Archive for the ‘personal’ Category


Last night I had a long dream that I was working on the TV pilot for “Criss Angel Investor MindFreak”. As I recall he was rather difficult to deal with. I woke up tired.

Colorado Autumn

A few days ago we went up to Estes with my folks to hear the elk bugle. On the way home we got to see two bull elk fighting over a harem. We were close enough to hear their antlers clash.

Then yesterday Elyn and I went up to Brainard Lake and finally made it to the summit of Mt Audubon. Awesome views up there. On the way home we stopped near Nederland to see the aspen — they are turning and this weeked is the peak; if you live in Colorado you should go up now.

No photos, but maybe it is better this way.

Dessert Sushi

dessert sushi

We’ve been making (vegetarian) sushi lately and a month ago or so I had the idea to make dessert sushi. “I’m a top-chef-worthy genius,” I thought. “Gordon Ramsay will never call me a donkey!”

Of course then I googled and found that only a couple million people did this first. Then when he was visiting, Manu bought us a veggie sushi book and it has a whole section on dessert sushi. On my birthday we made some; the above photo shows a few — some with mango and kiwi, some with chocolate shavings and raspberry, and some with chocolate sauce.


Comcast had a trial offer where you could get a DVR machine rent-free for a year, so we dropped by their office and picked one up. These machines are as nice as people say — much, much friendlier than plain TV or VCRs. It only took a couple of weeks for it to change how I watch TV.

While playing with it, though, I’m reminded once again why I first turned to free software all those years ago. I’d like to be able to hack the machine a little… say, upload my favorite DVDs, or add more disk space, or get a second one and be able to share videos between the two.

Maybe I should get a Neuros OSD box. Anybody try one of these? Or of course I could set up MythTV, though that seems more expensive (given that I have basically no usable hardware).

Mount Ida

Last weekend we stayed in Estes Park and were finally able to get to the Mount Ida trailhead early enough to summit. We’ve been trying to do this for a few years but usually arrive too late, and get scared off by the weather. Here’s a photo of Elyn on the summit; you can see the gathering storm. We got down below treeline just as the lightning started.

Elyn on Mount Ida

Word Swirl

Here’s Word Swirl, a dictionary-based game you can play in your web browser. You get points for every word you can find, and if you find a word that uses all the letters you will be able to go to the next round. You can use the space bar to rearrange your letters.

My sister says this doesn’t work in IE — sorry about that. I don’t have Windows here and so I don’t know a way to debug it. If you know what is wrong, let me know. I suppose real web developers must run Windows, or they must have 2-3 machines on their desktop at any given time.

It may take a little while to download, since it downloads its entire dictionary at once. Word Swirl is GPL.

Web 2.0.3

Every time I read about a new Web 2.0 application, or Y Combinator boot camp, or anything ending in “oogle”, I lose a little piece of my mind. Over time this adds up and I start thinking strange, crazy thoughts, like “maybe I should rewrite Automake as a set of GNU Make include files”.

Occasionally in these moods I brainstorm web site ideas.

For instance, how about, for all your virtual beer-owing needs? Instead of saying “I owe you a beer”, say it via our new social networking site, dedicated to beer redistribution. It has an irc bot so you can /msg your thanks as well. vbeer connects to the free software calendar of events, and will show you a printable chart of how many rounds you have to buy, for whom, at the events you’ll be attending. Version 2 will include some code for (optional) transitive beer forwarding

More seriously, I keep wishing there were a site for “sensitive programmers” (titled perhaps after Elaine Aron’s book, which btw is pretty good) — say a sort of support group with ideas on how to avoid excessive emotional bruising in a field that, in my view, over-tolerates assholes

Finally, I know this is crazy, but what about a web site dedicated to making it easy to download and install random bits of Emacs Lisp code? Oh, wait, I did that. (And if you’re into this at all, there’s an amusing and somewhat strange discussion of package.el on the Emacs devel list.)

Sleep is Optional

Saturday night Onno or Tom (Marble) or Rich told me that, at JavaOne, sleep is optional. Then we promptly set about trying to live the dream, staying up until far too late talking and wandering San Francisco — a great time being had by all, or at least me. I finally got to meet Casey Marshall in person. Also Tom invited Erinn Clark, who is super cool. She in turn brought her friend Jacob (didn’t catch his last name) who took us on a fascinating and occasionally uncomfortable tour of his workplace.

My schedule for this week is completely packed — not just with JavaOne sessions (counting the BOFs, activities run until 11pm every night) but also visits with friends and colleagues in the Bay Area. One of the downsides of working remotely is that, when you do get together with people, you not only end up wanting to talk extensively to everyone, but also you’re typically out of practice in doing so…