Archive for June, 2001

What’s the Probablilty, Kenneth?

Of all the streets in all the cities, they have to park outside my office.

What are the chances that there could be two AMC Hornets parked within a block of my office. What is the probablilty that both of them actually run?

For those of you who can’t picture what an AMC Hornet is, Well, it’s halfway between a Pacer (think wayne’s world) and an Eagle. From the mid 70’s I’d guess.

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Golden Gardens Solstice

There was a drum jam, beach burn, and general party for the summer solstice at Golden Gardens Thursday night. I’ve never seen the place quite so packed. Cars were parked Everywhere. Those little dots, those are people. We were parked 1/2 mile away.

Lots of people on the beach. Just about sunset

Lots of drums. Probably 20 or 30 of them at the peak.

The drum circle, in twilight.

Quite a sunset. If only there was a little less pollution. Well, then there wouldn’t be quite the colors.

Fire on the ground, fire in the sky

Those are the Olympics on the horizon to the left. This is looking roughly northwest. It’s always a trip to see the sun set so far to the north.

More fires

Banging on the bongos like a … oh well, whatever. nevermind.

The cloud that looks like the cover of a Dire Straits album.

After it got darker, the fire was most of the light. I was almost out of battery so no flash pictures. Plus, flash pictures just don’t look right to me. Oh for an asa 1600 digital camera…

The main drum circle

A cardboard SUV just plunged into the fire. Good place for it.

Dancers, after the fire was stoked

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Freemont Solstice

One might ask: You go to a parade with 10 foot puppets, stilt walkers, naked bicyclists, mostly naked samba dancers, found item percussionists, green aliens in climbing gear, a photo booth where your picture can be taken as a cop or naked bicyclist, and get exactly zero pictures out of it? At the single most photogenic event of the year?

Well.. ummm…

the camera was…

At home. On the desk. Hiding. In plain sight.

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A night at the track

It’s track season again. So wednesday was my first track race of the season (and the second race). I’m one of the few cyclists whose season begins in June.

Sitting on the rail before the tempo

Three races as always, a 10 lap tempo, one lap chariots, and a 16 lap points race. The first race was ok untill there was a big jump a couple of laps in, at that point, I was just lapping with the other stragglers off the back of the pack.

starting to fall of the back of the tempo

The chariot was better. I didn’t quite get the jump I wanted, but I was standing and accelerating through the first 200m, and then cought the 4th place rider just before the line. But only the top three advanced. Oh well.

Off the back, during the tempo. My usulal state during track races.

The points race was similar. I was ok for one jump, fell off on the second, and never caught up again. I soloed for 12 of the 16 laps, and only got lapped at the end. If I could keep up with the jumps, I would have the strength to stay in the pack. But once I’m off, I can’t get back on.

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Smart Tag Proposal

Microsoft is starting to implement smart tags in their browser, which will annotate web pages that you view with links that they determine are appropriate.

Predictably, there has been something of an outcry over this.

***The Proposal

Make the control of smart tags inherit values similar to the way that CSS is handled, but make those tags specify the annotation server.

First, Allow the document to specify a smart tag server. The server would have to respond to smart tag requests (in SOAP or the like) and return the information to be displayed to the user. This is not just an opt out feature, the server declaration must be present to use the feature.

Additionally, allow the user to specify a smart tag server for either default use or as an override setting.

This would balance the needs of writers and readers on the web. As a writer, I could control which server annotates my material for the vast majority of cases. If a user goes to the trouble of overriding my choice, then that is their right. As a reader, I could subscribe to a smart tag service that provides targeted information. (For example, the slashdot feed, hg2g, dictionary, or a corporate server.)

I would pay for a well annotated valuable feed, especially the Hitchhikers feed.

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May == summer.

June == spring.

So far the rain is doing as well as the Mariners this month. And we’re in a drought.

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Another Night at the Ballpark

Monday Night.

The Rangers are in town. So the loudest noises all night are for A-Rod. Cheers when he strikes out, Boos for his home run, and cheers for the guy who threw it back.

It was a good game; almost a throwback to the homer-per-inning style of play. (5 during the night). This time I was in the cheap seats of right field, so high I didn’t get to see Ichiro field anything.

A panorama, the smaller version

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Two Musicals

It’s been a 2 musical weekend. Friday night – Jason Webley returns. Saturday, it’s Moulin Rouge.

Jason Webley staged a performance death last Halloween, went into hiding, and has started to reappear in the last couple of weeks. He’s got some new material with a little bit of a new sound, but it seems to be the classic Webley. After half an hour on stage spent getting out of the coffin, opening the accordion case, passing out the presents, he leaves out the stage door and comes in the front door. Carrying a shovel, drumstick, and Tibetian bells.

The first song had some of the best shovel playing that I’ve ever heard. not that I can ever remember hearing anyone play the shovel before. The place was packed; enthusiastically singing along to the familiar favorites and appreciating the newer stuff. And most of the cowrd stayed around for a piece of the large tomato shaped birthday cake. In many ways, it was both the same as always and a completely new experience at the same time.

Moulin Rouge had a similar feel. I’ve seen the parts before, but the assemblage was all new. The cinematography felt like Snatch; jump cuts and quick zoom effects. The music is familar, but warped into a techno rendition of the originals. Imagine a sea of old men in tuxedos surrounding a core of dancing girls singing ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Of course, there’s Nicole Kidman singing ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ to the visuals of the ‘Material Girl’ video. The presentation can be a bit overbearing when they mix three plot threads and top volume music.

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Manila Plugins

I’ve been writing a lot of plugins recently, some for work, some for scratching an itch. (See “Esoteric Settings” and “PicsPicker” for the publically availiable ones, hopefully a couple more to follow soon)

I’m amazed at how easy it is to put them together. Run the plugin factory, write your handlers and bits and pieces, and it’s there. I got the core functionality of one running in a couple of hours today. The interface is described almost entirely by xml. The back end is almost all xml-rpc requests to another machine.

Of course, bringing the plugin to production status is another matter; as with all progamming, the devil is in the details.

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