I guess it’s another +1 to the Kings-Refs conspiracy contingent.

May 12th!

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Beard Papa’s coming May 12th!

My non-work life might finally be fulfilling again . . .


Friday, April 21st, 2006

The finest picture on the market now belongs to me. Though, considering i bought it from fry’s, let’s just hope the darn thing works.
In other news, bladegeck shipped today. will be on my doorstep in 2 business days. can i say how won over i am by those lenovo guys? first, they empathize with my MS aversion, then they quote me a two week delivery when the website says 3-6 weeks, and now, it turns out i’ll have my new laptop within 1 week of ordering . . . stupendous!

On the flip side: the credit card is hurting from being swiped so many times . . . if you’re interested in chuch web pages or web content management systems, feel free to discover from the appropriate advert on the right.


Monday, April 17th, 2006

Qty Product Code Description Unit Cost Total
Product Description Lenovo ThinkPad T60 2623 – Core Duo T2400 1.83 GHz – 14.1″ TFT
Recommended Use Small business
Dimensions (WxDxH) 12.4 in x 10 in x 1.2 in
Weight 5.3 lbs
Localization English / United States
Platform Technology Intel Centrino Duo
System Type Notebook
Built-in Devices Stereo speakers, wireless LAN antenna, fingerprint reader, ThinkLight
Processor Intel Core Duo T2400 1.83 GHz ( Dual-Core )
Cache Memory 2 MB – L2 cache
RAM 512 MB (installed) / 3 GB (max) – DDR II SDRAM – 667 MHz – PC2-5300
Hard Drive 80 GB – Serial ATA-150 – 5400 rpm
Optical Storage DVD¦RW (¦R DL) / DVD-RAM – plug-in module
Display 14.1″ TFT active matrix SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) – 24-bit (16.7 million colors)
Graphics Controller ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 – 64 MB
Audio Output Sound card
Telecom Fax / modem – CDC – 56 Kbps
Networking Network adapter – Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g
Wireless NIC Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
Input Device Keyboard, TrackPoint, UltraNav
Power AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
Battery Lithium ion
Run Time (Up To) 3.9 hour(s)
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Manufacturer Warranty 3 years warranty
Product Description Lenovo ThinkPad memory – 512 MB – SO DIMM 200-pin – DDR II
Storage Capacity 512 MB
Technology DDR II SDRAM
Form Factor SO DIMM 200-pin
Memory Speed 667 MHz ( PC2-5300 )
Qty Product Code Description Unit Cost Total

And minus the Microsoft Tax!!!!! Woooot!

another portable computing device bites the dust

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

The loaner laptop i’ve been using died last night.  it was an IBM T30 . . . POS.
funny how i’ve never liked that series.
anyway, i think the hardrive died and it’s starting to develop some difficulties on the I/O bus. so, now it’s time to find a new one.  of course, i already know which one i want, it’s just a matter of how much shit i give them for forcing that ms windows bullshit down my throat and into my wallet. let’s just say a couple calls have already been made.

Want to join in? call 1-866-968-4465, menu option 1 for sales and then either 1 or 2 for home or business.  wait for the sales dude to come on and ask, “can i get a t60 with no operating system? no? why not? . . . . you need it for testing purposes? y’know, i used to work at intel, and we used linux to test the processors . .. is there any legal recourse or way to get my  money back? can i sell the windows license back to you? i’ll sell it to you at cost cause i’m such a nice guy.”

considering that i really need a laptop asap, but my credit card billing cycle ends today, i’m willing to wait until monday.  feel free to call anytime between now and monday.  thanks for playing.

deep rooted fears . . .

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Scientists offer 10 basic questions to test your knowledge.
i got 10 of 11. let’s see how Mr. jim bob does . . .