Monthly Archives: February 2005

Fire truck watering cement?

Fire Truck

As I drove out for lunch, I passed this sight. A Round Rock fire truck was spraying a lot of water behind a building. So, I decided to stop and take a picture. But when I got there, they had turned off the water. I wonder what they were up to?

Hey What?

Hey What?

I looked at my door last night and found this stuck to it. Is it some junk advertising that people like to leave on my door? Are the neighborhood kids getting creative?


Google maps query for miserable failure link via

Paris viewed through a pinhole camera link via

Jeep Hurricane link via

Katamari Doh-macy link via and even more goodness

Lego Shinkansen warning sign (at bottom) link via

The top 100 gadgets of all time link via

Advertising for security glass uses some real money link via

It’s a statement vehicle link via

The history of the universe in 200 words or less link via

D20 Stickshift link via

Always make sure no one is behind your vehicle and that there is nothing that can catch fire link via

Robotic Dyson orders parts on its own link via

A concert though the audience’s cellphones link via

Don’t piss off Vietnamese women link via

Trash can that projects its contents on the ground link via

Andre Agassi and Roger Federer play tennis on world’s highest tennis court link via

Guess presidents from their hair link via

Hamster controlled MIDI sequencer link via

your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions link via

It pays to read the End User License Agreement link via

New Corvette goodness


A couple of weeks ago, I passed a somewhat new Hummer H2 towing a brand new black Corvette. This is obviously someone who has money to burn. Unfortunately, because it was the morning rush hour on IH-35, I was not able to take a picture.

Now, I come across this brand new black Corvette and wonder if that is the same person. But I do not ponder for long since the call of the hatch chile sauce is calling to me.

Update: This evening on my drive home. I passed a white van that had painted on the side: “Royal Norwegian Air Force Training” and towards the end of the van: “Apache division”. How odd! What did they do? Drive here?!?!

Working for Google

I am really starting to want to work for Google. Why? They are coming out with some neat applications. Plus, I have heard that Google allows employees to spend 20% of their time on their own research projects. This would definately fit my style. The only problem is that they are located in California. Living in California is expensive and house prices are ridiculous.

First, it was GMail. When GMail came out, I thought that you could do more with one gigabyte of mail space than just read email. You could essentially treat it as a USB key and transfer files between work and home. So, I created a Python application to turn a GMail account into a network filesystem. It works quite well. I still want to enable Linux to be able to mount and unmount someone’s GMail account.

Now, they have come out with Google Maps. The user interface is visibly better than other map sites. The reason why is they use Javascript under the web browser to do most of the work. Because their maps are pretty, I was tempted to reverse engineer the code. So, I spent the past two weekends figuring out what goes on under the covers. There were a number of challenges. The javascript code is shall we say space optimized. That is, there is no whitespace and all functions are named like: Ae, Bu, Jk, etc. So, I reformatted the javascript code and wrote a tiny Python proxy to substitute my pretty code for debugging purposes (Firefox has a great javascript debugger).

Now I can do something like this:

googleMap = GoogleMap ()
googleMap.setZoomLevel (2)
googleMap.setMapName (“map.jpg”)
mapUpperRightHome = googleMap.findLocation (“2900 1460, Round Rock TX 78664”)
mapLowerLeftHome = googleMap.findLocation (“1000 Sam Bass Road, Round Rock TX 78664”)
googleMap.setBounds (mapLowerLeftHome, mapUpperRightHome)
googleMap.createMap ()

To create maps like this:

Map #11
Map #7
Map #3


Every time I go to Central Market, I seem to spend 80 dollars on groceries and this time was no exception. One thing that I don’t like about Austin is the poor quality of beef. When I drive around town, I will some times see Longhorns grazing on prairie grass and weeds. And that is what the tough and gristly meat tastes like.

So, I decided to splurge and buy a nice thick Black Angus porterhouse steak. Unfortunately, it was 2 pounds which was more than I wanted. So I switched to a T-bone steak (without the tenderloin side). Since I cooked it for lunch, I decided to pair it with some Yukon Gold yogurt & green onion potato chips.

As I eat this steak for lunch, I am reminded of a quote from the movie Sidways:

“Half my life is over and I have nothing to show for it. Nothing! I’m a thumbprint on the window of a skyscraper. I’m a smudge of excrement on a tissue surging out to sea with a million tons of raw sewage.”

No, not that quote! About how Miles was saving his bottle of 1961 Cheval Blac wine for a special occasion and then Maya responds that whenever you drink that bottle of wine it will be a special occasion.

New cable modem

Time Warner Austin is forcing me to upgrade my modem. My ex-officemate suspects that my old modem did not have DOCSIS support for throttling.

Anyways, I did notice some things about the new modem. It is *much* smaller than the original one. It is actually less massive than the power wart (on the right) that it comes with. I also saw that I get a new address range 70.113.33.X versus 24.?.?.X.

Update: I have also noticed that the receive light is always on. It is like the cable company is always trying to communicate with the LinkSys box.


Kitchen #1

I went to Central Market’s cooking school
tonight to learn how to make gumbo. This is a hands on class that has 16 people
in it. They are divided up into four teams that will make: seafood gumbo, chicken
gumbo, duck gumbo, and venison gumbo. I was on the team that made the venison
gumbo. We cut the vegtables and followed the recipie, but due to time constraints
the roux (4 different stages: blonde, peanut butter, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate)
and the marinated meat were already prepared.

Venison gumbo

And this is the result! I think that this class is well worth taking. You definately
eat a lot of food. We started out the night with spicy shrimp in remoulade sauce.
They served Louisiana beer and played Cajun music. We then cooked and ate the four
gumbos. After that, we topped it off with
Blue Bell Mardi Gras
ice cream and a cookie.

The noisiest tree I know

This tree speaks to me as I feed my beast. There must be hundreds of birds that live in the tree. They spend most of their time at night bickering amongst themselves. Or, could they be hurling insults at me and my beast and compete for the prized worm?