I have at last returned home, and the revelry has already begun. I spent my first full day back gorging myself on excellent food prepared by myself and some friends. Lunch consisted of black tiger prawns in a white wine, butter , shallot, and garlic broth with a fresh baguette. The desert was a cake soaked in grand mariner topped with a warm fresh berry compote and brandy whipped cream. Dinner was a chinese feast put together by my friend Iris. The meal was composed of scallion pancakes made from scratch, deep fried pork spareribs, rice ovalette ( chinese equivalent of dok) stir fry, mushrooms and bok choi in a light soy-anise gravy, and lots of little ranch 99 appetizers. Tonight I have a date with the leftovers.



At last I seem to have found a cross platform computing solution so that I can always have access to my applications, files, etc. It's nothing new but the approach and suite of programs will make it very easy to implement. Rather than carry the relevant applications etc on a fast external, what about just logging into a remote machine, doing everything there, and just ftping/emailing the relevant files when I need them. Yes enlightened readers, I speak of the opensource VNC, faster than X, lighter and cheaper than timbuktu, completely cross platform and simple. with the java viewer enabled all I'd need is a web browser. Granted, there are limitations and times when I'd be unable to acess the appropriate port, but for most situations, aside from dialup, this is perfect . The eventuality of this is that I can see myself eventually having a highly available redundant server somewhere with my personal environment up and then just connecting remotely. I'd keep the relevant data files backed up in a couple places and synchronize the system periodically, but think about it, centralized logs and cache ove3r all of your personal computing environments. Also a secure relay if you connect over ssh so no one can see what ports you're really accessing. Me gusta.


DMOSCLITSNT (reworking an old motto)

So for a while I'd sign all my emails with the cryptic DMOSCILTTTRyo. This stood for a lyric (Do My Own Stunts 'Cause I Like To Take The Risk yo!) from zebrahead's one hit song get back. But I think it's time to bring it back with a slight modification (the kind that comes with becoming a little more risk averse). So now it's DMOSCLITSNT (Do My Own Stunts, 'Cause Life is Too Short Not To), the "yo" doesn't add as much comedy as it used to.


Techie Band Names- Exercising nerdy impulses

I had a wierd dream a few weeks ago where I was in a highschool "battle of the bands" and I was frontman of a band called "karmarkar and the interior points" (I know it's a different karmarkar) and our primary competition was "dantzig wolfe decomposition" (another optimization algorithm) and I realized that the secret to winning the competition was to first understand the algorithm and break the situation down to a smaller problem (yes, in my dreams I'm a bigger nerd than I am awake, scary no?). The result of this absolutely disturbing dream was the begining of a list of science related band names. If you read this blog and are like minded submit a band name in the comments.

Here's the list to start it off.

Karmarkar and the Interior Points

Danzig-Wolfe Decomposition

Pons and Fleishman (The first Albim was so cold it was hot, but after great hype it was rejected by the music community)

Dr. Watson (and spiral staircase)



Chromium (a heavy metal band of course)

Parties in PSPACE
Rediscovered tracks, worth a listen

James- Born of Frustration

Cake- Comfort Eagle

The Clash- Spanish Bombs


Two deadly sins the night before christmas

This chrismas eve I have big plans. I am going to get large amounts of takeout, rootbeer, and junk dvds, and I'm just gonna sit on my ass and vegitate for a good 10 hours or so, then I will go to sleep. This is gonna be some hardcore, high intensity relaxation. Within a couple miles of the video store are a zankou chicken, a fatburger and, iwata sushi. I will pick up something from each of these for my day of sloth and gluttony, and it will be good. I will try to think as little as possible, and probably end up watching stupid action movies ala AVP, and chronicles of riddick.

Unusual phobia, no problem

Let's say you're plagued by FEAR OF TOAD and have no way to get over it. Worry about the evil little beasties no more, CTRN Phobia clinic will take care of it for you. It turns out that there are actually people for whom bufonophobia is a crippling problem, and this site is proof that you can find anything on the internet, epescially if you're willing to pay for it.


Does Culture Jamming actually do anything?

I got onto this topic because observing global reaction to to our new pesident has me chomping at the bit to do something socially active using my time or money. I haven't found anything yet that I can really embrace. There are a number of truly worthwile global causes that I could give my own money/time to, but I want to do something with serious leverage. How can I turn one hour of my time into 1000 man hours to actually due some good, or to make 1000 people think for a few moments and decide to do something good on their own. So I thought about becoming a "culture jammer", engaging in subvertising with other socially conscious types trying to get people to consider the global implications of of corporate and governement actions, and hey, it's kind of cool.

The problem is I have no idea of its impact, has anyone who has seen a subvertisement actually changed the way they behave, purchase, or even think about these issues. Or is it just another way to be part of a group of the (socially conscious) indie urban elite. Does the truth.com ad campaign cause people to smoke less, to invest less money in cigarettes? There are all kinds of little cool groups doing things like putting up fake ads and throwing little awareness events, but do these actually do anything or are they like a berkeley protest, just minorly increasing the noise of the signal. So, I remain eager to do something, but without an outlet. I suppose I will just end up giving a reasonable sum to a worthwile charity where most of the money actually goes to the projects rather than being pissed away on overhead ( I recommend Child Vikaas this charity actually runs very leanly with 100% of the donations actualy funding projects, not administration)


Tommy B, scourge of republicans in the blogshpere, returns

Many regular readers of this blog may be familiar with the online political commentary purveyed by my good friend Tom Berman; well, after a brief hiatus due to his involvment in the star-crossed Kerry campaign, he's back! In blog form! Those of you who are unfamiliar with the writings of Tom Berman (aka "Malibu Beach Phatty", "Kansas City Kid", "Impressario of Funk", "Nylar", "Tubby Pigeon", and simply called "the Antichrist" by the catholic leage of america) are in for a treat. Tom isn't just another sharp witted liberal putting his opinions to the web. Thanks to a healthy dose of cynicism, and thoughtfulness, his discourse is chock full of realism and reflects his understanding of the atomic issues he addresses as well as their implications in the global political landscape. I am about to make a claim that I make about few things on the internet: reading his blog is time well spent (and this comes from one of the least political people to have ever disgraced berkeley's hallowed halls). Oh, and for an alternate view, his equally insightful conservative amateurnight counterpart John Atkinson (Chiasm link from tom's page) is also worth a read.


Incoherant ramblings in this blog's future

In my blog I occasionally go off on tangents about information theory data description etc. The more I work with data, and the more propellerheads, philosophers, metadata junkies, culture jammers, and wannabe-sophists I encounter, the more fascinated I become with semantics, context, and the potential and methods for inferencing higher level content out of information streams ( both professionally and recreationally). In the interest of validating some of my thoughts on these topics I have decided to start putting my ramblings up on my blog. Who knows, maybe some day I'll pursue a graduate degree in marketing, philosophy, information theory, or "symbolic systems" and the blog posts will be re-edited into a thesis.

New York is starting to grow on me

So I've never been a huge fan of the big apple, I've always seen it as a difficult place to exist in because of the hassles of the crowds, the cold weather, and the prevalence of type A personalities. However, my last few trips there have been so good that I could actually see myself living there (if it was 30 degrees warmer in the winter and 10 degrees cooler in the summer). There's definitly something to be said for a city where everything's accessible by foot or subway. It's no Rome by a long stretch, but it's definitly got one thing that the Bay Area doesn't, and that's a glut of young professional women. It's like all the women that fled Silicon Valley, to escape the engineers, have all resettled in NYC. The difference is staggering and instantly apparent when one first sets foot on the island (I make no claims about the B&T set, it's been years since I've been anywhere in NY state outside of Manhattan, JFK, and the road between them). New York is also the site of my new favorite bar in the US, The Campbell Apartment. Hidden in plain view in grand central station, this little anachronistic gem has all the atmosphere of a wealthy 1930's Industrialist's office with nice little extra touches like hostesses who will escort your drink to you so a waiter with a tray can actually hand it to you.

Bloggin again

Those of you who read this blog may have noticed that it hasn't been updated with anything too interesting in quite some time. This isn't because I have stopped having interesting thoughts, but just because I've been extremely busy. I am once again back in Rome for work, but this time the project is much more reasonable and my hours are much more manageable. I leave the office by 9pm, and I don't do much work from the hotel. My accomodations this time are not as nicely outfitted, but I am staying in a one bedroom apartmet with a kitchenette in a great part of Rome (essentially in the piazza Bocca della Verita). Indeed, this trip will be different.


Reebok Pump Bringback Basketball Shoe Mens

Reebok Store - Reebok Pump Bringback Basketball Shoe Mens So when I was 8 these were the coolest shoes on the planet, a built in pump! Such leaps and bounds in useless shoe technology have now been improved with the upcoming release of the pump 2, but lets be frank without the orange basketball on the tongue do you really want one?


Rediscovered tracks this week

Beck-Beercan (from Mellow Gold)

U2-The Fly

Bare Naked Ladies- Brian Wilson

They Might Be Giants- Twisting

Escape Club- Wild Wild West (the audio equivalent of an AM/PM BBQ sandwich-terrible but somehow good)

God Lives Underwater- Still

Chris LeDoux- Life is a Highway (see escape club)


An alternate blogging topic

Nixie Clock and Nixie Wristwatch site So today I decided to (mostly) avoid the obvious topic, and instead offer a gadget link. I love retro looking gadgets with high tech functionality, and I love time pieces. This is the best of both worlds. If not for the extremely high price of these I would have to own one. This is the kind of retro chic I would be proud to display in my entertainment room. (my livingroom will be a little less technologically oriented)


Material Lust

Apple - iMac G5- I am soon to be the proud owner of an imac G5. I just want to stress that I did not need this computer, I have a perfectly reasonable older desktop with a flatscreen that covers 85% of the computer use I want from my personal computer. But this purchase was not a normal gear purchase for me. For some reason this apple evoked in me the kind of "I want it" feeling that I have not experienced since I was saving up for my game-gear when I was 11. For the money it is by no means the fastest or most compatible compter, but it's very pretty and it has way fewer cables attached than any other non-laptop I would get (bluetooth mouse and keyboard, wifi, and integral monitor). It basically does everything I would need it to as a purely fun use computer. In short, I dig it. There is something brilliant in this product, I know I don't need it, there are many rationalizations I could use for getting it, but at the end of the day I just want it. All I have left to say is, as a long term PC user I welcome our new well styled all-in-one computer overlords.


Phat rhymes from the LT, total cut and paste action

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred
'Forward the Light Brigade!
Charge the guns!'he said
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward the Light Brigade!
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho the soldier know
Someone had blundered.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do or die.
Into the valley of Death,
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death
Into the mouh of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there
Charging an army while
All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
Shattered and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at twith shot and shell
While horse and hero fell
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of hell,
And all that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!


Another night on the town

Today we had a lot of good progress and we had to leave aprocess running so we went out to rome for dinner. We went to a little Osteria in Piazza di Pietra. Originally they didn't want to seat us outside because it was too cold, but we perservered due to the lack of free tables inside. The dinner was excellent, and will be described below. The meal was made more interesting by the sudden downpour that hit. Being in good spirits when the waitress came out and told us there were no tables inside and we could cancel our main dish orders, we merely asked about umbrellas. Sure enough within seconds she had returned with a couple umbrellas we could hold while eating. The food was so good we didn't notice the extra effort of holding an umbrella to eat. The owner thought it was so funny he took pictures of us eating in the downpour with umbrellas, it was one of those things we just had to do to embrace the moment. However, as the wind picked up we decided to go in for desert.
The meal step by step:
Pre order: a shiraz di Lazio surprisingly delicious, can't remember the vineyard for the life of me; bread and artichoke spread

Antipasti: mix of italian meats cheeses, the main standout was a phenominal spicy soft salami/spread(it was orange in color, fatty in consistancy, super spicy, and my own little spoonful of heaven)

Primi: skipped, gotta keep lean and mean

Secondi: Roast Buffalo in a brunello reduction. Lean and beefier than beef, with a tasty wine sauce; not much room for improvement, but with such a lean meat it should have been cooked a little less.

Dolci: This was the clear winner in the meal, beating out the meaty soft salami and beffy main course. The delicious combination of a flourless chocolate torte with a sauce of stewed pear and ginger. The sauce itself would have merited a blog entry, but with the thin hark heavy torte and tart berry garnish, this dish bordered on cullinary brilliance.

Digestif:Some clear unknown anise liqueur comped for the comedy in the rain, followed with an illy espresso

We followed the dinner with a drink at one of my favorite bars, where I had an oban to cap off the night. I'm gonna miss this place, of course after over a month of hotel livin I want to be home again, but man am I gonna miss nights like this.

Of course we then returned to the hotel to work for a few hours, but that's just how we roll yo. We hard core, down wit da cep (complex event processing), mom (message oriented middleware), and straight up bem (business event management). We tuck our polos deep, and rock our khakis with a cuff and pleat, other IT can't be us or see us. (In case you were wondering this is what happens when you work too many hours behind a computer and listen to too much 90's rap).


Google your desktop!

Okay, so I don't know how long it's been around without me knowing about it, but there's finally a desktop google client, it's what I've been waiting for, almost. Given the amount of crap that accumulates on my system, I need something more integrated than a search client that only looks into certain file types ( all microsoft or simple text based for the beta). The other thing I don't like is that it caches all the web pages you've looked at recently in IE; I want seperation between my file and recently viewed content search utillities cause I like the line between local and web content to be clearly defined.

What I guess I'm really looking for is an intelligent file manager with a little button in the task bar for "related files" ranked by the pagerank algorithm. If I was looking for an xml file with a certain element, an old email on thunderbird(not outlook!), some classfile that could be in any one of 30 jars, or some other similar task, it would be great if I had some sort of really intelligent search program that could find it. As stands I find I'm relearning my unix commands and using cygwin, cause gosh darnit those commands are just handy. Grep and pipes have saved me many hours of work this trip, maybe it's time to invest in an understanding of a little more advanced sed and awk action.

Anyone know when we're supposed to get these hot relational file systems? I mean atomic data is so pase, now it's all about context, related events, and metadata (metadata, it's the new black). At some point I'm going to have to reprise my metails post and do a little entry on social engineering and viral marketing. 'Cause man, there's potential in exploiting existing social networks for fun and profit, or even better... large scale subtle influence on mob behavior. (Ever consider how dangerious it would be if oprah, rosie, and martha stewart all got together and decided to discretely push consumer buying habits to fund some kind well defined long term agenda. It's not like when warren buffet makes stock decisions, there's no sec watching these people!!!)

Rome winding down

In less than 9 days I will be in NYC for some much needed r&r. This trip has been fantastic, and I have a new favorite city, but the work has worn on me and living in a hotel for over a month is a little rough. The accomodations have been great, it's the little things like how the TV sound plays on a speaker in the bathroom as well (which incidentally is connected to the tv via a standard mono 1/8" plug, and the speaker is amplified, so it's a perfect external speaker for my ipod), my nice view of the pool and golf course (I actually spent one sunday working out by the pool, it rocked, but that was 3 weeks ago and now it's raining), and the periodic gifts I get since I've been here over a month so far.

I never realized how much I depend on variety in food, today I found myself desperately needing something other than Italian. Luckily tonight my co-worker felt the same way, so we grabbed Chinese. We found a place in piazza largo argentina. The aromatic fried duck was excellent(crisp skin, tender meat, wonderful aroma), but the juicy pork buns and shu mai left much to be desired. I finished the meal with their home-made "dolci di nutella" which were won-ton skins filled with nutella and deep fried, of course I understood the pitfalls once I saw the desert and pre punctured them and let them sit(thus safely avoiding jets of molten hazelnut-chocolaty goodness searing my mouth). I definitely should have skipped them and ended the meal on a ducky note.


New hotel status, or "It's good to be da king"

So today was my 32nd day in rome. I have spent one night in the Holiday Inn-Parco de Medici(a craptacular hotelgiven it's 185 euro a night), and I have spent 30 nights in the Sheraton golf, a much nicer and cheaper (but still overpriced) hotel. So they were nice to me before, and periodically gave me gifts, but now things have definitely changed for the better. Today they gave me a small bottle of wine, and a couple pears with good parmiggiano. When I went down to breakfast the hotel business manager introduced himself to me and gave me his card in case he could do anything to improve my stay. When I got back to my room tonight the bed had been turned down and there was a little almond cookie on the pillow, a bathrobe hangning in the bathroom(to use, not keep), and comfy slippers to wear around the room. That's right, I'm at gold status now baby. It only took about 5k euros, but now they have lavished a total of 30 euros or so of extra service on me, and I like it. Suddenly everyone in the hotel knows my name, and at the bar the "house" wine is suddenly a better one, and the glass is bigger. I'm officially a vip at the sheraton golf now, "hail to the king baby."

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos Recipe I'm told this is one of the best fish taco recipes ever, but I have not personally sampled them.


hopp hopp - video

hopp hopp Found the movie through another fine gawker blog:www.screenhead.com. So move over Joe Eigo, I have a new internet video clip hero. This guy does less flipping and more rooftop to rooftop jumping. I have officially decided to take up yoga again to gain the flexibility and strength to begin training to do this stuff. This guy is freakin bad ass. I just want to know where he got the radioactive spider from.


PRAWNOGRAPHY. fellow blogger user discovers comedy in a japanese grocery store in madrid this one's worth a look see

WebCalc Calculator or Hey Google ! Buy these guys!

WebCalc Calculators Being the big dork that I am, I love automation and not having to write things down, or save them but just google them (conversion factors included). When subscription based apps go main stream, I will be one of the first to throw out my office suite (uninstall and archive of course, I'm not dumb) and use the online ones exclusively. That is why I love this site. Now if they'd only offer a nice scripting language api so I could access it through a random cron job to automate certain calcs I have no use for (that would be sweet).


Cooking for engineers

I always thought I should write a book called this, or create a website, but it seems someone has beaten me to it(url www.cookingforengineers.com), and done it quite well. The recipies are all easily presented in a matrix of the ingredients and what to do with them. Not that I really follow recepies anyway, but this makes it really easy to just glance at the instructions and make something. Definitely worth taking a look at. Maybe soon I'll post a couple "tasty meals from the random crap in my apartment." Or come up with a nice shorthand notation for functions to express classes of recepies that can be applied to limited ingredient sets A:{beef, lamb, ostrich, venison} B:{basil, mint, rocket} C{onions, shallots, scallions} etc.


Music for working on a thursday night

A big music post today of the playlists I've listened to in the order I played them. It's actually a really nice arc

Garbage- when I grow up
Len- Steal my Sunshine
Madonna - Beautiful Stranger
Cardigans- Lovefool
Garbage- Cherry lips
Sprung Monkey- get em outta here
Citizen King- Better days
New Radicals-You get What you Give
Smash Mouth- Allstar
Adam Ant- Wonderful
BNL- One Week
Proclaimers- 500 Miles
Chris LeDoux- Life is Highway
Republica-Ready to Go
Imperial Tean- Yoo Hoo
Blur- Song 2
Smash Mouth- Walkin on the Sun
Lenny Kravitz- Fly Away
Better than Ezra- Good
U2- Desire
Cowboy Mouth- Jenny Says
Spin Doctors- Little Miss Can't be Wrong
Eve6- Inside Out
Dave Mathews- What would you say
Fountains of Wayne- Radiation Vibe
Elvis Costello- Pump it up
Meat Puppets- Backwater
Franz Ferdinand- Take Me Out
Killers- Somebody Told Me
Jet- Rollover DJ
The Hives- A get together to tear it apart
The White Stripes- Fell in Love with a Girl
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Date with the Night
Jet- Are you gonna be my girl
The Strokes- The Modern Age
The Kinks- You Really Got Me
The Ramones- Blitzkrieg Bop
The Clash- London Calling
The Sex Pistols- Anarchy in the UK
New York Dolls- Trash
WiseGuys- Start the Commotion
Fatboy slim- gangsta trippin
Elvis vs JXL- a little less conversation
Fatboy Slim vs Cornershop- Brim Full of Asha
Organic Audio -this could really happen
Propellerheads- Velvet Pants
Dirty Vegas- Days Go by
Chemical Hank- Alex Cortiz
Fatboy Slim- Weapon of choice
Chemical Brothers-Block Rockin Beats
Propellerheads- Take California
Crystal Method- Get Busy Child
Moby- Bodyrock
Basement Jaxx- Red Alert
Fatboy Slim- Satisfaction Skank
Propellerheads- Crash (full)

Penny Arcade-ipods

Penny Arcade :)


4th night out in Rome

So today we decided to take the evening out in Rome after work and it was a brilliant idea. We had 2 glasses of wine at an enoteca in trastevere( think library equivalent only with wine instead of books), gelato , and a few drinks at a bar with live jazz. The bar had unbvelievable prices, for 6.50 euros each glass I had a talisker, a lagavulin 16, and an oban. Oddly enough at the same bar a pour of JD was the same price. That's right for the price of a jack and coke, you could get a fairly stiff pour of an excellent single malt. Bless those lacking in taste, for their ignorance funds my endeavors into inebriation. Of course after comming back I spent a solid couple hours working, but the break was great.

This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow:

This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow: September 26, 2004 - October 02, 2004 Archives So more than a little over the top, but point well made (CoDvG)


Crazy connectivity

So while I was working on the project this morning I got to thinking about how ridiculously connected things are now. Over the course of this trip I have moved data on an off my machine through the following methods: Wired LAN(no big surprise here), WI-FI to access point, direct ethernet connection to another computer (without a crossover cable, thanks to my sweet ibm laptop), bluetooth to gprs phone, bluetooth to another computer, IR to another computer, memory stick to anohter computer, dialup (to access vpn from customer site). Also used bluetooth, or direct ethernet connection to another computer to share internet access through wifi, bluetooth to gprs phone, UMTS card (this 3g stuff is amazingly fast), and dialup(one jack we both needed vpn access). This technology stuff is getting out of hand, we've probably swapped about a gig of stuff back and forth, and the previous list only covers the hardware and transports, it doesn't even begin to cover the types of protocols we've used (everything from ftp, to JMS, to direct sockets). Just about the only thing we haven't used is serial. The thng that amazes me is that people have been able to function without this stuff for so long. So many last minute patches or file syncs, or crucial emails have been possible because of all of this. What did people do 10 years ago if they needed a driver update, if the were missing documentation for an API, or just if they needed to email a stack trace to someone for help? It just boggles my mind, and leads me to believe I would have a hard time working in another industry, I dig this stuff. I dig this stuff a lot. If you guys have any interesting stories of connection derring do or clever uses of technology I'd love to see something in the comments.


Rome, halfway done

So I'm at just about the halfway point for my rome trip and I've gotten pretty settled. Thanks to my mom I have some locals to hang out with, and I've started making plans during the week night for dinner so I don't go nuts. Things are moving a long smoothly and my plans for eventual settlement in Rome are fleshed out a little more. I think I will try and open my tapas bar in Trastevere, and also get an apartment over there. Aside from crawling with Americans, Trastevere is a great area to hang out in. It's got a really nice vibe and lots of young people. If I end up being able to live out here for any length of time, this is where I'd try to get a place. The comedy of the haircut has worn of and I have leveled it out a bit with a pair of scissors, not much, just enough that I could go into work today and not feel ridiculous. For those of you that hate mondays I have a little bit of a humor link ( keep the sound on but turned down a little, audio NSFW).

side note>> Today I just remembered that the charger to my ipod has the standard 2 prong input found on many laptop powersupplies. Once again apple, you've made my life better. My international adapter for my laptop slides right into the plug on apple's ac adapter for worry free charging. Damn those guys in cupertino are smart.


Bad haircut

So today I did something risky, I got a haircut in a country where I don't speak the language. I had the hotel book me an appointment( aparantly this reduced the charge by 60 euros to a measly 19 euros for the head stylist), and I intrepidly jumped in a cab to see what the damage could be. When I got there, to my relief, there was a (very attractive)british shampoo girl who says she will give my request to the stylist. What I did not even consider at this point was that her italian might be as bad as mine is. Instead of my hair being a little longer in the front, it's a little longer in the middle. That's right boys and girls, Harsh is now sporting the silliest of haircuts since the mullet, the faux-hawk. This is not a full fledged faux hawk either, this is sort of a toned-down-for-the-office version that would inspire disdain from any buddy holly bespectacled barrista even in Palo Alto.
moblog haircut

haircut angle 3

moblog haircut


haircut angle 2

moblog haircut


All work and no play...

Yes once again it's an all nighter. bit of a time crunch for tomorrow, but I've got a good solid 8 hours so I thought I'd give myself a ten minute bresaola and bloggin break(anyone appreciate accidental alliteration?) for sanity. For a latenight room service snack, the food's damn good: tasty bresaola topped with excellent parmigiano on a bed of arugula (rucola, or rocket depending on your preference).

tangent>> Is it just me or has arugula once again become popular since it was rebranded to the french "rocket" , it seems we've also made the fish loop(salmon, swordfish/shark, seared ahi, chilean seabass, loup du mer {often semi-correctly applied to seabass}) all the way back to wild salmon. My prediction is that radicchio and shitake mushrooms will make a come back, cilantro's got way too much mainstream penetration to rejoin the ranks. I also feel that italian parsley and purple basil have potential but don't quote me on this. I've been gunning for safron and lemon grass, with a return to accepting coconut and palm oils lemon grass has a definite shot, but only time will tell cause the restaurant mafia is a tough nut to crack.

Given all the time I spent on this rant, and my 3AM dinner, I should probably get back to work, but all I can think about is Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Afterall:
my bed is comfy, soft and deep,
but I've got deadlines to keep.
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.


This Morning

I awoke looking forward to a hard day full of work this late september morning, we're under the gun and there's tons of pressure, once again I won't make it downtown. I put on the TV as I got ready and heard kelis-trick me, luca diriso- calma e sangue freddo, and the black eyed peas- let's get it started; MTV here has maybe a total of 20 songs, and most times they play about 5 of them. The sun is shining and it is a beautiful day, probably about 24 degrees outside. I have a routine now, the week could take place anywhere at this point as I basically hit the hotel, the office, and sometimes a local restaurant. But then again, on the weekends I am in Rome. At some point I will move here and live in Trastevere, I'll get every where on a scooter, and it'll be paradise. If it's at the right point in my life ($) I'll open a fusion tapas bar and introduce more Romans to sushi and other worldly delights(my big plan is to have chefs come in like big name DJs for one night: imagine Nozawa on a 3 dish rotation. You pay your 30 euro cover, you get what he gives you, and a week later you argue who's set was better, his or Matsuhisa's).



del.icio.us "Social Bookmarks" another CoDvG

Hey floridians, want to avoid more harsh-karma?

GODvsBUSH.gif The powers that be deal out justice with the tip of the boot to those counties that voted for bush in 2k. This is really a scary coincidence, but I haven't verfied the paths myself so it could be nicely put together bunk. Another one courtesey of Dougy via my aunt Geeta(referred to as CoDvG from here on out in the blog)


Creepiest blog ever

I Found Some Of Your Life: September 2004 This blog is unbelievable, a guy found a memory card in a taxi and he is posting one pic a day and making up a story to go along with the pictures pretending to be the original owner of the camera. This thing is hilarious (somewhat unethical, but worth it)

NOOOO It's been taken down :(

La Notte Bianca

La Notte Bianca (the white night) is when the streets of Rome are filled with live music, poetry readings, street performers, pannino stands, and the wine flows like water. All of the museums and many shops are open all night and the streets are packed with tens of thousands of people. My consumption of the evening consisted of too much wine, too much beer, and too many pannini with fillings ranging from porchetta (the real deal), to grilled sausage, to eggplant. Suffice to say by the end of the evening my wallet was empty and my stomach full. I basically walked the streets listening to music and eating food. Feeling social I started talking to people and I ended up spending most of the evening with a group of dutch tourists, one of whom was wearing a cal sweatshirt (GO BEARS!). By the time I met up with them their english was as good as mine. We walked through the city with me acting as their guide. Hilarity ensued since I don't speak italian, and I don't know the city, but I led us to where we needed to go with much gesticulation, a few words in italian and a lot of angelino spanglish. All in all the night was a total success except that I forgot to take enough pictures. But I did come away from the evening with a fantastic shot of the colloseo worth looking for in the web album.
One random thing I noticed was that there must have been thousands of women in spike heels walking quickly over irregular cobblestones drunk out of their minds, but I only saw a few stumble, and none (that I saw) fell. By all indicators, the streets should have been littered with beautifull well dressed women with broken and sprained ankles, but I guess Italian women're hardcore. These Romans in general take their fashion seriously, regardless of age everyone seemed to be dressed stylishly, this doesn't imply universal taste or judgement, just the effort involved; of course I'm used to palo alto where the uniform is khakis, a company polo shirt, and the badge still on.


Friday Lunch Series

Friday Lunch Series A brilliant blog from a friend who understands the power and beauty of pork slow cooked in tomatillos y chiles (verdes).

Old News- U- Lock hacked by a Bic pen

Kryptonite Evolution 2000 U- Lock hacked by a Bic pen - Misc. Gadgets - gadgets.engadget.com So this has been out in the blogsphere for a few days now, but it's also made it into the mainstream press. Unfortunately there's not a whole lot you can do about this one except get an older u-lock ( harder to pick), or to get a lock without a cylindrical lock system. I think at this point it's safe to say that there's gonna be a lot of bay area redistribution of bikes. Interestingly enough this hack has been around for a long time, it just got out into the blogsphere recently, and there are plenty of theives who surf the internet.

Best motto ever

So I was talking to my longtime compadre brian and he told me of his friend's motto. This may be one of the most brilliant things ever put into print and i thought i'd share it with all of you:

"Be polite, be courteous, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
2nd Lt Kenneth H. Javes, USMC.

I like the way this guy thinks


Position Offered: Pirate

Position Offered: Pirate It may be time to rise from the shackes of my corporate position and become a pirate. Signs are all around me, between Sunday being national talk like a pirate day and this craigslist posting, it's clear that forces are inexorably drawing me towards a life of crime on the high seas ala The Crimson Permanent Assurance in monty python's holy grail. Arrrrr! Avast, and prepare to be boarded!


horkulated - Proposed Bush Cheney 2004 Bumper Stickers

horkulated - Proposed Bush Cheney 2004 Bumper Stickers Support Kerry, and put something funny on someone's car. The best thing to do would be to find someone with a legitimate sticker and cover it in a guerilla style.


That's right simpsons lovers, it's the map of Springfield

Map of springfield, someone with too much time decided to watch a lot of Simpsons and piece together a map of springfield fron clues on the show. I haven't cross checked it for validity, but either way it's cool

Time wasting on a wed night/afternoon

Noteboard This is a pretty sweet collaborative time-wasting app, worth taking a look at. It's under BSD so use it, and spread it. BTW if you post please keep it reasonable. Here's a link from a rediscovered acquaintance's friendster posting 20 questions, you think of the item, it asks. Would that it were in wap


HOW-TO stolen from Engadget - www.engadget.com

HOW-TO: Enable web based viewing and remote control over your TiVo - Engadget - www.engadget.com Every once in a while I realize I'm not hardcore enough about my gadgets, I gotta start mucking around with this kind of stuff more, remote tivo access is sweet!.


Rome Web Album

The album  from my big day out. Today I got out to see the city, and Rome has rapidly climbed the list of my favorite cities in the world. It's got fantastic weather, reasonable food prices, great people, and unbelievable scenery all around ( see pictures), some day I may try to learn italian and move here. Today I walked around downtown and waded my way through all the tourists. Apparantly on weekends with weather this fantastic romans tend to flee the city to beaches, so there was a really bad local to tourist ratio today. I started my day in the city at about 1pm with a large prosciutto e mozzarella pannino and a glass of wine, the bill was only 5 euros, that's 6 bucks for a big sandwich and a glass of wine, is this paradise? I walked around alone for a couple hours and took some pictures of a couple key spots (see album), and then met up with a friend of my mom's in the evening. We did more of the touristy thing, ate gelato, and grabbed a delicious dinner. Now I love LA, it's by far my favorite city in the states, but LA ain't got nothing on rome. This place has unbelievable history and culture, beautifull people, fantastic weather, great food, and it's even got palm trees. I think I'm home.


Drinks to annoy your date with

The Exorcist brilliant comic drink, worth checking out. My personal favorite drink to annoy a date with is the "Blood of the proletariat" (I invented this drink on a date with a girl who had clear socialist leanings). It's just a cocktail glass full of vodka that you carefully pour cassis into. The cassis, being denser and more viscous, stays mostly at the bottom and slowly diffuses into the drink, looking like blood in water. The punchline comes when the date asks you about the name, you replay and say "it's just like exploiting the working masses," "it gets sweeter as you go." If any of you have some good comical drinks to annoy your date with please post them

Rome (extended remix)

So I still haven't gotten out to see any of the city yet, but it seems like that's gonna be okay since they've got me staying out here till the 3rd week of october. That's a long time to be away (6 weeks total) espescially since I still haven't completely moved into my new Foster City apt yet. But hey, it's Rome, I'll think I'll deal. When I gt back I will throw quite the housewarming party


Roman Work-iday

Spent my first day in Rome yesterday. The Holiday Inn was crap, so I have since shifted to the sheraton, a nicer cheaper(thanks to my new gold status) hotel where I earn rewards points. I haven't gotten to see any of rome except for the two hotels, the airport, the customer site, and the TIBCO office. Our office here is spectacular. We are in a real Roman Villa complete with the cyprus lined garden, courtyards, and fountains (pictures to follow). Apparantly the family that owns the villa stilll lives somewhere on the massive grounds, but they rent out some of the buildings to a couple companies. Afterall, if you have to go into the office everyday, you might as well do it in style. When I get out this weekend I'll have more interesting stuff to post, now it's back to the grindstone



Great graphical view of buzzwords and the frequency of their use at the DNC and RNC. It's been a while since I've had an infoporn posting, so if you guys find any out there, post a comment so I can link to em.


Dive! Dive! Dive!

Dive! Dive! Dive! Yes, another key link from my aunt. This is a listing of a bunch of valley ( silicon, not the silicone SFV) dives for lunch. It has a very San Jo focus, but it lists a few good ones around the rest of the valley as well. Definitely worth taking a look if you want some cheap eats.

Romeward Bound

Once again I am traveling to lands afar for work. This time they're sending me to Rome which is going to be sweet. I've never been before and I'm looking forward to getting out a little and seeing the sites. I'm bringing a hawaiian shirt, shorts, sandals and black socks, I make a badass tourist. I'll use the blog as a travel journal like I did in Melbourne.


Big Weekend

So this weekend my sister got married with all the fanfare and multi day excitement one would expect from an indian wedding. During the toasts there wasn't a dry eye in the house, then my mom got up and gave a very short toast to the effect of "one of my son inlaw's friends came up to me today and said ' you're not losing a daughter, you're gaining tech support', " suffice to say it livened up the place. Afterall this was a wedding between a neuroscientist and an software engineer, so as you could imagine the place was rife with nerdy types (myself included).

My other big weekend event was when I got hit by a car, now this was not the first time it's happened, but it was the frist time it happened outside a crosswalk. I was loading some stuff into my trunk at ucla, when two girls in a vw cabriolet backed their car into me, pushing me into the trunk with a loud noise as I dropped the projector screen and started swearing. Did one of these crappy-pop music listening skanks bother to get out to see if I was okay? Of course not, one of them started screaming, and the driver took off laying down rubber. I wasn't injured from the impact, but I seriously bumped my head on the the inside of the trunk. As I exited the back of the car several people from the parking lot came over to me to check if I was okay. I was thrilled, I figured one out of these 5-6 people must have gotten the plates, but no, they were all too concerned with whether the impact had killed me, shattered my legs, or done something equally dramatic. So my assailants fled the scene unhindered to commit more acts of careless stupidity while listening to terrible music and comparing rainbow on white louis vuitton bags. With any luck the guilt over the incident will cause the girl years of nightmares, depression, and obeisity.


The Perfect Hipster Accessory

The Perfect Hipster Accessory This may be the funniest personal ad I've ever seen. Tom you should really look into becoming a drummer, this could work for you.

Fallen Protagonists (Movie Spoiler)

Tonight I saw better luck tomorrow, I've been on this asian film kick lately ( fulltime killer, the debut, tampopo, and an old zatoichi movie), but this is one I may have to add to my collection. Aside from the movie being good, the initials are BLT, how could I go wrong. The story kind of fits in well with Memento, Swimming with Sharks, and The Player. Like the others, its got this great descent of the protagonist that's almost shakespearean. I think the key to having a likable character do something awful is that moment of understanding where the act could be prevented or confessed to after the fact, but the protagonist just continues knowing full well that their actions are evil. The other clutch aspect of these movies is that for our fallen protagonists, their uppance doesn't come within the scope of the movie. Every once in a while it's good to remember that karma isn't enforced, regardles of who's hitler hairdo makes us feel ill.


Time to start a new blog

Okay so I have a serious crush on the cool events listings in LAist.com. While someone may be doing this for the bay area as well, I want someone to just tell me about the cool area events going on. So I have decided I am going to start a small group blog and try and recruit my friends to post when they know of interesting goings on. If anyone's down post a comment, or fire me an email.


The Meek

The meek shall inherit the earth, cause the rest of us'll be rockin out in space.


ContraCostaTimes.com | 08/17/2004 | Costco's newest bargain: caskets

Costco's newest bargain: caskets If I wasn't going to be blown to smitherines in an airburst over the ocean after my passing, I would totally have my family get my coffin at costco, hell if you buy 10 lbs of meat you get a discount.

Haiku for the week

Working really hard,
Toga party Saturday,
I can taste the wine

32 ways to open a brew

Flash movie showing 32 different beer opening methods from the commonplace to the obscure ( using the tab on your fly) Think you had a couple cool tricks in college, check out grandma at the end. This video shows just one of many interesting and productive skillsthat one could pick up in their freetime.


Dangers with a computer in the wild

What a Tangled Web I Wove (washingtonpost.com)   This is a pretty good article from the washington post about a user's experience trying to get a badly infected computer spyware and virus free. It brings up the good point that most people don't think about putting on firewalls. Given how useful a computer can be as a potential spam/virus relay, it really makes sense to lock things down. I like to use spybot-search and destroy, and zonealarm, both are frewware and extremely usefull. The ZoneAlarm people do okay on upgrades, but I highly recommend donating to spybot to keep them around. The other solution to protect your computer is to move to mac osx or linux for which there are many fewer malicious programs and spyware. Then you can get tons of software for free too (viva open source).

A day in some dude's life

[ Yonkis.com ] Pretty well done timeline in some guys life described by the logos of the products he used. Worth takin a look. (and of course this is another one from my aunt)



Woot! So I don't know if you guys are familiar with woot, but every day they offer a good deal on one product. That's right, think of the site as consisting of just a buy.com deal of the day. Def worth a look.


Quite the month

This August, has started great and is only getting better . At work things have dramatically improved as my internal visibility has risen, and they tell me I'm gonna be traveling a lot more. As for my social life, I've gotten to celebrate a ton of friends birthdays, my sis turns 28 today ( HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!) , and next week i'm throwing a toga party in honor of the olympics. To top it off today is friday the 13th, I don't know why but I've always had good luck on friday the 13ths. The rest of this month reeks of potential, don't know why, I can just smell it.

Funky Friday playlist:

Stevie Wonder- Superstition
Kool and the gang- Jungle Boogie
Hot Chocolate- Sexy Thing
Red Hot Chilli Peppers- Higher Ground
George Clinton- Dr. Funkenstein
Average White Band- Pick Up the Pieces
Commodores- Brick House
Beastie Boys- Sabrosa


Sunrise, almost

Today, thanks to the overwhelming jet lag, I was up in time for the sunrise, but all I caught was marine layer. It's good to be back in socal for a day or two to sleep and enjoy the spectacular weather. I'm gonna milk this day for all that it's worth, I'va already got a lacma trip planned, and maybe I'll even swing by the getty. I've still got a brutal cough from my travels down under, but the heat and a fatburger should cure what ails me. Oh yeah, and check my moblog for a few random pics from my trip, including the Cafe deWheels chilli dog.


What a long strange trip it's been...

This trip to australia has definitely had its share of highlights of good days, but 24 days on a work trip can wear. Melbourne is a great city of little bars and cafes tucked in side streets and alleyways, it's got a very european feel and it's not unusual to see people having a drink at lunchtime. The reason why is simple, the weather here blows. Great city, but the weather is like Seattle. Sydney has more of a rushed big city feel and the people aren't as nice, but they are better looking and the weather's significantly better. Sydney vs. Melbourne seems to be athe LA vs. SF rivalry, except Melbourne has more of a european feel than SF. So, day after tomorrow I go back to the states to grab a little slice of summer which seems to have mostly passed in my time down under, but it's been a hell of a trip. It's amazing how much you can learn in the field , "heaps" of hard work but it's been worth it.

Trip Haiku

Melboune till Wednesday,

Hard working days and cold nights,

I dream of LA.


Weekend in Sydney

My buddy Ali's family lives in Sydney, so he offered me the guestroom for the weekend and his services as tour guide, how could I refuse. Friday night we got in from the airport and went directly to an upscale bar filled with well dressed good looking people, think NYC with nicer people. After a couple hours at the bar we hit drove through the extremely seedy kings cross (crackheads and prostitutes lining the sidewalks) to Harry's Cafe de Wheels for a bite. Harry's has been around in Sydney for ages, it's a little trailer in a seedy part of town that's open late and serves tasty food to defile the temple of the body. I had a chicken pie toppped with mashed potatoes and cheese sauce, and what they called a chilli cheese dog. A harry's chilli cheese dog is bizzare, it's a hot dog with mashed peas (yes, mashed peas), onions, chili, hot sauce, and this bechamel looking "cheese sauce". Lemme tell ya, after a bunch of drinks it was delicious. The next day I took the ferry to Manly, got a great view of the city from the harbor and walked around. Went to the gym, then went out again. Sydney has this casino that looks great on the outside, and looks like the stardust on the inside. Ali's friend was celebrating her 29th, so we celebrated by going to this club in the casino with a bar that overlooked the casino floor. 80's music, and neat 'fiddich's for $6US, suffice to say, a good time was had by all. The next day was a little more sight seeing and recovery, then back to the office.


Social Networking + Product tie-ins= Metails.com

Metails.com is what happened when someone sat down and said friendster is great, but how can I use it's model to make lots and lots of money. This idea is great, a user comes on and looks through groups of friends and foafs to find out what's cool, when something catches the user's eye s/he clicks the link and is taken directly to the online retailer that sells it ( mostly to amazon). The site and the person with the link both take a slice off the top and everyone's happy. I don't think I'll join, despite the fact that it's genius. What annoys me the most about this site is that I didn't come up with it. If this thing were to get to friendster size ( and it won't), the people running it could make obscene amounts of money. Something like this could really catch on and be powerful in Japan where there is a huge culture of social status based on having the right stuff. The real questions are how can it be done better, how can they possibly protect themselves from copycats, and how could they collect and sell marekting datato really leverage the network.

Am I hot, or not?

The joys of seeking validation or humiliation from random people on the internet. I had a conversation about my looks with a recent acquaintance who shall remain namless, and we disagreed on my position in the absolute (national, not LA or bay area) 10pt scale. In order to settle this dispute we agreed to turn to the ultimate scoring medium, hotornot.com, using the only picture I seem to use online (as seen on this page, friendster, and orkut) . Feel free to click the following link, but vote honestly, a wager of drinks rests on the outcome after 200 people have rated me. Have no worries, I will neither be crushed nor get a swelled head, afterall, I know what I look like


I'm moving

Aloha all, it looks like the time has come for HarshKarma to get out on it's own and move locations.  So over the next week or so look for me to be moving to http://www.harshkarma.com,  and my cafepress shop with lou inspired tshirts will also be linked.  All I need to do next is find a good utility that can pull photos from an email account and ftp them to my blog and I'll be set.  So email or add comments for your recommendations fo software, for the time being I will stick to blogger to drive the blog cause I'm really happy with it, but in the futue I may go to MT, or dare I say it ... a full fledged cms like postnuke or something.


Ever wondered: What's My Pirate Name?

fidius.org: What's My Pirate Name? Arr, now ye can learn the name ye would have on the high seas. Those of you who follow this link, please enter your pirate name in the comments below.

It's the laptop, and me, and the code makes 3 tonight

The Sofitel Melbourne is a sweet hotel, tonight I got back to my room and found strawberries, chocolate, and a chilled bottle of white wine with a note from the management saying "hope your project goes well."   At first I found it cool, and then it sunk in that it had this kind of unintended backhanded feel to it.  The note may as well have said "we're giving you a gift cause you're here for so long, but we're rubbing it in that you'll be drinking this by yourself in front of a computer tonight ,if you get to drink it at all, oh and here's two glasses just as a reminder."  Good thing I'm bloody bold, and resolute. ( I saved the wine for a less depressing chance to crack it, but I was all over the strawberries like a fat kid on a cupcake)


My first footy game

Lions steamroll Pies (July 17, 2004) Today I went out and saw my first footy game. It was cold and raining at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, and the game started close and low scoring. The match was almost tied at the half, but starting in the third quarter Brisbane Lions had their way with the Collingwood Magpies. Aussie rules football is a great brutal sport and a hell of a lot of fun to watch. It's got all the elements that make a sport exciting to watch, fast paced action, high scoring potential, feats of skill and luck, and a healthy dose of violence. It may be my new favorite spectator sport.


Melbourne day 5

Behold, it warms!!
Other than work and meals not much has happened so far in my melbourne trip, but I will still share some of the day2-day5 highlights.
For breakfast the other day I grabbed an awful vegemite sandwich just to say I've had one. Melbourne seems to be a great city for food, despite the vegemite. Night before last I had crocodile with scallions, ginger, and snowpeas at a chinese place, and last night I had a tandoori chicken pizza with a mint raita on top, the food here has treated me well. To replace the usual greeting of " 'sup?" I've picked up "How you going?" to which I guess the response is "great." I've also finally made real use of orkut and friendster to find out good places to eat and drink in Melbourne (many thanks to the orkut groups: melbourne foodies and melbourne, and also to the friendster user Miss Kate). This trip is working out pretty well, now we just have to get the deal :)


Hilarious CL personal

I don't kick puppies! Another good one forwarded from my aunt. This guy rocks, note the clever flow chart and ingenious use of the phrase "zombie dragon, powerful in life, unstoppable in death." Nerdy date seeking CL user, I salute you!

Day 2 Melbourne

Work and getting around

Today was my second day of work in melbourne. Began the day with a "long black" (kind of a double americano, easy on the water) and a bacon egg and cheese muffin. I'm really begining to dig this city, on the walk from my hotel ( melbourne sofitel) down collins street to work the melbourne feels like a cross between a european city and somewhere in the east coast. The europe part comes in with the walkable clean alleys and random interesting stuff: I walked by a shop where instead of mannequins in the display window they had a group of co-ed models in underwear dancing lip synching to YMCA. Work was a hard productive 11 hour day with a Pho break for lunch, and afterwards we closed the day with a great tapas dinner. I could get used to this lifestyle.

Down Under Playlist short but existent ( and updated)

  • silverchair- hard to drink
  • kylie minogue- can't get you out of my head
  • the vines- get free
  • AC/DC- back in black
  • Jet- Are you gonna be my girl
  • Ben Lee- Cigarettes will kill you


Weather- Melbourne, Australia

CNN.com - Weather- Melbourne, Australia
Woo Hoo, skipping 3 weeks of the best part of summer for a rainy winter, at least I come back in august.


Australia settled

Where women glow and men plunder
Finally after much deliberation, the details of my australia trip have been settled. From the 10th to the 28th of July, I will be in Melbourne programming up a storm, possibly having a vb or two, and augmenting my speach with such gems as mate, and no worries. If anyone has suggestions of things to do in Melbourne, or any friends in the city please leave a comment.


Nobody walks in LA

The Driving Date, it's you and me and the car makes 3

A lot of people hate driving around in LA with a passion, but when I was sixteen and broke it was all there really was to do (check the blog archives for my ode to Veronica). LA's got a lot of great things to do and see, but no cohesive downtown like New York or San Francisco. We have freeways connecting everything, so from one attraction to the other there's a lot of driving to be done. This fosters a kind of love/hate relationship with the one's car and streets of the city. I thought I'd look a little bit more on the love side of the scale since I'm trapped up in silicon valley where it's just plain different (I suppose it's like the valley with less burger joints, less sushi, less porn, and a lot more tech) The great thing about LA driving is the scenery, it's tough to beat the LA variation from city to beach to oilfields to canyons, while never being more than 10 minutes from an in-n-out or a fatburger.
A driving date is something you can really only do with someone who gets it. But for those who do understand, there just something compelling about cruising around on a sunny day,windows down, roof open and good music blasting.
I've always liked it because it's pretty cheap, and all you need to make it work is a date that's up for it and decent loop. I personally like the trip from mulholland to malibu canyon, to piuma (the overlook is a good place to stop and picnic), back out to PCH, grab drinks and dinner in santa monica and close off the loop in west LA, but the city's full of good ones. So for any angelinos reading this, throw your favorite drive loop into the comments

Mellow Ride playlist coming soon


Free eBooks and a little rant

manybooks.net - Free eBooks for your PDA
Lately I've taken to downloading ebooks for my palm, and carying my palm with me whenever I know I might be waiting somewhere for a while. Project Gutenberg is a great way of getting tons of free texts that I should have read by now. What I really need is a good epaper (for the reduced eyestrain), ebook reader with a digital pen that lets me annotate books and save my annotations in a seperate file that can be loaded over the ebook text.

If the big publishers came together with a few platform companies and got a general standard ebook format decided on, the rest of the software vendors would follow. Granted the standard would end up being strongarmed by microsoft and palm most likely, but at least then there'd be one general standard. It would have to allow for freeform pagination because of different display sizes and preferences, but it would be really easy to have some xml based format, or just require that ebooks follow one specific xml schema and then let vendors parse them however the hell they like.

I can envision myself in 5 years going to a kiosk at an airport bookstore, slotting an sd card in and picking up the newest clancey type junkfood bestseller. I'd never carry a paperback again


Acronym Server

Acronym Server Simplified Another useful one from the aunt, just type in your acronym for a list of common possibilities. It's actually pretty good for standard computer and telco acronyms.



base26: Built with Processing So I've been looking into a bunch of interesting ways of visualizing information and come across a few cool ones like that link above. There have to be some good ways of visualizing massive sets of information for access and retrieval, or at least for finding patterns. Plenty of sci-fi hits on this, but no one really describes a good way of doing it. Clearly for different sets there will be different schemes and maps, so I'm gonna start periodically blogging the ones I find (also check the newsmap link in the sidebar). If anyone who reads this has a good infopr0n link add a comment.

Now Playing
Red Elvises- Boogie on the Beach
surf around the site for more mp3s, this one's a classic from the six string samurai soundtrack


Dangers of game playing

Man dies after playing computer games non-stop - smh.com.au So this story is a couple years old, but I thought I'd put it up anyway. A 24 yearold in korea was up for 86 hours straight playing some comptuer game without food. He collapsed then woke up and went to the bathroom where he was later found dead. Natural selection is back, I wonder why this guy never won a darwin award


Sweet Plywood Chair

Ben Wilson's great plywood chair. The chair is made out of a single piece of routed plywood and assembled with only a mallet (eat your heart out ikea). Not clear when it will be available, but definitely something to add to my inflatably furnished apartment.


War for Unique User Views

The OS, then the browser,then the portal, now what?

So Yahoo has now responded to the ludicrous amount of gmail storage by upping their accounts to 100mb. One has to wonder how long it will be before microsoft will step up to the plate and deliver a better free email service. The real power with delivery of information is controlling the channel. 10 years ago that meant controlling the desktop, 5 years ago that meant controlling the browser, now it's controlling the content delivery channels to deliver targeted content/ads. Between MSN, Yahoo, Google, and the dying aol, Google is quickly becoming the 500lb gorilla with the best search engine, the best email, the best news search, the entire usenet archives, a blogging service (this one), and an affiliated social/business networking community ( orkut). Granted MSN and yahoo have their answers to most of these, but by coming in later as player with a less commercial and stronger technical reputation, I certainly trust google more. MSN and Yahoo come off as pushing content too much, through google I search what's out there and get a less biased view of things. My one gripe is that google has decided not to bundle services under one login, but to provide most services as standalones. It would be nice to have one login/session for orkut, gmail, and blogger, but since I managed to land the same username for all I guess I'm happy
WBER- The only station that matters


The ugly litigious American

Dating In Manhattan: An Exercise In Contract Law Man how badly off are we that someone actually thought that this was okay to do. The funny thing is that given that we're Americans, he can probably successfully take this to small claims. Of course that would ensure he gets the kind of publicity that will prevent him from ever getting a date.


MoCoSanFrancisco - Modern contemporary design & architecture

MoCoSanFrancisco Another design blog, this one with an SF focus. Link courtesy of mocoloco.com


DEJA VIEW, Inc. This is going on my want list, combined with a good near eye display for replays this thing is sweet. it's a little too big right now for people not to get freaked out if you have one on while talking to them, but it's getting down to the right size. 5 years or so and I'll be able to get myself into real trouble with one of these


Project Gutenberg humor find

Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary A collection of witty definitions worth appending to email sigs. I received many quality links from my aunt this week, but I thought I'd go for a little classic content today.
This one is filled with such gems as:
AFFIANCED, pp. Fitted with an ankle-ring for the ball-and-chain.


Unusual string of events

It's 8000 miles to Melbourne, I got an HD full of code, half a pack of gum, it's dark ouside and I'm wearing sunglasses...
So the last week or so has been interesting, I saw a couple old friends and exes I haven't seen in a while. I went to a kickass "A Perfect Circle" concert. I attended a birthday party of someone who I had never met before the party. Kobe hit a clutch 3 tonight so the lake-show could win it in overtime. Today I found out that I will probably be doing a month or two stint in Melbourne for work, great opportunity, but man 2 months on the other side of the world. It's a good thing I'm single

April 4 sounds eclectic


Transformer Breakdancing

Badass Transformer Video A great transformers b boyin flash link from uma. Worth the wait for the download.


Back to the Bay Area after a damn good weekend at home

A damn good weekend

Surf Rock

  • The Ventures- Hawaii 5.0
  • Dick Dale & His Del-Tones-Misirlou
  • Surf Rider - The Lively Ones
  • Beach Boys- California Girls
  • The Revels- Comanche
  • Zebrahead-Waste of Mind
  • Red Elvises- Bedroom Boogie
  • The Ventures-Wipeout
Back to silicon valley after a weekend in LA (Fatburger- a fatburger with cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg; Zankou Chicken- chicken Sandwich extra garlic; Izzy's deli- tuna melt, I think; In-n-Out (kettleman city)- double double, grilled onions). This was an interesting weekend, I hung out with people I haven't seen in years and made the acquaintance of a few people whith whom I have shared at most one or two words, so it looks like the circle of people to party with expands. Today's links are a motley group with no theme: self-similar flash spiral avoid this one if you get dizzy easily. The best ofbash.org, these are great quotations worthy of such genius minds as spanky, fat tom, and gyppo lou.


Eating in LA

Home for the weekend

Food hits in no particular order

  • Roscoes Chicken 'n' Waffles- Scoe's special
  • Fatburger- Double fat w/bacon, cheddar and an egg
  • Pink's- dog w/ pastrami and swiss
  • Zankou- 1/2 chicken 2 pita hummus and extra garlic
  • Carnies- Chilli cheeseburger
  • Apple Pan- Hickory Burger
  • Jose bernsteins- Korean burrito
  • Diddy Reese- icecream sandwich( double chocolate cookie, mint chip icecream, chocolate chip cookie)
  • Benitas Frites- Medium fries w/ Andalus sauce, or shitake arugula mayo
  • Canters- pastrami, expensive but traditional
I am in beautiful southern california for the weekend and I have a hit list of places where I must gorge myself. This weeks playlist counts off a few of my personal faves. I've only got one day free to try, and one of the meals is spoken for, but I'm gonna do my best to check a few off the list, or just try and hit up as many fat burger locations as possible. my next blog posting will contain my results. Kobe rocks


The Ultimate War Sim

The Ultimate War Sim One from ray yang, this would be an rts wargame that I would play

Nuklear Power - Home of 8-bit Theatre

Nuklear Power - Home of 8-bit Theatre For those of you who used to play 8-bit role playing games, this cartoon is a must. I's got action, adventure, humor, and random ass encounters


Rubbing salt in it

This post might be a little oblique unless you know me pretty well, but the internet at large is an interesting way to vent 8^Þ

Someday, when I'm awfuly low...and the world is cold, I will feel a glow...

  • The four Tops-It's just the same old song
  • U2-One
  • Crowded House- Don't Dream it's Over
  • Simon and Garfunkel-America
  • Crowded House- World Where You Live
  • The Beatles- Nowhere Man (inside joke at Paoli's)
  • Bobby Darrin- I'm Beginning to See the Light
  • Billie Holiday- The Way You Look Tonight (roof of campbell, night working in the etch lab)
  • Paul Simon- The Obvious Child
  • INXS-Beautifull Girl
  • The Police-Synchronicity II
  • David Bowie- Golden Years
  • Harry Belafonte-Man Smart(Woman Smarter)
  • David Bowie- Rebel Rebel( just cause she liked the song so much)
  • Peter Gabriel- In Your Eyes (long, live version)
So this post has recently been edited since it first went up, because really, my life's much better than the old post version would have led one to believe. While I can't shake that naked eyes lyric, cause there is always something there to remind me, I'm really doing qute well now. I guess my current mindset is best described by Gyppo Lou's historic quote to a cute scientologist in Miyagi's (which will soon be appearing on a t-shirt in my cafe press shop, with 1/2 net (initial)proceeds going to lou for saying it with a straight face).


Ulli's Roy Orbison in Cling-film site

Ulli's Roy Orbison in Cling-film siteThis is possibly the funniest thing the internet has produced in a while, it is a non-sexual parody of a fan fetish site. Def worth a read


I've got soul....and I'm super bad

Tearin the roof of the sucka

  • Average White Band- Pick up the pieces
  • James Brown- Pappa's Got a Brand New Bag
  • Stevie Wonder- Superstition
  • George Clinton- Atomic Dog
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers- Higher Ground
  • James Brown- Super Bad
  • Commodores- Brick House
  • Parliament- Flashlight
  • Kool & the Gang- Jungle Boogie
  • Parliament- Dr. Funkenstien
  • Isaac Hayes- Shaft
  • Beastie Boys- Sabrosa
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers-Rollercoaster

Many may wonder why I have selected this playlist of funk and soul. There is but one answer, and it came to George Clinton straight out of the pyramids: "Funk is its own reward." Every once in a while I feel that it is important to take a step back from the drudgery of our lives and embrace the funk. Many of my good friends have also taken this to heart like former disco vigilante Tom Berman a.k.a the impresario of Funk, Ryan Salcedo the Funky Fish(founder of the Earth, Wind, & Fire tribute band "Water"), or Nick Hinkell who eats, sleeps, breathes, and skates the funk every day. So the next time today someone asks you to acknowledge something respond in your best baritone with an "I dig", or a "Damn straight," unless they be jive'n in which case you can tell 'em what the five fingers said to the face


And her name was Veronica

Veronica's playlist

  • The Offspring- Bad Habit
  • God Lives Underwater- No More Love
  • Jimmy Hendrix- Fire
  • Rage against the Machine- Bulls on Parade
  • Beasties Boys- Paul Revere
  • The Offspring- Come out and Play
  • The Rolling Stones- Satisfaction
  • Nine Inch Nails- Sin
  • Rage Against the Machine- Bullet in the Head
  • The Smashing Pumpkins-Zero
  • Nirvana- Come as You Are
  • Ministry- Jesus Built my Hotrod
This playlist is dedicated to my buddy Brian's first car. Her name was Veronica she was a silver 1985 Nissan 300ZX t-top. Brian was the first one of us in highschool with his own car so he drove us around alot. Without Veronica we would have missed out on many of the antics that made the highschool so much fun. I'm putting this up today because I saw a Z today that looked exactly what veronica must have in her prime. We all miss her, but I bet Tommy misses her the most. Basically what she looked like In the end she was running on 3 cylinders and had to go, but she was still a sweet car. In her honor, I may have to get a G35 coupe in silver for my next car.

Make friends using your phone!!

Learn how to use your phone better Classic book about how to use a telephone, a must read. Of course this is another one from my aunt


Happy to be alive

Playlist of vitality
  • The Beatles- Good day sunshine
  • James Brown-I Feel Good
  • U2- Desire
  • Beastie Boys-Girls
  • kotton mouth kings- dog's life
  • David Bowie- Golden Years
  • Guns 'N' Roses- Paradise City
  • House of Pain-Jump Around
  • Us3- Cantaloop
  • George Clinton- Atomic Dog
  • Harry Belafonte- Matilda
  • Bob Marley-Jammin

So, I've been pretty bummed out the past few days (for obvious reasons if you've been talking to me lately), but this morning on the way to work that changed. I saw an accident that resulted in a bad car fire and two ambulances on the scene. Based on the configuration of the accident, the flaming car was making the same turn I was about to when it got nailed. It suddenly occurred to me that regardless of how stressed or bummed I am, at least I'm not on fire in an intersection on the way to work. My outlook on the day did a complete 180, after all it's sunny and gorgeous outside, and while I have 34 test cases ahead of me at work today, I won't be thinking about them from a burn ward. It's a shame it took a possible fatality to slap a little perspective into me, but I'll take what I can get.


Bob Dylan: Idiot Wind

Bob Dylan: Idiot Wind So according to my friend tommy, this is the best song ever. If you see this link please add a link to the lyrics of your favorite (vocal) song ever in the comments.


Columbia Spectator Online

Columbia Spectator Online Pic from the front page of the Columbia U newspaper, Jenni O'Reilly-Jones supporting her TA and slapping the face of "The Man" click "back to article" for the full story.


Keep on downloading in the free world

Heroes and Monsters
  • Blue Oyester Cult- Godzilla
  • Warren Zevon- Warewolves of London
  • Edgar Winter Group- Frankenstein
  • Black Sabbath- Iron Man
  • Jim Croce- Don't mess around with Jim
  • Bob Dylan- The Mighty Quin
  • Spin Doctors- Jimmy Olsen Blues
  • Queen-Flash Gordon
  • Wesley Willis-I Whooped Batman's Ass
StationRipper tired of the RIAA suing you? This is completely free and leagal ( as the law stands right now). So find your favorite shoutcast station, and rip rip rip away. On another note, I now also have finally become one of the first kids on my block with gmail, woo hoo! So I am now hkarmark at gmail in addition to hotmail.com, infowindo.net, cal.berkeley.edu (still my primary), and a couple others. If you're wondering how this relates to to the playlist I will explain: google= heroes, RIAA= people who sue 12 yearolds with no money who wouldn't be buying records anyway(short leap to monsters)


Web Photo Gallery Creation

Web Photo Gallery Creation - Freeware for Windows So lots of people out there have armies of digital photos they want to upload in a nice easy way. This is an about.com roundup of a bunch of freeware programs to let you put your pictures up on the web in a nice easy way, generating thumbnails and html for you with little effort.


Ninja Style

Matrix Music/Street Sam Grooves

  • Prodigy-Mindfields
  • Propellerheads-Spybreak(extended)
  • Rob D -Clubbed 2 Death (Kurayama Mix)
  • Rage-Wake Up
  • Meat Beat Manifesto- Prime Audio Soup
  • |\| | |/|-The Becoming
  • Prodigy- Smack my Bitch Up
  • KMFDM-More and Faster
  • Marylin Manson- Rock is Dead
  • Hive- Ultrasonic Sound
  • Stabbing Westward- Save Myself
  • The Crystal Method- Comin' Back
  • Trent Reznor vs Korn - Freak on a Leash
  • Lunatic Calm- Leave you Far Behind
Woke up this morning feeling amazing, like I had skill and power somewhere between a ninja and a jedi. Which is surprising after I spent last night consuming a pasta bowl of obscene proportions that was supposed to last me through the week. Mom, I love your arrabiata. Feeling carnivorous I added about a half pound of chopped up greasy pork italian sausage into the bowl. I ate a good 8-10 servings of pasta and a bag of trader joes haricot vert. After about an hour I experienced a food coma that actually caused me to black out. I slept like a baby ...a baby that had been hit on the head by a few pounds of spicy pasta. So I thought I would share some of my ninja feelings with you. Feeling hungry want food delivered by silent assasins? Try ninja-burger I highly recommend the fries of their glorious ancestors. To get the full ninja experience you could always join the master ninja livejournal community. But to truly enjoy the comedy and power of flipping out and killing people you should go learn about real ultimate power. The best is the real ultimate power hate mail. Sayonara.


Best keyboard ever alive and well

Matias Tactile Pro Keyboard Unbe-freakin-lievable. The best feeling keyboard I have ever used before ( the apple extended keyboard) has been resurrected using the same mechanical keyswitches as the original. This keyboard is huge and noisy, but has an excellent feel and keystroke depth. They only give it a five year warranty, but at home the family has a couple of the adb originals that are well on their way to being adults(18 that is) and still working great. If you are a mac user I strongly recommend that you get one of these

Just links, no music ( forgot the ipod )

MujMac - Tatra Mac G4 One of the sweetest embedding projects I've seen, strangest too because the guy uses a mac rather than a linux box.

wikipedia the best free encyclopedia available. For those of you who aren't familiar with the wikipedia this is a must see



Dark kinda mood

  • The Doors- The End ( I just had to put it at the beginning)
  • Bauhaus-Bela Lugosi's Dead
  • Joy Division- Love Will Tear Us Apart
  • The Cure- Burn
  • Siouxsie and the Banshees- Shadowtime
  • |\| | |/|- Dead Souls
  • KMFDM- Anarchy
  • Joy Division-Something Must Break
  • Bauhaus-She's in Parties
  • Tool-Aenema
  • The Cure- Lullaby
For a number of reasons I woke up in a dark mood today. Yesterday I had a discussion with a co worker about morons who take no personal responsibility and sue fast food joints for getting fat. When did it become okay to blame other people for your own failings or stupidity. Because of idiots and their slimy lawyers we have warnings about putting ladders on soft ground, warnings about over exertion for starting lawn mowers, and now soon warnings on fries. "Surgeon General's warning, these fries have been shown to make your ass bigger." We're quickly running out of selection mechanisms, so I guess it was my sudden desire for a selective wave of idiot seeking death that inspired the playlist. Of course it's easy for me to say all of this, not having any real problems in my life, but if you couldn't figure out that eating nothing but cheeseburgers was gonna make you fat, not seeing your feet is the least of your problems. But then again we all know what happens if you get rid of all of the telephone sanitizers (the answer is 42).


simsi my new favorite software:http://www.rowlff.de/simsi/
photos blogs and better living through technology

Offbeat music

  • Johnny Cash- Ring of Fire
  • Wall of Voodoo- Mexican Radio
  • Beck- Deadweight
  • Cibo Matto-Sci Fi Wasabi
  • Nails- 88 Lines about 44 women
  • Cake- The Distance
  • Poe- A rose is a rose
  • Violent Femmes-American Music
  • Propellerheads-Take California (and party)
So I've decided to write my blog posts a little slower, and try to reduce the errors in them. I have received enough email, from a sibling who shall remain nameless, that it behooves me to clean up my act.
On a completely separate note I have recently acquired a camera phone and begun moblogging. It occurred to me that this would make an awesome medium for playing assassins with cameras using a weblog, so if you are interested email me. Photo scavenger hunts with this thing could also be pretty cool. My buddy Tommy has the idea that you are interested in his opinion, if by some chance you are you can get your fill at his blogamateur night



Rockin in the 80's
  • Flock of Seagulls- I ran
  • Aha-Take On Me
  • Thompson Twins- Hold Me Now
  • Duran Duran- Hungry Like the Wolf
  • Frankie goes to Hollywood- Relax
  • Nena- 99 Luftballons
  • Taco- Puttin on the Ritz
  • Falco- Rock me Amadeus
  • Wang Chung- Living in a Box
  • Michael Jackson- Billie Jean
  • Tommy Tutone- 867-5309(Jenny)

In Honor of my 80's playlist I thought I'd lst a couple nostaliga links for all the children of the 80s 80's Cartoons Central great site with an alphabetical list of all your favorite cartoons. 80s Children.com - 80s Cartoons, Toys, Fashion, and More generic site for 80's stuff. The 80's Movies Rewind Home of 80s Movies, fast rewind, of course all of you can search out your own john cusack, and molly ringwald links. but I thought you'd all enjoy a trip through the way back machine.
Recent Discoveries at engrish.comFOr merry fun happy web surfing time and sexual potency
Steven Seagal You have to read this if you're a steven seagal fan. true or not, it's hilarious


a visual representation of headlines from google news with links to the stories, an interesting visual way of aggregating content. this is my new official news site

also you should check out gmail if you can get it to load gmail.google.com, a gig inbox and you can google your messages by the content crazy no?


We Like The Moon - the Spongmonkeys try and cash in on the kittens' success - By Joel Veitch rathergood.com, song by Joel and Alex Veitch Yes it is the origin of the quizno's commercial. Many people have asked for it so here's the link
For Thais, palm oil always has been a good thingMmmm, tropical fats eureka!!
??? - RIM - Ami Ben-Bassat's Blog You'd think they were kidding, but a team in israel determined that pigeons can transmit data at a rate of 2.27mbps, 3 pigeons each carrying 1.3 gig in memory cards transported the data over a distance of 100km, I wonder what the burst rate of an african swallow is?
Spring (Allergy causing Pollen) is in the air

Classic Rock Playlist
  • Jimi Hendrix- Fire
  • Cream- White Room
  • Black Sabbath- Crazy Train
  • AC/DC- Back in Black
  • Led Zeppelin- Whole Lotta Love
  • Ram Jam- Black Betty
  • Steppenwolf- Magic Carpet Ride
  • Foghat-Radar Love
  • CCR-run through the jungle
  • Pink Floyd- Money
  • Jethro Tull- Aqualung
  • George Thorogood- One bourbon, one scotch, one beer
  • Bad Company- Bad Company
  • The Who- Pinball Wizard
  • Deep Purple- Smoke on the Water
  • Sweet-Ballroom Blitz
  • Aerosmith- Sweet Emotion
  • The Rolling Stones- Satisfaction
  • Jefferson Airplane- White Rabbit

So for no particular reason I decided I was in a classic rock kinda mood. Don't really have much to say in this post. My life is fairly free of drama and intrigue. So I will leave you with the following inspirational email from my aunt

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The
animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried
to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the
animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up
anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help
him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel
dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what
was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's
amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked
down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With
each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was
doing something amazing. He would shake it off and
take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on
top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a
step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the
donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and
happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of
dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake
it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a
stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells
just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off
and take a step up.

after the inspirational crap, we join the farmer and his
donkey a week later..

The pissed off donkey came back and bit the shit out of
the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the
bite got infected, and the farmer eventually died in
agony from septic shock.

When you do something wrong and try to cover your ass,
it always comes back to bite you.

21st Annual International Beer Festival uh oh, let the gluttony begin


MoCoLoco it's an industrial design blog!! how my apartment craves these items. I think I'm going to have to outfit my apartment in primary colors, pop art, brushed aluminum and foam, something like a 60's vision of modern living, with penty of light colored molded plywood and translucent plastics.
Louie Louie Lyrics These are the real deal. At the kingsmen's site these are the lyrics posted, these are the lyrics that they sing when they perform it EUREKA!!! Now all I have to do is travel to the great sites (Angkor Wat, Great Wall, Giza, Colosseo, Misc Greek Ruins), eat beef wellington, and write the great novel of my generation, and I can die fulfilled
Kingsman- Louie Louie