Saturday, August 30, 2008

A birthday, I'm working this weekend, & Jaani & I went to the park...

So, yesterday was Jame's Birthday!  So I went down to Tacoma, where I met James, George (his brother), Shelly (Evelyn's Sister), Evelyn, Kait, Twila, and Anthony (in that order, Counter-Clockwise around the table away from me...).  We went to a brewery in down town Tacoma first, then we went to this club called Swiss after that.  About 2AM I walked Evelyn and Shelly back to Evelyn's house (2 blocks away). 

Then, I had to wake up this morning and go in to work.  I got in around 11AM, and I will be going home shortly... around 7:30 or 8, but I'll be coming back in tomorrow... We had croissant sandwiches for lunch... pasta from California Pizza Kitchen for dinner... who wouldn't come in to work? 

I braught Jaani in with me today!  He loved it too.  He had dinner right here in my cube.  At lunch, I walked him over to the dog park (really close to my work) and he ran around for about an hour, then came back and slept under my desk.  He has been so good today, I just wish I could bring him every day... but that's against company policy.  I have heard a few reasons why... I know they used to allow dogs, but then one of two things happened: either there was a flea epidemic among pets in one of the buildings (which cost a lot of money get rid of them...), or someone had allergies and complained. 

I'm not sure which one is true... actually, I have heard both stories from equally creditable people, but I don't have any way to prove/disprove either story.

Anyway... I must get back to work, I just wanted to give a little update.



P.S. Today was such a nice day, and I almost feel completely better!  I just have a little bit of a runny nose. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Got back from the Hackathon

So, anyone who has been following my twitter feed (which seems to only be uncle bill... at least via twitter) would know two things (well, at least one) First, today was the Google appengine hackathon. Second, I just got the best firefox extension EVER, and I think the word ever deserves both bold and capitol letters.

About the hackathon. It was a lot of fun. I learned how to deploy an appengine application for the public, and I wrote an application that does just about exactly what Google Reader does, but a little more social oriented. See, I created a site that uses your Google account to authenticate access. Once you log in, you can add RSS or Atom feeds to the app, then share the app with any Google account you invite. It is really a tool that takes all the posts that you look at for longer than 5 seconds, and merges them into one RSS feed that can be subscribed to by all the people you invite. Basically it is a way to share the news articles you read with other people around you.

My next step for the application, is to ensure that all items that both you and your "followers" read is merges into a shared reading list. Meaning that the service can be used to initiate conversations about the news articles. This process involves two things: compairing the feeds you read with the feeds others read, and add a form page to allow you to directly email people about the articles you have both read. I think it's so cool to be working on this. When I'm done, I'm going to deploy the app, publish a tutorial for the source code on the Frizzlefry Tech Blog, and start trying to get people to actually use my app. It will be really cool!

The other highlight for today (and yesterday) is this new extension for firefox that I got names Ubiquity. The idea is that if I hit +Space in firefox a command line style box appears in the upper right corner of the web page I am viewing. The service automatically will use my gmail address book (if i'm logged into Google) to figure out what I mean by "email ". Because I use both first and last names in all of my contact lists, the service can figure out who I mean almost every time. I can use either a name or email address.

The best part though, if I don't specify text, ubiquity will automatically insert the web page I am viewing, or any text I select from a website into the command. That means I can select a good quote from a website, then say "email " and it will add the quote to the beginning of the email message, allowing me to finish the message as I see fit. or, the same command will add a link to the web page I am currently viewing if I don't say anything else.

The plugin also does a lot more than just email though. Anyone can write scripts for their own site, and I can choose to install those scripts for additional functionality. Already included in the list of sites that support the beta stage addon are: twitter, a bunch of search engines, emaill address lookup, yahoo search, msn search, check and add to google calendar, language translator, general purpose converter, digg, flickr, International Movie Database, wikipedia search/link, Google maps, weather, word count, tinyurl, youtube, yelp, browser controls, and a bunch of developer tools.

Needless to say for the modern computer nerd, this is an essential tool.

So, that's what I was doing today. It was fun.

So, that's all for now.



P.S. I am starting to feel much better. My bronchitis has really cleared up, and my cough is amost better. Oh yea, by the way I got bronchitis last week, but I feel much better now.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I remember the last few time I've moved...

I was reading my news feeds this morning, and I saw this comic up at xkcd... It just reminded me about every time I move... trying to figure out where the best wifi collection is...

I think I've been here before... multiple times.

"We need a special holiday to honor the countless kind souls with unsecured networks named 'linksys'."

--The guy that does



Saturday, August 16, 2008

I finally framed it!

So, after many years, of sitting around the house... most of the time it was actually rolled up and stored away somewhere... this totally awesome Picaso style painting of me done by my friend Heather Morgan finally got a frame!

So I hung it up today, on the wall just above the bass that matches the one in the picture. It was painted in 2002 with oil pastels... that's about all I know about it, but I love it!

That's about all. Talk to you all later.



Thursday, August 14, 2008

post 227... how far have I come...

So, I guess technically you could say I am way past the 227th post on my blog, but technically it wasn't the same blog back then.

I was reading my old blog entries, and I started to think how much everything has changed on here. Originally, as I'm sure none of you know, my blog actually started on livejournal At that time I was in high school, and for the most part, my blog was a bunch of nearly in-coherent rants about school and social issues confronting a nerd who didn't fit the roll of a nerd and ended up hanging out with a bunch of the more popular kids, but felt there was always something amiss. Then my blog moved over to Myspace for a while... then blogger... then back to myspace... and now I have found my permanent home on blogger.

I actually noticed that I have no posts on here from 2006... or before 2005. I wonder if I really want to take the time to migrate my old blogs over... I guess it would be nice to have everything in one place... but the only problem is that... well, it would take a lot of work. Maybe... I'll let you all know if I move everything over.

Oh, I know, I'll put a poll over on the side (notice how it is already there... I'm just that quick. So I'll let everyone decide. If you want me to move my old blogs over to this blog, vote over on the right hand side, and tell me to do it... then maybe I'll do it.


Things have changed alot. before I never even knew if anyone read this stuff. So I wrote as if nobody really read it, and a few people did, but mostly because they stumbled upon this page and quickly lost their interest. Then I started to get consistent readers. That actually happened when I moved away from Michigan, and my mom started reading. I finally had an audience to target my blog toward. Then the rest of my family joined in... then my friends... now I'm aware that some of the significant people from my childhood started reading.

Things have changed a bit. I try not to go on deliberately offensive rants about why this or that sucks. I don't curse with every other word. Now, I find myself having three blogs, so I can have a place for content that I don't create myself... and the frizzlefry tech blog, which so far has one linux review and a bunch of rants about copyright issues. I'm even thinking about starting a fourth blog for all of my rants that will just piss people off (because I have to admit there is some enjoyment to be found in writing every offensive thing you can think of in a public space.)

So, I just wanted to share a thought or two about my blog's history. Where it is now. How it's changed over time. Even a little insight into what might appear on that blog list along the right side of my page... or did I forget to add that gadget to this page.. hmm I can't remember...

BTW, the US has more medals that China! Now that's good enough for government work!



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An update from last weekend...

So what did I do this weekend? Well... I canceled Blockbuster and signed up for Netflix. That was a good idea, because now, instead of going to the store and having a limited selection... I can go onto the website and have a limited selection. Plus, and this is the big one, I will never have a late fee.

I think I like that idea a lot, because I always forget I have a movie at my house that needs to go back to the store. I just rarely ever use my car, and going to the store sucks.

In addition, Blockbuster makes me choose between 5 in-store rentals or 5 online rentals. I choose unlimited online rentals! ha ha ha!

Anyway... plus the other development involves that picture I put up with this post. This is James, Emerald, and I and Nijo Sushi bar! It was really good! We ended up showing up right at happy hour... so we took advantage of the situation to drink some $130/bottle Saki that was much cheaper than normal ($4 a shot)... we got 10 sushi rolls... I tried a Japanese brand of white ale... and they had some normal drinks. I liked the white ale, it was pretty tasty and I could tell the water was different than water normally used in American beer.

It was good times! Then Sunday I took care of some chores (cleaning, shopping, etc...)...

Monday was work... Today is work... the rest of the week I work... Although Friday I have a Webinar on Computer Security.

the 28th is Google's App Engine Hackathon... so I'm skipping work (I already cleared it) and going... it's in Seattle! which is totally cool because they never have these sorts of things in Seattle.

And other than that... I think that makes an update.



Friday, August 8, 2008

The Olympic Opening Ceremony

I have to say, with all of my complaints and differences with China's human rights... I can't deny that they really know how to put on a good fireworks show... they have awesome LCD technology... they really put on one heck of a show!

It was great! From the drummers... to the children singing... to Confucius' followers... to the tai chi... dancing... the painting... it was all absolutely everything that it was ramped up to be!

In case you didn't catch on, I liked it a lot, and I saw the whole thing in HD!

hehe... the shining moments of my birthday present to myself. (a flat panel 26" 720p HD TV)

So, that's my two cents. However, I do stand by my opinion that China needs to make drastic improvements in the areas of freedom on the internet, freedom of press, and human rights in general. I also feel that they need to be held accountable for not following through on their agreement to completely opening up the Internet during the Olympics.

So, that's all for now.



A map of real time Olympic data!

So, in honor of the Olympics, Google has created a map to track medals by county... plus it has a side bar for keeping track of real time scores by sport.




Thursday, August 7, 2008

We should have never had the Olympics in Beijing...

According to the wall street journal in this article, the Beijing Olympics have fueled the Chinese regime to:
  • Arrested, imprisoned, and tortured numerous political dissidents.
  • Broken all of its promises to ensure freedom of the press, speech, and assembly during the Games.
  • Put in place new control on the Internet.
  • Destroyed the homes of millions of citizens to make way for new Olympic structures.
  • Forcibly deported hundreds of thousands of migrant workers.
  • Introduced restrictive and forceful security measures that infringe on the basic freedoms of thousands of Chinese citizens.
This should teach us something about the US's ability to choose which governments can be problematic. After all, the Olympics are supposed to be a happy time.

Maybe one day we'll learn something...

Maybe we should boycott the Beijing Olympics like the Beijing Boycott Coalition, who claims China's oppressive regime is far worse than any other in the world. Watch their video on the Frizzlefry Web Watch Blog

who knows...


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Goodnight From Seattle!

So, yesterday I happened to head into the city right around sunset, and I thought I would add a little picture of my own to my blog.

So here is my totally awesome picture that I took from my car without looking at the camera!

I cropped out the parts that make it look really bad... the original wasn't centered well or anything... oh well, it's a cool picture if you ask me... but I guess that's just because I took it!



Century old biodegradable plastic see's it's day!

Polylactide is this wonderful material made about a century ago that can solve the non-biodegradable plastic problems we have! just FYI. I have to admit that the pastic forks and spoons made from this material kind of taste funny, but it really just adds the taste of corn to your food. Plus, it's a lot better for the environment!

So, next time you have a party with disposable plastic dishes, remember: No waxed paper, and Polyactide forks, spoons, and knives.



A couple pictures from the Seattlest flickr pool

So, I read this blog called Seattlest. They have a Flickr pool here.
I found these pictures on there, and just think they are totally awesome!Taken by: Taylor Hain. This picture is taken at the fountain in Seattle Center.

Taken by: Stuart Weibel. I'm not exactly where he took it from, but I know what he took it of!

Taken By: Cap'n Surley. Titled Night at the Arboretum, this is a picture of the 520 floating bridge taken from Seattle's Arboretum. This one is my favorite.

Ok, that's it.



China wants us to know they have us by the balls!

So, in case you haven't been paying attention, China is using the Olympic games to show us that they can do whatever they want.

First, they agreed to open up Internet access for Chinese citizens, but they didn't do it.

Now, they denied Joey Cheek's visa because he is out-spoken against various policies in China. I recently found out that Joey Cheek, as well as an ex-Olympian, was the Co-founder of Team Darfur, which is the team of the US flag bearer Lopez Lomong. This is border-line banning an athlete from the games... but we won't do anything about it.

As if it is not bad enough that the Olympics are being held in the most polluted city in the world... China just seems to think that they can agree to anything, then just back out. Which is quite hypocritical of a culture that is notorious for not re-negotiating.

I think we need to say screw the Olympics... screw the International Olympic Committee... and just wait until the winter Olympics in British Columbia. I know it won't happen, but if we just keep letting China do what they want, then we will have 2 countries running around saying that nobody can tell them what to do. (We are the first...)

anyway... I guess it is just a little upsetting to me. I hate the idea of restricted internet access in any country. I'm glad the FCC did something right by not allowing ISPs in the US to restrict bandwidth and protocols, but I would like to see free speech in that part of the world... it would just be nice.

I almost feel like I need to yell out free Tibet... or more appropriately free the Uighurs! (see Tibet V2.0 on Frizzlefry Web Watch)

Free Ballard!

Welease Bwian!

ok... I'll call that a rant.



Sunday, August 3, 2008

The elusive blue angels in my camera lense

So, after trying again and again I managed to get a picture of the blue angels from my apartment balcony. The funny part is that I had a really good shot shortly before this one, but I didn't have my camera out to take the picture... I have just sort of left my camera out on the balcony so I had it if I needed it.

Anyway... it was a beautiful day today... James was in townand we went to Kirkland and walked around for a while, then went over to Marrymoore park to check out the Velodrome and take Jaani to the off-leash dog area...

James and I walked around talking about the funny parts of working for Microsoft and that sort of stuff for a while...

Then we came back.

It was a good day.

So, that's it.



Saturday, August 2, 2008

Jet City Auction and the Blue Angels!

So, good news and bad news... kinda.

The good news, I can see the blue angels as they fly around up in the sky... kinda. Well, when they fly way up into the air, I can see through a break in the clouds, then they go back down and disappear under the tree line... which is because the trees right next to my apartment are taller than my apartment is high.

The bad news... kinda... is that Jet City Espresso is having an auction. Which is good news for Deb and Paul, but bad news for people who go to Jet City because it marks the beginning of the end. See, Jet City will close in the middle of August, which is approaching way too fast. I guess we will all just migrate to the other side of the block and go to Mike's, but it is just sad to see the place go.

I plan to get some pictures today. I offered to help them run the auction by performing data entry tasks related to items, bid prices, and who bid on what. It is too bad, but I guess it had to come some time.

so... there is a quick update.



Friday, August 1, 2008

Goodbye Miriam Lubow...

I found out today that Miriam Lubow Died on Tuesday.

She was the first Microsoft Administrative Assistant. The story is kinda neat. I also recommend that you watch the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, which features her... or at least an actor playing her. I found this to be sad news... mainly because she was pretty much the first hired Microsoft employee. I say that because at the time the only two other people at the company were Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

Anyway, kinda sad news... she died of liver cancer... However on a lighter note, she did manage to meet up with the original 30 members of Microsoft last month for a re-telling of the historic early days of the company in honor of Bill's retirement last month.