February 9th, 2005


Spices accomplished

I can cross one thing off my list: I have all my spices in nice shiny bottles in my three spice racks. No more are my spices piled into a basket for me to paw through in a vain hope that I have the spice I need. I'd end up with two or three of a spice because I couldn't find it when it was buried, and then end up burying it even more. I have 50 different spices.

Anyone wanna take bets I use em more often now that I can find them? That seeing them there like that will inspire me to use them?

C'mon, it's a sucker bet!

I actually do feel like I've accomplished something. Other people build a sauna in their basement. Me, I can manage to get my spices organized and labelled. It's pathos. But in my world it's something.

Considering how beat up I feel emotionally today (for not discernable reason), this makes me happy.


The Omen

Also, I watched The Omen. I was told it would be scary. It wasn't. I love and hate scary movies. I can't watch them alone. I couldn't watch Signs without pausing the movie multiple times because the tension bothered me. Course, in the end of that movie the alien was so not scary. Not like in Alien. Still the run-up bothered me. And that's tame for most people. The Omen was pretty non-scary, even for me. Though I was tense at the beginning cause someone told me it was scary.


Waterloo Kitchener

My flight leaves at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. Gonna be a couple of long-ass days. I fly back Sunday.

Laundry happening right now.

No date for Valentine's day this year. Last year's was quite nice (other than Sandra Bernhard not being very funny), but not much happened after that. I'm having dinner with a friend (or maybe two) this year.


October 2002 I.E.E.E. Computer

Debug rules to live by, kiped from Bob Colwell:

  • Change one thing at a time.. If you fix the problem, you won't know which thing fixed it.
  • Don't ignore the unexpected.
  • Follow the bug trail. I tell my developers, You get one chance with the shotgun. After that, no more guessing. Follow it systematically.
  • Reduce complex phenomena to simple absolutes. Isolate the problem. Strip out anything that's not affecting the system, and then debug only what's left.
  • Keep accurate lab notes.
  • Debug is an immersion activity. Don't allow distractions. If you are interrupted, you'll likely have to start over.
  • Bugs almost never live alone.
  • Test your test equipment.
  • Know when you're stick, and call in the cavalry. Simply getting another pair of eyes on a problem often removes your blinders. My rule of thumb for developers is, don't spend more than a half hour if you are stuck. And there are those who are good at debugging. Be nice to them, so you can ask for their help later.

Not much else interesting this issue.


March 2002 Communications of the A.C.M.

Peter Denning, Internet Time Out

Despite our best intentions after employing these … practices, many of us still cannot say no. It seems as if saying no to a boss is inappropriate, or saying no to a friend will injure the relationship, or saying no to something interesting will leave us with only uninteresting activities. Yet if we cannot learn to say no, we cannot long avoid being overwhelmed. In some cases, such as responding to the boss, saying no may not be an option; then we must coutneroffer with helpful actions within our capacity. Some people find it helpful to train themselves to say no by a role-playing game with a colleague: one person makes the same request over and over and the other repeatedly declines. The requestor can try seductin, persuasion, threats, and intimidation to get the other to say yes. The other continues to say no and thereby develops the capacity for doing so despite all the allurements and incentives.

Rest of the issue was mainly about robots. However, robots haven't ever really interested me much.


March 2002 I.E.E.E. Spectrum

Soapless washing machine by Sanyo. Works by using ultrasound to remove dirt from clothes, then electrolysis to remove dirt from the water to prevent it from settling back on clothes. The electrolysis part only works in Japanese water with that model, due to the particular chemicals that Japan uses. Should see if they have introduced a model for the U.S. That would be keen.

Secret Art of Chip Graffiti by Harry Goldstein. Fun article on finding small pictures (a few hundred microns big for instance) on popular microchips. Including such things as Dilbert drawings and the Florida State Seminole logo. Built out of the circuits themselves. Pretty nifty.

Some links: Intellectual Property and the Rights of Creative Employees