Fantastic Fate will be on the radio!

Woohoo! A few years ago I did a bunch of parts in a radio drama/comedy/mystery something or other 😉 It’s going to be on the radio!
May 29th – June 19th, Saturdays at 3pm on 90.3FM KFAI, in Minneapolis, and 106.7 FM St Paul.
Apparnetly they’re stored online in Real Audio format for 2 weeks after playing, so folks can hear them! Yay!
Or you can buy the CD’s here

Evil friends and sailboats

It’s not news that I’ve long wanted a sailboat. I inherited a love of sailing from my dad, but the last few years I haven’t had much of a chance to exercise it. We have a small Hunter 140 up in Maine, but it is really too small for me to handle (I actually outweigh the boat). We’re looking at replacing it with something easier to manage and that can take passengers comfortably.
The current top contender is a Hobiecat catamaran. The advantage here is that when the boat is sitting on the mooring in maine, it makes a -fine- swim platform 🙂 Go out, lie on the trampoline and just hang out 🙂 Can’t do that in a monohull. Least not a little 14′ fiberglass one.
Of course, my real love is in larger ocean-racing class boats. I have a particular weak spot for JBoats having sailed J-24’s and J-30’s while sailing at the Boston Sailing Center. In fact, the only time I ever took my father out sailing (incidentally also with my nephew – who is in that pic I pointed to above – was on a J24 in boston harbor. I even named my laptop ‘Jboat’ (we tend to use boatnames / types here at homeport, oddly enough) :).
Anyway, in chatting with a friend while at Lunacon I mentioned I’d love to get a J24, if I found one for, oh, around $5000. With a trailer. Ready to go. And wouldn’t you know it, the bastard went out and found me one.
That’s pretty close to what I was looking for. It needs cleaning, but doesn’t look damaged. The one thing it lacks is a motor, but since J-24’s use an outboard mounted on a sort of swinging platform on the transom, it’s easy to mount any long-shaft motor to it.
Of course, the reality of it is… well, a) I don’t have the money now. b) I’m not -making- the money I’d need to own that boat, and c) I don’t have any way to tow that boat. Maybe if we still had the Suburban, but 3500lbs on a trailer really requires a truck of some type.
Alas. Maybe I’ll just sell my motorcycle, buy that boat, park it in the driveway, and pine for a time I can really go sailing in it.

For everyone waiting…

… to hear about how the Stressy Meeting I Was Nervous About went this (Tuesday) evening, it went fine. No major stress (in my direction), lots of good feedback from people, and things in place to complete the ‘things that broke’. Another meeting or two in the works to finalize, but we’re definately now headed in the correct direction. *PHEW!*

Sore. But good.

I tell ya. For an older game staton (PS-1’s are about 6 years old now), for an old version of the game (released August 2002), for a goofy concept (“So, lemme get this straight. IT’s a video game. you plkay it on your tv. but you… dance? in front of it? like, on special pads… to club danc music? THisi s a joke, right?”) – the game is MIGHTY addicting, and a helluva lot of fun.
Besides, where else do you play a video game and burn off a couple hundred calories at every playing?
I’ve played more DDR in the last couple days than I have for a while. This is doing wonders for getting my legs in shape for biking this summer.

A good geeky busy weekend.

Wow. A lot happening, lot to catch up on. Nutshell a very busy weekend, Zach was down at a friends house from Friday through Sunday, which was very strange for Homeport, not having him about. 2 mornings of relative sleeping in. How odd!
Geeky stuff continues, playing DDR when I can (woo!), all the other geek projects are funnelling along, nothing thrilling to report.
I will be at AnimeBoston this coming weekend, folks should at least check out the dealers room, and if your’e in the area, stop in to say hi. Unfortunately the convention is sold out, so you can buy a day pass into the big dealers room across the street, but not into the hotel space.

The wonders of Texas.

As noted in James Randi’s weekly column, there’s apparently an interesting tidbit in Texas’s constitution:
Texas Constitution, Article 1 — BILL OF RIGHTS, Section 4 — RELIGIOUS TESTS:
“No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”
Erm, isn’t this illegal?
Apparently this isn’t the only case, as noted on A free country, you bet!

Harbin Ice Festival

As gleaned from a mailing list I’m on…
The Harbin Snow and Ice Festival
Quoting the page:
“The temperature in Harbin reaches forty below zero, both farenheit and centigrade, and stays below freezing nearly half the year.  The city is actually further north than notoriously cold Vladivostok, Russia, just 300 miles away.  So what does one do here every winter?  Hold an outdoor festival, of course!  Rather than suffer the cold, the residents of Harbin celebrate it, with an annual festival of snow and ice sculptures and competitions.  This is the amazing sculpture made of snow greeting visitors to the snow festival in 2003.”

A motorcycle trip to Chernobyl

I know there are very few people who read my blog that do not read Slashdot, so I’m sure most of ya’ll have seen this, but I think it bears talking about.
These pages are the photo journal of a woman taking a motorcycle trip through the area surrounding Chernobyl, where, in 1986, a soviet-era nuclear reactor exploded. These direct and moving images document an area that has basically been frozen in time for the last 20 years.
The impact of the disaster is still being felt not only by the people who lived within the 30 kilometer “dead zone” around the reactor, but also the communities and families all through the region, who are still reeling from the impact.
By the way, in doing some research for this posting, I found the ibiblio entry above. I highly recommend reading some of the links from there, it’s a fascinating look into what the USSR was like during the cold war.

Just a quick update.

I’m still here! I’m so immersed in Stonekeep work that I haven’t had a lot of time for general life chitchat. I’m remembering what it’s like to be totally absorbed in a project, and coding on it, and developing. It’s refreshing in many ways.
Working from home fulltime again is as usual bringing its own challenges. Fortunately I do take Zach either to or from school each day, so that gives me a chance to get out of the building, but 90% of the time I’m home I’m in my bedroom at my desk. Wasn’t this my life in my early 20’s? But then it was hacking Apple stuff or playing Wizardry. Now it’s Java code and Debian system configuration.
I think I’m learning again, so that’s a plus. Debian is a great environment, and I’m having that “Why isn’t EVERYONE using this?!?” sort of feeling. Linux sure has come a long way.
Current fun is figuring how where the world is on shared calendars. Catya and I are wiggling around trying to find a way she and I can share calendars. We’re almost there. Expect a geeky post on this shortly.
In the meantime, I highly recommend Evolution as a mail client. It’s very outlook-like, but don’t hold that against it. Extremely well written and works great.

Lunacon HO!

I’m at Lunacon this weekend in Rye, NY. It’s a very relaxing, enjoyable event we’ve been going to for years. Unfortunately, this’ll be the last time at this hotel (a hotel referred to as the Escher Hilton, due to it’s odd floor arrangements). Lunacon has simply outgrown the space.
It’s sort of odd going to an event thatt I’m -not- working at. I’m relaxing, enjoying company, and basically having a nice time. How strange!
At the moment I’m in fair-geek-heaven. I’m sitting in the pool area, watching Zach play in the pool with some other kids. I’m on the laptop (alas, plugged in – battery power is not so hot), with reasonable wireless coverage. On the one hand, I’m such a geek. On the other hand, I’m getting some things done, and enjoying it. I even got some Real Live Work [tm] done prepping some artwork with a designer for an event coming up.
Should be back in Boston tomorrow [Sunday] afternoon, then an event meeting Sunday evening in town (at the infamous Boston Park Plaza!).
More good geeky stuff to come 🙂

Good music hit.

Another good music track on the drive home from Lexington where I attended a Center for Entrepreneurial Growth meeting. Nice folks there, got some good networking time.
Anyway, on the way home there was a block of ZZ Top, and man I forgot how much I like their stuff. I only caught their last 2 tracks, but they were La Grange and Cheap Sunglasses – two pieces with some great grooves.
Cheap Sunglasses has a mean bassline in it.

Snow day!

You call that a snowstorm? There were noises of this snowfall being somewhat dramatic, with forecasts of up to a foot of snow, yaddayadda. Total snowfall ended up being about 5 inches. Enough to cover the ground, and enough to need snowblowing,
Ahh, the snowblower! What is it about working with machinery that’s so satisfying? I mean, granted, it’s no backhoe, but it’s a lot of fun. This is a Craftsman ride-on tractor, with a 42″ blower on the front of it. We add about 100lbs of weight to it for winter use, with wheel weights and a large bucket o stones on the back.. This, combined with my own not-exactly-insubstantial mass made the whole thing easy to navigate in the snow. The little 18hp engine doens’t have any problems doing the work, the trick is always the traction.
Anyway, snowblowing was successful, the driveway is again safe for navigation (we have a pretty steep hill, it really does need to be cleared).
On to work!

Would you trust these people?

From The Progress Report on….

RUMSFELD DISHONESTY CAUGHT ON FILM: The most vivid display of the Administration’s widening credibility gap came when CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked Rumsfeld “If Iraq did not have WMD, why did they pose an immediate threat to this country?” Rumsfeld retorted, “You and a few other critics are the only people I’ve heard use the phrase ‘immediate threat.’ I didn’t…It’s become kind of folklore that that’s what happened.” Schieffer repeated his question but Rumsfeld challenged the reporter saying, “If you have any citations, I’d like to see ’em.” At that point, NYT columnist Tom Friedman read Rumsfeld his own words, pointing out that the Defense Secretary had told Congress on 9/19/02 that “No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people” than Iraq and that “some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent [but] I would not be so certain.” According to the transcript of the show, Rumsfeld replied “Mm-hmm. It–my view of–of the situation was that he–he had–we–we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that–that we believed and we still do not know–we will know.” American Progress has posted a video clip of this exchange.

Other entries follow… I challenge anyone to read this simple summary page, with citations, supporting information, transcripts, and facts gathered together… and contine to have faith that the Bush Administration is worth the American people’s trust.

Continue reading “Would you trust these people?”