Tuesday, November 09, 2010

And now, a short story...

It had not always been this way. There had been a point in his life that he would have stopped and helped her, a time where doing the 'right' thing seemed natural. There was a distant memory of a house with a small garden, sunlight filtering though large windows illuminating dark wood floors, peaceful afternoons filled with soft laughter. There was a home, a family, a life. There was a distant memory of a time that was, and a pain in his chest that came with the knowledge of a future that would never be.

But that was the past, survival the present, and vengeance the only thing the future had to offer. So he continued down the darkened street, ignoring her muffled cries for help and the bright knife that shone brightly in the moonlight.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Life in the Nation's Capital

It is interesting because national news is local news. And, by 'news' I mean politics, of course. It is something that I don't particularly enjoy and try to avoid. Often, if I find myself straying to the distasteful subject, I find that the conversation dissolves into something that one observes all too often in the DC (US) region; a shouting match where neither side listens to the views of the other. I guess its hard not to get riled up when there is so much money changing hands. I mean, I want some more cash. I mean, I can have affairs, smoke and not inhale, point out the location of Russia on a map and repeat empty slogans as well as the next guy. Don't I deserve some love? Click on the picture to find out who to talk too to get some love of your own.

Ahhh, well. I guess it could be worse. I could be submitting noise complaints about those reckless hoodlums living upstairs in NYC. Side note: interesting what a hundred million phone calls can reveal about a city. Seriously though, it could be worse. I was interviewing someone today, speaking about the part of the city I live in and was struck by how many positives I could name. Its not for everyone, but tell me something that is. Jesus? Yeah, you're a smart ..... I do, however, miss certain friends terribly. That is one unfortunate thing that comes with living in the district. It's ok though, I'm working on a diabolical plan to get them to move here too. It involves a lot of praying, a baseball bat, three paperclips and a previously unreleased version of 'thriller' by Michael Jackson. That's right, Diabolical with a capital 'D'.

In a mostly unrelated note, a h
elpful venn diagram:

Remember kids, there are people out there that follow John Gabriel's greater internet theory to a 'T' (whatever that means), so keep your information safe. It is for this reason that I (and you) should avoid status updates such as: "you make me feel dead inside" or "needs a pick me up"
and "getting that Deja Fu feeling... that somehow, somewhere, he's been kicked in the head like this before". First, if they make you feel that way, telling everyone on facebook doesn't make you seem any more like an adult. Second, begging for a pick me up through a computer is not as efficient as meeting friends in a bar (or for ice cream because ice cream is 'the awesome'). Third... well, that third one is actually pretty funny so we'll let that one slide. Anyway, you get the point, keep yourself in the right circle (see what I did there?) and you'll be fine.

Off to get ready for the next fun filled day.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Give me an idea for a mural

I'd love to create a piece for one of our walls, 4' x 9'.



Monday, May 24, 2010

i love macs

not really, i just wanted to see what kind of reaction i could get out of you. truly, i think apple is an evil company, run by a megalomaniac, but geeze do they create sexy products. so, of course when the pictures of a beautiful new prototype iphone and subsequent dismissal of an apple employee was to me and i guess all of you, par for the course. that was before i knew that the people over at gawker were even bigger tools. i mean, lets say i have a watch. say, i don't know, a rollex which you know i couldn't afford. maybe its dangling from a inside pocket of my trench coat, whatever fits your image. lets say i found it and will sell you it for a steal. and that's where gawker is in the wrong, they bought stolen goods and they knew they were stolen. plus, they aren't journalists, no matter how much they whine. you got to play by the rules my friends.

s'ok though gawker, i found you a quite toilet to go and cry alone in. They even made you a sign:

anyway, now i'm feeling a ton of apple love, even more so after one of my favorite all time drafting software decided to jump on board as well. heck, people are even redesigning outlets to help one be at peace with ones macs.

ahh, its a wonderful world.


Friday, April 30, 2010

crashing helicopters and killing zombies

so i've been pretty busy lately. as the title suggests, it has been a little of this and a little of that, but all of it for science. ok, ok, last time i mention helicopters, my family has been telling me that they're tire of hearing about it. i guess i need to do something else to get on tv.

maybe i should start playing with legos again.

anyway, i will be participating is some kind of urban hunt this weekend. we are hunting humans, should be fun.


Monday, April 05, 2010

michelle and me

evidently we're the same. we both try to stay out of politics, and fail from time to time. both of us love to promote exercising. both of us love food. o, and that whole MBTI thing. its actually kind of funny, gandalf the grey (who, evidently, i share the same MBTI as well) also tried to stay out of the politics of the age and failed (but also succeeded). are these types of people doomed to be pulled into things they dislike? (i'm only guessing with michelle) am i doomed for a life of being pulled into things i wish to avoid?

what a great way to start out this post. yeah... wait a tick, what is that smell anyway? maybe you should have that looked at... that is, if you can afford it. what did i say about politics? (full disclosure: no, i'm not a big fan of the health care bill. yes, i think that we pay for it now anyway with people going to the ER with no insurance and defaulting on the bill. therefore, i wish there was something that we could do. o, and i might own some GE stock which would benefit from more people buying healthcare equipment.)

i don't know where i was going with that. ah, well. maybe next time.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

traveling back in time

Let's go back in time, shall we? Because, you know, that's evidently possible and stuff.

We, and by 'we' I do mean the royal 'we' and 'we' meaning chinh and I, will be attending linked event because we are nerds. And, as nerds we are firm believers that going back in time is super sweet. Kind of like
Star Trek, and it don't get much nerdier than that. It is one of the many benefits of living in this new location, working in a super sweet job. How sweet could it possibly be? May I suggest just a couple of videos for your consideration. And, no, NASA is not my employer... not directly at least.

Of course I could be doing something like this instead. Which would also be sweet, if not as destructive as one might like. But, you have to admit that its pretty cool. And if you don't, well then you are just not thinking hard enough about the problem. It is funny to read the comments listed under the above videos. They usually fall into two diametrically opposed categories: awesome! and sarcastic cynicism. Both suffer from a same problem, they don't think about the problem (whatever it is, be it crashing helicopters to study injury or solving a rubix cube) and simply same the first thing that comes to mind. Kind of like defecating out one's mouth, its not pretty and leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. So, stop, take a breath, and critically think about the problem, you'll find much better things to praise/criticize. Trust me.

I try to be a bit objective now in this blog. Not that I don't have plenty of opportunities to gush about how I might love one of these (get your mind out of the gutter) but because I feel particularly vulnerable sharing honest opinions, let alone feelings, with the slobbering horde that exists in this medium. (see above for further explanation) It is this very feeling that makes something like this so much more amazing. To be fair, half of my obsession with this publication is the amazing amount of data produced in such a beautiful way. The second part is a grotesque fascination with people who could expose such intimate details about their lives. It's a little like see a horrific accident on the highway, you are repulsed by the death but are fascinated by the destruction. Is that person still alive? Did everyone make it out before the car caught fire (and we all know how many car fires there are in the district)? And so you slow down, and stare. You are not a terrible person, horses are terrible people. One reads these blogs with the same fascination, like watching a train wreck, you want to see how it turns out and thank God that it's not you.

On the other hand, I guess it is good that we are beings that feel and project emotion. The other option is we could all be robots.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

plantains, the better banana

although i cannot take full credit for that wonderful quote, i not only wholeheartedly agree with the statement but i also personally know the individual dispensing such wisdom. i'll give you a hint; we sleep in the same bed (unless i've done something stupid). above quote was given while having lunch at the amazing delicious tortilla cafe in the eastern market, enjoying some life changing pupusas. seriously, these things will change your life. if they don't, you are not alive and that makes you a zombie. we all know what to do with zombies.

in a past life i used to work for a car maker. as you can imagine, given the recent troubles of various car makers, it is probably good that such a statement is in the past tense. however, one of the things i do miss are the auto shows. why? you might ask. well, suffice to say, i believe this cartoon explains it exquisitely. i will let you guess what category i would fall in.

and, finally, i believe there is good and evil. that there is wrong and right, and often the line between the two is as clear as a giant cleft in the earth. continuing the theme of 'kids say the darndest things', i give you the following story. read and think about good and evil, sometimes there isn't as much 'gray area' as we would like to believe. (note: story comes from the beloved cartoon creator of penny-arcade.com)

I don't mean to turn PA into an episode of Kids say the darnedest things but some of you might appreciate this. I was playing Star Wars with my son the other night when he said something funny. Little Gabe is obsessed with Star Wars and so much of our play time involves reenacting the movies. On this particular occasion he was playing the role of the emperor while I was Luke Skywalker. He had seated himself in my computer chair and when he spun around to face me I saw that he had placed a toy Lightsaber on the arm rest. He patted it gently and said "You want this don't you?" I could not help but laugh at how ridiculous the scene was. This bothered him and he told me not to laugh at him because he was the emperor and he was evil. "Yes I know." I told him and tried to get my act together but his little angry eyes underneath the hood of his Mickey Mouse sweatshirt made me laugh even more. "I'm bad." he said and as if to prove it told me "I litter!"

"What?" I asked "What do you mean you litter?" He pushed back his hood and looked at me seriously "Well littering is against the law and the Emperor does all bad things right?" I imagined the Emperor stalking the halls of the Deathstar and munching on a snickers bar. He finishes the last bite and throws the crumpled wrapper over his shoulder. An Imperial Guard bends to snatch it up and the Emperor raises a hand. "Leave it." he croaks. The guard pauses, his red gloved hand shudders as it hovers over the bit of garbage lying there on the Deathstar's polished Durasteel floor. The emperor watches the guard's discomfort with growing satisfaction, a smile creasing his shriveled face. The Guard stands and follows the Emperor away and he can not help but spare a backwards glance at the trash he left behind. With the glance comes a thought, a thought he will never share out-loud but one that shakes him to his very core. "I serve a monster!"

I looked at my son and realized that in his five year old mind there is no gradient to evil. For him, the act of destroying Alderaan and littering are equal. The sort of person who could to one might easily do the other. I smiled at him "Of course he litters son. He litters all the time." He smiled knowingly and I reached out with the force to summon my Lightsaber.

-Gabe out

neat, right? Dear Lord, thank you for Star Wars and the lessons it continues to teach us. i'm off to get some plantains. don't worry, i'll properly dispose of the peels.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

while watching the olympics

make sure your kids are not playing with these dangerous things. or maybe you should? i mean, it couldn't be much worse than spending all your time tracking your mouse, or creating a treemap of some interesting data, or contemplating how mathematical functions are represented in the physical world, instead of going to say... your son's soccer game, or daughter's dance recital. your are not a bad person. horses are bad people.

while you are off being a bad parent, i'm going to listen to songs about MRI's. that's right, i'm going to listen to songs focused on magnetic resonance imaging, you have a problem with that? who cares about your opinion, you horse.


you know, instead of all that, why don't you watch the olympics? here's a little history to get you started.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

its still cold here

and yet, it seems that people here in baltimore still don't want to turn on the heat. while i agree that baltimore, maryland is no ann arbor michigan when it comes to the cold, there is a point where saving money just isn't worth it. a co-worker of mine who lives in the city remarked that the area this 'home' (and i do use this term loosely) is located in a mostly college student/medical campus area and while they don't strike me as the doctor type, maybe they are just trying to pay the student loans. more power to them.

just a quick update to let you know i'm still alive. hopefully more interesting things to talk about in the future.


Monday, January 18, 2010

continuing with the theme...

... of poaching my friends links sent to myself and reposting them as new information, i give you this: new evidence that we are indeed in an era of progress. or, maybe not, maybe they should have googled the 'how too' manual. o, wait... too soon?

again, now that your sarcasm meters are properly tuned...

in all seriousness, the data is quite striking. for a guy who spends months preparing for a test that might last all of 300 ms (if its long, and yes that is in units of 1e-3 seconds) and then spend several more months pouring over the data, it is amazing to see all of these numbers that must have been a result of a lot of hard work. even better, they took the time to plot it in a way where you are practically force fed conclusions. want to live a long life in the southern hemisphere? austrialia might just be for you. wonder why people are still talking about crippling poverty in sub-saharan africa? learn to read a bar graph. think mexico city has a ton of greenhouse gases? try turkey on for size. all in all, quite a pretty picture. i think that the saddest thing is that men are now the majority. joke is on them though, i'm already married. take that 'sucka'!

yes, i tried once again to call on my thug life. yes, i'm done now.

i've been playing a fantastic, diablo-esk (is that a word?) game recently and throughly enjoying every penny of the $19.95 i paid for it. in an era when games are $60 or more, this is quite a fantastic development, especially considering that i have a $50 per month allowance. if nothing else, it will keep me busy until something else drops. of course, i could also always try to better myself in areas where i'm unfamiliar. but its late, and i'd rather go to bed.

but, one quick thing before i go. i wholeheartedly endorse lying to make people read classics. seriously, its just a reprint, as far as i know. i'd like like a motha' to get people to read dune.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

straight up thug life

maybe you are not aware, but D.C. can be a rough place. between the shoot outs with cops and the car fires one might think that you were in L.A. kicking it with the good dr, not the nation's beautiful capital. and i would forgive you for that, not everyone can handle the straight up thug life that exists in this area of the country. that being said, at least we don't live in arlington, that place is 'fo' real'.

now that your sarcasm meter is properly tuned... i give you something no one will be surprised at: a train wreck. in simpson character voice, 'most obvious article ever!'

i tend to listen to more mellow music than my contemporaries. it sometimes brings snide comments as it is not 'hip' or 'cool' or even 'manly'. i suppose i would acquiesce to the last descriptor, however i have never felt that my 'maleness' was tied to the things i listened too or the hobbies i enjoyed (although football is one of my deepest obsessions, that is 'manly' yes?). i play way too many 'nerdy' games to be worried about such stereotypes. with all this in mind, i would like to propose another option; most music played today just sounds bad, and here is the data to prove it. crushing, is it not?

finally, i love to watch movies but no one ever wants to see the movies i would like to devour. thankfully, the new york times has stepped in to help me find like-minded people, turns out i'm simply living on the wrong side of the city. who knew? and, what interesting inferences one can make about the demographics of each city based on the data.

also in simpson character voice, 'mmmmmmm, data' *drool*