Saturday, June 02, 2007


This is pretty impressive. Super detailed doll house scale model of Bag End. Sweet. The pictures are pretty big and there are a lot of them, low bandwidth visitors beware. Go check it out!

Curse or statistical fluke?

Is my annual family get together cursed? Looking back ober the last three years. The first year I wasn't feeling well. When my wife finally talked me into seeing the doctor it turned out I had strep throat AND walking pneumonia. Last year, Rossana popped her knee out while gardening. This year? My Dad has an accident (although is wasn't here, he WAS scheduled to be here in a few days).

I'm starting to see a pattern here...

Friday, June 01, 2007

And now the bad news...

The message on my voicemail was from my Dad. He was scheduled to drive his bike down from Boston next week for an annual visit. But his voice was off and he said he wasn't going to make it.

When I called he told me he'd been in a car accident. He's flipped his truck four times and was in the hospital with 2 fractures in his C2 vertebrae. I waited for the other shoe to drop.

"I'm okay. I can move my hands and feet alright. It looks like I'll be in a neck brace for about three months."

While it's never good to hear your parent has been in an accident, at least he wasn't paralysed or crippled. He's in pain but refuses the powerful stuff. He's lost some feeling in his scalp and his face hurts from the airbag. No one else was hurt in the accident. The truck was, needless to say, totalled.

He loved that truck.

Not knowing what to do I went to the store and bought a 'Get Well' card and a box of cookies. I eat when I'm stressed sometimes. I kinda flipped out a little in the car outside the supermarket put pulled it together. I went home and stared cleaning my desk (another thing I do when I get freaked out). I'm glad he's alright. Even at 39 I'm not ready to deal with the mortality of my parents.


My brother Goodman just got engaged! I'm geeked! And it looks like the wedding will be in November. I am really happy for him. It looks like we'll be visiting Austin again. It's a great city. I wonder if I'll get a chance to visit the Alamo Drafthouse again?

Oh, and she's wiccan. Sweet.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A quick poll

THE coolest car

I am not a car person. To me, a car serves a function, and form is something I usually don't care about. There are exceptions of course. The Delorean (time machine or otherwise) The spinner from Blade Runner, the Mach 5 and a few others. Sure.

But in general most cars, modern or classic, fail to get my heart running. I can apprciate them, but not crave them. This is not the case with Bugatti's Veyron. Watch this video and see for yourself.

I am well aware that the way they shot this sequence is half of what makes it so cool. This is a car show for gods sake! Yet it has the visuals of a movie. Outstanding.

Cog-y goodness

As you may know, I have a love of SteamPunk. I just found the site of an artist who's work is quite nice. Metal scultpture and found art.

Joe Pogan

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Gentlemans wager

After catching the latest Pirates movie was had dinner nearby. The discussion turned to the show 'Lost', which has gotten a contract for three more years. I do not believe that it will go that long and have made a gentleman's wager of dinner with my friend Ed over this.

It's not that I don't enjoy Lost. It's a pretty damn good show. But it does have one serious fault working against it. These writers have no clear idea of where they are going. There is no set arc or master story. Anyone who tells you there is, is wrong. Oh there may be some broad, nebulous idea thingy in the producers mind somewhere. But a solid plan? No. JMS had a pretty damn solid plan for B5 that made it a great Space Opera. Even the X-files eventually settled down to a central backstory. Lost? Not so much.

And how long can this show continue to pull shit out of its ass? How much weird shit can happen on this island? How long can these characters continue to do dumb things and never ask intelligent questions? I believe that the show can have a good ending. But three seasons worth? We will have to see. I suspect it will go the way of several other shows that had similar motifs. Anyone remember John Doe? Or the Running Man show (I thank that's what it was called). Great premises wasted.

While pontificating on Lost I somehow blurted out that Lost isn't that original. It's basically The Prisoner with a warmer climate. Never saw the show? Don't worry, it first ran in the 60's on BBC. But the parallels are freaky:

Lost: People wake up to find themselves on mysterious island
Prisoner: Spy wakes up to find himself on mysterious island

Lost: Island inhabited by Black Smoke, that can kill
Prisoner: Island guarded by Rover, a mysterious device that can kill

Lost: Others controlled by no. 2 who answers to unseen no 1
prisoner: Island controlled by no. 2 who answers to unseen no 1

Lost: Main characters have secrets they don't want revealed
Prisoner: Main character has secret he doesn't want revealed

Lost: Areas of the island are under video surveillance
Prisoner: Areas of the island are under video surveillance

Lost: Other try to get characters to join them
Prisoner: No 2 tried to get No 6 to join him

Lost: Dead people occasionally show up alive.
Prisoner: Dead people occasionally show up alive.

One could go on and on.

Very very cool

Anyone here remember the early days of the web browser, or windows 95? Remember how they tried to make "Virtual" malls and "Virtual" desktops? But most of these ideas pretty much sucked. The computer doesn't match up well to real world motifs. Sometimes you need a long list of information. And the graphics power to pull this sort of thing off simply didn't exist.

But I just saw a pretty slick website and set of videos for something called 'Surface' from Microsoft. Some of the things shown in the demo have been played with before in various tech demos available on youtube, but this is the first I have seen a system that takes the desktop metaphor and makes it work. Put your camera on the table, and pictures fall out, grab some and send them to your phone or email them by dragging them with your finger. Browse a restaurants menu and divide the check visually. You pay by placing your card on the table. It recognizes it! The usability here is pretty slick. Date of arrival is Winter 2007 but what does that mean? All kinds of hardware will need to be developed to take advantage of this kind of coolness. But I don't care. This is the future, shiny and full of touch displays that I want.