Jack's Weblog
Pointers and observations on things I find interesting.

Tue, Apr 16, 2002

I just posted this to the comments area of bambinoscurse.com

I was listening to one of the radio talkshows after Saturday's game, and the commentator said something like this:

"Oogie's our closer this year. Unless we make some trade for one of the few real closers in the league, which is unlikely, then Oogie's our guy. And that's the way he plays. Every time, he's gonna scare you. If we're lucky, or the-powers-that-be are right, then he'll Save more than he Blows. But it's gonna be scary every time. Get used to it."

I don't like it, but I think he's right. It's gonna be a ride... but we're gonna win this time :-)

Sat, Apr 13, 2002

The Red Sox beat the yankees last night! All is well in the world.

Today: Pedro vs. David Wells. We'll see which Pedro comes to the mound. The confident one, or the timid one.

Fri, Apr 12, 2002

Watching the Masters Golf Tournament on TV the past few days. Arnie is playing his last round in a Major. It is a bitter sweet moment. I've only come to golf in recent years but even I quickly fell under of the spell of this charismatic man, who has meant so much to competitive golf. I really believe that in years to come Arnie will be seen as haveing had a greater impact on golf than even Tiger.

Wed, Apr 3, 2002

Although I haven't been posting here as much lately. I have been posting to my EAA weblog at www.vaa15.org.

Thu, Mar 28, 2002

This is a pretty good explanation of the current controversey surrounding digital rights. "When elephants dance, it's best to get out of the way. That's exactly what's happening now as the entertainment industry‹the recording, publishing, and motion picture industries, mainly‹attempts a worldwide intellectual property power grab with two distinct targets."

Wed Mar 27, 2002

I've been adding alot of things lately to the VAA EAA website lately.

After I wrote that yesterday about snow days, it snowed again. So now it's 5 out of 8 days.

Tue Mar 26, 2002

Weather-wise it's been quite a week. It's snowed 4 out of the last 7 days. There's been more snow this spring than there was all winter. But as of right now there is almost no snow on the ground (which is a GOOD thing). Compared to the pic below, there is now only a few small piles of snow where the plows pushed it at the side of the street.

Here's some interesting pics that have just surfaced, from a security camera at the Pentagon, that show the Sep 11 aircraft hitting the Pentagon.

Fri Mar 22, 2002

I spent most of today visiting with old friend Diana, her husband Michael and their little girl Allison. Allison is pretty adorable. She and I spent most of the day flirting.

One particularly satisfying aspect of the day was the weather. We're having a bit of a cold snap here, and my friends from Seattle were not tolerating the 20 degree wind chill at all, while I felt that, although it was cold, it wasn't all THAT bad.

Thu Mar 21, 2002

Near Miss! "An asteroid large enough to demolish a city the size of Orlando passed within 288,000 miles of Earth without being noticed by astronomers until four days later."

Well, since noon yesterday we have received the biggest snowfall of the season. I haven't been out yet, but based on what I saw when I was out last evening, and what I see out the window now, I estimate 6 inches.

I took this pic at 9:30 this morning. Yesterday at this time there was no snow in this scene. But it's 40 degrees out now and things are melting. It will be intersting to see what this pic looks like then.

Wed Mar 20, 2002

Thanks to MacInTouch for a pointer to this:

"Hallacy, 21, devised a trick for modifying an obscure configuration file used by the service to control the settings in his 3Com cable modem. A few tweaks later, Hallacy's $50-per-month service, which had been downloading data at a poky 75 kilobits per second (Kbps), was sweetly humming along at much brisker speeds in both directions."

KurzweilAI.net -- "As technology accelerates over the next few decades and machines achieve superintelligence, we will encounter a dramatic phase transition: the 'Singularity.'" Read full item here..

KurzweilAI.net -- "Augmented-reality systems are being developed to superimpose text, graphics, 3-D animation, sound, or any other digitized data on the real world." Read full item here..

I'm catching up on old issues of Davenetics. One had a link to this: "Seek and We Shall Find -- Stratify is a well-funded startup with a technology that can help companies search documents and the net more effectively. The technology can also build a profile of a user over time by tracking internet searches. The CIA's venture arm is among the investors. "

Tue Mar 19, 2002

Somebody wrote:

did you know that your new attbi.com email account comes with a built-in spam filter?

Being the contrarian that I am, I've never been real comfortable with these systems. I dislike SPAM as much as the next guy. But I REALLY dislike the idea that someone else is deciding what mail I get.

I did a little surfing just now to see if I could find what are the criteria for screening my mail. Not surprisingly the "rules" don't seem to be published. I checked at https://memberservices.attbi.com/msws/MemberServices and http://brightmail.com/

I know, I know, if you publish the filter rules then it makes it easier for the spammers to circumvent them. But that's the kind of rationalization we're hearing all too often in Ashcroft's America.

OK, I've kinda gotten myself worked up here, so feel free to give up on this message now.

Not to get on a rant or anything, but black lists are bad. Even the ones that are intended to accomplish a worthy goal. Part of the price of Free Speech is that we must each make our own judgements about what is right and wrong. Or at the very least we should not delegate this power to an entity without being able to review the criteria they are using to "protect" us.

I know this is a tricky issue. Spam is a big pain in the butt. But I urge everyone to think twice before giving up any of their rights simply because it makes things "easier".

That's what I think anyway.

Cool Clock -- Found this on Jerry Pournelle's website: http://www.jerrypournelle.com/test/clock.html

Tue Mar 18, 2002

11:20 pm -- It snowed today!!! It started very suddenly, and then it snowed HARD! For a couple of hours. From about noon to three. Maybe 2-3 inch accum.

I got some good PPI website work done today. Implementing ver 1 of the online vol database.

Eve -- Baby Bob premiered tonight. I had high hopes for this show. The dot-com commercials that they did a few years back were outstanding. But this first ep was weak. Mostly it seemed to be the editing and pacing. The actors didn't seem to be able to get in a rhythm because so much of the dialouge was Bob which was not done on the stage, but would be edited in later. The laugh track was particularly bad, for the same reason, I think.

We'll see if it finds a rhythm and gets rolling.

Thu Mar 14, 2002

All day at Gen A theatre project at Newington Elementary school.

BEAUTIFUL DAY! Hi near 60. Of course I was stuck indoors most of the day.

Tue Mar 12, 2002

10:20 pm -- The trip home was pretty uneventful, but long. Strange thing now that I'm home: I'm lonely. I've been with others for the past 12 days. Now I'm alone and I'm noticing it.

Mon Mar 11, 2002

Returned rental car this morning. Stopped to visit Metreon while passing through City. Caltrain to Menlo Park. Keplers, bought Technomage book II. Rode bike to PAO, watched airplanes. Dinner with Becky and Alex. I enjoyed talking with Alex.

Heading off tomorrow at 6 am for my flight home. I'm looking forward to getting back.

Sun Mar 10, 2002

7:00 am -- Well it's snowing. I was up at 3:30 and it had not started yet. But it's coming down pretty steady now.

As you'd expect, I'm now pretty concerned about the travel conditions. I really don't want a big ordeal getting over Donner Pass. I should chill out and not worry about it. Now I've got the chains, so the worst it could get is to have to put them on and go slow over the summit. It'll be OK.

9:00 am -- I spoke to Heather Kane about her black belt test. She doesn't find out the result until next week. She says she's not sure how she did. She says she's really sore, "I can barely walk."

She described the test to me. It sounds like ALOT of stuff. Like 500 pushups and situps. Running. Plus working through all their movement things. No wonder she's sore.

8:50 pm -- Long drive down the Sierra. 5.5 hours. As we were waiting for breakfast we called Caltran and Donner Pass was alternately under chain control or completely closed. By the time we got started the chain controls were off over the summit. The going was slow but moving.

We had breakfast at the Old Post Office. Good food. Too bad I only get to eat there once a year.

Sat Mar 9

12:50 am -- Long day. Hanging around the condo, cleaning out INITs on my computer, walk up the hill, shopping at Raleys, poker (won $10), Malcolm in the Middle.

7:30 am -- It's sunny with some sort of high thin layer, temp 27, wind calm.

Today is the day that everyone usually gets all ambitious and puts together outside activities. Rick mentioned "road trip" last night. We'll see.

5:11 pm -- Interesting, everyone really vegged out today. Lots of hanging around the condo.

It's supposed to snow tonight. I hope it's not too ugly tomorrow when we try to head home.

I'm really feeling like a slug. I need exercise. The diet and lack of oxygen have really gotten to me here. I have a huge desire to exercise.

Tonight is the big group meal. Pasta as usual. Should be good though.

2002 Tahoe highlights: chain controls over Donner, playing Crazy Taxi, especially watching Rob play, big waves when we arrived on Thu, Rob & co go snowmobiling, jo ann won big at poker, jack came out from nh, watching movie Get Over It 3-4 times, Jo Ann & Jack drink Jack Daniels, snowing as we woke on Sun, racoon feast,

10:50 pm -- Jo Ann and I drank JD tonight. Tasty, but it put me to sleep. The trip is winding down. I'm not the only one who has crashed. We're all kinda concerned about the weather tomorrow. Becky was talking about putting the chains on her car tonight while the weather is still OK.

Fri 8

5:30 am -- So much to catch up on.

Yesterday was quite an adventure. We left Berkeley at 9:30 hoping to get here earlier than our usual 4pm. The weather was not promising. It was overcast an raining, occassionally pretty hard.

The drive across the valley was pretty fast, but it was raining constantly and I was becoming convinced that we were not gonna make it over the pass without problems.

The message boards along the highway were all saying "chains required, carry chains". So I was thinking that I would lie and say I had chains in the trunk. But about 3/4 way up the Sierra they had a checkpoint that required us to put them on. They directed us off the highway to a rest stop where we decided to bite the bullet and buy chains.

$60, some frozen fingers, and alot of thrashing around in the slush, Jeff Cross and I had the chains on. Sherm stood back and observed, claiming that he was exempt because he was wearing shorts, and "I'm a homo". We let him get away with this at the time, but we'll make him pay later.

Back on the Interstate the going was slow, mostly because we couldn't go more than 30 with the chains on. Also the vibrations would get pretty strong so that kept the speed down too.

About 10 miles from Donner Summit the traffic came to a halt. Traffic reports on the radio said there were "multiple spinouts" at the summit. We were stopped for about 30 mins.

The snowfall increased as we waited. Finally we were underway again but travelling with all these other vehicles was even slower going. About 20 mph. A mere 1.5 miles from the summit we stopped again. No radio expanation this time, and the 30 min wait seemed to pass more quickly this time.

We were gonna stop at the summit rest area to see the sights and catch our breath, but it was closed. They hadn't even plowed out the entrance. So we proceeded down the steep grade into Truckee.

By this time the visibility has gotten pretty bad. And the wind occassionally whips the snow around into a "white-out" condition. But we carefully made our way down the hill and took the first exit.

The plan had been to remove the chains at this point, but the snow is still coming down so I decide to leave them on for the drive over Brockway Summit.

Turns out we could have taken them off. The roads through downtown Truckee were fine and the road over the hill was even better. A couple miles before Kings Beach we stopped and finally took them off. What a relief after all that vibrating.

From this point things became fairly routine. We checked into the condo, went grocery shopping, and settled into the condo for the evening.

One thing very different this year. The lake is much lower than I ever remember seeing it. And when we first arrived the weather was driving big waves that were crashing against the shore. For the first few hours here there was a constant roar from the waves.

As the evening progressed the weather improved and now, the next morning, although it is still overcast, the visibility is good, I can see all across the lake.

All in all the trip up took us 5 1/2 hours. About 1 hr of that was stopped on the interstate, so we were slowed down by about an hour.

We arrived at 3:30, just about the time we arrived in past years.

(I just looked out the window here at Tahoe and the sun is hitting the mtns across the lake. Very beautiful.)

3:00 pm -- As usual everyone is spending today just vegging out. Tomorrow they'll get ambitious and head out to do stuff.

I shouldn't talk since I haven't been out today and I'm on the verge of spending the whole day indoors. I'll go out soon and get some air.

Rob's videogame Crazy Taxi is quite a hit. Someone has been playing it non-stop all day.

Time to go out for my walk.

Tue 5

9pm -- Weather started out clear and sunny, but throughout day overcast moved in.

First thing this morning I drove down to Palo Alto to have breakfast at the Creamery and to see Maureen. I wasn't sure she'd even be there, but as I walked through the door she was standing there to greet me. I ordered my old usual scramble and talked with Maureen.

After breakfast I walked down University to the Borders. I browsed in there for awhile then crossed the street to the Apple Store.

Very sparse, stylish displays of the main Apple products. I saw the HUGE lcd display that I'd seen at Computerware. It is the 22 inch Studio display. Very cool. But $2200!

I talked to the "genius" about my quicktime problem. He seems to think it's an init conflict. He gave me a bunch of suggestions on how to isolate it.

Since I've been home tonight I've tried a couple and I've already determined that I have a problem with the Extention Manager. I think the time has finally come to upgrade to OS 9.

I could reinstall the EM but I'm on Sherm's slow net connection, so I guess I'll wait till I get home.

Next got my Fry's fix. I spent about an hour wandering the aisles. So much great geek stuff. I bought 4 three foot cat 5 cables. I was looking for a power supply for the Windows laptop. But they didn't have one. I already know that Radio Shack has what I need.

After Fry's I drove over the hill to San Gregorio. I then drove down the coast. I stopped at Pebble Beach (not the golf one) where I saw whales through the binoculars. In all these years this is the first time I've seen any whales.

I continued south through Santa Cruz to Watsonville. Onto rt 129 through the pass to rt 101. I stopped to drive by S County airport. It looks same as when I left it.

I stopped in Morgan Hill to find Peggy. They told me that she doesn't work out of that 1st St shop any more. I'll have to look up her home number.

Finally, I drove up through Mt View to have chinese food at the place near Netscape. Good as ever.

I had originally thought I'd go to Mt View to see Rick's show, but I was running out of steam so I headed home.

On the way north I was reminded of one of the things that drove me back east: traffic. Even at 7 pm the driving was still very stop and go all the way from San Jose to Berkeley. Really sucks!

Mon 4

Well the rental car problem is resolved. The manager was completely helpful and took my debit card. Did I not explain this?

I had a car reservation at National, but when I got there I discovered that they don't like debit cards. The weekend guy couldn't help me, he said I should go in on Monday and talk to the manager. I did, and he was completely accomodating. I was planning to write a nasty letter to National, but now I'll write a complimentary one.

6:01 pm -- I had a really good day.

I got to Woof's house at 11:30. He gave me the tour. It's very nice. It looks small from the outside, but inside there's actually lots of room. They only moved in a week ago, so there's still alot of unpacked boxes, but you can clearly see that it will be really nice when they get settled in.

We took a walk around the neighborhood with his dog, then headed off for lunch.

After Woof, I headed up to Sonoma. As I remembered, it is a very nice town. Even nicer than I remembered. Lots of nice shops and restaurants. And a sense of history even richer than Monterey. I'll be posting some pics from Sonoma on the weblog later tonight.

After Sonoma I went over to the Sonoma/Schellville Airport. It seems that they have renamed it to just Sonoma County Airport.

I took alot of pics there too...

Sun 3

8:00 am -- Had dinner with Jo Ann and Rick last night. Had a really good time. Italian food, then back to Sherm's for ice cream and to hang out.

I'm headed into the city today. Check out the waterfront with a sailing eye for the first time.

6:40 pm -- I spent the day walking the entire SF waterfront, twice.

I took BART to Embarcadero and walked along the piers. My first stop was at the ferry pier to see about going to Tiburon. Turns out that on Sunday the Tiburon ferry only runs from Pier 41. That's OK, I planned on walking that way anyway.

The walk along the Embarcadero has always been one of my SF favorites. It was a beautiful day and there were all sorts of people along the way. Walkers, joggers, skateboarders.

At one point I heard a big noise approaching from down the street. It was a herd of 20 kids riding motorized, stand-up scooters. Talk about geeks! [[insert pic]]

11:59 pm -- At Pier 39 I got myself a hotdog. And swung by to look at seals.

The Tiburon ferry ran two more times but I decided to put it off till another day since I would probably noot make it back till too late. I continued along the waterfront heading for the maritime museum.

At the SF Maritime Museum I went onboard two different three-masted sailing vessels. I was able to climb below decks and all over the main decks.

I would stand at the rail and imagine what it would be like to stand there as the ship pitched and rolled in a storm while trying to round the Horn. On one of the ships I was impressed by how high above the water the deck was. Nevertheless there were pictures of waves crashing over the deck. Very scary looking.

After the museum I continued around the little bay and walked out the seawall to the opening of the bay.

It was a spectacular day and the Bay was filled with sailboats of all sizes. When I lived here I never paid attention to the sails in the Bay. So I really was looking at it for the first time today.

There were ALOT of sails! Maybe more than 100. And in March too! This really would be a great place to live if I was really involved in sailing.

One disappointing thing was the almost complete absence of gaff rigged craft.

I continued my walk up and over Fort Mason. I was reading one of the historical signs and it occurred to me that my dad might have been here. I took a couple of pics of the wharfs to see if he recognizes it. [[insert pic]]

I then made the long hike back to Embarcadero, and then back to Berkeley.

Long walk, good walk.

Copyright 1999-2002 Jack Hodgson jack@da4.com info@da4.com

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