Sunday, November 26, 2006

New sidebar

Check out the new sidebar!
  • Flickr badge: see the newest pictures from my photostream
  • Pandora lists: my newest stations and songs I've liked

Let me know how you like the new features.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Music- the ups and the downs

Ups:
Hugo and I went to Ozzie's last night with Stephen, Eliot, Julie and Daniel. This was the first time I had been. Guess what they have at Ozzies....

If you guessed Karaoke 7 nights a week, and double karaoke (upstairs and downstairs) every Friday and Saturday, then you would be correct. Welcome to the Jungle indeed.

At one of the downstairs bars in Ozzie's (there are several), their music mix included both Lover I Don't Have to Love by Bright Eyes and The Hurricane by Bob Dylan.

Downs:
Because I am lazy, I waited until yesterday to buy my tickets for The Faint. They are sold out already. We are going to try to buy some scalped tickets the day of the show.

In other news,

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Latior est melior

Welcome to my newly widened blog. This will give me the freedom to post larger image and wastes less space on either side of the screen.

With my new monitor, I know I am out of the mainstream as far as pixels go. For those of you reading on a 1024-pixel display, how does it look? do you have a horizonal scroolbar?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Walking down stairs

I used to think that only old people and small children fell down. Last Monday at the Demetri Martin show, I proved myself wrong. I was with Jennifer and Brian. We had just taken our seats in the balcony, and I needed to visit the bathroom before the show started. Let’s talk about stairs.

Walking down stairs is an autopilot activity. You don’t have to think about it. But if you were to break down how it works, it is something like this:

1. You kind of pay attention while you take the first few steps. This lets you get the feeling for the rhythm of the stairs.


2. You put one foot in front of the other and descend down the stairs.

Normally, the story ends here. You do whatever it is you planned to do at the bottom of the stairs. However, Monday night was tragically different.

1. Starts out innocent enough…




2. And then… an unexpected twist
In case you weren’t paying attention, here was the key difference

Who designed this? Isn’t there some kind of law that says that stairs must have a consistent slope? Why, yes, there is. A quick search for “seattle building code stairs” brings up the Seattle Housing and Building Maintenance Code as the first result.

22.206.130 Requirements.
A. Stair and Stairway Construction.
1. All stairs, except stairs to inaccessible service areas, exterior stairs on grade and winding, circular or spiral stairs shall have a minimum run of nine inches (9") and a maximum rise of eight inches (8") and a minimum width of thirty inches (30") from wall to wall. The rise and run may vary no more than one-half inch (½") in any flight of stairs. [emphasis mine]

When I fell, I didn’t even realize it until a split second after impact. My body was overcome with pain. I looked around to see if anyone had seen me fall, and no one nearby seemed to notice. On the way down, I hit my tailbone directly on the edge of a stair. It hurt immensely.

I called the 24-hour nurse line shortly after the show. The nurse asked me a series of questions to determine how bad the injury was: “Can you feel your toes?” Yes. “Are there shooting pains in your thighs and groin?” No. “Is there blood when you go to the bathroom?” No. Thank god, it could have been a lot worse. She told me how to do the ice/heat therapy, and that the course of treatment would be the same regardless of whether it was a break or a bruise. I would not need to see the doctor unless it felt equally bad or worse after four days, or if answer changed to any one of the previous questions.


Today it is almost one week later. I definitely feel better than last week, but it still hurts to sit. Has anyone else had any annoying injuries?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Killing ur d00ds

If it weren't tough enough to watch Texas get burned by the Kansas State Wildcats, for some reason I could not get this image out of my head. Thanks to the magic of paint, now it can be stuck in your head too.

You have to give Kansas State credit. They played as smart and aggressively all game. They exploited our inconsistent secondary and capitalized on turnovers.

If the 'Horns want to be considered among the college football elite, we have to win games like this one. We have to be strong enough as a team to overcome the loss of our starting quarterback.

The truth is, we've been sneaking away with comebacks for a long time now. The recent Oklahoma State games, the last two times we've played at Nebraska, both Rose Bowls, 4th and 18…

That Kansas game in 2004 was one of those games we probably deserved to lose, but won anyway. If there is any karmic balance in the college football universe, Saturday's game was a tip back toward equilibrium.

By the way, if you're not familiar with the reference here, it is a rehash of this cliché which has been getting lots of recent
attention on boingboing. Photo credit goes to Charlie Riedel of the AP. I found it from ESPN.com.

Hook 'em.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Faint

The Faint at StubbsOn Saturday, December 2, I am going to see The Faint at The Showbox, which happens to be two blocks from my apartment. You should come. Buy your tickets today.

Photo courtesy of Kayla. She took this sweet shot of The Faint playing at Stubbs back in the Summer of '05.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Speech recognition

I am writing this blog post using voice recognition in Windows Vista and Microsoft Office Word 2007. I briefly trained the computer to recognize my voice using the well-designed voice tutorial and training wizard. My intention is to publish this entire post without touching my keyboard or mouse.

I am still getting the hang of using voice recognition. I have not yet memorized the basic commands, but most of them are pretty intuitive and I get it right anyway. The best thing though is that the dictation is extremely accurate. I began with about 10 minutes of training and the system learns to better recognize my voice the more use this feature.

The next thing I would like to learn is how to use voice recognition to insert characters such as quotation marks. It is very easy to use punctuation like periods, commas, exclamation points! And question marks? It is surprising that the voice recognition system is able to use the inflection of my voice to determine whether I mean to dictate the name of the punctuation mark or to insert the punctuation mark itself.

Friday, November 03, 2006

To infinity, and beyond!

I am Buzz Lightyear. I come in peace.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Who the heck is Chen Kaige?



MyHeritage.com has some neat facial recognition technology, which is exhibited in this tempting little celebrity look-alike app. I'd like to see this kind of stuff used to recognize my friends in my own pictures to expedite tagging on Flickr and in Vista.

Chen Kaige (Simplified Chinese: 陈凯歌; Traditional Chinese: 陳凱歌; pinyin: Chén
Kǎigē; Wade-Giles: Ch'en K'ai-ko) (born August 12, 1952 in Beijing, China) is a
famous Chinese American film director. Although he holds an American passport,
most of his films were shot and shown in China.

Give 2007

Inspired by Erin's post on this topic, encouraged by Jackie, for the betterment of humanity, and partly as a hedge the subject matter of my next post, here's a rundown of my charitable contributions for next year. American Civil Liberties Union – This is my most passionate cause. The free exchange of information is the foundation of a democratic society. We cannot trust the government to protect our cherished liberties. It is the very nature of power to crave more power, which is clearly evident by the actions of our present administration and Congress. This contribution helps protect our right to speak and publish ideas, our right to criticize our own government, and our right to be left alone in our own homes.

Planned Parenthood of Western Washington – Unplanned pregnancies lead to unplanned children. These children are disproportionately likely to grow up in poverty. The futures of the mothers can be irreversibly derailed, schooling may be cut short, they may have to enter the workforce earlier than planned, and they may be facing these challenges without the help of a loving husband.

I unabashedly support full reproductive education in public schools, including birth control methods, abstinence, emergency contraception, and abortion options. I also support the wide availability of reproductive healthcare, including abortion services.

United Way – The United Way is my way of helping out my community in a broad and less-targeted way. This money is also multiplied twice: once by Microsoft, and again by the Gates Challenge.

Humane Society – Pets make people happy, and our friends need to be protected when the going gets rough.

Conservation Northwest – Keeping our homeland green, beautiful, and habitable for people and animals.

KUOW – Our local public radio station and NPR affiliate. Public radio is one direct way to support the free exchange of information. The corporate media can usually say whatever they want, but their stream of information is filtered and distorted by the interests of their conglomerate owners.