July 2007


Obviously I didn’t take this picture so I feel a bit uncomfortable about rehosting or direct linking it.  You will have to click on the link itself…  It’s worth it, though.

http://www.arewereally.com/mindshaft/2005_playa1_images/burningman_from_space.jpg

 Philly would fit into a small section of that.

Eight days of full-time driving punctuated by seven days of sweltering and/or freezing in the desert.  I’m very excited. 

We were at Falcon Ridge fest last week and over the weekend; I will post some pictures when I have a chance.

I chatted briefly with Scott by phone this afternoon; he was going to see Sonic Youth play in Berkeley this evening with another friend of ours, Angela, and wanted to catch up with me by phone before I went home on Friday. I was still at work when he called so it was a short conversation.

This evening, my boss and I drove to Berkeley and met his wife for dinner. We went into the restaurant and down a corridor and there was Scott, leaning against a wall. He and Angela had gone into this random restaurant to use the rest room.

We were surprised. Scott and I initially met in ’90 or ’91 through mutual friends in Philly. We hadn’t seen each other after I moved away from Philly until the day I moved into Zeitgeist when we ran into each other at the door as I entered.

Both of these situations were wild; seconds either way and each connection would have been missed. Eventually we would have run into each other at Zeitgeist if we hadn’t met at the door, but it was cool the way it worked out. So maybe that’s way our relationship will go; we’ll just keep running into each other.

Dinner with B&W was nice. Of course, I worked with W at the Red Menace and have known both of them as friends for years. They’ve visited in Vermont. We’ve all been hiking several times. Of course, they were instrumental in getting me looked at by my present employer and it certainly must have been due to B’s strong recommendation that they hired their first telecommuter, let alone one from clear across the country. Anyway, it’s not the usual boss dynamic and I think it will work out fine.

BART back across the bay, and I’m again back in my room.

My current project is fascinating, by the way. I’m writing an SMS gateway. I wish I could tell you what it will do but I can’t. It’s fun playing with phones and I must admit that I get a thrill when something I send from a phone shows up in my program’s queue, or when my li’l programmie sends a message to one of my phones. Hello, world, indeed.

The thing is written in C#, a language with which I had very limited familiarity. I’m liking it pretty well; it’s nicely Java-esque with some thoughtful additions and the .NET library is quite complex and rich. My gateway runs a zillion different threads with very little management coding. Two zillion.

The IDE is Visual Studio 2005. It is really cool in some ways and very aggravating in others, much like any other Microsoft product.

I’m up to three phones. They are all on different networks (AT&T, US Cellular, and Tracfone). I use them all for testing. Unfortunately, I have carried each of them for a while as my primary cell so different people know different numbers. I have a GrandCentral number; I will start using that. The GrandCentral system is in beta right now and the call quality is sketchy, so I’m waiting for a bit before I start to use it.

GrandCentral is a cool service in theory; they give you a number in a region of your choice (my number is in South Woodstock, Vermont). You add your own phone numbers via a web interface. When someone calls your GrandCentral number, all of the phones you have selected ring. The phone that answers the call first gets it, though you can then transfer the call to a different one of your numbers if you choose.

The problem is that since your outgoing calls are direct, they have the caller ID of the phone you are calling from rather than your GC number… So other services that depend on reading your number to figure out who you are are then tied to one particular device rather than your GC number.

Post my little post
and off I go for a pint.

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So, I looked on Google and then IMDB, and this person Ben Kingsley was in like eighty-five different things and I haven’t seen any of them. I’m so sheltered.

Anyway, I was walking down the street and noticed this tag. I had been party to a conversation several days earlier in which the so-called Ben Kingsley tagger was mentioned. I hadn’t yet seen a Ben Kingsley tag until I saw this box.

I really like the way the silver paint works with the red of the box. It was, I’m sure you realize, even better in person.

The box was repainted the day after I took this picture.

(UPDATE: Very interesting… It seems that the WordPress software somehow breaks on long words? The word ‘conversation’, above, clearly visible in the edit page, is cut off, in Firefox, Opera, and IE, like this…

wordpressbug

Weird.

Anyway, I’m telling you, I typed it right.

wordpressbug2

So, there.)

UPDATE: Turns out the word wrap issue was caused by using the WordPress editor in Opera. I’d been trying it out and in some ways it is a good browser, but it doesn’t seem to handle forms, even simple ones, very well. I also note that after editing this entry using Firefox, the word wrapping has corrected itself.

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Brazil, Terry-Gilliam-style, that is.

Looks very inviting. I’d hate to see the Department of Inhuman Services.

(San Francisco)

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I had to make a trip to my mailbox yesterday and so walked down Market Street.

I saw this guy standing on his head on a glass. He remained upside down from the time I could first see him until I had passed him; several minutes, at least. Very impresssive. I would have guessed that he was looking for donations but I never did see a container for donations. Not saying I would have donated, but I would have been tempted.

But, eww, he’s touching the sidewalk on Market Street with his bare hands.  Eww.

Not to be confusing; Pleasanton appears to suck ass every day. Today just happens to be the 18th.

Today is the first day it has rained in San Francisco on July 18th in recorded history. I’m proud to say I was there for it. My wireless adapter spent the night on the window ledge and was slightly damp this morning but appears to have survived.

Also; Mary Jo Kopechne was left to die 38 years ago today. And die she did.

Now; to Pleasanton. This town sucks. Sucks.

As my readers may know, I got a ticket for something related to jaywalking several days ago. The cop didn’t tell me exactly what the ticket was for; I guess I’ll find out when I get to court.

Anyway, Pleasanton sucked before I got the ticket and will continue to suck after I’m gone.

My ten minute walk from the BART station takes twenty or more minutes due to the large amount of time spent at intersections waiting for the brief pedestrian crossing signs. Two of the three intersections never have traffic but all are controlled by pedestrian crossing signs. The signs are free, I guess. And, of course, I have to cross five streets to get through the three intersections, one way or another.

The clear message is ‘fuck congestion, drive’.

Within walking distance of my job, there are lots of restaurants. Arby’s, Denny’s, Taco Bell, In-and-Out Burger, Burger King.

I’ve never really liked the East Bay compared to SF and now I understand why. Pleasanton is located in a suck-ass singularity, creating a neutral/suck gradient across the bay to San Francisco. The East Bay is unfortunately caught in this gradient, dragging it down.

What is Pleasanton proud of? What do they identify with? What makes them special?

Condos across the street from BART, that’s what. Garsh knows why you would want to live in this little slice of congealed New Jersey right here in the Valley, but it’s nice to know that you can be on a train and out of here in a jiffy.

Hey, if you want to rob a bank in Pleasanton, 10:30 am is the time to do it. The cops congregate at Upchux for coffee and rest from their taxing duties protecting society from dangerous jaywalking criminals. For about an hour.

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It really ties the room together.

I got it from one of those rug dealers on Market Street, going out of business.  $7.00.

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