Megnut

A whirlwind weekend of friends

A whirlwind weekend of friends and stories and beach walks with sunshine and stone-skipping, the Sunday Times in bed, sunset from a warm new house, summer's last days and sad goodbyes, a whirlwind weekend indeed.

Today is Fray Day. Will

Today is Fray Day. Will you be there to share your stories with me?

I've listened to Kid A

I've listened to Kid A many times over now, and I have to say: I am not disappointed. For the first time, I think, ever, a follow-up album isn't a let down. Running through albums I've loved, albums I've played over and over and over again, I can't recall a time I wasn't let down by the follow-up. Until now. I want to get in a fast car with a great stereo and drive on a long straight road, in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, maybe with mountains off in the distance, maybe through the dessert, with a sky full of stars, just listening and driving on and on and on. I don't even know to where, just on and on and on, with this album filling my ears.

Listening to Radiohead's Kid A for the first time

Today I'm treating myself: I'm listening to the new Radiohead album over at the BBC (it's only up until Friday). I'd been holding off until the album was released because I'm scared. I loved OK Computer so so much, probably more than almost any other album ever. And I don't want to be disappointed. I've been waiting so long for this new one, and I fear a let-down. But I couldn't resist when I saw Judith's link, it's just the thing to get me through the next, and final, hour here at work.

On envelope window standards: We've

On envelope window standards:
We've got standards all over the place, why don't we have standards for which side of the envelope the clear window goes on? Sometimes it's on the right, sometimes it's on the left. If it were always in the same place, companies (mine for instance) could order a whole slew of envelopes with windows all in the same place, with our return address pre-printed on it, even pre-stamped perhaps. And then the bills with their pre-printed address would line up perfectly in the windows. Instead of windows all willy-nilly all over the place.

On the Eminenya MP3:


On the Eminenya MP3:
Back in May I wrote a little something about combining Eminem and Enya's music. A dear reader made it happen. It's been written up all over the place, it's been receiving air play all over the place. It's funny and that's all there is to it.

On this site:
If you're visiting this site today because you saw the link in Access Magazine, Welcome! megnut is personal website. Please read the About page for more information.

On the women's gymnastics finals last night:
Matt talked about the incessant fault-finding by the commentators in gymnastics last month during the Olympic trials in Boston, and last night it reached absurd levels. The Russians lost the gold by .205 and as the camara zoomed in on the face of a dejected Svetlana Khorkina, one announcer said, "She lost it for Russia when she fell off the bars." While that may be true, it is unfair to place the blame on one woman.

The women's *team* final gold is awarded to the *team* with the highest score, based on the contributions of all the women. While it's true that Khorkina's fall from the bars was costly, so too were two other Russians' falls from the beam. Also costly were all the deductions for less-than-perfect body position and hops on landings. Each one of those women "lost it for Russia," or if you'd rather be nice about it, "won a silver medal for Russia." This continued obsession with being number one is disgusting. There are six Russian women who can look back on yesterday for the rest of their lives, and hopefully they will do so with pride rather than regret. Being an Olmpic medalist, having the honor to represent one's country, and being recognized as one of the best gymnasts in the world, if only for a sliver of time, is something to be treasured. Not callously demeaned by statements such as, "the Russians want gold or nothing at all."

On Chavo's Mexican Restaurant (4th and Bryant):
I don't want to go there anymore. Every time I go, I get rude treatment for ordering vegetarian tacos. First of all, if they offered their Tofu Ranchero every day, I'd get that, happily, and I wouldn't have these altercations with the mean man behind the counter. But they don't. I'm not crazy about flour tortillas. I *am* crazy about corn tortillas. So instead of ordering a vegetarian burrito (which Matt and jack order without any trouble what-so-ever), I order vegetarian tacos. This is not on their menu, though they do offer tacos a la carte, under which label I presume my vegetarian tacos fall. The mean man (MM) always feigns confusion when I order this. "What?" "Huh?" "Just beans and rice?" YES! I want to scream, YES! How can this be confusing? It's the same as a veggie burrito, but don't wrap it up, just place it on a corn tortilla!

Yesterday was the final straw. After I ordered, the woman with whom I spoke confirmed a vegetarian taco with the MM (in Spanish, but I understood, since I speak Spanish) and he turned to me and said, "Oh, that's a Made in the USA taco," as if to accuse me of making up Mexican food or something. Hello?! Since when did his restaurant turn into any sort of authentic Mexican eatery? I don't see mole poblano on the menu, or menudo, or huachinango a la veracruzana, or ceviche, or any of the traditional Mexican foods I enjoyed when I lived there. And what happened to the customer is always right? I guess Chavo's operates under some sort of "The customer is always right unless she wants something that's not on the menu and isn't considered authentic Mexican food by us." And from what I recall of Mexican culinary history, it was the Aztecs who were pummeling maize into round patties *before* the Spaniards arrived with flour to make those other tortillas anyway.

On TiVo:
Some people are so funny they win TiVo's. Some people are so lucky the winner gives them the TiVo! Woo hoo!

Aha! The source of the

Aha! The source of the time problems is revealed: Windows Time Service. Windows 2000 is trying to keep my local clock in synch with the network domain controller's clock. Problem is, we're not bothering to keep that clock in synch with any external clock source, so it's almost ten minutes fast. Which explains why my machine kept speeding up, it was trying to be "on time."

One can set the time service to access an external clock, if one's network clocks are off, by typing the following at a command prompt: (substitute your favorite clock for the one I've used here, after the colon.)

net time /setsntp:ntp2.usno.navy.mil[pb rocks the house, boyee!]

Americans are continuing to find

Americans are continuing to find the Eminenya mix, "surprisingly pleasing." Or so says Access Magazine (scroll to the bottom of the page), one of those Sunday newspaper magazines that's made Eminenya the MP3 of the Week. Thanks to astute reader David Frazee for pointing this out!

Though I'll rue this statement

Though I'll rue this statement shortly, I'll make it nonetheless: I've been taking the MUNI to work this week and I've been enjoying it. Being a conscientious citizen, I'm participating in Spare the Air this week and I'm leaving my car at home. (No, this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that my car's radiator problems have worsened and it now emits a strong burning smell whenever one operates it, for even short distances.)

Two things that I'd missed while driving to work: reading and walking. I always walk from Powell to the office, it takes about twenty minutes along 4th street, and I'd forgotten what a nice way it is to start the day. The sun shines, I gather my thoughts and stretch my limbs after a night's inactivity. I arrive at my desk invigorated, with my brain churning, rather than slothfully half awake after a drive in my car. And the reading, oh the reading, how much reading I get done on the MUNI! Yesterday I enjoyed the latest Wired, today I dove into A Passage to India, which has been lingering unread by my bed for a month.

I'm all chipper and cheery today. I was chipper and cheery yesterday. And it's been a long time since I've been so chipper and cheery at work.

Thanks to everyone who's written

Thanks to everyone who's written with search testing results. I appreciate all the feedback, this is a great help. Among the reported errors: searches for the words "Buddha," "nightingale," and "subway" not returning results, eventhough there are posts containing these words, line wraps and paragraph breaks are missing, and commas break the search. Good to know, I'll see what I can do.

Search update: ya gotta have

Search update: ya gotta have cookies turned on. And if you don't, right now you'll get an error. I'll try to put in some more substantial error-checking this evening.

Woo hoo, new megnut feature:

Woo hoo, new megnut feature: I've added a SEARCH over on the left, it's pretty ugly right now, and, as you'll notice, lacking a proper label. But I wanted to launch this rather than fiddle with the layout and all that design-ey junk. I've had this ready for a while, and back-end testing's been holding up the launch. So what am I trying to say? I want you to try it out ASAP!

Here's the deal with it:
It's only searching my blog content, it's not a full-site search.

Why's that?
Because I'm not using Atomz, I'm using Blogger. Yes, Blogger.

How's it work?
I'm using our new XML interface to Blogger. I pass the query parameter wrapped in XML to Blogger, and Blogger returns an XML string containing all the matching posts. I'm parsing the XML on my server, and displaying the results to you. Nifty, no?

Does it work?
I hope so. I'd love to hear feedback from people. Was it slow? Was it accurate? Did you get an error? Would you like this functionality on your (Blogger) site?

Happy searching!

Thanks to everyone who's written

Thanks to everyone who's written with clock suggestions, I've gone with AboutTime, which is working perfectly. So now my clock is accurate, though I still don't understand why it can't be accurate all on its own. I've never had this problem wih any of my computers before. Oh well, I'm not worry about it, heck, it's a beautiful day outside, so I'm going to enjoy it. And not worry about silly things like computer clocks, or computers.

So, some clocks run fast.

So, some clocks run fast. Some clocks run slow. Some clocks run just right. Some times you change the batteries, and a clock that ran slowly catches up and keeps time real good. But what do you do with a computer clock that's running too fast? Three times today I've reset the time on my computer clock, and every few hours it creeps ahead. It's five minutes fast now. It was nearly ten minutes fast this morning when I got up. What's a girl to do? I guess I'll just hold up my laptop, shake it, and yell to the mice that make the thing run, "hey you critters, slow down in there!!" That's what it is, right? Mice, spinning the wheel? And they're still strong and fresh since they just came from the factory.

A few weeks ago, two

A few weeks ago, two old buildings spanning a block on 4th street (from Townsend to Bluxome) were demolished. A new building with some ground-level retail and live/work space will be built on the now vacant lot. Neither building was of historical significance, one was a run-down, wood frame building; the other, an old Pitney-Bowes building of poured concrete. One block away, on the corner of 3rd and Townsend, there stands a two-story brick (yellow brick) building that contained a bar on the ground level and a seafood restaurant upstairs. Two days ago, I walked by and noticed it's slated for demolition in a few weeks. Again, not a particularly distinct or unique building, nothing for the historical preservationists to defend. Further down the street, as you near the Embarcadero, you can see all new buildings, a giant condo complex across the street from the ball park is nearing completion, units start at $700,000 (yes, *start* at nearly three-quarters of a million dollars). And as you look across the skyline, the street is cast in shadows from the looming construction cranes above.

I guess this is progress. I guess this is the result of the economy. But it makes me sad. What kind of neighborhood will this be in a few more years? A homogenous zone of live/work lofts, hip with metalwork and quirky angles, bright with the trendy colors of the 00s? How long will it take before everything looks the same? Before SOMA becomes another generica neighborhood, replete with buildings designed to house Starbuck's and GAPs and foosball-filled offices? What ever happened to renovations or rehabs? Being surrounded with buildings from different eras gives one a sense of context. I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but what about the march of time? Walking past buildings, you realize: things were here before me, this City existed before I did, and will continue to survive after I am gone. Why do people love the painted Victorians that line the City's streets? Because they represent a different era, a different level of craftsmanship. They're warm and welcoming and we relate to them as "homes." They are charming. And people like charm. (think Martha's Vineyard, the New England countryside in autumn, coastal Carmel or Mendocino...)

Of course, SOMA has never been a truly residential neighborhood in the past hundred years; its history is tied to its location: close to the water, close to the rails, removed from downtown. And the buildings that remain reflect this history: lots of brick warehouses with big windows and planked floors. Renovating these buildings maintains a connection with this past, rather than obliterating it. Urban renewal doesn't have to start from scratch, if we work with the existing environment, we can create spaces that are functional and aesthetically pleasing; we can surround ourselves with buildings that are distinct yet modern.

San Francisco isn't the South Bay, but it sure's trying damn hard to look like it.

Woo hoo, I got a

Woo hoo, I got a new computer yesterday. What more do you need to know about it than that it's green? And a laptop? And a Dell? And that I'm so happy with it already, because it's running Windows 2000, rather than crappy old Windows 98 like my old one. Expect even greater feats of coding to pour forth from my fingertips in the next few months.

Some days are better left

Some days are better left unsaid.

This isn't funny (Putin was

This isn't funny (Putin was elected by poll fraud, says report), it really isn't, and at some point perhaps I'll write about my concerns over what's happening in Russia (continued corruption, collapsing infrastructure, etc.) but the evil in me can't resist this snippet, "a votes-for-vodka scheme in Novosibirsk." Hmmm, maybe if we tried something like that in America, people might actually "participate" in the upcoming elections. We could localize the bribes too: a votes-for-wheatgrass scheme in California, a votes-for-Coors scheme in Colorado, maybe a votes-for-Mojitos or Rum-and-Cokes in southern Florida? Too bad the voting age is 18 in the US, the votes-for-wine-coolers would perfectly garner the teenage girl vote!

Jason writes, The road most

Jason writes, The road most travelled is jammed with idiots. And I'd add: idiots who forgot how to drive over the weekend and almost crashed into me on the way to work. Twice! What is it with Mondays anyway? Do people really leave their cars stationary for two days and forget all the basics? A Cherokee tried to change lanes into me and about five minutes later, a motorcycle tried to do the same as we rounded a corner. Tomorrow I'm going to take the road less travelled to work.

I love a brouhaha in

I love a brouhaha in the morning. Dave wrote to point out this Slashdot article about a guy who's written Linux drivers for the CueCat, and now the CueKitties are trying to shut him down. There's a follow-up with Rob Malda responding to comments from a gentleman at Digital Convergence (the company that makes the CueCat).

This is my favorite line, We welcome the individuals of the community to contact us and use a more professional, orderly and productive manner in adjusting our products to better serve...your community. This company develops a bar code reader and drivers for Windows. They give it away for free. Some enterprising guy writes a driver for Linux, because there *isn't* one available. And they sic the lawyers on him, and hint that he's not being professional, (professional meaning some sort of "you pay us and do it our way" thing, I guess?) and productive, (meaning, um what? He wrote some Linux drivers, not sure how much more productive he could be, unless you want him to write some for other OS's while he's at it. Or maybe it's only productive when they build it?)

Observations and I Don't Get It's:

1. Digital Convergence made a decision to release their product offering support for Windows only. Why should Linux users, or Mac users for that matter, wait until Digital Convergence decides it's got the resources, market share, budget, or whatever the hell it needs to justify development of alternative drivers?

2. Shouldn't they be happy their users, a) like the product? b) Care enough about it to take their own time to make it work for others (increasing the potential user base)? c) Do this for free? You'd think so, but instead, they're asking developers to pay $20 for a "Personal Use Developer License."

Hopefully Digital Convergence can figure out how to work with the people that are interested in what they've developed, rather than insult and ostracize them. This Us against Them mentality won't serve them well in the long run.

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