Sunday Jun 15, 2008

The Hair Project

Two years of hair comes almost full circle. When I moved to North Carolina in 2006, I did this:


Yep, cue-balled it. It was easier than having to wash it.

But as soon as I moved here, my then-9 year-old son began a project to grow his hair and donate it to Locks of Love. It was his own idea, and something I'm proud of him for coming up with. And he asked me to do it with him, so I did. Well, last week was cutting time, and I went from this:


to this:


in 10 minutes.

I feel much better now.

[ The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

-- Oscar Wilde ]

Thursday Jun 05, 2008

Random thought on Energy

So this has nothing to do with Sun SPOTs (that I know of anyway), and probably isn't at all revolutionary, but still, it troubles me.

We're spending lots of time and energy on alternatives to fossil fuels for automobiles and power generation, since we (rightly) believe that there is a limited, and ever dwindling, supply of such fuels. I think this is great, and hope we get somewhere fast with this technology or technologies. It will help us with the radical climate change we have caused -- and don't argue with me about that one, I'm not interested in hearing the "I don't believe in climate change" stuff. It's real. Deal with it.

But one thing I have never heard discussed is ... what are we going to use to power jets for air travel? The idea of an electric jet, or a solar-powered jet, just doesn't seem like it's feasible. Is anyone thinking about such a thing? Or are we going to re-expand the world and go back to electric trains and steam ships for long-distance travel?

Just my random thought.

[ If God is perfect, why did He create discontinuous functions? ]

Friday May 30, 2008

Off the mark

Ok, so I've been lagging in my blogging a lot recently. Too much else to do. You know, work and stuff. I've fallen off the main page, and my popularity has suffered. Guess I have to get back to regular updates, huh? I got distracted by twitter. But as the reliability and performance of twitter rapidly decrease, maybe I"ll get back to actually blogging.

[ You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.

-- Booker T. Washington ]

Wednesday Apr 16, 2008

Public BSOD

They're so much fun to actually see ... This one isn't actually a BSOD, but as I was sitting in DFW a couple of weeks ago (I told you I had lots to catch up on!) I saw this keep popping up on the screen.



[ "Nice boy, but about as sharp as a sack of wet mice.
-- Foghorn Leghorn ]

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008

Document Freedom


Apparently today is the world's first Document Freedom Day. Celebrate. Free yourself from format-prison. Don't force your co-workers, business partners, friends and family to buy, use, or own a specific piece of software just to read what you write!

I couldn't be happier to see this starting to happen, as I couldn't be more annoyed than when I get an MS Office document as an attachment to an email. Why do I have to own MS Office just to read your document? Why do you have the right to force me to buy software just to read your document? Well, with I don't, but this goes further. So support it. Live it.

[ I can read your mind, and you should be ashamed of yourself. ]

Thursday Mar 13, 2008


I am absolutely, completely and utterly over-run with tasks. Let's see ... I have:

  1. A presentation at Appalachian State University next week
  2. The Sun Labs Open House to prepare for
  3. A JavaOne Hands On Lab to prepare
  4. The Maker Faire coming up, which means demos
  5. The imminent release (out of Beta) of the latest Sun SPOT stuff
  6. And Spring Break, where I'm taking my kids skiing (even Woody, thanks to Challenge Aspen)

Plus I have email streaming in, and the Forums to keep up with. So if you send me email asking me to help you with something, like provide you with sample code, etc. and I don't answer, that's why. I'm not ignoring you ... ok, maybe I am a little ... I'm just up to my eyeballs.

[ AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaccccccccckkkkkk!!!!!!!!!
You brute! Knock before entering a ladies room! ]

Wednesday Mar 12, 2008

Dan Ingalls, Lab Great, is also an artist

Who knew? But here's proof!


[ "I haven't lost my mind -- it's backed up on tape somewhere." ]

Innovation elsewhere

In case you are deluded into thinking that innovation only happens here (or there), here's proof that it happens everywhere. Sent to me by my dad, and I don't even want to know where he got it.

I don't know what this is for:


but it worries me.

This one is pretty obviously designed for LA:


And for the two-fisted drinker:


For those that have a hard time holding their liquor:


For the shower-stars:


Tea and Toast anyone?


or just Tea:


Innovative storage for the apartment dwellers among you:


If you have kids:


If you don't want kids:


If you need to escape:


If you're trying to lose the "Muffin Top" (or just want to show off that you lost it):


Again, if you have trouble getting a grip:


Yeah, you're a star. Or just overly narcissistic:


Back to tea ... what is it with tea?


And for the kids:


And finally, one for all you internet-obsessed twitter addicts:


And no, we don't want that much information, really.

[ "Irrationality is the square root of all evil"
-- Douglas Hofstadter ]

Black Box in Cary TODAY!

Ok, so it's not called 'Project BlackBox' anymore (at least we didn't jam 'Java' into the name this time, right? :-) ), it's called Sun Modular Data Center -- SunMD -- and it's right here in my town today, at SAS . Stop by and take a look, this is cool stuff!!

Not sure what Blac Box is? well, watch this ...

That ought to clear things up a bit.

[ "It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it."
-- Steven Wright ]

Tuesday Mar 11, 2008

4th Horseman

Well, here it is, the 4th sign that the end is near ...


I may not be on the front page of, but my hit-count rocks.

[ Anything that is good and useful is made of chocolate. ]

Monday Mar 10, 2008

Oh, the TSA ...

I read this post, after reading this one, and was flabbergasted. I would have commented on the original post, but you have to register and log in, and I'm so tired of creating accounts I will never use that I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So I"m commenting here.

I'm very tempted to go off on a rant about the TSA, which would set me off on a major rant about the ()resident and his evil side-kick and the destruction they have wrought over the last 8 years. But you don't want to hear that rant, trust me.

I feel for the poor guy having to deal with the TSA and his MacBook Air. It all goes back to one of my other favorite rants about the complete and utter lack of ability of these poor folks to use any common sense. It is all about following the rules. If there is a rule about it, they follow it, no matter how unreasonable.

Case in point: Try flying with knitting needles. 18" long, aluminum, pointed. Dangerous things, really. You could put one of those through a skull with little effort. But they are allowed. No questions asked. But try bringing on a butter knife. You know the ones. They used to give them to you in First Class. You couldn't cut cold butter with them. The 'sharp' side was no more sharp than the backside. But those are banned now.

There's a rule, see. A rule that no knives are allowed. But no rule about long, metal, pointed dangerous weapons ... errr ... knitting needles. See? Common sense. Ability to think. All banned. Just follow the rule. No matter how silly. It's the rule. Follow it, blindly.

I told you it was a rant. I obviously fly too much.

[ One difference between a man and a machine is that a machine is quiet when well oiled. ]


So I started using Twitter last week as a test, after reading a blog post about it from Linda Skrocki about its usefulness.

My first impressions are that it is sort of like a public iChat, and could become a vast waste of time and energy. But it also seems to be kind of fun, and kind of useful. It's way easier to use Twitterific to update some 'status' than it was to go to Facebook and do it. Plus I'm a little scared of Facebook, given their complete lack of reasonable policy on privacy.

[ Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax. ]

Friday Mar 07, 2008

This and That (mostly this)

So this is what I was talking about when I posted this. Did you follow that?

[ This life is a test. It is only a test. Had this been an actual life,
you would have received further instructions as to what to do and where
to go. ]

Project: Possibility

I've posted about them before, but I just wanted to plug it one more time. One of our Sun Campus Ambassadors, Chris Leung, is also the chair of it, and they are trying to find uses for Sun SPOTs in assistive technology.

I have a vested interest in this subject. You see, my youngest son is severely handicapped. That's why I also give generously in terms of money and time to the Wake County (where I live in NC) Special Education PTA (Wake SEPTA). I also support the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities, which is where Woody spends his days (see him playing at the new playground here). Feel free to donate and support them too!

[ Just remember: when you go to court, you are trusting your fate to
twelve people that weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty! ]

Thursday Mar 06, 2008

All aTwitter

So everyone (ok, not everyone, but lots of folks) are all a-twitter about Twitter. So I finally succumbed to peer pressure (or just wanting to fit in, or be one of the 'cool kids' or whatever) and signed up. Follow me at your peril.

We'll see if I can deal with it. So far, I'm in the 'huh, cute, but seems like it will waste a ton of time and I don't really get it' camp. But maybe that's because it can't seem to import my google contacts. And I can't seem to update my twitter status via iChat.

I'm technically challenged today, I guess.

[ Everything you know is wrong! ]

Tag Cloud

Where's the tag cloud go? Well, I kept trying to make it useful to my (admittedly few) readers, but I just couldn't, so I removed it.

Here's the problem: The MetaWebLog API, through which I post my blog entries via Ecto, apparently has no support for Tags. At least the kind of tags that understands. (Ecto does Technorati Tags, but that's not going to help with the tag cloud in question, is it?) So the only way I would be able to 'tag' my posts would be to write and post them via Ecto, then go in to the web-interface and add tags.

It's all I can manage, as lazy as I am, to post to my blog as it is. Doubling the workload involved is just not likely to happen. So I'd be happy to write an add-on to Ecto for inserting the tags, but apparently there is no mechanism for adding these tags in any way other than through the web interface.

So I just gave up and removed the tag cloud from my blog. Seemed to be a waste of screen real estate, to me. If you want it back, let me know.

[ Be careful of reading health books, you might die of a misprint.
-- Mark Twain ]

Tuesday Mar 04, 2008

Order in Fritalian

So I just have to get this off my chest: Attention Dunkin' Donuts!!! Latte is an Italian word, so telling people they can "Order in English, not Fritalian" is just silly. Latte is Italian, not English.

There, I said it.

[ Death is nature's way of telling you to slow down ]

Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

New York

Saw the following bumper sticker which I love:

I ♥ NY, but I'm not in ♥ with NY

Yeah, pretty much. (And I say that as someone who used to live in Manhattan, and went to college there!)

[ "The algorithm to do that is extremely nasty. You might want to mug someone with it."

-- M. Devine, Computer Science 340 ]

Tuesday Feb 26, 2008

GPS in Tunnels

So I was reading the FAQ about the Gomite GPS add-on for the iPhone, and had to laugh at the answer given about what happens to GPS in a tunnel:

Long tunnels can be a problem – but if you find yourself lost in a tunnel follow the light and you will be just fine.

Unless, of course, you happen to be in a train tunnel (and not on the train).

[ One seldom sees a monument to a committee. ]

I'm getting a TechShop

So all the folks in the Bay Area have had a TechShop for a long time, and I've been supremely jealous. I left the Bay Area just as TechShop was getting going. But I got an email today inviting me to a meet-n-greet for a new TechShop in my area! I am delirious!

Now if I can just figure out how to convince my boss to pay for my membership so I can create all sorts of cool stuff ... :-)

[ You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back. ]

Saturday Feb 23, 2008

Our own MTV Video

Even though MTV is pronounced "Empty V", it appears that Nine Inch Nails has written a song about Sun SPOTs.

I'm glad we have a theme song and a video. How cool is that?
[ The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody
appreciates how difficult it was. ]

Friday Feb 22, 2008

Snap Shots

So I visited another Sun Blogger's page, and saw this cool tool called SnapShots, so I thought I'd give it a whirl and see if it's any good. It might just be annoying, but we'll see.

They suggested that I post the following blurb about it for my reader(s):

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles,IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock chartsand more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

So there you have it. Let me know if you like it, or hate it.

[ "I don't mind going nowhere as long as it's an interesting path."

-- Ronald Mabbitt ]

MaryMary Doesn't Inhale

It's official folks. I've gotten confirmation: MaryMary doesn't inhale.

I guess she can now run for elected office.

[ "I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."

-- Joe Walsh ]

Cross-Context Postings

There are times when things cross contexts. Someone you know from work shows up in your social setting, completely unexpectedly. Or someone you know from your social life (remember those?) you suddenly discover works with you, or at the same company.

Well, I'm owned by Bearded Collies. They are fantastic dogs. I call them the Stand-Up Comedians of the Canine World™ :-) because of their personalities. But I digress.

I belong to a large (and very active!) email group of beardie owners around the world. Through that list I met (virtually only) another Sun employee, Karen Norteman, who works in the Burlington offices, and is also owned by Beardies.

And now she's famous. See this article where she is quoted extensively. Way to go Karen!

[ If you want to know what god thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.
-- Dorthy Parker ]

No More :-(

Apparently we can no longer :-( . According to this release, it's been Trademarked, and we're all going to get sued. I love the guys. Maybe it's because I have always despised those 'inspirational' posters so much. But mostly it's just because they are so funny.

[ Reporter (to Mahatma Gandhi): Mr Gandhi, what do you think of Western Civilization?
Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea. ]

Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

This page sucks

Ok, so surfing around, and I fat-fingered a web address. And got this:


Yeah, pretty funny. You can see it yourself here .

Oh, and if you happen to get a 403 error instead of a 404, you get more hilarity.

Funny stuff.

[ Electrical Engineers do it with less resistance. ]

Monday Feb 18, 2008

Hands on science

There is nothing in the world like hands-on experience to teach, and engage the mind. We spent the day today at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science which is a place where kids can get their hands on all the exhibits.

Hands on Science exhibits, a fantastic butterfly house, and a new exhibit about wind called Catch the Wind that has sailboats and lots of other fun stuff to do. Lots of refurbished exhibits, and lots of new exhibits coming.

I am sure there is a play for Sun SPOTs in there somewhere, I just have to figure out what it is.

[ By doing just a little every day, you can gradually let the task completely overwhelm you. ]

Sunday Feb 17, 2008

Screen Cleaner

Here's the perfect screen cleaner, especially for laptops, which often get finger prints on them. I use it every day.

[ "All the parts falling off this car are of the very finest British manufacture" ]

Blue Chips

So I went to a great local restaurant a few weeks ago called the Peak City Grill and Bar. I love this place. The food is great, and there is great live music. There's a new appetizer on the menu (which changes all the time) called "Bleu Chips."


Simple, but delicious. So I decided to try and re-create it at home the other night. All I can say is ... Success!!!


Ok, so I didn't say pretty, but it sure was good! Homemade Potato Chips are easy. Just run some tasty Yukon Gold potatoes (hey, they're the best!) through the Cuisinart, then drop in hot oil.

The Gorgonzola Sauce was just as easy. About ¼ cup of Half-and-Half (I'm watching my cholesterol) heated in a small pot with, a pinch of Sea Salt, and a small container of Gorgonzola cheese crumbles. Then a little bit of corn starch to thicken it slightly.

I smeared Red pepper jelly all over the plate, piled on the potato chips, poured on the gorgonzola sauce, and sprinkled on some bleu cheese, and voilá!

Simple, easy, and very delicious!

[ Faith is the quality that enables you to eat blackberry jam on a picnic
without looking to see whether the seeds move. ]

Saturday Feb 16, 2008

Blue & Gold

Having just returned from my son's Blue and Gold Banquet where he "bridged over" from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, I stumbled on this blog posting that made complete sense to me.

As glad as I am to no longer have to do all that I did as a Scout Leader, I will miss it all. My son is growing up, and moving on, and as wonderful as that is to watch, there are times when you just want to freeze them and hold them forever.

[ According to Kentucky state law, every person must take a bath at least once a year. ]




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