Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

ADMIN: Blogs to Undergo (Forced) Renovation

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

So I was about to do some stuff with the blog one day when I ended up getting an error saying that my .cgi files for my Movable Type were unreachable. After some back and forth with the tech support folks at my webhost, I find out that they had migrated my site to a server that has no Perl support (and that they’re eventually going to phase out Perl on their site).

I was able to get them to move me to a server that (for now) has Perl, but the fact remains that I’m going to need to change platform. This will be my final post using Movable Type.

I have a WordPress installation online right now but need time to actually do the migration from Movable Type to WordPress and redo my pages so that it has more or less the same feel as the original. But you’ll see some changes in look and feel.

See you guys on the other side…

Better Living Through Mathematics, Claims This Book

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

I found myself browsing in Barnes and Noble during lunch and a book caught my eye: a book that tapped into a primal vein and took me back to childhood.

You see, I was raised around numbers. My father was the business manager at a decorative supply store, which means, basically, that he kept the books. Whenever we had inventory, our living room would be filled with inventory slips that we would compile by hand.

Needless to say, math was always my best subject in school. Algebra, geometry, trig, calculus…then differential equations, linear algebra, and onward.

I left that behind to an extent when I left teaching; I no longer felt the need to crunch numbers for breakfast. Until I saw this book.

It’s called Geek Logik: 50 Foolproof Equations for Everyday Life by Garth Sundem, which humorously, and with tongue firmly in cheek, tries to reduce agonizing decisions down to algebraic equations that you plug and chug. It even comes equipped with a solar calculator.

For instance, if you’re wondering whether you should wake up five minutes earlier in the morning:

(Sa/Su)(IT/100L – Snooze/2) = W

Where: Sa = hours of sleep you’ll get tonight; Su = hours of sleep you need regularly “to remain civil with telemarketers”, I = importance of those extra 5 minutes (from 1-10), L = how much light is in your bedroom when you wake up (1-10), T = temperature of your bedroom in degrees Fahrenheit, and Snooze = how many times you hit the snooze button. If W > 1, you should wake up earlier, says Sundem.

It turns out Sundem has a blog. And if you want to find out who won the Oscar fashion contest? Here’s how.

Beware: Romano’s Macaroni Grill at Ala Moana (UPDATED)

Friday, September 29th, 2006

I love Italian food. It’s perfect fare for a carbo-loading marathoner. My friend Eric and I discovered Romano’s Macaroni Grill on a trip to Portland, Oregon in July 2004. The chain eventually opened a new location at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, and I ate there last year with my mother and was very satisfied.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that Eric appeared to have gotten substandard spaghetti from the Honolulu location on his birthday. He is pissed. How pissed? This pissed. And reading about it is pissing me off too. Three delayed meals, he and a guest probably having suffered food poisoning, and totally inattentive service…totally unacceptable.

For my part, although I was not there when said party occurred, I stand by my friend and say that Romano’s Macaroni Grill will not get one more lira from me either until he gets a satisfactory outcome. And I encourage anyone here to boycott them also and strike a blow for better customer service.

Update 10/11/06: Eric got a letter from the president of the company that appears to have satisfied him. Seeing is believing, though. I’ll probably go on a field visit one day to see the results.

ADMIN: Upgrade to Movable Type 3.3

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

I just upgraded my Movable Type version to version 3.31. You might see some weirdness in the blog as I work out the bugs. Bear with me.

Park Place on Plastic? Monopoly Money Goes Electronic

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

I guess it was just a matter of time. When the U.S. Treasury decided to add colors other than green to American currency, I’m sure there were quite a few people who derided the effort as making it look like “Monopoly money.”

In the near future, you won’t hear that criticism anymore. A new version of the board game in the U.K. now uses debit cards instead of the rainbow-colored play bills that aficionados has grown to love.

And they’re Visa debit cards as well. I wonder how much they’re paying for product placement?

The times, they are a-changing.

How Evil Am I?

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

Not very…

You Are 20% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.
Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!
How Evil Are You?

I bet I’m making Eric squirm right now…

After-Birth Decisions?

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

From the unusual news of the day department: Apparently, there are two things you can do with a placenta besides throw it with the medical waste.

You can bury it.

Or, you can eat it. (h/t The Moderate Voice)

Take your pick.

Indulging My Inner News Anchor

Wednesday, April 12th, 2006

Sorry for the long absence this past week. I’ve been dabbling in the world of podcasting. Well, sort of.

For a while, I’ve been contributing to the Wikipedia project, editing articles about anything and everything. Just recently, I’ve also discovered its sister project Wikinews which acts like a free news wire of sorts. A subproject of it is Audio Wikinews, which lets people contribute their recordings of the news stories on Wikinews…indulging their inner news anchors, so to speak.

So, armed with the free open-source audio editor Audacity, I thought I’d try my hand at it. I’ve recorded and mixed a few of the newsbriefs (you can listen here). Of course, I don’t think I’ll ever measure up to Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, or Peter Jennings in my delivery of the news. Or even Joe Moore, Shawn Ching, or any other radio or TV personality here either.

But I think it’s fun. I might continue to do it for a while. Of course, I’ll still be writing here regularly, don’t worry.

And who knows, maybe I might start a podcast of my own. The Pineapple Podcast, maybe?

Those Who Have Grown to Hate Bush, Read This

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Lately, I’ve been reading Impostor by Bruce Bartlett, one of the key people in the Reagan Treasury department. Yep, the folks that brought us supply-side economics. You’d think that, since Reagan and Bush the younger were ardent fans of the tax cut, he’d be singing his praises. Think again.

In short, Bartlett eviscerates Bush on the economic front, but making it clear from the start that his is a classical conservative viewpoint. He uses such choice phrases as “the worst record on trade since Hoover,” calls Medicare Part D “the worst legislation in history,” and predicts a huge tax increase in the making, if not by him, then by his successor. Heck, he practically puts Bill Clinton on a pedestal.

Bartlett is one of the latest of people associated with the right side of the aisle coming out against the policies of President Bush. And just earlier this week, I read Cal Thomas’ column in the paper. Of course, I hardly read his column; he makes Jesse Helms look like Jesse Jackson. But I do have to give him props for calling the GOP out on their lack of fiscal prudence.

Which brings me to a great essay by Jane Smiley at the Huffington Post (mahalo Linkmeister). She has tips for Bartlett from “those of us who have been anti-Bush from day 1.” Her basic thesis, in four words: We told you so. But read the whole thing.

And Smiley closes with this, which, again, is the reason I don’t support impeaching Bush: “As bad as Bush is, Cheney is worse.”

Ambien Users Do Strange Things in Their Sleep…

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

OK, a short break from the dam break watch, and back to national politics for a bit and a little bit of comic relief. Maybe I’ve been a little too hard on President Bush. There has to be a reason why he’s been acting so irrationally. Andy Borowitz has a solution. He seems to suggest that Bush should go to his doctor and get himself off Ambien.

Update: Here’s the real story about Ambien. And BTC News talks about an article that appeared in Slate talking about this same thing. Borowitz must be psychic.