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Tkil

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catching up: recent trips, upcoming visits [Jul. 6th, 2005|08:50 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Dead Can Dance - Spiritchaser - The Snake and The Moon]

I'll try to do larger entries on all these, but...

June 19th: Coworker M's wedding.

June 25th: Flew to Chicago with deliriumdreams for shechemist's wedding to T. Stayed with C and A, caused their house to explode, saw a bunch of old friends...

July 1st-4th: Flew to Denver for a gathering of the tribe; went to Ren Faire, nursed a cold, drove back (18 hours!) with deliriumdreams and two of her kids in tow (!!). Currently enjoying their visit, wishing I had more time and energy.

Upcoming visits:

July 13th - 22st: J visits from Seattle.
July 18th - ?: A visits from Las Cruces.
July 23rd - ?: K visits from Las Cruces.

September 10th: Stone 9th Anniversary Festival (deliriumdreams is coming out...)

September 24th: Ojai Pirate Faire.

Maybe other stuff. We'll see. Hope everyone is doing well...
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fortune cookie [Jun. 29th, 2005|05:30 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |optimisticanticipatory]
[music |Eden - Gateway to the Mysteries - Shallow Mists]

Yesterday at lunch, my fortune cookie read:
Beautiful Things Await You
With or without the standard modifier, it works well: I get to see deleriumdreams in just three days!
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minor LJ annoyances [Jun. 18th, 2005|06:15 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |geeky]
[music |Pavement - Terror Twilight - Folk Jam]

1. The "link" option off S2 Generator doesn't have "style=mine" in the link, so it comes out bland or in destination style.

2. Viewing a thread seems to have same problem -- it uses the default bland style, neither the viewer's style nor the journal owner's style.

3. In S2 Generator, the inline / same page "add comment" box shows up as being hugely wide. This doesn't seem configurable. Why default the main text flow to 600px, when the text entry box forces scrolling?

4. Text entry boxes always have a white background, even when I've set all my other colors to be dark / jewel-tone. Again, doesn't seem configurable.

5. The "action buttons" on one's own journal pages (back, edit, tag, memory, next; also, freeze, screen, delete comments) are not editable, and they are all a bit too bright to go with a darker color scheme.

6. All the default color combinations for S2 Generator are horrid. Why not at least offer clones of the S1 Generator colors (which had a nice light-on-blue scheme that was at least tolerable...)

7. "Preview comment" doesn't show the comment or entry being commented upon. This means that it's difficult to use it for checkpointing, or anything beyond final proofreading. (It would be nice to use it as a "ok, finished this bit of thought, let me save that and make sure it actually makes sense as a response...)

8. Would be nice to get tag entries in the same very-condensed form you can get the month-by-month entries. Especially if that also displayed the other tags on each entry. (For that matter, displaying tags for entries even within the monthly view would be a nice thing.)

9. Speaking of which, it would be nice if there were a top-level "all tags for this user" browser available, with each tag defined to go to the display desired in (8) above.
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LJ has tags! [Jun. 17th, 2005|12:20 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |dorky]
[music |Skinny Puppy - Last Rights - Scrapyard]

Noticed when I posted the silver star piece earlier tonight.

In a fine example of yak shaving, I first had to switch to Style System S2, since S1 doesn't support tags at all. Then I spent a fair bit of time trying to come up with reasonable colors; most of the preset color combinations were bletcherous one way or another. (Is this an ICEPICK IN MY FOREHEAD? Why yes, I think it is! — thank you, jwz!)

Extra annoyance points for not having an easy (or at least obvious) way to tell it "switch to S2, but use the same colors I had before, even if they were in S1...)

My OCD moment for the night came when I realized that the default text for music and mood is those words in all lower-case, while tags (which you can't currently customize the text on) has an initial cap. The inconsistency bothers me (which I could fix by adjusting music and mood to have initial capitals), but I'd really like them to all be lower-case. deliriumdreams just laughed and called me OCD. Hm...

Anyway, got that sorted, and went back and tagged my entries for 2005.

So I'm curious about a few things; if you have the time to write back:

1. What do you think of the new colors? They look fine on my big LCD in a mostly-dark room, and I'll see how they work out tomorrow on a CRT in a brighter room. I suspect there is a bit of tweaking left to be done. (It would also be fabulous if there were a darker set of "owner icons" — the ones that let you edit journals, unscreen comments and the like; the light grey is a bit much on my very dark colors.)

2. What do you think of my set of tags? These are very much first-cut, and I've already done some revision. Some of the tags are too specific, some will not get used enough to be worth their own tag, others are maybe too broad.

I already know that "diary" is going to be used quite a bit, but I would like some way to distinguish between "this is what I did today" and "here's a random link or reaction to something I read on the net". I almost called it "rambling"...

3. What do you think of how the entries are tagged? Does it seem to map well? Does it help at all, or is this just an exercise in pedantry? (Not that that would stop me, but...)

Thanks! Even if you don't want to respond, I hope that others will pick up some tagging; and if nobody else does, I'll still be able to find subsets of my entries pretty quickly. Yay. (Although the win from tagging isn't but a fraction of the win I'd see if everyone used reasonable "subject" lines in their entries; going into someone's monthly view and seeing hundreds of "(no subject)" lines is just... ouch.)
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women in the military [Jun. 16th, 2005|10:50 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |impressedimpressed]
[music |The Passengers - Original Soundtracks 1 - Miss Sarajevo]

Should be banned, especially from combat, because they just can't hack it, right?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050616/ap_on_re_us/woman_silver_star;_ylt=AgpsoTWxY06xl.QxVPhaRDms0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2M2YzbmJmBHNlYwN1cw--

Female army sargeant earns Silver Star, first one earned by a woman since World War II.

While I don't agree with the fact that we're having this conflict at all, I do support our troops that are out there trying to be as honorable as possible. There are a lot of them, and they deserve a much more honorable chain of command than what they've got...
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the rabbit speaks much truth [Jun. 14th, 2005|11:25 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |pensivepensive]
[music |Apoptygma Berzerk - Harmonizer - Detroit Tickets]

http://www.rabbitblog.com/
Only those with the courage to present their full, flawed selves to someone else get to have the kind of love that people write songs about. The rest, the ones that would prefer to hide, to borrow other people's things, to stay out of reach, to foster illusion, are destined to hear statements that they know are empty. They hear the same love songs, and like to think that such sweet words apply to them, but they know deep down inside that they don't. Their lovers are not the ones who look into their eyes and say, "I love you, flaws and all." Their lovers mutter their devotion as they walk past them, toward the door.
To the point where reading it makes me physically uncomfortable... which tells me that I need to pay more attention.

And/or drink more. Guess which is on the agenda for tonight?
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tsunami warning cancelled [Jun. 14th, 2005|10:30 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Cirque du Soleil - Mystere - Ulysse]

Just in case people don't go back and read my previous entry, the warning's been cancelled. I took a look at the ocean, didn't see anything out of the ordinary at 22:15 which is about when it should have hit here if the predictions were correct.

Oh well. Maybe next time. :)
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tsunami warning? [Jun. 14th, 2005|09:05 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |curiouscautious]
[music |emergency alert system]

EDIT: 2005-06-14 10:25 PDT: Warning was cancelled a while ago; I took a look anyway, saw a big pile of nothing. Thanks for everyone's concern, though (even after I told you to not worry. Sheesh. Bunch o' virtual Moms...)

[Why not worry? Because. That's my place in the circle, and that's 5 flights of stairs down to the walkway ... which is itself above the high tide line.]

EDIT: 2005-06-14 10:35 PDT: Bad me, I should have credited that photo to the California Coastal Records Project; my particular section of coast is here.

for the recordCollapse )
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phoenix: deliriumdreams, audra, fun [Jun. 13th, 2005|10:55 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , , , , , ]
[mood |pleasedpleased]
[music |Porno for Pyros - Good God's Urge - In The Thick Of It All]

Whew, busy week.

last week's trip to DallasCollapse )

I think I've decided that the single most annoying aspect of right-wingers (although more than a few lefties have it as well) is their supreme arrogance that they know the answers, and that those answers just happen to work out well in their favor. How... convenient.

Anyway, rest of week at work was uneventful; finally got a big project thing checked in. There's lots of work yet to be done, but it's all grunt work; the architecture and lifecycle issues are mostly put to bed.

On Friday I flew to Phoenix to meet up with the lovely and sexy deliriumdreams for a few days of visiting and going to concerts.

Our weekend trip to PhoenixCollapse )

A great weekend, and I wasn't even all that thragged. She'll just have to try harder next time. :)
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random new acquaintances [Jun. 4th, 2005|09:40 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |complacentcomplacent]
[music |Eric Henderson - Castillian Knights - La Maja de Goya]

Felt a little guilty for sleeping in despite having made vague plans with my sister, but since they slept in as well, I don't feel too bad. :) Lounged around the house until about one, then headed out to Ranchos for lunch.

I'd been planning on sitting by myself and working on the Reader's crossword puzzle, but R was there and invited me to sit with her group of friends. They were lots of fun: the two gentlemen were both geeks (one at IBM, one a gov't contractor, both working with computers) and generally leftist, Tilley-wearing, world-travelling good people. As we were finishing, we were accosted by the food reviewer for the Reader, who is a charming fellow from New Zealand. We'll have to see if our quotes show up in next week's review...

After eating, we walked over to a local supermarket (because R had remembered a good deal on compact flourescents, which T wanted to buy a handful of and bring home to Maryland(!)), then R went to the pier while the rest of us walked to the Ocean Beach People's Co-Op; I wanted to pick up some soap, and V and M wanted to show T and S the spiffy new building.

From there, I went to Obee's while the other four headed over to Dog Beach. I finally got around to working on the crossword puzzle, which wasn't as easy as usual -- there were two spots that had me stumped. At least I did better than the bartender T, who usually outclasses me easily at crossword puzzles. If it weren't for the fact that he's from England, he'd completely blow me away; as it is, some of the more obscure Americanisms still escape him.

Finally, someone turned up the scenery knob today. Just at Obee's, there were three girls who were insanely attractive; add that to the cute waitress, and one of the cutest waitresses from another pub stopping by for a drink, and it was very distracting. Earlier, there was some wonderful scenery at the co-op -- not surprising, really: take a town that is [in]famous for it's fabulously fit population, and hang out at the health food store. Wow.

A nice day of decompression. Which should come in handy, as a friend is coming over for some computer help tomorrow, then I'm flying to DFW for work Monday-Tuesday, then to PHX next weekend for a show (but I get to see deliriumdreams, YAY!), and lots more travel, visitors, and general busy-ness. Whew.
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sister been and gone [Jun. 4th, 2005|09:30 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |satisfiedsatisfied]
[music |Diary of Dreams - Hex Files 3 - Wild]

My sister L and her husband A (ventidrip) were in town for a few days; it was nice to see them again, especially when L had more spare time (last time was at A's sister's wedding, so it was a bit hectic.)

Wednesday night, we were just going to grab a quick dinner, but we ended up going over the bridge to Coronado for a bit, then picking up her college friend E in Pacific Beach. From there I took them to Ranchos for a quick bite of dinner, then dropped them back off at their respective hotels.

[sis at wild animal park]I took a half-day on Thursday to go to the Wild Animal Park with L. Yes, again. We just did the tram and a quick walk though the "Heart of Africa" exhibit, which was about the right amount of walking for her (she's expecting in August or so.) That's the nicest thing about shelling out for the yearly membership: going to the park for just an hour or two is fine, you don't feel like you're wasting lots of money if you have to leave early. (And at 40$ a pop to get in, that could sting a bit. I'm at the 120$/yr membership level, which gets me and a guest into one or the other park for free once a day, with free parking at the W.A.P. to boot -- I've definitely made that money back this year...)

She took a few hours to recover and meet up with her husband; I went and collected E, then the four of us met up at South Beach for yummy fish tacos. It has been really insanely crowded there lately, and even the waitstaff had no idea what was causing it. We had to be pretty serious table vultures just to get a place to sit down; I can't imagine what it's like if you go in there not being familiar with the Ocean Beach Slacker Seating Rules. The tacos were very good, though -- I just have to figure out how to make it there on weekday afternoons so I can enjoy the yummy food (and look at the cute waitresses!) without having to deal with huge crowds and loud music...

We took a quick jaunt up to La Jolla to see the seals, then dropped E off at her hotel. Back to O.B. so that L and A could pick up their car, and we called it a night. We made vague plans to meet up Friday (which got called off on account of us all being exhausted), and talked about maybe going to the Midway Museum on Saturday (which didn't happen because we all slept in). Oh well...

It was a lot of fun having them visit, and I hope they make it back soon.
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upcoming visits [Jun. 1st, 2005|12:05 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |thankfulthankful]
[music |808 State - Outpost Transmission - Orange Testa]

More notes for myself:

06-01 - 06-04: Sister, her husband ventidrip, and her friend L from college are in town for various conferences and vacations. Only firm plans are the Wild Animal Park on Thursday afternoon, then all four of us getting together for dinner that evening. I'm pushing for dinner Wednesday and Friday as well; I figure that we'll figure out most of the plans just a few hours before they happen...

06-08 - 06-09: Work trip to Dallas. I might be able to get away for a few hours that evening and hang out with my friends in the area, but it's likely that we'll try to do a social "get to know our counterparts" activity that evening.

06-10 - 06-12: Trip to Phoenix to see a concert Friday evening and hang out with friends all Saturday. We (deliriumdreams and I) might have to leave early Sunday to get decent fares, but other than that, should be massive fun.

06-17 - 06-24: My friend J from Seattle is visiting for a week, split between here and Phoenix. The tail end of the visit overlaps with other plans of mine, but we should have a great time the first weekend. He's promised to help me make it through my backlog of Bonny Doon wine club shipments...

06-19: Coworker getting married here in town.

06-23 - 06-26: S and T getting married in Chicago on the 25th. deliriumdreams and I are going up for Thursday through Sunday (I'm actually staying until Monday morning to get a better fare). Should be lots of fun; quite a few of the pod are going to be there.

07-04: A bunch of people are getting together in Denver (mostly at nirikrss's place, and intending to go to the Colorado Renaissance Faire in Larkspur). Very tempting to try to get J and the kiddos up there for that, as it will be huge fun for everyone. Logistics are a bit dicy, though... and the thought of driving back down to Albuquerque with five of us in a smallish vehicle is scary. Also worried that I might be all visited-out at that point...
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memorial day visits [May. 31st, 2005|11:55 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Skinny Puppy - Bites & Remission - Smothered Hope]

Had a wonderful visit with J and S, as well as chancellor_d this weekend. It was far too short, but we had lots of fun. They arrived Friday evening, and we had some yummy Ranchos for dinner. Turns out that S and D's friend D2 knew a lot of people in common, and both played guitar. In fact, the rest of that evening was an impromptu guitar session at my house; D and I were just slacking and listening, but J, S, and D2 went on for quite a while.

D2 is hitchhiking and ridesharing his way around the Southwest; he's based out of Austin, Texas, and came in with chancellor_d. One of his ex-girlfriends is in the area, and she came over to pick him up. The guess is that the weird hippy / geek / guitar factor freaked her out a little bit, but she stuck around for a few songs anyway.

Saturday we went to the beach. I had a new sunshade that I'd never tried before (worked well, although I need longer stakes to feel comfortable that it won't blow over in the wind), so that was fun for my geeky ex-boy-scout side. We grabbed a few sandwiches at Poma's along the way, and spent a couple of hours on the beach. It was sunny and warm when we got there, then about two hours later the marine layer came back in. J and S went for a couple of long walks, and D mostly napped. :) I whiled away the time looking at the cute scenery, then went for a bit of a swim -- the water was bracing but not painfully cold. Must swim more this summer. (And might chop all my hair off to do so...)

We had some yummy fish tacos that night -- J and S had only ever had Denver-based fish tacos, so they were pleasantly surprised by the yumminess. A few more beers were sampled, but we went to bed pretty early.

Sunday we had a slow start; eventually we got lunch at Newbreak Coffee. D took off to see the boats and then drive either up to LA or back to PHX, while the rest of us went up to the Wild Animal Park. I'd never been there on a weekend before, and it was packed! It took us almost two hours to get onto the tram ... which was fine, since it was warm enough that walking the whole time would have been a drag. Interesting conversation in line, too; an older couple next to us were nice enough, but we very carefully avoided most political talk after they mentioned they'd just gotten back from a religious mission to Africa. J and S had to head north after that, while I just came back home and relaxed.

Monday was a nice lazy day: lunch at Ranchos; worked through the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle. Only drama was a friend who called me for help moving her out of a house due to relationship doom, but it seems that things got smoothed over for now. Hope it works out for them...
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job posting off sdpm [May. 25th, 2005|12:05 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |awake]
[music |Joy Division - Substance - Love Will Tear Us Apart]

Caught this on the San Diego Perl Mongers list. Since I've heard some people on my friends list talking about looking for work, I thought I'd post it.
From: jp@osft.com
Subject: Perl User Group - Request

Wanted 10 Perl Java C++ developers with a Unix and or Linux background. This is a re-write for a large firm on the west coast. Roles are available for candidates at Junior to Intermediate experience levels. Skills in order of experience and ability - Perl, Java, C++. Contracts will start ASAP.

Please send resumes to jp@osft.com.

Thanks

Jay Parmar
Opensoft Inc.
Phone: 416-260-2656 x221
Fax: 416-260-5973
e-mail: jp@osft.com
(That is an Ontario, Canada, area code -- so there might be the potential for remote work here as well. I have no experience or connection with this comany, though, so caveat lector...)
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new car trivia, weekend update [May. 24th, 2005|01:10 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Moscow [Remix] - Accelerator - FSoL]

prius blah blah blah squee blah yay blahCollapse )

This last weekend was pleasantly laid back; bob_and_natalie came over Saturday evening to hit Ranchos and Obee's, which meant that we ate well and I had an excuse to put the front room in order. Tony (bartender at Obee's) gave us a weird look for playing Trivial Pursuit: 90s Time Capsule Version ("...the most trivial of decades..."). Natalie won. *sulk*

Then I spent most of Sunday afternoon working on last year's World Puzzle Foundation's sample puzzles. I got about 80% of them done, and I got about 60% correct. There were a few that I just got fed up with: there is some cleverness involved in reducing the search space, but at that point you just have to proceed by trial and error, and if I'm not going to solve it on the computer, I'm damned if I'm gonna do it with pencil and paper.

Not that I'm still wound up about it or anything.

Anyway, this week is finishing getting the house in order for guests this coming weekend. Yay! If anyone here in San Diego (or L.A. or Phoenix or however far you care to drive) and at loose ends, we're likely going to do touristy things and maybe spend some time on the beach and such. Others are welcome to join us.
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one more meme: books [May. 20th, 2005|03:40 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |truant]
[music |Synaesthesia - Disideratum - Tubastrea Aurea]

1. Total number of books I own:

I have no idea what the actual number is. I can probably most easily express it by length:

9m of technical books;
3m of general-audience science books;
6m of paperbacks, mostly sci-fi/fantasy;
1m of self-help / philosophy / pop psychology books;
1m of comic / humor books;
1m of reference;
1m of large format atlas / art books

2. The last book(s) I bought:

Two books on Web Services in Java (yawn) and a collection of Randal Schwartz's perl columns (most of which I'd read, but he was going to be in town so I'd have him sign them -- too bad the meeting didn't happen.)

3. The last book I read:

To completion? Hm. Don't remember, actually.

In progress? Understanding Physics by Isaac Asimov. Painfully out of date, but a good refresher in classical physics.

4. Five books that I re-read often, or that mean a lot to me:

David Kiersey - Please Understand Me II: It seems silly to put it this way, but it was my final revelation that it was ok to be weird, and in fact I'm weird in an an entirely reasonably and statistically supported way.

Elizabeth Moon - The Deed of Paksennarion: Not particularly deep (and, in fact, its deeper aspects actively annoy me, with the assumption that humans alone cannot face the world without supernatural assistance) but very well-written, convincing, and easy multiple readings.

Douglas Hofstaedter - Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid: I didn't read this until a few years after I finished my CS and Math degrees, so much of the technical side was stuff I'd dealt with at least academically. The way he tied it together with art, aesthetics, and philosophy, as well as simply providing an enlightening description of the mathematics, impressed me quite a bit. Also, reading this book gave me the weirdest dreams I can remember.

J.R.R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Ok, so that makes me a lemming. But there were a few years where I would always take a day or two out of Winter Break and re-read the entire trilogy from front to back. I acknowledge David Brin's points on why it's not entirely happy, but it was still my introduction to high heroic fantasy, and it's still something I can enjoy sitting down and reading a few chapters here and there.

I can't think of a single book for the last position, and I'm sure I'll think of many others later. I'd probably put in anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, due to the sheer beauty of his prose. My only complaint with him is that, while his writing is just getting more and more beautiful, his subject matter is getting less and less magical -- and damnit, I want magic. :)
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easily lead: the cd meme [May. 19th, 2005|08:40 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |blahblah]

And now for the CD version:

1. Total number of albums I own on CD:

Somewhere north of 2500. (A partial, out-of-date list dating from about 2002, can be found here.) I own a very few (<10) pieces of vinyl, almost all old Sisters of Mercy releases.

2. The last CD I bought:

Three CDs by Sarah Fimm when she opened for Peter Murphy this last weekend.

3. The last CD I listened to:

Recorded? Snake River Conspiracy's Sonic Jihad was in the car.

Live music? Peter Murphy at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., this last Sunday; Sarah Fimm opened.

4. Five CDs that I listen to a lot or that mean a lot to me:

So very hard to narrow it down to just 5.

This Mortal Coil - filigree & shadow
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
Peter Murphy - Deep
Sisters of Mercy - Floodland
Delirium - Karma

5. Five people I'm passing this onto, and why:

Still not passing this on.
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easily lead: the dvd meme [May. 18th, 2005|09:40 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Lycia - Beneath The Icy Floe, Vol 5 - Pray]

Blame ramona.

1. Total number of films I own on DVD/video:

Two. And one is a collection of PC "demos", so I'm not sure if that qualifies as a "film" or not.

(Huh, does pr0n count? I have a few of those...)

2. The last film I bought:

The MindCandy DVD mentioned above.

3. The last film I watched:

deliriumdreams and I watched Einstürtzende Neubauten's ½ Mensch and Immortel: Ad Vitam on the way back from DC this last weekend. And I saw about the first half of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers [Extended Edition] at jettdelirium's place.

4. Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:

Hm. Not sure I can think of films that mean a lot to me. My friends all quote Monty Python at each other, so that's a bonding experience of sorts.

5. Five people I'm passing this onto, and why:

Nope, the muck stops here. :)

Happy now, ramona?
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dc trip: back safe [May. 17th, 2005|03:00 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , , , ]
[mood |tiredtired]

Just a quick entry because my internet connection is being very very flaky at the moment. But I made it back safe and sound to San Diego, with only three America West Annoyances™ along the way:

1. Incoming flight to our Las Vegas connection came into terminal C, our outbound flights were in A and B. But you have to go outside the security perimeter and then back in. WTF?

2. deliriumdreams's connecting flight wasn't listed on the monitors. Eventually found it.

3. My connecting flight had 30 minutes of "miscellaneous repairs" done while we're all sitting in the cabin. At least they didn't try to keep us from using electronics while we wait. (I have an 2nd-gen iPod that I use along with these, and they came in very handy.)

And now that I've whined, the good stuff: it was lovely to finally meet all of J and K's friends out there that I've heard so much about, and occasionally read their LJ posts. Seeing Peter Murphy live again was great, although he's gotten nuttier in the intervening 8 years. And DC (particularly the Smithsonian) is a place that I could spend lots of time geeking in, even if I'd have to spend the other half ranting about how "everything is white, to remind you that only rich white people run the place" (thanks, Jett!)

And my nephews are noticably better behaved than when they were two. Surprise.

Will hopefully write up more soon, but if I don't, it was a great weekend and I'm really not looking forward to work tomorrow. (Especially as that 3:00 timestamp is not at all a typo.)
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subaru legacy vs. toyota prius [May. 9th, 2005|11:20 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |nerdy]
[music |Die Form - H/stories I - Re-Search]

Just to have the numbers in one place...

fight!Collapse )

To amplify those milage numbers -- the EPA numbers for the Suby are dead on; I got 22 mpg on my commute (aggressive in-city highway driving), and 28 on longer road trips. So far, the Prius is turning in 45 mpg on the same commute I got 22 on.

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"python" challenge [May. 8th, 2005|01:40 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |dorky]
[music |Lou Reed - Until the End of the World - What's Good]

Ganked from memepool, someone has a puzzle that they intend to be solved with python. Being a geek but not python fan (I don't dislike python, just haven't found a good reason to learn it yet), I thought I'd try to solve it otherwise.

spoilersCollapse )

Yay for drinking too much too early in the evening, so now I'm awake, with a slight headache, and feeling just blah.

link6 comments|post comment

internet access with motorola v710 and verizon wireless [May. 6th, 2005|11:10 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , , ]
[mood |geeky]
[music |Audra - Audra - The Dancing Images]

The new car has Bluetooth. My old phone was getting pretty beat up and all I had left were aftermarket car chargers for it — not surprising, as I bought it when I moved out here three and a half years ago. So I went looking for a new phone.

Read more...Collapse )

So now I can get internet almost anywhere I'm likely to go. Rockin'.

(Also, iSync in Tiger supposedly works much better with the V710. I tried it with the Panther iSync, and it didn't work too well. I'll see if there are other options for that, though. If I'm going to install Tiger, I will likely wipe the HD and send it in for some repair first.)
link1 comment|post comment

rube goldberg vacation [May. 2nd, 2005|01:00 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Mike Scott - I Know She's in the Building]

deliriumdreams and I are developing a knack for convoluted vacations. Last August it was San Diego to San Francisco in 48 hours using trains, cars, planes, and a boat ride. (Granted, that last was just a trip around the bay, but...)

This weekend we got together in Phoenix and then spent Saturday night in Sedona. Of course, this was last minute, and between wanting to find cheap(ish) flights and the fact that my poor old car needs to get back to Denver eventually: I drove from SD to PHX Friday night after work, got to chancellor_d's place about 12:30. He promptly tortured me with bad late-night TV, but we had some beers, some talk, and some geeking.

deliriumdreams flew in from Albuquerque the next day, and the three of us grabbed some Mexican food. After lunch, J and I drove up to Sedona taking it pretty easy. She'd never been to Sedona nor even driven I-17 during daylight hours, so she was loving the scenery. We had dinner at Shagrue's, stayed at A Sunset Chateau bed and breakfast, drove the Red Rocks Loop Road on Sunday, then drove up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff.

After an early dinner at Beaver Street Brewery (cheese fondue and apple-ginger stout cake), we drove up Three Sisters to Arizona Snowbowl (she wanted to see snow). I scared her a bit on the way down, then she dropped me off at the Flagstaff airport for my flight to SD (via Phoenix, of course.), while she drove Suby to Albuquerque.

We both made it home intact and basically on schedule. She got home before I did, which I find kinda amusing -- but given that I had a 90-minute layover in PHX, not too surprising. We'll definitely plan more of these weekends meeting in the middle -- especially if we book further in advance, I hope that a weekend in Las Vegas would be cheap; we could use the extra money to check out some Cirque du Soleil shows. :)
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"it comes in PINTS?!?" [Apr. 29th, 2005|12:10 am]
Tkil
[Tags|]
[mood |draineddrained]
[music |yet more chunka-chunka]

Almost forgot. I gave blood two weeks ago (April 15th). If I've been keeping my records accurately, this is my 40th donation, making 5 gallons total. A pretty scary thought.

(Actually documenting this would be really hard: I've donated with quite a few different blood banks -- Las Cruces, Denver, Fort Collins, Ruston [Louisiana], and the two here in San Diego.)

I'm not a bad person, but I don't often go out of my way to help people much. Giving blood seems as good a way as any to try to offset that...
link13 comments|post comment

poor subaru! (part 2) [Apr. 28th, 2005|11:35 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |relievedrelieved]
[music |more hard disk chunka-chunka]

Apparently the retirement of the old car and acquisition of the new one was just in time. Fates (or, at least, my subconscious) is telling me that Suby isn't long for these roads.

the first sign: green means SQUEAKCollapse )
the second sign: SCRAAAAPE!Collapse )

Still, two incidents in the space of a few hours? Mrr? (And don't get me started on how glad I am that it was poor old Suby that had the bad luck that night -- Suby doesn't deserve it, but I don't want to think how I'd feel if I'd scratched the Prius just a few days after I bought it. Would be like dropping my PowerBook after just a week or two -- and I only need to do stupid things like that once in a very long while... :)
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new car [Apr. 28th, 2005|11:00 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |chipperchipper]
[music |hard drive going chunka-chunka]

Last week, I lamented the impending retirement of the poor old Subaru. I've known it was coming for a while, so I've been thinking about what to get next for a while. With the news that Suby is on its last legs, I finally got around to serious shopping.

Tuesday I started calling around to different dealerships to see what my options were for a particular car, and to put my name on a waiting list. Surprisingly enough, the second place I called had almost exactly what I was looking for in stock (the "almost" was the interior trim color, everything else was what I wanted)... so I bought it. Meet the new toy:
[2005 Toyota Prius]

It's a 2005 Prius with "super white" exterior paint, gray / burgundy interior (mostly gray), and option package #6.

At the moment, it has about 130 miles on it. :)

This is the first time I've ever bought a new car. I know that the money is not in my favor, especially with this car being in pretty high demand. (Stupid news stories about high cost of gas recently didn't make me any more confident of availability, either.) But the process was pretty painless, I paid basically MSRP+destination fee, and they didn't push the add-ons too hard. Still took four hours to complete the transaction, and I don't make so much money that the check for 31+k$ wasn't a bit of a wince.

But. New car! :)

It drives really well, and has some great geek toys in it (GPS+map, real-time MPG, steering wheel controls, "smart" keyless entry, etc etc). So far I'm averaging right around 40 mpg, and I'm told that will go up slightly after the break-in period. I look forward to taking it on long trips after that, as it is noticably thriftier on cruise control.

Hopefully this Prius will serve me just as well as the Subaru did.
link13 comments|post comment

poor subaru! [Apr. 23rd, 2005|12:30 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |nostalgicnostalgic]
[music |Genesis - Invisible Touch - Land of Confusion]

My Subaru is old and tired. It had a checkup today, and it's starting to fall apart. I could get those bits fixed ... for 5000 dollars. Blue book on the poor beastie? Less than 3000, probably closer to 2000. [Edit: 2000 is if a dealer goes out of their way to make it look good. Private sale? About 1000.]

We've been through a lot together, this little car and me. 130000 miles. 7 years. 3 serious girlfriends (and the concomittant grayhounds / kids in the back seat!). One road rage grazing (with my parents in the back seat, natch!); one scraping, one full-on Tkil Stupidity (tm) notch in the front bumper.

Read more...Collapse ) [Tkil Shadow, Mt Evans, Colorado, USA]

All in all, Suby has been a fantastic car, and I'm very sad to see it go. If nothing else, I'll see if I can't arrange for it to have a few relaxing years with my dad in Denver -- the all wheel drive ought to serve him well, and so long as he's not going too far, I'm sure Suby will be as good a trooper for him as it's been for me.

Would I get another Subaru? If I lived in an area with any inclement weather at all, I'd very likely do so -- but living in southern California, and contemplating moving back to New Mexico, I just can't justify the costs of the AWD system.

So far, I'm thinking about buying a Prius. I'm not looking forward to paying MSRP or better, nor to having to get on a waiting list, but the thought of 50+ MPG is very tempting. I haven't called around yet, though, so we'll see if that's what I end up with or not.

No matter what, I salute the Suby. Well driven!

link11 comments|post comment

visits [Apr. 21st, 2005|10:10 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |chipperanticipatory]
[music |Ministry - Filth Pig - Lay Lady Lay]

So to try to keep my head on straight...

schemesCollapse )

Somewhere in there I'd love to make time to get up to SLO or out to Phoenix. I'm thinking more seriously about getting another car, so a long trip would be a fun way to break it in...
link2 comments|post comment

bad chair [Apr. 16th, 2005|10:10 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Burque Luv]

My latest art project. I call it:

Just shows how handy it is to have some rope around the house.
link29 comments|post comment

visits: past and future [Apr. 14th, 2005|03:05 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , , ]

Once again, events got away from me.

Coming down off a very busy month. Recovering a bit emotionally, although work is still dragging me down.

Deliriumdreams descendsCollapse )
More NM visitorsCollapse )
And a Denver WeddingCollapse )

Since then, just picking up the pieces and trying to keep up. Work is dragging me down a little bit, but I suppose that's why they pay me so well.

I'm looking forward to having some fabulous visitors soon: jinglechelle will be down sometime in May; J will likely be here on May 13th; J & S will be here over Memorial Day weekend; A might also be here then; I will hopefully visit with jettdelirium May 15th or so (oops, overbooked, time to clarify!)... and more.

One of my coworkers is getting married in mid-June, and one of my LJ friends two weeks later. (In Chicago! Be scared, oh windy city!) So those are two more events that I need to scheme for...

I hope all my friends' lives are as full as mine is. :)
link6 comments|post comment

slang [Apr. 10th, 2005|10:30 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Golden Palominos - Pure - No Skin]

From the Online Slang Dictionary, brought to my attention by the delightful memccann:
frogger v 1. to change lanes rapidly while driving in an attempt to get ahead of the traffic. Origin: in an 1980s video game of the same name, the goal was to navigate a frog safely across several lanes of heavy traffic. Often this required changing between lanes very quickly to avoid being squished.
Anyone who has ever had the dubious pleasure of driving with me in California knows exactly what this is talking about...

Edit:
"I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my squishy."
"Don't cross the memes!"
link3 comments|post comment

dating profile [Mar. 29th, 2005|10:35 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |amusedavoidant]
[music |Beth Quist - Shall We Dance - Ritual]

Ok, so I'm procrastinating something fierce. Spotted a link to a dating profile test on stop_no_dont's journal, thought I'd give it a whirl.

After a bit of reformatting, the results were:

You matched the following traits:

# My Traits Ideal Match Traits
1 Liberal
Politics matters to you, and you aren't afraid to share your left-leaning views. You would never be caught voting for a conservative candidate.
Shy
You are put off by people who are open books. You are drawn to someone who is a bit more mysterious. You want to draw her out of her shell and get to know what she is all about.
2 Wealthy/Ambitious
You know what your goals are and you pursue them vigourously. Achieving success is important to you.
Liberal
You need a person who has liberal opinions and beliefs. You are engaged by political discussions and would find a liberal viewpoint refreshing in a date.
3 Intellectual
You consider your mind amongst your assets. Learning is not a chore but a constant search after wisdom and knowledge. You value education and rationality.
Intellectual
You seek out intelligence. Idle chit-chat is not what you are after. You prefer your date who can stimulate your mind.
4 Shy Practical
5 Big-Hearted Adventurous
6 Sensual Traditional
7 Practical Funny
8 Adventurous Big-Hearted
9 Traditional Stylish
10 Stylish Romantic

I can hear the heckling already...

link11 comments|post comment

technolust: squeezebox 2 [Mar. 8th, 2005|10:45 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |excitedcovetous]
[music |Pulp - Different Class - Mis-Shapes]

Want!

[squeezebox 2]

I have one of their 2nd gen devices (the base SqueezeBox; their 1st gen was the SliMP3, and there has been one substantial display upgrade to the SqueezeBox that I would call "gen 2.5") and have been quite happy with it.

And their software is freely downloadable for everyone, even if you don't have their hardware -- it's open source, in Perl, and can publish mp3 streams so you can use your favorite player.

This addresses my main concern (802.11g wireless) while adding all sorts of yumminess (native FLAC support, higher res / greyscale screen). Want want want!
link2 comments|post comment

route 66 meme [Mar. 8th, 2005|06:30 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |take a wild guess]

Feeling silly, so: bold the cities you've visited. Preferably, in the spirit of the song, those you've driven through. Bonus points if you've lived in any of them...

Chicago, IL (I-90 / I-80)
St. Louis, MO (I-70, I-44)
Joplin, MO (I-44)
Oklahoma City, OK (I-40, I-35)
Amarillo, TX (I-40, I-27)
Gallup, NM (I-40)
Flagstaff, AZ (I-40, I-17)
Winona, AZ (I-40)
Kingman, AZ (I-40)
Barstow, CA (I-15, I-40)
San Bernadino, CA (I-10, I-15)
Los Angeles, CA (I-10, I-5)

Update: The point, of course, is for you to post this in your own journal. :)
link12 comments|post comment

chirp! [Mar. 4th, 2005|01:20 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |chirp chirp]

This one is for thatdamnninja, who was haunted by a very noisy bird this week. (He's currently on vicodin, so now he's just mildly annoyed as opposed to being thrown into a homicidal (ornithocidal?) rage...)

In case he misses it after it leaves, I made a recording for him to remember those sweet, sweet chirps by.

TDN, this bird's for you.

[Geek fodder: that was recorded with my iSight and PowerBook, transferred to my linux box where I transcoded it from AIFF/WAV to MP3 with Audacity and LAME. The miracles of modern technology...]
link6 comments|post comment

depressed [Feb. 22nd, 2005|08:25 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |morosedefeated]

And every time I sit down to post, I just feel the energy sucked out of me.

And I find gems like this, that make me think that this world (and this nation in particular) is going downhill and I feel entirely helpless to stop it.

(Before you tell me to become politically active, note that I barely have the energy to fix my own life, let alone the rest of the world... and that's assuming I even know what it means to "fix" things. Maybe this is already the best it can be, and the neocons are right, and we should just buck down and shoot everyone who disagrees with us.)

Yes, I know that is a totally stupid thing to get all bent out of shape about. But it symbolizes so much -- the fact that pleasure must be considered sinful, the fact that the stupid majority can impose their irrational fears and neuroses on others, and the fact that it shouldn't fucking matter, yet the effort and time and money is being spent BY OUR FUCKING GOVERNMENT to oppress minorities. God FUCKING damnit.
link5 comments|post comment

Churchill Quote Quiz [Jan. 24th, 2005|03:10 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|]

The BBC has a nifty Churchill Quote Quiz up. I surprised myself by getting 9 out of 10 correct...
link2 comments|post comment

bunny suicides [Jan. 22nd, 2005|08:55 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Mari Boine - Remixed - Ale Ale Don]

Blame nirikrss for this one. The sad side of the Happy Bunny phenomenon, when even insulting others can't make life worth living:



Update: in case it wasn't obvious, the image above is a link to the author's page where there are lots more of these. Happy End It All Bunny Day!
link2 comments|post comment

amusing few days [Jan. 22nd, 2005|01:40 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |accomplished]

Well, deliriumdreams had to go back home this week, which makes me very sad. It also means I can get more sleep (which is funny, because she sleeps way more when I'm around than when I'm not...)
papering the neighborhoodCollapse )
boring work stuffCollapse )
the monitor storyCollapse )
link14 comments|post comment

geekette on the loose [Jan. 13th, 2005|11:40 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |drunkdrunk]
[music |The Lotus Eaters: A Dead Can Dance tribute]

Mostly for philoticjane, but even I giggle every time I pass this car:

boys lie / nice boot, wanna fsck? / *sigh*
link2 comments|post comment

collide live [Jan. 11th, 2005|01:20 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , , ]
[mood |contentcontent]
[music |rain]

deliriumdreams and I saw Collide at Brick by Brick tonight. It was a great show! They're touring the West Coast right now -- if you get a chance, check them out.

The opening act was Call Me Alice; they were pretty interesting, had a lot of fun, and had lots of fans in the crowd. There was a weirdness where it felt like a bunch of Stevie Nicks impersonators had gone to an anime / goth cosplay event and tried to act like Hole, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. (And they were very perky and friendly after the event, too -- I didn't pick up their CDs this time, but since they're local, I hope to see them again.)

Collide is mostly Karin and Statik (complete with sTuDLyCaPS!), but they had a full band on this tour. The oddball was probably the bassist, who was playing something very odd for most of the show -- it almost looked like a Chapman Stick, but it had a body on it. The rest of the band was up to snuff, rather more rocking than I would have expected. Statik and Karin both lived up to image; he looked like an extra from The Matrix and she was more beautiful than I'd expected, and wearing a very classy "techno-geisha" outfit. Mmmm.

Speaking of visuals, there were a few girls that I'd been watching off and on throughout the evening, and we ended up standing behind two of them in the crowd for the main set. One, a tiny (and I do mean tiny) little woman, was really getting into it, swaying and gyrating. Her butch girlfriend left for a bit, and when the frat boy next to her got touchy, she started making out with a leather-n-chains girl on her other side... And when the girlfriend returned, she joined in.

I couldn't resist telling them that they'd succeeded in making me jealous of all three of them. :)

A fun night for all.
link2 comments|post comment

4000+ miles later [Jan. 10th, 2005|03:25 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |tiredtired]

Back. Very very tired. Snow in San Diego County. Rain at my place. Left gas cap in Arizona. Night night...
link2 comments|post comment

gaming day: saturday, january 15th, 2005 [Jan. 5th, 2005|11:55 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]

First gaming afternoon of the New Year! Starts at 2:00p on Saturday, January 15th. Bring weird card, board, dice, and word games you want to try out (pretty much anything except money gambling and role playing games are, uh, fair game.)

Any takers?
link14 comments|post comment

the word game [Dec. 31st, 2004|02:30 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , ]

The visit to New Mexico is going well; I'll try to post the details later. I'm currently in Las Cruces, visiting with various friends. A lot of time these evenings has been hanging out, playing games, and (in my case) drinking my way through the night.

One game in particular has been extra fun, and I thought that the pile of my friends who are into gaming (nolly, jinglechelle, shinankoku, samuraimeg, ohdhalia, probably more) might be interested in it. I'll definitely try to run a few rounds of it during my next gaming day (which will hopefully be in late January.)

It's fairly quick, good for 3-6 people (2 works, but is frantic; 7+ gets too slow), requires just pen and paper per person, and allows for an interesting spectrum of strategies ("broad" or "deep"; alternately, "methodical" or "guts"). On the down side: you have to be able to count, and you have to be able to spell (4- and 5-letter words), and you have to have a pretty good vocabulary (again, of 4-5 letter words).

the word gameCollapse )

Anyway. I hope some of you give it a shot; let me know if the above explanation is inadequate. Also, I hope that some of you can join me at one of my gaming afternoons to have a few rounds of it. :)
link12 comments|post comment

Cousin's Party, Bike Ride, Jury Duty [Dec. 21st, 2004|10:20 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |tiredtired]

I want to ride my bicycle! I want to ride my bike!
I want to ride my bicycle! i want to ride it where I like...


Had a nice weekend, and an interesting (albeit hectic) start of this week.
Saturday: Cousin's Christmas PartyCollapse )
Sunday: Biking from Pasadena to Burbank and backCollapse )
Monday: Jury DutyCollapse )

Today was just a short day at work; I dropped my bike off at REI for a warranty tuneup, talked with my coworkers about a going-away party for one of them.

Tomorrow evening will likely have to be laundry, then packing on Thursday night. Yay holidays and visits, but boo hiss for having to plan and stuff.

p.s. For those joining me due to link off my christmas newsletter -- hi!
link2 comments|post comment

computers hate me [Dec. 4th, 2004|02:45 am]
Tkil
[Tags|, , , ]
[mood |aggravatedaggravated]
[music |Kodo - Best of Kodo II - Bird Island]

The score so far this year:

Good monitor (19" NEC Multisync) died mysteriously.
TV died mysteriously. But it came back to life (sigh).
Hard drive in slinky (my server in colorado) died.
Hard drive in speedy (my home linux box) died.
Replacement hard drive for speedy died (mfg date: 2004-08-09. died: 2004-11-??. two months?)
Software update rendered my powerbook unusable earlier today.

So I'm hanging out, drinking Scotch, and re-installing OSX. (I had bought a replacement HD, meaning to put it in "eventually" ... that seems to have become "now". Oh well, it should be an upgrade -- from 4200 RPM 60GB to 5400/80.)

Now I just need to do data recovery off the respective drives.

How's everyone else's hardware karma going this year?
link23 comments|post comment

meme: online friends [Dec. 1st, 2004|02:15 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, , ]
[mood |calmcalm]
[music |Alphaville - Dreamscapes - Days Full Of Wonder]

Ganked from scarletk8:
If there is at least one person in your life who you consider a close friend, and who you would not have met without being part of an online community, post this sentence in your journal.
Hm, let me count them:

ohdhalia (met on IRC about 1993 or so)
shechemist (met on NMSU server in early '90s... not sure if we still qualify as "close friends" but we still talk.)
Lej (met on IRC EFNet #perl, don't talk much these days but we were close for a while.)

There is a much longer list of people I've met online whom I still chat with occasionally, but our lives don't cross paths often enough for us to be close friends these days. (My usual estimation is: for every 1000 people I interact with online, about 10 will become acquaintances, and about 1 will become a close friend.)
link7 comments|post comment

journalistic integrity [Nov. 18th, 2004|05:00 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Vangelis - Direct - Dial Out]

Now, here's a guy who deserves a care package or three:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/11/18/mum.reporter.ap/index.html

A Providence, Rhode Island, television reporter was convicted of criminal contempt Thursday for refusing to say who gave him an FBI videotape showing a city official taking a bribe.

Journalists protecting sources. Amazing.
linkpost comment

Back in San Diego [Nov. 8th, 2004|07:00 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|, ]
[mood |tiredtired]

The trip went off very well. I'll try to write more later, but for now: if anyone was worried about my safe return, worry no more. (I did come down with a nasty sore throat ick two days ago, but hopefully another long night's sleep will fix it...)
link2 comments|post comment

John McCain / Jon Stewart 2008 [Nov. 3rd, 2004|10:10 pm]
Tkil
[Tags|]
[mood |angryfuckin' pissed]
[music |Triumph the Insult Dog at Spin Alley]

Is it too early to start planning?
link4 comments|post comment

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