Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Twitter Updates for 2009-04-11

April 11th, 2009


Crabbing in the bay

December 22nd, 2008


So I bought some crabbing nets last year and had a try at crabbing off the pacifica pier — we failed. Tried again this year, and failed. So I went out with my cousin one night to a pier off Crissy Field and we got a ton (ok, just 5), but they were like all over the nets. So we tried it again (with Patrick) and this time, we only caught 2 babies.


It was too dark to figure out which ones were male/female/dungenous when I went with my cousin so we threw them all back. The ones I caught with patrick were too small (<4 inches) so we threw them back. But one of these days, I will catch me some crabs and feast. I really want to get involved with hunting, killing, and eating my own food – but to do so where the prey has a fighting chance (at inflicting injury to me). Like hunting wild boar with a knife. Not sure if I’ll ever do that, but it seems like a nice thought. Believe it or not, but a Mauri (dude in blue in the photo) told me how to kill a boar with a knife while I was backpacking through New Zealand in a small town called National Park. The only things in that town were a bar/restaurant (owner was a huge fan of Jagger), a climbing gym, and a gas station with an attached convinience store.


They had just finished filiming TLOTR just before I got there (like a day). And if anyone is curious, the way you kill a boar is to stand still, wait for them to almost get you, jump out of their way (they can’t change direction quickly and will pass by). As they pass by, jump on their back, and stab them in this small spot on the back of their heads just at the base of the skull (which is tick enough to stop a small bullet), and stab them in the spine.

Personal , , , , ,

“Genuine Kangaroo Scrotum” — is it real?

December 20th, 2008

So a friend of mine just got back from australia with this gift. I wonder if it’s real. Any thoughts?



Twitter Updates for 2008-11-04

November 4th, 2008
  • Voted yes on R: Rename SFs water treatment plant to the “George W. Bush Sewage Plant” #


Restoring photoalbum; greybox; velociraptor

November 1st, 2008

I’ve been heavily neglecting my photoalbum code, so I’m starting to do some cleanup as well as to add some Web 2.0 tidbits into the mix.  I’m going to be gutting it some more, removing multi-user support, cleaning the interface, and hopefully be able to start adding more content to the site shortly.

I did find greybox, a good “lightbox” script.. I would like a few small teaks, like the ability to click on the photo to go to the next one, and the ability to move the title bar from the top to just below the photograph.  I would also love for it to preload the next photo. Otherwise, it avoids the annoying resizing delay when your going from one photo to the next – which most lightbox scripts use – which I hate.

I also want to give a shout out to Richard Hesse who was insisting that a fast HD was key to a fast computer.  He was right.. I upgraded to the velociraptor 300G HD and it balzes.   Well worth the expensive sticker price.

Personal, Software , , ,

Migrating to new hosting

October 16th, 2008

So I’m migrating to a new hosting provider. I’ve always hated godaddy, but have been too lazy to migrate till now.  I’m also looking at migrating all my content from, and working on a 4th gen version of my photoalbum code.


Rancilio Silvia PID Conversion

October 14th, 2008

img_0018.jpgI’ve finally reached a point where 50% of my pulled shots no longer suck, so I thought I would go ahead with the PID conversion for my espresso machine.  I actually had everything for the conversion in my office, except for the enclosure which I picked up from Newark for $18 (Hammond enclosure).

I followed the steps from for the most part, and also found useful.

The deviations were mostly with regards to the thermocouple mount.  I had a bare bone thermocouple, put a gob of thermal conductive paste on it, and stuck it underneath one of the screws on the boiler.  It seems to work OK.

I used velcro to mount the enclosure, but it doesn’t look very stable, so I’m going to have to figure out something else.  Otherwise, we shall see how it influences my shots.

More photos here.

Electronics, Personal

Iron Man Rules!

May 4th, 2008

Oh my!  What a thrill to have the movie industry juggernaut actually release a good movie!!! It’s unheard of.  I drove home way too fast after watching the flick, got home, and started pacing back and forth… It took about 20 minutes before I could sit down.  I will be seeing it again in the next couple days.  And I must say that they did such a great job casting the characters.

I will add that one of the reasons I loved the movie was that it was internally totally logically consistent.  I hate how movies try to pretend that they are somewhat realistic by throwing some refernces to real technologies, then utilizing that technology in an unrealisitic way.  Please, why not start out with a ficticious but internally consistent technology, then utilize that technolog as the author sees fit.

The only problem now is trying to figure out how to go to sleep after that rush.


Dad thinks he is young, breaks leg

January 28th, 2008

I’m in LA right now waiting for my dad to come out of surgery. He decided to climb a ladder that was on poor footing, it slipped, his leg got stuck in a rung on the way down, and now he’s having a couple plates put in. It could have been worse. But more importantly, I want to point out how bad the car rental agency called Advantage was. It took longer to get the car from LAX than it did to fly here.

Anyhow, prognosis is good, and I expect to hear good news in a bit when he gets out.

[Update]  The surgery went well, though it was perhaps the worst break possible, according to the surgeon.  Yay. 


Several Updates..

January 23rd, 2008

Thanks to a really good friend of my fathers, we spent a weekend building a deck in my backyard.  The process wasn’t so bad, and it really opens up the backyard.  Special thanks goes to Bill F. for helping me carry the ton of wood in a UHAUL from home depot.img_3337.jpg

The beer that I helped Patrick make came out excellent.  It’s a chocolate porter.  Rather than putting in chocolate liqueur as per the recipe, we used a cup of coco powder, which seemed to work great! img_3338.jpg

I am also working on automating my hydroponics setup, and wanted to mention my trial at using a 3.5″ floppy disk drive stepper motor to push a syringe.  After some time tweaking it, it turns out that it just doesn’t have enough torque.  The AVR STK500 just drives the pins in the right sequence, the breadboard contains a simple dual H-Bridge.  Email me if you want further details..img_3340.jpg

Finally, my HD DirecTV receiver (DCT210) died.  I left it unplugged  for a few months, and it caused the power supply to go bad.   When I plugged it back in, it would just cycle on and at a rate of a couple Hz.  I pulled the supply, and it’s busted (it should be a flat output, not the sawtooth pattern).   I found references to other people having this happen to them after leaving it unplugged for a period of time.  I can get a used one cheap so it’s really not worth the time to debug it, but if someone has an idea why it’s happening, I would love to hear it.  I’ve decided to upgrade to the HR20 anyhow, so it’ll be moot.  img_3336.jpg

Electronics, Personal