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(no subject) [Dec. 2nd, 2008|08:10 am]
The plan is to be home from 12/23 - 1/7. Anyone else going to be around?
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*tap tap* [Oct. 16th, 2008|11:21 am]

Is this thing still on?

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(no subject) [May. 26th, 2008|10:02 am]
So, I guess I haven't really been keeping this updated, between being busy and using Twitter as a substitute. With summer coming up, ultimate will ramp up to four days a week, and with climbing taking up two or three days, it seems unlikely that I'll have much time to post. But we'll see.

Ultimate: I have a team for summer league and Potlatch! But after looking through my photos from last year, I'm torn between playing and shooting! Perhaps I'll play every other game or something. Also playing in the Microsoft hat league, which will be amusing.

Climbing: So last time I posted (mid-March), I had just started to climb. I'm still bouldering, mostly out of laziness, since I need to get a harness to start top-roping. It's rather amazing how quickly we've progressed; we're easily sending routes that killed us just a month ago. It's also a nice change-up from playing ultimate, requiring more strength and slow, steady movements. However, I think that it's had a positive effect on my backhand huck, although that might just be a coincidence.

Books (up to May; I'll catch up later):

13. Double or Nothing: How Two Friends Risked It All to Buy One of Las Vegas' Legendary Casinos: Don't actually remember too much about this one. I do recall that reading about the inside of the casino world was interesting.

14. Infected: This was a really cool read. A bit grotesque at parts, but with aliens infecting/incubating in humans, it's hard not to be. Some nifty ideas, but mostly a fun read.

15. Grey: Modern cyberpunk. Didn't like one this so much. Too much random dystopia without much attachment to the characters or plot.

16. Flight of the Nighthawks (The Darkwar Saga, Book 1): I heard good things about the Darkwar Saga, so I thought I'd read it. This one was actually pretty good, though the payoff at the end of the trilogy had better make it worth it!

17. Staked: A fun vampire read. I'm not normally one for vampire novels, but this caught my eye on Scalzi's blog and I enjoyed it.

18. Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart: Kind of interesting, but a little too fluffy for my taste. Also, seeing Super Crunching capitalized wears on my eyes after a while. (Why not just call it data mining? Sheesh.)
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(no subject) [Mar. 17th, 2008|09:37 pm]
10. Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America's Nonbelievers: This is actually book number 7, but I forgot to include it! Pretty dry, as you might expect from the title, but full of interesting nuggets of information. Basically a short analysis of atheists based on surveys, including comparisons against "normal" people and fundamentalists.

11. Tricks of the Mind: A book that I found strangely captivating. By Derron Brown, a magician/illusionist/hypontist/etc. The first part of the book is about largely mental tricks, and he includes quite a few nifty ones about memory. The latter part of the book he spends bashing pseudoscience and religion. Pretty refreshing, as I wasn't expecting it, and was worried that he might be one of those crazy NLPers. But no need for the worry, since he came down pretty strongly against NLP. It was a surprisingly good look into the mind of an atheist. I was actually a bit surprised at that part, since I borrowed the book mostly for the parts on magic.

12. Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids: About John Finkel and his route through Magic, blackjack, and poker. A fun and fast read which really makes me want to play Magic again. It brushes against the mental vs. physical games topic, which is always interesting for me.

Picked up with South of the Border today for a spring league game. It was just a trial run to see if I'd fit in with the team, so I'm very much hoping for a yes! In any case, we played Guard, Seize Them!, normally in the A pool. Needless to say, it was a savage beating. We scored only two points! (Though I have to mention that I threw one of those and caught the other, so my play wasn't a total disaster.)

Playing with completely new people was an interesting experience. I had the opportunity to do so before at Dangle Wrangle (as it was a hat tournament), but picking up with an actual team felt rather strange. I didn't know what people liked to throw, or how they preferred to cut. Probably also because I didn't get much playtime with the team due to the beating handed to us by GST.

Went to a rock-climbing class with some friends on Saturday, and spent the rest of the time bouldering. It was pretty fun, and I'm looking forward to going again.
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Attempting a greatest [Mar. 9th, 2008|11:17 pm]

The Sockeye exhibition game last weekend was pretty impressive. Wish I could've made it on time to watch the first half!


8. The Happiest Days of Our Lives: A collection of blog posts/short stories/anecdotes by Wil Wheaton. He's got to be one of the best nerd writers around, along with Scalzi. Or at least, one of the best authors who writes about being a nerd. Really enjoyed reading this one, and it's very convenient to read in short bursts, which is pretty much the only type of reading I've been able to get in recently.

9. The World Without Us: This one you may have heard of; I've seen it mentioned online a few places, at least. As you might guess, it explores what would happen to the Earth if humans were to suddenly vanish. It goes into surprising depth on a number of topics/locations/etc., although it obviously can't cover everything. I personally wondered what would happen to the internet (though I suppose without power, it would be a pretty quick death) and farmland. Some parts were more interesting than others, but the reading required a bit more attention than I could give it. It was definitely much better when I had a nice chunk of time to devote to reading.


Chase against Nord. It's really awesome that ultimate is still such a young sport.


Looks like I'm reduced to pickup during the spring, as my league team doesn't have enough women and I couldn't get into the hat league.

Played in Slog in the Bog on Saturday. It's a pretty casual tournament, and we went 4-1 in C pool, which was definitely pretty sad. Although kind of expected, as it was the last pool. Felt kinda bad about rolling over the high school teams. Beating the athletic team that played ultimate like football/basketball was pretty satisfying, though. Also, winning against Toolbox 13-8 when down 4-7 at half was nice. (I wonder what the heck happened to them in the second half.)

Junior Worlds tryouts were on the same fields, and we spent a good while after watching them during the downtime. They were quite impressive! We also wound up picking up a Riot girl and a couple Voodoo guys. It's scary how good they are, even when playing lazily. (It was sweet that Drew, on Riot, got to play with her older brother Cole, who plays on Voodoo. That's kind of a scary combination.)

And although I managed to get through Slog relatively unscathed, I did somehow tweak my knee today during pickup? Pretty odd. I wonder if I'll be able to go running this week. (I have a few friends who are doing a marathon, and I've been tagging along with their training runs every now and then. There's quite a few of us running with them after work now, although only two or three actually doing the marathon. I'm sure as hell not going to do it!)

Still need to learn to lay out!


I call this one "WTF torque?!".

Dorky stuff

The Ruby Quiz from a couple weeks ago is pretty good for nerd sniping. In short, find the minimum circle that contains a set of random points. It's been hilariously fun to drop on friends at work. You can just kick back and watch those gears turn. Interesting to see how people approach the problem. There's probably an awesome mathematical way to figure this one out, but fortunately, none of my friends are mathematicians! (Or else this wouldn't be such a fun question, now would it?)

Someone recently asked on one of the DLs for the best way in C# to replace a set of words with a set of other words without having the replacement words be modified. In Ruby, I'd do it kinda like this:

hsh = { 'alice' => 'bob', 'bob' => 'alice' }
str.gsub(Regex.new(hsh.keys.join('|'))) {|s| hsh[s] }

I quickly discovered that the equivalent C# code is way longer. I wonder if there's a more C# way to do it than this. (And yes, I am aware that you'd probably want \W's around the regex, and perhaps a /i at the end, but this is just looking at the basic gist of the code.)

No real projects up my sleeve for now, although some of the mini-projects I've been thinking about:

  • Fixing my automount in 10.5 (grar, annoying)

  • Figuring out how I want to backup with Amazon S3 - this one's actually kind of important, so I really need to do this sometime

  • Using Amazon S3 for my gallery webapp? Would make it a heck of a lot faster, though I may as well just use a pregenerated gallery if I were to go this route

  • Writing a flickr set download/backup script, since I want to keep my Favorites set on my iPod touch


These out of focus photos are strangely interesting to me. I think this is because I literally can't see the annoying details on the sharp shots.


DST + nap (perhaps Chipotle + Jamba Juice is not the wisest choice of food and drink after pickup) is making me way more awake now than I should be. Sigh.

I really need to clean my place up. Being sick last week (sore throat + foggy head = day sleeping on the couch) was definitely not beneficial.

And... this has gotten pretty long, so I think that's enough for now.
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Drew is a beast [Feb. 26th, 2008|10:02 pm]

Actually, that's technically a travel, but she's still a beast.

That personality test everyone else has been doing...Collapse )

I'm really interested in seeing what David Sirlin's tweaks to SF2THD will have on the tournament scene. This will be one of the few times that someone has actually modified a game to just even the playing field between characters, and I guess we'll see how good a designer he actually is.

Wil Shipley: Monster Marketing

Am trying Fusion instead of Parallels for virtualizing Vista on OS X. It seems much better so far. I think I'm going to have to buy it.

Third edition of Hillegass's Cocoa Programming is coming out. The second edition was an awesome book, so I imagine that the third one will be just as good (if not better!).

I was hesitant at first to buy one of those graters for parmesan cheese, but in hindsight, I'm really glad I did. It's just way too useful.

I really wish there was a blog like this one (on ethnic restaurants local to NoVA) for Seattle.

Instapaper is a genius idea. Very nicely done. I could probably use Sandy for this, but Instapaper is just much nicer for links.

7. Gentlemen's Blood: A Thousand Years of Sword and Pistol: How can a book on dueling be so non-exciting? It was interesting in a very broad sense, but there were just too many examples with too many characters for me to retain interest. I would've preferred it to be more analytical with more historical/philosophical/psychological (something, at least!) context, and it does touch on some of those very briefly. The author mentions offhand that it might do society some good to have fencing duels (although obviously not to the death) to satisfy honor nowadays.

Single-file Rails: perhaps a competitor to Camping?

So we had a new guy join our division (internal transfer within Microsoft). He mentioned that he had seen me post on some of the internal discussion lists, but I wasn't sure which ones he was referring to. He dropped his voice, glanced around, and said that it was the atheist list. Not really sure why I mention this, but I find it sad that we have to be careful when talking about our atheism.
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Because not enough people have seen this picture [Feb. 9th, 2008|07:07 pm]

Saw Play! (the video game symphony) last weekend. Good stuff, and it was very similar to the performance at Wolf Trap, which was expected. I have to admit that the Silent Hill 2 music is a lot better when the electric guitar is mixed well. Would really like a CD from this, but oh well.

Finally finished tweaking my server so that it's properly sharing all of my videos to my Xbox 360 (using uShare). Also fixed my OS X automount setup so that my RAID storage is automatically mounted when I go to the appropriate folder. I'm using SMB as the mechanism for now, since I can't seem to figure out how to make NFS a tad bit more secure. I don't want any Joe Schmoe who hops on my network to be able to R/W (the W being the more important, really) to my storage.

Bought a Honda Fit, so now I need to get a bike so I can start biking to work.

Also, being social takes up way too much time.

Books I have read recently:

3. Caro's Book of Poker Tells: Skimmed this on a lark. I don't really play poker anymore, but thought it might be fun to check this book out. It was actually kind of boring, but I could see how it might come in useful if I were to play poker more than, oh, once every couple months. (Actually, I don't think I've played since I moved here.)

4. Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter: A biographical account of a waitress at Per Se. I liked the view of what goes on behind the scenes at such an esteemed restaurant, but some of the biographical stuff was a bit boring. A fast read.

5. The Undercover Economist: Highly enjoyed reading this book. It's very much in the same vein as Freakonomics, using economics on normal subjects and keeping the explanations at a level that I can understand.

6. The Name of the Wind: A re-read. Epic fantasy that feels kind of Mary Sue-ish at times (or whatever the male equivalent is). But obviously, good enough for me to read again. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. I just hope it doesn't bog down like epic fantasy series tend to.


Site reliability engineering at Google.

An explanation of zone blocking in football. (I.e., what is actually happening when you see "fat guys running into each other".)

On a related topic, Starcraft as a sport. (The blonde girl in the middle is hilarious in a sad sort of way.) I would like to read some articles on top-level strategy in these games. Actually, I kind of like to read about tactics and strategy in almost anything, to tell the truth.
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(no subject) [Jan. 9th, 2008|09:15 pm]

Above is a graph of my Twittering per hour during 2007.

And to kick off my book reading this year...

1. Let My People Go Surfing, by Yvon Chouinard: A fortuitous choice to bring in the new year, as it would have easily been in the top five books of 2007 had I read it but a day earlier. Chouinard is the founder of Patagonia, which focuses mostly on outdoorsy apparel. (Most of you probably haven't heard of them, but I do own a couple Patagonia shirts, and they are damned comfortable.) Highly recommended for pretty much anyone, but especially those of you either into outdoorsy stuff or business. Funny combination, to be sure, but Chouinard does an exceptional job displaying the passion that he and his friends/coworkers have for both work and pleasure, and the story of Patagonia is not a normal one at all. The one slight against the book is that it can come off as being a huge ad for Patagonia during the last third or so, once Patagonia has actually been established.

2. Sin in the Second City, by Karen Abbott: A historical novel about Chicago's infamous red-light district in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Fascinating reading. Focuses on the high-end Everleigh Club, which was a revolutionary prostitution house, focusing on expensive experiences rather than cheap couple-dollar tricks. However, any narrative about the Everleigh Club must also touch on the Levee, Chicago's red-light district, and the downfall of the Levee and prostitution in general across America. I can't help but wonder what might have happened had the Everleigh Club survived and become an ideal for prostitution. It was ahead of its time in many ways. The story of the war waged against prostitution is also covered by the book, as it plays a huge role in what eventually happens to the Club's madams.

Two pretty excellent books to start off the new year!

In other news...

I upgraded my blog to the latest version of Typo. Now I need to switch to the newer theme, but that will take a bit of tweaking to make my code look right.

Also installed Radiant onto kejadlen.net, and as that's just a blank slate, it's going to take no small amount of work to get it up and running. I'd like to have a place to store my more-or-less-finished code online.

My Griffin Elevator came today. In hindsight, I probably could've just made this using PVC, but oh well. It's quite nice, and I like it a lot. The laptop screen is finally usable in a dual-monitor configuration, as I'm able to move it to the same vertical plane as my 21" Dell LCD.

Currently leaning towards Amazon S3 + JungleDisk as an offsite backup solution.

Winter League has started, w00t.

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(no subject) [Jan. 4th, 2008|08:52 pm]

A year-end retrospective? Nah, I can barely remember what I did a month ago, much less an entire year ago. I don't live a particularly exciting life. Highlights include Potlatch, Remy+Jeanette's wedding, and Karen+Anindo's wedding. Playing on a team for the fall ultimate league was also quite memorable. MS Ultimate Hat League. A Thanksgiving turducken. I think that just about sums up my year. Interesting to see how much ultimate has become a part of my life.

Work consisted mostly of Windows Mobile 6.1 with a smattering of help with dot-releases. This year, looks like 6.2 will be on the docket. (I'm working on a specific project within AKU2, but can't really divulge any details.)

A few books I read last year that stand out (I started keeping track last spring using LibraryThing):

Altered Carbon - Sci-fi. Main premise is that bodies are "sleeves", as the technology exists to allow people to switch bodies. Interesting ramifications of this aren't infodumped but allowed to develop naturally through the story. (Don't get me wrong, I still <3 Weber's infodumps, but Morgan does a wonderful job at not using them.)

The Wild Trees - Non-fiction, about people obsessed with trees. (Specifically, redwoods.) One guy becomes a premier tree-climber so he can explore redwoods, eventually teaching the redwood-tree-climbing technique to his students for science. Does a great job mixing the science with the story, and it's quite impressive to see the passion that these people have for their work.

Andy Roddick Beat Me With a Frying Pan - By a sports columnist who explores some of the crazy questions that sports fans inevitably come up with. Includes questions from "would a team of midgets be awesome in baseball?" to the one in the title, and I loved pretty much every chapter in the whole book.

Talking Hands - Another non-fiction book, this one about a small village in the Mideast which organically developed a sign language over the course of three generations due to the sheer number of deaf people in the community. (Much like Martha's Vineyard in America.) Like The Wild Trees, goes between science (linguistics) and the story very fluidly and very well.

It Must've Been Something I Ate - A collection of essays from Jeffrey Steingarten. I think I've mentioned it before, but you can tell he really loves food, and the essays never fail to be interesting. He definitely pushes the boundary for a home chef (although not nearly as much or in the same manner as Bourdain), and he does a lot of food-related things that I would love to try out.

The Ghost Map - Another book in the same vein as Talking Hands and The Wild Trees. This one covers the beginnings of public health, with John Snow investigating cholera during the 1854 outbreak in London. Especially interesting for me, as I have several friends who did/do public health.

Meanwhile, winter league starts tomorrow, and I'm raring to go!

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An animated GIF... [Dec. 30th, 2007|07:12 pm]

Originally uploaded by kejadlen.

Just wanted to show off this awesome animation of Gloria. I think I'll probably play around with it a bit more tonight and try to make it MORE AWESOME.

And to include this ridiculous quiz that I got from Jo.Collapse )

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