Archive for October, 2004

Calling It

Beep…Beep…Beeeeeeeeeeeeeee….. Time of death, 5:23pm. Officially declaring No* a write-off after flaking out on plans for the 3e+08th time without explanation. (“Friends don’t leave friends hanging consistently.”) My big decision now is whether I should just drop it cleanly, or failness it explicitly. Time to kill the cat and let this indeterminate state collapse into something defined, regardless of the definition? (When something fails, I’d rather it fail spectacularly and catastrophically–in other words, definitively. Few things are so bothersome to me as something that is “half broken”.)

QOTD: “If you’re putting out a solicitation for a better sealing system, why would you give it an acronym that sounds like a leak?” – MH, reading a solicitation for a Bulkhead Shaft Seal System – BSSS

Halloweeny fun

Went out for some ribs and drinks with The Sleepy Kitten and some of her NYC pals. Turns out the place we went offers “a Vodka-based drink” in a fishbowl, with about a dozen straws sticking out of it. Umm…our group had 2. After that, we tried to catch a bus and eventually ended up in this one guy’s lab at MIT, where I spent many minutes ogling the equipment and generally having a severe case of bench envy. (“These fuckers have more and better kit in this one room than my entire lab!”) And their very own Faraday cage, no less. “Everyone, take out your cellphones. How’s your signal?” *slam* *click* “Whoah….freaky.”.

Incidentally, got to see some truly fascinating work being done on implementing an almost completely analog cochlear implant chip using tuned bandpass filters rather than a power-hungry DSP to do the dirty work of spectrum analysis. (Still in the early testing phase of course…the demo chip’s about the size of a Pentium Pro and recognizes a whopping *12* frequency bands…but getting rid of the DSP would save a ton of juice.)

But anyway, by the time us geeks finished drooling over the electronics, the T had long since turned into a pumpkin for the night, which could only mean one thing… okay, make that a couple things: 1) Ungodly amounts of Dance Dance Revolution (who came up with this shit?); 2) Me spending the night at a strange girl’s apartment. (Er.. sleeping as in sleeping… Not what the rest of the world thinks sleeping is.)

QOTD: “Driving in Boston is a lot more tolerable if you think of it as more of a logic puzzle.” -Jane

Duct Tape Man lives!

Ha, my work celebrates Halloween. I mean, with a passion, constumes, a bit of a party and everything. So of course, being a natural Halloweener (er…hope none of you are using text-to-speech, or that could have sounded bad), I threw something semicreative and last-minute together in typical me fashion. Introducing… Duct Tape Man!

what happens when I get bored on a friday

yeah, you know you just want to squeeze that duct tapey goodness

and if it ain't broke, ....fix it until it is

looking canonically dreamy, and saturating the poor little cam with my silverness

QOTD: (after sending a couple of the above photos) A*: My mom says you need to get a life.


Err, I saw a guy get beat down with nightsticks today by Medford’s finest in the mall parking lot. Reasons unknown.

QOTD: “When the going gets complex, multiply by the complex conjugate.” – Source unknown

Fronts – week of…this week

Workness: Successfully clawed out from under every and all time-zapping obligations, deadlines and et cetera. Catching up on some much needed, beautiful zzZzzZzZZz…

Project Stack:
The Walking Man, my brother’s parting gift just before I peeled out of Chicagoland for the last time, exists only as a non-illuminated wallhanging, a (literal) shadow of his former role directing Willow Springians safely across the streets of Willow Springs (traffic density: Fuckall). What was that, measure twice and cut once? Haha…guess I need more wood.

The TrashAmp inches toward completion on a couple fronts – logic for the stepup converter laid out on authentic VeroBoard(r)(tm)(c)(processed cheese food) and smoke-tested on an actual current-limiting (smoke-limiting) bench supply. Beauty! Enclosure dimensions for the actual ghetto-blastification component (subwoofer box) calculated, wood measured, some of it actually cut. Sucks that I only get the bug to do projects like this late at night, when the whole house is asleep and I can’t actually saw wood and stuff. (You’d think I’d start doing this stuff earlier then, or something. As If!)

The “mYpod” similarly creeps toward maturity against its will. Just because Windows can’t write a series of files to a completely blank CompactFlash card without fragmenting/interleaving the hell out of them, doesn’t mean I’m going to sit by and crank random bits & pieces of songs! Not cool man, not cool. So yeah, it looks like it’ll have to actually follow FAT16 file chains. Which means loading in and managing pages of the FAT while also trying to stuff the actual mp3 to the decoder as fast as possible. So yeah, full interrupt-driven buffering implementation (either that or “hello faster system clock” or “goodbye 320KBit/s”. Guess which I’m opting for? :-)

The PV2 sits neglected on the stack for now.

Girl Chasing:
Can’t tell if it’s a total write-off or not. Think I wound up in Diplomacy Limbo (somewhere more or less equidistant from “let’s hang out and cuddle!” and “Go away kid, ya bother me”. In other words, a Plan B of sorts), but I can’t be sure.

Think I needs me one of these.

QOTD: “Play Structure – these are two words that I think don’t really belong together.” -Me

Ya call that a house?

Design by committee, I love it. Saw this on the ol’ Slashdot today, Dilbert’s Ultimate House. The premise is, “What do you get when thousands of Dilbert readers put their minds together and design a house?” It’s not bad or anything (hey, I’d live in it!), and certainly interesting, but on the other hand…

1) The house has three, count ’em, three gardens located UNDERGROUND. I’d be curious to know what exactly he’s growing down there.
2) The laundry room is located directly adjacent to the master bedroom. I can’t be sure, but the washer/dryer could even be sharing a wall with it. (Man, the shit I would have caught from my old landlord if I were to start up a load of wash late at night…)
3) Similarly, the “Quiet Room” shares walls with the main entrance, kitchen and gym, and shares a floor with the playroom and possibly the basketball court(!). Hope Dilbert’s company has a soundproofing division :-)
4) Her Master Bath is only accessible from inside by walking through His Master Bath (uggh), or through the closet. (I guess this could be a Good Thing, as it might keep Her Master Collection of Shoes off the closet floor if she’s got to trip over them all the time.)
5) From one angle of the virtual walkthrough, it appears that the windows of the Dilbert Observatory face toward a stone wall. I’m sure you can still see a lot of stuff, but a lot of stone wall as well. Actually, a good geek-grade observatory would be detached from the house so as not to transmit all the vibration from the house and its equipment/occupants…or at the very least, not so close to the basketball court.
6) The cat’s room: Should the lip of the kitty litter box really overhang the food bowl like that? (OTOH, maybe it’s just MY cat that somehow manages to spread litter granules in a 3′ radius around the box)

QOTD: “Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won’t either.” – Source unknown