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January 2004

Written By: Gary on January 28, 2004 No Comment

I got digital cookies today! I’d been feeling a little down so Kelly sent them to me! They were cookies in the shape of computers, mice, CDs and a PDA. My favorite was the PDA cookie. They were huge, about the size of 2 or 3 regular big cookies.

Written By: Gary on January 24, 2004 No Comment

After a lonnnng week, Friday finally came. But I guess with busy weeks can come busy weekends. The snow made things seem just a little bit crazier…

First was Happy Hour at our regular place, they were busy so we didn’t get one of our regular spots but we managed anyways, pizza, chicken, some taco thingies and our beverage of choice.

Then we traveled through the snow to Detroit to see an art opening by one of the teachers at work. It was a lot of fun and it’s always interesting to see coworkers in a different environment. You get to see them not in “work mode”, see the kinds of people they date and it’s always extra interesting if they had a few stops themselves before arriving.

Then we were off to Ann Arbor to see a band, actually another teacher from an old district, called L’usa. They’re a great band and they play a little bit of the top tunes from now to the 50’s. We hadn’t seen them for a while so we did the extra long trip, usually they play a little bit closer to the Dearborn area.

It was a lot of fun but a long night to top off the week, I really got to catch up on some sleep, I slept over 12 hours. It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to do that. I’ll have to try and get some work around the house done tomorrow…

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Written By: Gary on January 22, 2004 No Comment

Little Kids are so funny. I’m not just talking about the normal little kid stuff. I’m talking about when you say “good-bye”.

You can be walking away saying “good-bye” waving at little kids and and they’ll watch (generally very intently) and sometimes wave BUT it’s not until you disappear or close the door that they’ll start yelling “bye”. I saw some day care kids today and the twins* did this to me and it totally cracks me up. It’s even cracking me up as I write this. :)

I can understand to them that saying “bye” after you disappear might make some sense. BUT if we always say “bye” when the can see us, why would they even understand the bye means “gone” and wait until we are gone?

*The twins are not mine, nor are they twins, they are just two little girls that I think could be twins when I see them together.

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Written By: Gary on January 20, 2004 No Comment

The People’s Choice Awards honor Joan_ of Arcadia as best new television drama. CBS picked it up for another season!

Two and a Half Men won best comedy and also was renewed for next season. It’s pretty funny, it’s the most sitcom-ish thing I watch on TV.

Written By: Gary on January 19, 2004 No Comment

Listen. Look. Learn. Pay attention today, listen to what people are saying in person and on TV today.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the third Monday in January, was first declared a public holiday in the United States by President Reagan in 1983. Born on January 15th, 1929, Martin Luther King became a Baptist minister and doctor of theology. He travelled extensively throughout the United States, preaching and working for Afro-American civil rights and was assassinated in Memphis Tennessee on 4th April, 1968.

The following is part of his famous speech “I have a dream“:
So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I stll have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream, that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream, that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners, will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood – I have a dream.

The audio of his speech is on-line.

Written By: Gary on January 17, 2004 No Comment

Since Somewhere in Time, time travel stopped being just science fiction and could also be fantasy/drama. The story wasn’t in the science of how they got there, it was in what happened when they got there (and how to get back or stay there as the case may be).

I just finished reading The Time Traveler’s Wife which is filled with time travel, paradoxes, meeting yourself, the irregularities in conversations with someone living a non-linear life and counting all of that, I would say that it is not science fiction. This book is by Audrey Niffenegger and unfortunately this is her first book, so I’ll have to wait for the next novel

It is a story of a man and his wife. It takes place in the present past and future (but the story is generally in order to not confuse the reader) and tells the story of a man with “Chrono Displacement Disorder”. I know it still sounds like sci-fi, but it’s not. He generally travels to the same geographic areas: where his wife is/was, where he is/was and so on. Oh and it’s just himself that time travels, not his clothes. She first meets him when she is a child. When he first meets her she is an adult. At one point Henry meets her family, but makes a big social blunder and he asks Clare why she didn’t tell him, and she says ‘but I did’ (tell an older Henry when he visited earlier). At some points it gets confusing but is a wonderful story and the author tells it better than I. Each chapter is told from one person’s point of view and each chapter tells you the date and how old Henry and Clare are.

Clare waits and she waits. She’s waiting to grow up, to meet him, for him to come back and waits for things to happen. But she waits for him and this is what the story is about. The first chapter is available on-line.

Written By: Gary on January 16, 2004 No Comment

Joan always seems that she’s some kind of outcast at school (sub-defective is her term). I’m not sure why, other than the fact that she communicates with God, she’s relatively normal. It’s not so much an esteem thing so I’m not sure why. She does have this level of cluelessness when dealing with friends (boys). Even “rocket-boy” (her geeky brother) seems more genius than outcast. An excellent show as always but the personalities were throwing me off a little more than normal.

Recreation is to re-create, to redefine, or to define that which isn’t defined. That was the title of today’s show. It was an attempt to define things that weren’t, although I’m still confused about Joan’s definition. Things… not… defined…

Written By: Gary on January 11, 2004 No Comment

It was a nice weekend! Got lots of things checked off my list. Got a few things 1/2 checked off (so my place is a mess since I didn’t finish those projects, even though I started them). Went to a restaurant that I really like but can never remember… The takeout boxes are black styrofoam, looks kinda cool for leftovers.

Still have my Christmas tree up. But I really like the lights and I’ll have to rearrange if I take it down. :)

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Written By: Gary on January 11, 2004 One Comment

Saw Paycheck. Good movie, a few loopholes at least they seemed like it to me. Want to read the original story and when I just got the above web address for the movie I see it’s the same guy who wrote BLade Runner and Minority Report, but I though Philip K. Dick wrote Total Recall too, maybe he just did the novelization (or if was produced by a different film company).

Paycheck (Special Collector's Edition) John WooWould you trade a few months of your life to get highly paid for a job? It’s only a minute to you when you wake up… A year? A decade?

Speaking of: do you watch Alias? She lost two years of her life, and if you watched it tonight, you how and who!

Written By: Gary on January 9, 2004 One Comment

How’s this: “The OQO computer has all the functionality of a ultraportable notebook computer, with a 1GHz processor, a 20GB hard drive, 256MB of RAM, color transflective display (for easy indoor and outdoor viewing), 802.11b wireless, a removable lithium-polymer battery, and FireWire™ and USB 1.1 ports. For input and navigation it includes thumb keyboard with TrackStik™ and mouse buttons as well as digital pen and thumbwheel.” It even has more than that! All in a handheld computer which fits in your pocket (I can’t find size specs on the web site).

CES and he showed it on TV a minute ago. It comes with a funky connector that has usb, firewire, svga and all the other ports you need (you can use this as a docking connector) It has a USB port built in so you can take a full size keyboard with you! I’ve been asking for this on palms for years!

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Written By: Gary on January 9, 2004 No Comment

Remember when I mentioned Kung-Log a while back? Well, now the first public beta of Ecto is out.

Us poor Mac people don’t even have the formatting toolbar when editing our Movable Type. But now we (and other brand bloggers) have this excellent editor for OS X! Create thumbnails, edit different blogs, easily use categories, post drafts, customize your own HTML commands, save drafts on the hard drive (if not on-line) and edit (yes, I said edit) previous posts and it has a spell check. It’s really great if you like to blog. It’ll even use your CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) to show you the previews!

Written By: Gary on January 8, 2004 One Comment

I cannot believe it’s the almost the end of the week already! It’s been a busy week I’m getting closer to being done with the ‘Help/Support Blog’ at work. I love Movable Type! I want to do everything in it.

A year from now I’m going to be at the CES show in Las Vegas! I never got around to making arrangements this year, but next year it’s a must! I saw Leo on TV today giving his report on the new toys that are going to be out soon.

Don’t forget a new episode of Joan of Arcadia is on tomorrow. And the season premier of Stargate-SG1.

Only one more day for Heather on her big exams (GOEs). Seven questions over 4 days (1/2 day for 6, all day for one)!

It’ll be the weekend soon and I can be outside during the day! It’s dark out all the time and I’m tired of it.

Written By: Gary on January 5, 2004 No Comment

I’m addicted to blog! (To be hummed to the rhythm of Robert Palmer’s tune.)

Then: So I thought Heather was crazy (crazier) when she told me about this Movable Type software she was using for her blog. I mean there are about 80 jillion ways she could be keeping this diary(?) on-line, why Movable Type? I had even seen it before and thought it was interesting, but still… I’m the guy who still hardcodes his own HTML and I just didn’t get it.

Now: It’s like wow! I’m not even talking about the software just the posting is kinda cool. It’s like therapy without having to make the appointment. I don’t know if anyone is reading but it’s not like your shrink is really listening anyways…

Okay, back to Movable Type: This is very cool software at a nice price. It kinda violates what web servers were originally supposed to do: serve documents with out altering (parsing) them. MT just parses and parses and if you loop it right, it parses it again. Actually it does all the parsing beforehand, but it’s really hard to tell. But that’s all fine because what it does is do exactly what the web was originally supposed to do (actually what the pages were supposed to do). Wait, I’m not contradicting myself (yet), there’s a big difference between the web and web servers and web pages.

Part of what web pages were supposed to do is provide text, emphasize different blocks of text (headings, bold and italics) and link pages together. This was so that you could use any kind of browser and it could show you how you want to see the text. (I’m doing most of this from memory, it’s a blog not a research paper.) This also helped to make the pages accessible to the blind (flashing graphics with text dancing around generally cannot be read aloud to the blind by the computer). I was always surprised there wasn’t a web browser that didn’t show you just the headings any then you clicked on it to get the content below it; one reason is probably that people never format text the way it was intended so it wouldn’t work very well. (Did you know the guy who designed(?) the web, it’s a shame I can’t think of his name, just got Knighted?) But now we have different kinds of syndication (xml, rss, etc.) which does (almost) exactly the same thing, MT almost forces you to create your pages this way. Actually the less you know about programming the more likely you are to create good formatted pages. It’s amazing.

Why don’t I post more: Besides having the time? When I have the time – Half the time I can’t decide what to post. The other half of the time I’m playing around with it from the geekier side, it reminds me of the good old days on Unix working with Lex and Yacc. Wow, talk about full circle, I’m back to using Linux (Unix) and parsing text…

PS – Thanks Heather!

Written By: Gary on January 3, 2004 One Comment

Have you seen Scene It? It’s a great new game that you play on a board and on the TV (with a DVD player). It asks a bunch of trivial questions about movies, but about a third of them are on the TV. I’ve played this with several groups of friends and it’s been a hit every time. There is a short and long version of the game (you fold the board in half!) and they make a junior edition too. It’s fun, you get to shout out answers and it really gets everyone interested…

Some show you a scene and ask a question (different questions for the same scene), put these movies in order, figure out the puzzle as the pieces appear, guess the actor from the HS photo, invisibles where they remove the people and you guess the movie, pictogram , fill in the blank and more…. Some are all plays so anyone can answer your question. They make a Junior version of the game too.

Check this out when you get a chance. There is a more interactive demo if you have flash.

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Written By: Gary on January 1, 2004 No Comment

It’s the start of a New Year! My friends have headed out and it’s time for the first entry of the new year! :) 2004flag It’s been a great day (no crisises have occured, at least nothing nationwide), great friends, great pizza and I love those new Seagram’s Twisters! We played games: Dominoes and Scene It? (excellent DVD/board game that’s due for an entry soon). I’m off to sleep in the new year…

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