Monday, May 28, 2007

Intolerable Dilemma

So I've got myself an intolerable dilemma, now that I am a principled man with a code of ethics and a reasoning process for my decisions. I've gone ahead and ordered a pair of shoes over Skype, which seems slightly unreasonable at first. For a pair of shoes it may be unreasonable. I'm a guy who likes to try on his shoes before he buys them. It's got to be a rough market, selling shoes on the Internet. But really, I'm not sure I understand why it must be so?

This way I save on gasoline, the shoes will be delivered via Post and I will have them in no time flat. I was able to pick from a short list and ask for the size I wanted, granted I have a wide foot and it will be tough luck if the shoe does not fit properly. But for any other item besides shoes, I think internet commerce is probably the way of the future!

Anyway I made a new friend this way, even though the banks are closed I can say proudly, "my shoe store was still doing business on Memorial Day." You know I'm not particularly proud of that fact. In fact it's almost downright offensive, except I can't really expect a reasonable 中国生意人 to study our most bizarre holiday calendar.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


"this is for you snowflake. It's my special blend. I call this here Clarke Kent. You smoke this shit and you just wanna rip your clothes off in a phone booth and fight crime"

Do you think he's talking about that chronic shit?

I want a printed copy of my facebook profile. It should fit on one page. If I need legal paper, I can handle that. I want to hand these out like a c.v. or a business card. It should look nice on paper just how it is right now. Extra-weight is probably unnecessary, but might be nice.

First bidder who delivers a quote to me by hand wins the contract! (Probably. The quote should look good too. That's why it's called a proof.)

Friday, May 25, 2007

TV Links for Arabic Learners

Hey everybody, lets have a podcast that includes clips and reviews of Arabic TV programs, written with clear and eloquent forms like those you would hear from a University professor (اللغة العربية الفصحى)targeted for the intermediate to advanced Arabic Language Learner.

Something I already have: lots of English TV programs. And they're available to me for zero cost, of questionably legal origins. Any Arabic bloggers out there want to clue me in where you keep your pirate libraries? I have no intent to steal anything from anyone.

I know it's not kosher (or halal either... مشبوحة على الأقل) to accept stolen property in the real world, but does the same rule apply to audio and video content that may have been hijacked by pirates on the internet? It's not feasible to comply with a law like that, I would need some kind of intelligent filters for my eyes and ears, and a new pair of running shoes.

Someone I know: actually a number of people with video editing skills. I'm not an artistic person outside of linguistic domain, but lots of people in Rochester are producing film and animation for classes, and certainly one of you would collaborate with a producer such as myself, with aspirations to see a successful director emerge.

Just thinking out loud.

Kingdon in Politics

I hope everyone understands why I will not enter politics. And this is nothing against George W. Bush, it's actually funny when you do this type of thing. I just don't think I could live with myself if I ever had to pay an editor to make this correction.

We're not using humans, or parts of humans directly as fuel. today, are we?

Do you see what kind of a disaster could result from weak or poor intelligence?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two Zen Koans

Steal The Moon

Renegade Zen

29 - No Water No Moon

When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time.

At last one moonlit night she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!

In commemoration, she wrote a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail
Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about to break
Until at last the bottom fell out.
No more water in the pail!
No more moon in the water!

What is a Kingdon?

Urban Dictionary defies Kingdon something like this:

He'll go all the way to Egypt in search of the most ridiculous law that is written, only to break it, because he heard somewhere that they write backwards in those parts of Africa and he's pretty sure that means something special.

My grandfather صلى الله عليه وسلم was another Kingdon. He was the only other Kingdon that I ever knew, and I know him well, though I'm not sure if we actually ever met more than once. Anyway, it's because of him that I may need to consult with an International lawyer before we can see the pyramids together.

It's a very long story, and I'm not sure if I heard it completely accurately myself. However; I believe that we can reconstruct it with a little help from my friends and family! Also, Canada is still cool in my book. Rush Phi Delt!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Your Ass Better Call Somebody

I once found myself in an interview for a job with someone close to me. He asked a question and I found myself with absolutely no good answers, which is not a position I find myself in very often. Or even once that I can remember, for such a simple question. It's got an even simpler answer, but you know it sure took a lot of calculating to find it.

The question, paraphrased as I did not have a recording device:
"You're going to throw a party, and there's one person in particular that you want to be sure they are present. How do you ensure that they attend?"

Now if I was a statistician or a marketing executive, or perhaps a business analyst by trade, I wouldn't have to spend months of time analyzing my life, and I would have answered with something smart and snappy like this:

"Well, you advertise the party in all of the social circles that this person frequents, and you should also be sure to indicate quite clearly that this party is unique, and make efforts to raise it above the other parties this person might choose to attend. They have to know that their presence is essential because otherwise they might even choose to stay in for the night! And then where will you both be, somewhere other than The Most Happenin Party, and in particular you will definitely not be Hangin Out Together."

And I believe that during the interview my response was along these lines, although not quite so eloquently phrased. To be sure I think I actually said, "uhh, I don't know... should we get two kegs?"

However if I was any other career path with the possible exception of Zen Buddhist Monk, the correct answer is quite simple:

"Send an invitation!"

Anybody out there who thinks they are smart, got any further questions?

"Send it in triplicate! Write RSVP on the envelope, in fact my recommendation is to spell it out Respondez Si Vous Plez. That way if someone in the room speaks French, they will know what it says, and of course they will oblige with a phone call or some other means of contact. And if nobody in the room speaks French, well then they will certainly all wonder what does RSVP stand for? Then of course your friend will probably call to find out, and you will surely have got em by then!"

Decidedly not a random thought. For your amusement!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Maybe a better question than what am I doing...

what's left undone?

Going to spend the next week filing paperwork and figuring out what it is that I meant to build over the last year and a half, that hasn't been built or obsoleted already. The most obvious, authentication and access control, has been neatly sidetracked thanks to creative use of VMWare Server. Unfortunately that means we're not really unified at all, just well-fragmented.

Central file storage is also a mess. We've got a mess of samba servers and hard drives lying around. I suppose first on the agenda would be some project to aggregate them and salvage any leftover data that might be of interest to future generations. If I can clear enough room to dump the central Wednesday share, then I can clear up the horrible mess I left with Gentoo.

Meant to build a second firewall for extra clarity, as I've also sidestepped the intelligent security systems yet again. I figure any service that is transmitted through two firewalls must really have been intended to be public. I think I'll put Sheng behind the second firewall, and hook up Akhira with Windows like it's never seen before.

For anyone who is not fluent in both Arabic and Chinese, the names are symbolic: sheng is mandarin for life, and akhira is "other" in arabic. Slightly more meaningful to me than www vs. dev, anyway. But one of these machines will have to be an Access Grid node so I can join in on the fun and help keep Gurcharan and his crew honest; I'd really like to see that kind of video conferencing technology take flight.

The plan at this point is for a Tuesday Studios diaspora within 5 years, with me and my cohorts spread across the globe. Destinations are to be no less exotic than Cairo, Kaunas, and Kingston. If we have to scale back from that, I will be incredibly disappointed; I would have taken Japanese and joined the fun in Tokyo if I knew I was destined to be trapped in this blasted state of New York for the rest of my life!

That's all for now, and it's zzz-time for me. I hope to catch myself in the next few days working in these places:

1) Fixing the server room at Tuesday Studios, trying to track down someone who can at least insinuate with authority that I will keep my office for longer than a week. After the servers are better, it'll be time to work on the books and start coding expenses.

2) Meeting up with Gurcharan and the CASCI crew at the regular Thursday 4:00PM meeting. I'm still on the mailing list, I might as well stop in and say hi. Maybe there's a job for me here?

3) At my house, or on the road, studying for my Arabic final. If I get especially diverted but still remain at my house, I might spend some time to figure out how to get native Windows sound support piped into my Airport Express. That thing is really cool. There must be a way to do it!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Death of an Irish Bear Salesman

Building 0 ruined drinking for me. It's going to be a while before we share another drink, I think.

So I stepped into MacGregor's last night to celebrate the founding of a new Labatt Blue plant and the creation of more jobs that I know we need in Buffalo. Mind you this is already not my favorite bar, with two strikes aggin it: no Miller High Life, no Crown Royal. Then I find out there's also no Labatt Blue on tap.

Last three times at least that I've been to this place, the conversation has centered around economies of scale, tell me we should all share a pitcher because 3.5 full mugs of beer are cheaper than 3 if you go that way. But I'm celebrating, so I say fine, no big deal, I order a bottle and continue with my night.

Next thing I know my brother in Islam, Osama (yes just like the bad guy), he walks into the bar and orders a ginger ale. My table of friends is momentarily confounded, and the topic of conversation shifts to the disgusting taste of alcohol and just how much we can't stand it, even in someone else's mouth. He pounds no less than 3 glasses of ginger ale to his face before closing time. I wonder why he didn't get a pitcher?