April 2002 Archives

Baby Chase

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Robert Cringely's baby, Chase, died from SIDS. A sobering read.

Textual shortcut

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Is there any way to have a textual 'shortcut' in Manila? It seems that all the shortcuts I have found translate either into an image or a link to a story or gem. I think it would be nice to be able to type a quoted string and have it translate into a pre-fab string you defined elsewhere.

The Redneck Neighbour

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Wow. Check out The Redneck Neighbour.  And I thought our landlord was bad at home improvements. Even more impressive is that the site has had 1.6 million hits in that last 20 days. Can that be for real?


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Just watched a BFI truck, in the next tech parking lot, accidentally dump a few hundred sheets of paper (heard of recycling?) with some boxes out onto the asphalt -- and then drive away! He definitely saw it happen... he had the huge bin shaking upside down above the truck when all the paper poured right down over his windshield. What a prick!

I've got BFI bins on my mind today or something.. I've been also watching the big BFI bin in my company's parking lot.. on an average day 3 or 4 different vehicles will pull up to it and dump a ludicrous amount of garbage into it. Styrofoam, boxes, huge bags, computer hardware.. etc etc.. it is apparently a fairly well known dumping spot.


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We tried to go horseback riding last Sunday. It was in celebration of Tracey's 30th birthday and completely planned and coordinated by me. It was going to be just perfect... until just 20 minutes from the Ranch the car brakes started making a horrible grinding sound, like someone shovelling dirt off of bare concrete.

I had my eye on the prize though and was ready and willing to ignore the car's agonizing screams and just keep heading to the ranch. Tracey was still in the dark as to where we were going at this point and so could still think with a clear head. So we pulled into a gas station, stopped with a crunch, and turned the car off.

To make a long story short, it is very hard to find a mechanic that works on Sunday. In the end our most worthwhile resource was the towing company dispatcher. She helped us find a mechanic and gave some excellent suggestions for nearby car rental agencies.

In the end we had a wonderfully spontaneous day, saw a great movie (Amelie), explored cute little Fairfax, got a nice story to tell and have a car with brakes that don't shatter eardrums. All for a little under $1000! ;)

We've re-planned the horseriding. We're going this coming Sunday. It should hopefully be a little less stressful this time. Well maybe not... horses scare the shit out of me.

Coding Zone

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Over at Slashdot they are yakking about how to get into the 'zone' while coding.. one guy posted this. I don't think I could have said it better myself. heh.

Mozilla 1.0 RC1

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Dinner in the City

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Tracey and I went into the 'City' for her Birthday on Tuesday night... she had a class and I took the train in to meet her. We went to the Foreign Cinema on Mission.. a fairly swanky little place that shows Movies on their courtyard wall when the weather is good.

Here are some recollections:

  • It was pissing rain when we got there, and a friend of Tracey's had suggested the place. I ashamedly wasn't part of the choosing of the restaurant for my wife's birthday (<sheepish grin> (More is happening Sunday.. and THAT I planned ;)) Anyway.. Tracey wasn't totally sure what street it was on and so we ran between Valencia and Mission a few times in our fancy clothes with this measly umbrella that barely reaches 2 feet across. I hope we caused some amusement.
  • People that can drink and vote and drive and LIVE are looking really young to me. Inevitable (and verging on cliche), but true. I'm only 25 and I feel older than I am.
  • This fairly rough and grumpy looking black guy on Mission glared at me as we ran past... intimidating, but as we rushed by I raised my eyebrows and gave a hesitant smile to him... he transformed and gave me a warm ackowledgement in return. People are people. We all just want to be accepted.
  • At dinner we were seated right beside this other table (6 inches away) where a man and a woman in their late 40s sat. We could hear everything they were saying... and the guy seemed to relish this fact and proceeded to talk at length about how rich and wealthy he was etc etc... about how he could do whatever he wanted, buy whatever he wanted, go wherever he wanted etc etc.. commenting that he was fully capable of just spending $30,000 on plane fares around the world... Tracey leans over to me around that point and says "Do you ever get the feeling you are in a Woody Allen movie?" hehe.. too funny. I would have loved to have pulled Bill Gates from just off camera and introduced him to the guy.. "You think you're rich... well how about you whip it out and compare it to old Billy-Boy's here.." hehe anyway.
  • If you go to the Foreign Cinema, don't order the Chicken and French Fries... remember it was swanky? Well they made the french fries sound all swanky... but in the end they were just french fries.. and mediocre ones at that.. bit of a disappointment... Tracey had the duck.. go for the duck. Very tasty. And their decaf coffee was excellent.. seriously some of the best I've had... go just for the coffee even. Really.

Google Answers

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Google Answers : Sort of a mix between Keen.com, Ebay and the Psychic hotline. How can it go wrong? :)


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Well.. as you can see I've changed how the site looks a bit... I'm only 2/3 done right now, but everything should be functional.

Vonage VoIP

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Vonage.com :: Voice over IP. $20 for 500 minutes of local/long distance a month. $40 for unlimited usage! Woo Woo! Definitely going to check this out.

404 with Advice

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The page cannot be displayed because you need some fresh air.


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Things other people accomplished when they were your age. This is just depressing.

Stirling Engine

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Mr. Kamen is at it again. Apparently the 'IT' that we were all waiting for is more than just the glorified Scooter. How he wants to power the Segway is with his patented version of the Stirling engine. It would be mighty impressive if he can pull this off.

Happy Birthday!

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Happy Birthday Tracey Mellor!

Wow! I'm married to somebody that is 30 years old! Kinda freaks me out a bit! :)

After the Google API

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DaveNET: What's next after the Google API? Reading this just makes my mind itch to innovate and my fingers itch to code.

Flagstone Patio

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Tracey and I bought some flagstones this weekend. We're re-doing our front sitting area amidst our herb and vegetable gardens. Last year the area was lush with some oat grass our landlord planted, but this year, without the replanting, it came up pretty patchy... like a bad hair plug experience.

The plan is to dig it up, loosen the dirt (and remove a bit), level it, lay down a layer of sand, then cover the area with some artistically placed flagstones. Then plant some creeping thyme or chamomile in between, sit back and crack a cold one. :)

Anyway, we drove out to Lyngso in Redwood City a little after noon on Sunday. Lyngso is a very cool industrial supply depot with fairly inexpensive materials if you are willing to get a little dirty. After doing an empty-weigh of our car, a small white Subaru Justy, we drove around to where all the stones were located. We looked at the flagstone selection available (lots), chose one that was 16 cents a pound (Mariposa) and started laying them on the ground to gauge quantity.

After we'd figured out the ones we wanted, we got them all home in two trips with a total stone weight of about 800 pounds. The little Justy was definitely riding a little low while poking along in the right lane on the 101. All told, the stones cost around $130. Not bad considering local nurseries sell similar stones for 5-6x the price.

We also picked up some 'premium compost'.. a U-SACK-EM style system. For a 40 pound bag of prime soil, you pay only $1.99. You can knock off $1 of that price if you don't need the bag. A cubic YARD of the stuff is still less than $30.

2 years ago when we first moved to California, we had an beat-up Honda Accord hatchback. We lay down some plastic in the back and shovelled in half a cubic yard of redwood compost. I'm sure they thought we were nuts.

Anyway, the stones are strewn around our yard right now in preparation of installation. Hopefully next weekend we'll continue with it.

No Ben Brown

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Ok, I can understand a brief hiatus... but we're going on months now without a new Ben Brown Show.. what's up Mr. Brown?


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How to MAKE MONEY FAST... by threatening legal action against people who send you MAKE MONEY FAST spam.

Throw me a link

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Neglecting the blog

Ok. Here I am. And here is a link:

Logos with Planets.

Ok.. maybe not the most exciting link.

Here's another one then.

The art of pen spinning.

I spin pens.. and had no idea there was a web page. Now I can learn new tricks! =)

Google Glut

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New York Times: "All this has made Google Silicon Valley's hottest private company, one deluged with 1,000 résumés a day."

Marching on

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March has come and gone. With a whopping 2 blog entries from yours truly. It wasn't a priority that month.. what can I say? Here's top hoping April is a little better.

Magic Camera

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The magic camera.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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