Wednesday, November 30, 2005

PriceRitePhoto: Abusive New York Camera Store

Just read this blog entry about an abusive NY Camera Store. It's pretty amazing to see the lengths people will go to, to be dishonest. To me, it just seems like a lot more work to live your life that way.

As a business owner myself, I can vouch for how hard it is to build up a a reputation and a client base. It's definitely much easier to lose customers than it is to gain them.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Driving Habits

The other day I was wending my way through traffic. As I normally do, I was on a constant scan for holes that would allow me to advance my position in the flow of traffic. After exploiting a few opportunities and stopping at a red light, I noticed a blond woman that I'd passed (and been passed by) a few times, looking at me really annoyed, as if to say, "all of lane changing and it didn't even get you anywhere". In the past I've had people ask me as much, when I told them about the way that I drive. Is it so hard for people to realize that I'm totally cool with driving the way that I do, even if it gets me to my destination slower some of the time?

Let me say one thing before we go on though. I'm definitely not one of those jerks whinging my way from lane to lane so fast that my back can be seen swerving. I give plenty of space between me and the car in front of me, and I do not change lanes unless I have room to do it safely without causing people to tap their brakes.

What I do do is constantly exploit growing gaps in order to make it through traffic in a more efficient manner. I find this activity interesting and fun. My mind is constantly calculating vectors and lines of sight. I fully acknowledge that it does not always result in a more efficient path through traffic. In fact, many times it results in a loss of favorable position. I really am ok with that. What I've gotten out of the experience is a respite from the usual boredom that driving brings, perhaps some time savings and an opportunity to improve my driving skills.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

An Evening With Kevin Smith

I'm watching "An Evening with Kevin Smith" tonight. What a great show! Kevin Smith can tell some great stories and really knows how to work an audience. One thing that really intrigued me was at time index 1:01:24 on disk two. There's a strawberry blond woman with a phone number written on her hand. I have a really nice DVD player connected up to a new TV (not HD) via expensive RGB Monster cables (not to be mistaken with RCA cables). The screen is about as clear a representation of the DVD that you can get with today's technology. I can make out the area code (320) and some of the other numbers, but I can't seem to see the rest. It's not that I don't have a life, but stuff like that jumps out at me and seems interesting to explore. Has anyone else observed that? Have you figured out the entire number? Ever called it?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Tech Ghetto

Some of us live in the tech ghetto. We're talented, intelligent and good at what we do. Secretly though, we know we're living a lie. It's easy to do what we do, so easy in fact that it's obvious to us that we're artificially limiting ourselves. The reasons are varied, job security, laziness or fear. When asked what we're specifically good at, we simply state that we're a jack of all trades, yet a master of none. Inside we realize that we've gotten as far as we've gotten on talent and that we could go so much further if we'd simply put more effort into ourselves. This is the tech ghetto. We're not going anywhere, yet we all dream of getting out.

Thankfully, I've gotten a chance to change that in my life. Working at this latest opportunity I'm creating something real that I can put my name on and be proud of.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Realms of Knowledge

This isn't new. It's interesting to me, and I came up with it on my own, but I'm 100% sure that someone had to have thought of this before me. Any pointers to some authoritative research on this would be greatly appreciated.

Working in a knowledge environment is a microcosm of the way information appears to flow throughout the world.

The smallest bit in the realm of knowledge is the single human domain of perception. Thoughts are generated constantly in this domain, most of which are discarded. Occasionally a thought of some redeeming value bubbles up, forming a packet of information that is deemed worthy of communicating to another individual.

The vast majority of that which is communicated from one human domain of perception to another is discarded. Occasionally an idea has sufficient value that it takes on a life outside of any individual human domain of perception. At this point, the idea becomes "group knowledge" or "tribal knowledge".

Tribal knowledge usually only works for a small subset of any population. Outside of that subset, the knowledge has little or no value. However, on occasion tribal knowledge leads to innovations that help entire populations. This slowly becomes global knowledge within a certain discipline. A good expample would be of how an individual at one time found a wonderfully effective method of dying clothes. This person spread that method throughout their tribe. Eventually the information proved valuable to the textile industry, and thus became global knowledge within the textile industry.

Every once in a while, discipline based global knowledge escapes the confines of the given discipline and becomes "common knowledge". An example of this would be Einstein's famous "E=MC^2" equation. Not everyone knows what it does or means, but it is "common knowledge".

From the pool of common knowledge comes "Universal Knowledge". Not all common knowledge becomes universal. However, when something attains universal knowledge status, it can reasonably be expected that anyone in the world would be aware of that knowledge. An example of this seems to be strikingly difficult to nail down, as most examples of universal knowledge seem to be basic stuff that one can observe on their own (eating, sleeping, sun rising, etc). The universal knowledge I speak of here would have been generated at one time from a singular consciousness.

Beyond universal knowledge seems to be "true universal knowledge". A piece of information that has bubbled up from a singular conscience, that every human being is guaranteed to know, would be considered "true universal knowledge". I suspect that such a thing does not exist.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Direction

In the absence of a clear direction, a computer will freeze. It will cease to function and wait for direction from a higher power. In contrast, a human being, in the absence of clear direction, tends to make some sort of decision. The basis of that decision has been studied since humans attained the power of reason. The last place you're going to find an answer is here. It's just an interesting issue to ponder.

Reading the Bible and listening to angry evangelists would have you believe that the fatal flaw in humans is the fact that they actually make decisions in the face of a dearth of information. I think the real problem is that people are made to feel that their future actions can have an affect on their past. Thus if you feel guilty enough and do enough penance, it'll erase the past. Or, in other words, you are a good person until you screw up, at which point, you lose any right to feel control over your own life, and owe your salvation to a higher power.

At this point, my only contribution to this debate is not new, but makes a lot of sense to me. It's not how you handle the past, but how you react to your past and how you use that to guide your future. A statement like that only leads to more questions, but at the end of the day, at least helps me to frame them in a way that makes sense and helps me move forward.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Slashdot Comment Moderation

CmdrTaco has been trying to leverage crowd wisdom for years with his comment moderation system. I think a key problem is that he dosen't use a big enough sample size. It only takes a few people to moderate a comment up to the highest level. The rules of crowd wisdom state that the larger your sample size, the more likely you are to arrive at the "correct" answer. Granted, with something like a story comment, there is no "correct" answer, only interesting and relevant responses. CmdrTaco's goal was not to tease out the interesting comments though, it was to filter out the irrelevant and wasteful spam.

In essence, CmdrTaco had no choice. Spam was starting to choke slashdot comments and making them less than useful. The moderation system saved the comment system, but didn't, as many people assume that it should have done, make the comments more interesting.

I believe that if the prevailing attitude among slashdot developers is to "weed out the spam", we'll see a slow decline of slashdot's popularity until it's made irrelevant by RSS feed aggregators.

IMHO, the attitude *SHOULD* be to exploit slashdot's major differentiator over simple aggregators, which is the community it has created. In other words, they should invert the "weed out the spam" attitude into a "make the comments more interesting" attitude. It's a subtle difference and, on the face of it, it would appear that one begets the other. I contend that weeding out spam does not make comments more interesting and conversely, making comments more interesting won't weed out the spam. Thus we come to the root of the problem, two crosswise goals.

CmdrTaco has to worry about the system from a performance standpoint. Weeding out the spam means less bandwidth and storage costs. That's immediate ROI, and a good thing on many levels. The community, however, needs more than 1,2,3,4 or 5 to determine what comments to read and which to ignore, to make them interesting. I can conjecture at a few ideas that would make it better, but I do not know the ultimate solution, and I doubt anyone else does either. I believe the problem requires more than just CmdrTaco playing whack-a-mole with ideas, meta-ideas and meta-meta-ideas etc. It requires serious PhD dissertation level study.

Monday, September 19, 2005

French Toast

This weekend, my son and I happened upon the ultimate French toast recipe.

It starts with a loaf of "Nant Brioche". It's a wonderfuly light bread with a slightly buttery flavor that just seems to sponge up the french toast egg mixture. I was able to find it at our local Metropolitan Market. I did a few Google searches, but wasn't able to find much on it. Perhaps it's a unique recipe?

Cut the slices of Nant Brioche about a 3/4th of an inch in size. It's hard to tell if the slices can be too big, but too small and you don't get that rich french toast goodness.

For the egg mixture, we found that about 3 eggs per four pieces of "toast" was about right. My son and I can go through about 4 pieces each, so it took six eggs. Next, add a sufficient amount of milk to just barely cover the top of the eggs. I used 1% milk. I suppose if I wanted to really go wild I'd use 2% or even whole milk, but as you'll see, you have to draw the line somewhere. Mix it up until it's a consistent "yellow".

The choice of cooking pan is critical here. I used a 12" frying pan with a teflon coating. Due to the size of the Nant Brioche slices, I was able to get two in at a time. This works well, because it forced my son and I to pace ourselves as we ate them. Make sure the stove heat is set at a conservative "medium" (or whatever suffices for "medium" on your stove).

Soak the Nant Brioche in the egg mixture two pieces at a time. Make sure to soak it to the point at which the bread is nearly falling apart. Before putting the french toast in the frying pan, make sure to coat the bottom with a generous amount of REAL butter. Margarine simply will not do here!

Let the French toast cook until the sizzling dies down and flip it. Cook each side until they're golden brown and eat right away! I suppose you can cook up an entire batch and eat them "family style", but I find that they're best right off the frying pan.

As for what to put on them? Make sure to use real butter and real maple syrup. I've been using "Western Family" style maple syrup. Not the best, but it's considerably better than the "fake stuff". At one time I had a very expensive bottle of real Canadian maple syrup. You can definitely tell the difference between that and the "Western Family" stuff. However, the WORST maple syrup is infinitely better than the best fake stuff.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"I take responsibility..."

My jaw just about went through the floor today when I read, that President George W. Bush actually admitted that he takes responsibility for something that went wrong (in this case, for the Federal Government's failure to adequately help New Orleans after hurricane Katrina). I mean those were his exact words; "I take responsibility"!!!

This is the same man who, when asked at the presidential debate, if he'd made any mistakes in his administration, wouldn't cop to a single one (the assumption being that we're all human and he had to make *SOME* sort of mistake in 4 years).

This is truly amazing, incredible even. It's not just me either, he made the cover of cnn.com in bold print, "I take responsibility...". I need to observe the color of the moon tonight...

Monday, September 12, 2005

iTrip Fun

Had some fun on the way to work this morning, while listening to some podcasts. I have an Apple iTrip that transmits audio from my iPod to my car stereo, this enables me to hear without using headphones that block out potentially important background noise like sirens, etc. As I pulled past a white SUV on I-5 this morning, I noticed the podcast I was listening to started to get really fuzzy. I noted that the driver of the SUV also had an iPod with an iTrip attached to the top. How did I notice this? She was waving the damn thing around her car, ostensibly trying to improve reception. It seems that my iTrip and her iTrip were tuned to the same channel and were interfering with each other.

*snicker*

Normally I just pull past people and zip along on my merry way. This time, I figured I'd have some fun and pace her for a while. Granted, my podcast was obliterated with a lot of fuzz and occasionally some of her music. It was fun (in that "trainwreck" sort of way) to watch her try to figure out where the sudden spate of interference came from.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and September 11th, 2001

After untold billions of American tax dollars spent as a result of September 11th, 2001, and so much progress made (according to the Bush administration), how can we see so many failures from a hurricane that we knew was coming? God forbid we ever have a nuclear weapon go off in a major population center. Katrina has clearly pointed out that the billions of dollars we have spent on disaster recovery and mitigation have been wasted.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The iPod Bandwagon

I jumped on the iPod bandwagon last weekend. I got myself a 60Gig iPod color. I must say, this is definitely the cadillac of portable players. I've now got my entire CD collection (about 30 CDs; a mere fraction of what I once had) ripped to the player. It's neat listening to all of my music in shuffle mode. I didn't realize that I had such a nice collection of music. When you're listening to it one CD at a time, its easy to get tired of the music and just let it sit on a shelf.

This iPod also stores pictures and addressbook contacts. I can also sync up my calendar to it. Even more impressive, it has a few relatively amusing games on it, ostensibly to pass the time while waiting at the doctor's office. The next accessory I want to get is the FM radio attachment so I can listen to my iPod in the car just by tuning to an unused radio channel.

At one time I used to buy a lot of music, but I've been turned off lately at how much time the RIAA spends litigating against single moms and elderly pensioners. Instead of taking the time to realize that there's an opportunity here, the RIAA insists on clinging to the old ways and litigating with their customers. Not a terribly wise way of running a business IMHO.

What's more interesting to me, than commercial music, is the various independent music you can find out there. I like the fact that I can pay my money directly to them, rather than through a bunch of lawyers. I also like listening to the various podcasts out there. I don't really have a favorite yet, but I tend to enjoy the NPR Science Friday podcasts. I also just finished listening to the first book in podcast form, called Earth Core. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

I'm off to the Tom Petty concert tonight at the Columbia River Gorge Ampitheater. I'll try to get some pictures. The views are some of the best I've ever experienced in Washington and I hear that Tom Petty puts on a great show. Should be a fun evening.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cats are expensive!

Damn cats are expensive. I picked up a stray cat a few months ago and have only recently gotten nearly everything straightened out with him. He had ear mites, fleas, worms, deformed leg, upper respiratory infection and some goofy form of respiratory herpes that only cats can get. On top of that he took forever to learn how to use a litter box, has the nastiest crap I have ever smelled, and has a bad habit of getting "almond roca" stuck to his hind legs, which he then tracks all over my apartment. At this point, and he still needs to be neutered in a month, the bill for this cat is up near $700.

After all of that though, I love this little guy to death. He runs in and greets me as I get out of the shower every morning, and is *EXTREMELY* playful. He's also got this goofy way of sleeping on his back with his mouth open, that almost makes him look dead.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bang!

7:37am I heard footsteps running and then an incredibly lound *BANG*. Could have been a gunshot or something big falling off of a truck. Perhaps I'll find out what it was on my way to work.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Google

Just got word back that I've failed my second google interview. This time I thought that I'd nailed it. I really am extremely good at what I do, so this comes as a bit of a blow to me at this time.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Crashing Lights

I walked into Borders today to look for a book. About 2 seconds after I walked in the door, this huge light fixture falls from the ceiling about 20 feet in front of me, and crashes into a book display. Nearly a half second previous to that, a clerk was walking nearly underneath the fixture. Thankfully, no one was hurt. It appears that over time the fixture slowly worked its way loose and finally, some minor bit of environmental chaos caused it to convert its potential energy to kinetic in a rather dramatic fashion.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Park Day

Today was beautiful and I didn't get much done. I celebrated by taking my son out to the park. We both had a great time. I did a little playing around with qCAD on my laptop while he played on the jungle-gym. I even set up my webcam to record some of his play for posterity. Nothing gets a kid to start goofing around more than knowing that they're on camera.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Rain, rain, rain...

Weird weather lately. Lots of periods of sun mixed with torrential downpours. I've heard thunder a few times as well. Heidi doesn't like thunder at all. She's couldn't get inside fast enough. Naturally Cisco barely noticed...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Newsweek Deaths?

What's right is wrong, what's wrong is right...

Afghanis got together to protest American Military bases and the proliferation of the drug trade in their country. In order to put down the protest, Afghani authorities shot automatic weapons into the crowd, killing about 14 people.

In an unrelated incident, a Newsweek reporter was given an anonymous tip that a copy of the Quran had been flushed down a toilet at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. After publishing the report, the reporter went back to his source for confirmation, and the source negated their statement. Newsweek then had to retract the report.

Somehow the two incidents got wrapped up in one another and a lot of people now want to believe that the Newsweek report caused the Afghani riot. What's worse, is that, in my humble opinion (and some others as well), it looks as if the Newsweek reporter was "set up" by this source in the first place.

It seems like the United States of America is headed to a climate where *ANYTHING* is ok as long as it's done by people identified as Republican God fearing christians. Where did this faith in man come from? My Bible says that everyone is a sinner. No one person is infallible and we have a system of checks and balances to, at least partially, overcome this. As an example, a timely issue is the Republican named "Nuclear Option". How is it considered a good thing to make it easier for one person, a fallible person (according to my Bible), to fill the courts with people they deem qualified?

In order to maintain our system of checks and balances, it should be very difficult for one branch of the government to affect another branch. To use a metaphor, large sailing ships have something called "flood" doors installed on them. In order to prevent a small hole from taking down the entire ship, the ship is compartmentalized so that doors can be closed to "seal" off the leak. The Republican's "nuclear option" eliminates one of the flood doors in our government and makes it easier for one portion of the government to have control over another.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Jumper

This day was one of those that I'd never imagined I'd see.

It started out as a beautiful day out on Hood Canal catching shrimp. We ended up catching 92 shrimp. A halfway reasonable haul, but the real fun was being out on the boat with Darrin, Karey and Mickaela. If you've never been out on a boat for the day with good people, lots of laughs, sunshine and the stench of a catfood and mackerel bait slurry, I highly recommend it. The season ended at 1pm and we headed in shortly after. Being tired and a bit sunburned, Karey and I decided to head on home once we got something cold to drink and the shrimp divided up.

We stopped at Karey's parents house to pick up B-man and then continued on our way home. In order to get home, we have to cross the Tacoma Narrow's bridge. Many many years ago, this was the bridge that fell down in a storm. Karey's Grandfather was one of the last off the bridge and her Grandmother hasn't driven over it since. Today was much like any other day crossing the bridge. Morons who can't seem to remember to increase the gas, to compensate for the bridge's engineered incline, cause erratic slowdowns and weird backups. Since it was a Saturday afternoon, things weren't too bad.

A little over halfway across the bridge (on the Tacoma side, as I was later told), all of the sound in the world was shut out and things went into slow motion. I'm not sure what made me look, but I noticed a car stopped on the opposing lane. Behind the car was a woman who seemed to be enjoying the view. This is terribly unusual, since this is a 4 lane bridge (two lanes going each way) with *NO* shoulder. You don't stop on the bridge unless it's a mechanical failure or a life and death emergency. As we got perpendicular to her, she had hiked both feet over the ledge and was within a *HAIR'S* breath of heaving over the edge. My eyes were seeing it, and some part of my brain was perceiving it, but the rest of myself was having trouble believing that this was actually happening. I jammed on the brakes and laid on my horn. Realizing that a honking horn was going to do nothing to keep her from committing suicide, I jumped out of my car and ran across the middle two lanes to her. I honestly can't remember if I even bothered to look for oncoming traffic.

As a computer geek, you never train for something like this. Purely on instinct, I yelled to her that she didn't want to do what she was doing. She turned to me and yelled, "WHY?!?!?!". At that point my instincts told me that I had a small window of opportunity and I grabbed her around the waist and pulled her down off of the ledge. At that point, another driver jumped out of his car and helped me restrain her. A lot of things go through your head at that point, but mainly I was wondering why the heck no one was calling 911. In reality, about 20 people were doing just that at that very moment.

To respect the victim's privacy, I won't go into anything specific about what she said while we restrained her. What I can say is that she tried hard to get away from the two of us in order to complete her suicide. After what seemed like *FOREVER* (but was probably only 5 or so minutes), a whole platoon of police descended on the area. The woman was cuffed and safely taken into custody. We gave our information and reports to the officers and each of us went on our way.

I don't know why she tried to do what she did. I don't think it's fair to her to speculate about what got her to this point. I hope that the doctors who treated her tonight truly realized where she was at and were able to do something to help her.

During the event, one of the overriding thoughts going through my head was that with proper treatment, she would be glad that she wasn't successful. It reminded me a lot of when my son wants to do something that I know is wrong for him. He can't possibly understand why he can't do it, and it's useless to try to explain it to him. My only choice is to parentally restrain him and have faith that he'll eventually find his way.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Fixing a skylight...

I forgot to mention a while back that I fixed a leaky skylight in our house. I must admit that this has been the biggest "homeowner" challenge to date. After several tries and a *LOT* of money spent on various attempts I finally got it.

I ended up having to remove the roof shingles around the top half of the skylight. Once that was done I placed new tarpaper, reflashed the skylight, and added another layer of tarpaper over the flashing. Finally, I could put all new roofing tiles back in place. As it turns out, the leak was due to a small hole in a shingle and tarpaper about 3 feet above the top of the skylight. Water was leaking between the wood and the tarpaper and into the skylight. It was good that I tackled it as soon as I saw the watermarks around the skylight. None of the wood was rotted or warped.

As it turns out, the whole skylight was improperly installed. The leaky shingle was just the "canary in the mine". Eventually we would have had far worse leaks. I was amazed to find out that all that was protecting the roof this whole time was a flimsy piece of tarpaper around the skylight. The flashing simply wasn't doing its job. At this point though, the problem has been fixed in "industrial" fashion :-) It even passed a direct assault by a "hose monsoon".

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Document Storage

I'm getting tired of storing old bills and important documents in a filing cabinet. Filing cabinets invariably fill up too quickly and you can't find anything no matter how good your filing system is. Additionally, it's a real pain in the posterior to make a "backup" of a filing cabinet.

I'm going to try scanning and storing my stuff into a document imaging system. I'll use an OCR engine and custom indicies to get searchable data. I'll store the originals in a box in no particular order, although there should be a certain degree of date based stratification. If I ever need an original (which should be extremely rare) I can just dig through the approximate date area of the box(es) of originals. Otherwise, simply printing a copy of what I've scanned should suffice.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Tired!

Finally a day of peace and quiet. The last few weeks getting ready for Linux Fest Northwest have been a real killer. I'm also recovering from a small flu *AND* an unbelievable night of partying after LFNW. Gotta get back to email, only 560 messages to go...

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Death

This week saw the deaths of Terri Schiavo and Pope John Paul II. Actually it saw the deaths of a whole lot of people, nearly all of which were less than worthy to make the news.

The problem I have with the Terri Schiavo "thing" is that you lose either way. Without getting into the details being copiously debated elsewhere, my position is that the covenant of marriage trumps right wing ideologues. In the end, Michael Schiavo was just exercising the rights that the right wing conservatives scream and moan about homosexuals chipping away at (Uhhh, DOMA anyone???). Yet, when it is inconvenient, conservatives are the first to try and break up Terri and Michael's marriage. I believe that marriage is a sacred bond granted by God that applies *EVEN* when it is inconvenient. Whether Michael Schiavo's actions were right or wrong in the eyes of God, it was between him and his wife. Don't get me wrong though, there's nothing wrong with lobbying him to change his mind with respect to re-inserting Terri's feeding tube, even up to the bitter end. Fighting the courts to break up their marriage to give Terri's parents guardianship is a tasteless maneuver, and I applaud the courts for upholding the sanctity of marriage. Oh and the death threats against Michael Schiavo? Real class move guys, way to demonstrate your respect for LIFE!

All of this has me thinking about the hypocrisy of the death penalty and why the right wing conservatives champion it so much. The Bible teaches that all sin is equal in the eyes of God. It also talks a lot about the sanctity of life. Some might desire to remind me at this point about the "eye for an eye" clause. I'd politely remind them that Jesus fulfilled the law of the old testament and that judgment now lies in his hands, not yours. Sure, that's awful easy for me to say, but what if a close relative of mine was tortured and brutally murdered in cold blood? The only way I can answer that is to note that ever since I became a believer in Jesus Christ, I am no longer afraid of death. Yes, I'd be angry and I'm sure I'd want to disembowel the evil son-of-a-bitch with a dull butter knife. However, God will have his vengeance. Committing the perpetrator to death shows the same lack of respect for life that the perpetrator did *AND* shows a lack of faith in the vengeance that God *WILL* mete out on him (which will be *FAR* worse then anything mere mortal people can come up with, I assure you).

I have heard right wing conservatives talk about a respect for all *INNOCENT* life. According to the God I believe in, only one man was innocent. The rest are but "dirty rags" at their best, without the intercession of Jesus Christ.

"But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:15

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Dodge Ball

I played in the second Federal Way dodgeball tournament last night. We basically got our asses kicked. My head really wasn't in the game for some reason, probably distracted with all of my projects. It's a double elimination tournament and each round is best 2 out of 3. We lost 4 in a row. I was really frustrated until the last game. I finally had my head on straight and lasted for a really long time. I was the last to go and felt like I'd finally played my own game when it was over.

I stayed until the tournament was over refereeing the other contests. As we got closer to the finals it got really close and a lot of heated arguments broke out. I now have a real appreciation for how referees feel in professional sports. You have to make a call and sometimes it's not a popular one. What's even worse is that dodgeball doesn't have a single ball to follow. While you're watching a play on one side, another play could happen on the other, necessitating a ruling. It's definitely helpful to have more than one official.

The winners of the first tournament also won last night's tournament. It was really close and a lot of fun to watch. The top three teams are advancing to the city tournament in Seattle sometime in April. All of the YMCA's in the area are putting on tournaments and advancing their three best teams. It should be a blast to watch.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Ethernet Bonding

Working on bonding my wireless ethernet interface to my cat5 ethernet interface on my laptop tonight. This way my laptop will dynamically choose whichever interface is up. If both are up, it should choose the faster interface. Not sure this is going to work though since it appears that the Orinoco driver doesn't support mii monitoring. I'm going to have a look-see into the code, since, in the past, I have noted that our 2.4Ghz cordless phone caused the wireless ethernet interface to disconnect and register in syslog, whenever the base station polls the cordless phones.

Spent most of the day today building a failover cluster with RHEL 3.0. Dual P3 1.4Ghz 1U servers with a snappy little external disk enclosure. Got most of the work done except for the UPS configuration. The majority of the work is going to be testing various failover scenarios.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Seattle Times

Bill and I were photographed today by Seattle Times photographer Steve Ringman. QLL is going to be featured on the front cover of the business section in the Monday Seattle Times.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Tap, tap, tap...

Tonight was the last night of the current soccer season. I've been doing the YMCA coaching thing for a little under a year now and have found that I really enjoy it. It's nice to see the same kids coming back each season. They seem to get better each time, and definitely respond to the energy of the game more and more. I especially love the parents who get into the game. It makes games so much more fun when you see them jumping up and down cheering for their team, and yelling encouragement to kids that are only related to them by the color of their jersey. The only drawback is the low number of kids that turn out. Our record this season focused on fun rather than winning. In other words, I think we lost all but one game (not that anyone cares, or even remembers). Playing the same team every time probably had something to do with it. If more kids had signed up, we'd have been able to create a few more teams. Perhaps that'll change as the weather warms up.

I feel a certain loyalty to the YMCA and so I plan on coaching at least another season. I got my start at the YMCA when I was 14, volunteering for a Saturday kids activity program. I worked there as a summer camp counselor through my Freshman year of college. It wasn't all roses, and my last gig there didn't end too well, but I'm really a better person today because of what I learned at the YMCA when I was young. I digress though... Most of the parents were asking if I'd stay and do it again. If they're willing to put their kids in my hands (a bad coach can scar a kid for life) then I'm more than happy to do it again. I know it says a lot about me when someone is willing to put their most precious thing in my hands for 2 hours a week. I give all of the credit to Jesus though. I have what he gave. Thank God I didn't have to earn it...