Archive for March, 2005

BBQ’ing and business ventures

Ran on (okay, walked) over to G*’s house tonight, to cook a little food and run some trains. And talk the usual, semi-BS talk of side business and company-starting that seems to have been going around lately. Like geek-grade hardware that’s fun to play with, fun to design and fun to build. Things that people will actually use and enjoy. Not that there’s anything wrong with the stuff I’m doing now, but it does feel a little unsatisfying to come up with whizbang technology of which only a prototype will ever be built, that will only get used once (namely, to test, prove that it works and write a report about it), then put on a display shelf out front, never to be picked up or used again. So we shared some visions around…self organizing smart house transmitter-things, wireless low cost stick-anywhere terminals, hybrid digital/analog networking over railroad tracks, the end of stinky links, various little gadgets.

“Where’s the University of Michigan?” -JP
“Michigan.” – JP’s speakerphone

I wanted to see if anyone would notice.

Last Saturday (see previous entry) I was shaving and thought, “You know… I think today I’m only going to do half… yeah.” Why? No reason in particular (cause there are no reasons). Anyway, I decided to just keep doing it for a while. It was Tuesday before anybody said anything. (Shaved it off again Thursday because it was starting to tickle.)

I have a light side and a dark side, and hold the universe together

(And this is just a punk rock song, written for the people who can see something’s wrong)

An adventure today. Up bright and early (ahem, relative to nightfall, you know me) to start the day off with a little food porn homebrew sushi. Mmmm, more salmon than I can shake a fishin’ stick at.

After that, we rounded up the rest of the posse, picking up a couple more people on the outskirts on our way to a punk show out in Haverhill(?), MA. It was starting at 6-ish and we weren’t sure if we’d make it (especially with directions like “turn rightish at the statue of the guy sticking his arm out”, hehe), so we hauled ass. Think I was getting an occasional “Heh, nice driving Tim” from behind clenched teeth and white knuckles, but after enough backtracking and dizzying u-turns we found it alright.

Saw a number of bands, (IMO) some good and some not so good. I wish I could remember the names of all of them. The guys at the very end kicked ass.

Next door there was some interesting imagery, an entire fleet of deserted ice cream trucks buried in a mountain of snow. It was kind of surreal, I’m not sure why. Tried to get a picture, but it didn’t turn out.

At some point during the night we lost J.R., so a few of us were out a couple times looking for her. (Eventually found downstairs semi-napping in the freezingass basementish.)

Anyway, good times, and I’d definitely do it again.

Arc*: If you could get her to bring nori, that would be ideal.
Arc*: But I need to know how much fish to buy.
Arc*: Especially salmon, since I plan on eating a lot of it. =P
Me: (hehehe…now I have Nora, nori, and Nero on the same screen :P )
Arc*: I almost spewed milk into the keyboard.
Arc*: =P

(Planning out sushi-thing while playing with my new DVD burner)

And if life is just a highway, then the soul is just a car. And objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are.

I had an interesting AIM conversation out of the clear grayblue sky last night, with a giving me shit going on three years now…dude, obsess much? friend of an ex-girlfriend of several years ago, posing as a woman to invite me to Oak Lawn, IL for wild sex. (I think it can be safely concluded that anytime there is a cute girl soliciting me for sex, there is something fishy going on.) And of course, pump for information about the relationship that was. Meh. I wish he would be man enough to do it from his own machine. Anyway, AIM makes this shenanigans easy to take care of…

I know, this sounds like a rehash of a few-days-ago entry, but this is an entirely different ex. (Though I’m sure the two exes-from-woodwork events are related, see the older entry.) All this probably makes it sound like I have a whole bunch of them, but I don’t, really.

Your house won’t become sentient for at *least* two more years

I was the only person at my place of employment who had heard of Pi day. The WSJ had an article on it, but that doesn’t count.

Dreamed last night of pulling up to a house somewhere in a borrowed Corvette and finding I had a very flat tire. Wierd, yes? Maybe not for me, this has already happened in real life once (on prom night, no less). I didn’t remember having this dream until I was about halfway to work (being lazy and driving); then got there, got out and noticed I had (in real life) a very low tire.

Ah, and my box o’ toys from AllElectronics came today. 640×480 LCD flatscreen with backlight, Peltier cooler (what, me overclock something? Naaaahhh), a whole bunch of supercaps and a couple solar panels. What am I making? Sorry, that’s a secret. (That’s me-speak for “I have no clue.”) Still needed: Imaging sensor (make that, working imaging sensor), lowpower wireless transmitter, and a proper USB interface. All right, so I’m building more than one thing.

Whispers from dark eyes, she takes the poison

Shit chefs, stirring vigorously, and drama drama drama (S* v. N*, with the help of ???.) An ex from long ago popped up today on AIM, and I finally found out what I knew all along. (That modelling a relationship as a linear control system isn’t as stupidstupid as it sounds, and that even this crappy, simplistic model can predict the behavior of sufficiently deterministic live humans…hey, do I rant too much?) But seriously… I found out what the external disturbance term Td was; a few choice words from a family member, over an unspecified (< = 11 mo.) time interval, were enough to induce failure. (Seems to be a recurring theme lately, third-party poisoning of interpersonal relationships.) Anyway, the shit stirring union. At the start of this relationship I had to choose. The sum of all my (limited) knowledge and all of my experiences with both of them had to collapse into a single decision from which there would be no return. The centerpoint of the conversation today was that someone put the person I chose in touch with the person I didn't--why? I wish I knew--to generate unhappy and open up old wounds is a safe bet--and the question of tonight was whether I wish I had chosen differently. If I had known then what I know now, then yes, I would have. But that wasn't exactly the question. That's the bitch of this whole time thing, you never know how things will turn out, until they turn out. It's easy to say coulda-woulda-shoulda, and you can spin your wheels forever dreaming in futures past, with no reason to believe that an alternate path would have worked out any better or worse. Where was I going with this? I don't remember. Not much chance I'd be masochistic enough to start dating this girl again (providing I still lived in Chicago), but it's nice to finally have some light shed on what really happened. QOTD: N*: have you gotten any since you've been in MA Me: a few close calls, but.... no N*: man! N*: they just don't know what ur packin'....or maybe they do and they are intimidated

I felt like destroying something beautiful.

It was a well-choreographed Vaudeville routine, a thing of precision and wonder, dancing into itself like egg beaters. Every instruction timed with care and precision, every clock cycle accounted for, unstoppable, untouchable, pure clean hand-optimized asm. But that was before it went from being a 1-channel device to an 8-channel device. That’s when I discovered what all those extra pins were for. The ones for the expansion card that had been pinned out but never designed, until now. The ones that are shared with CompactFlash address lines, because there weren’t enough to go around. In the back of my mind, I knew this day was coming, and shouldn’t have let the extra nastiness involved take me by surprise like that… (how do you talk to a chip you don’t have yet?) I just didn’t anticipate the size of the monkey wrench it would throw into my works. Whee, interrupting the interrupt in the middle of the disk write it’s almost guaranteed to have interrupted, flipping the address lines a.k.a. expansion lines while the card’s in this little suspended animation and hoping it won’t notice. (And that a zillion other manufacturers’ cards won’t notice, either.) And all the time-consuming gyrations to ensure that no other lines controlled by the same register change at any time during this, and that all the original state gets restored at the end.

Woo, a lot of (re-)testing to make certain that CompactFlash doesn’t mind me arbitrarily throwing glitches on its address lines in the middle of a write.

Curse you, Ke*, for introducing the term ‘regression testing‘ into my vocabulary :-) (I think I have to go and wash my mouth out with battery acid now… and bathe my typing fingers in dihydrogen monoxide.)

He doesn’t care if it rains or freezes (or breaks a guitar into 1000 pieces)

Saw this while walking to work not long ago and found it incongruous/interesting, so I took a picture. A picture sitting in my computer is a little pointless, so now it’s in my bloggg…


Ok, more food-related entries. J.R. called me out today for some Everything Marsala. (Dear augmented memory: Marsala sauce is the cool brown stuff that takes several hours to make when done properly, requiring multiple reductions and straining things and adding things and re-reduction. And if a hundred years’ worth of French chefs haven’t found any clever optimizations to this process, it’s unlikely that you are, either.) But damn, was it good. And orgasmic glazed carrots. Maybe less than there could have been, because the recipe apparently didn’t take sampling into account :-) (“Are you still peeling carrots?” “*CRUNCH* crunch crunch um…yes?”)

Getting off the T I walked not far behind a pair of professional bums clocking out for the day, carefully stowing their signs behind a pair of newspaper dispensers, shooting the bull as they walked (with no difficulty that I could discern), ultimately entering MGH.

On the way back, catching the close-to-last train had me watching and older, presumably married couple fighting, alternately snapping at and storming away from each other, brainstating a replay attack.

QOTD: “Too fat, can’t drive.” -Scott


I and a bunch of people descended upon No*’s house, and she made udon. This is surprisingly simple, surprisingly good stuff – noodles, broth, and seaweed. Afterward, we all went out for coffee and chatted at Diesel amid the Powerbook-wielding goatees (or is that goatee-wielding powerbooks?). There was some mention of ‘sentient genitals’ (heh, Ba*). Then a few of us (J.R., No*, me) tried to cram into a phonebooth picturey thing (TODO: Mentally unlink ‘photo booth’ and ‘phone booth’) for a group photo. I think we could have crammed 5-6 people in there if we tried, but the in-frame area is only about 2.5 (oww, my face! haha). Kind of our 0th approximation of that photobook thing I can’t remember the name of, but it’s big in Japan.

(The vintage fire extinguisher, also shot at Diesel, reads: "TO PLAY ON FIRE, TURN BOTTOM UP")

I-P, U-P, we all (DHC)P for an IP…

All right, after a site devoted to telling you your IP address sold out to the unnamed highest bidder, I figured I’d replace it… because it’s 1 line of php code, and because I can. And because anyone trying to tell the address to their friends will get wierd looks. All right kids, have at it.