Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fogo de Chao

This is the after shot of close to two hours of meaty dining.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sabering champagne is hard

So it's a good idea to wear protection when you try to do it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Sith-mas!

That's today, right?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thing that could have gone better for my trip:

Plane could have arrived at HNL on time.

No further delays boarding and taking off.

They actually had the food and beverages I wanted to purchase. Condolance bacardi white doesn't cut it.

We could have arrived at ORD for me to make my connection.

The robots could have autorebooked me on a flight that was more than 20 minutes after the one I missed.

Old people would not fear robots.

I wouldn't have been re-rebooked for a flight 24 hours after the one I missed.

I wouldn't have to fly standby.

Flights wouldn't arbitrarily shift from gate F11 to F1.

They wouldn't have to wait for a plane.

Or a crew.

Because the crew's flight had been diverted to Appleton, WI due to ORD being too busy.

The pilot wouldn't go missing for an hour because he was told the flight was cancelled.

We wouldn't need to be de-iced.


It wouldn't have taken nearly 24 hours (more than twice the schedule) to get here.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Since vzw sucks, this will never make it through

But here's my plane. It's really super inconvenient for verizon to have shitty intermotrons for my bb on the day I'm travelling. The crazy thing is, I can use my ssh client just fine. It's everything else (web, twitter, aim, google maps, BBm etc.) that won't work.

My hope is that this is just a local thing, and that my internets will work fine when I reach ORD.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Seriously, though,

You'd think someone would have spoken up when they were creating the office of "Minister of Fascism," and questioned whether or not it was a good thing they were doing.

James Bond knows his Pokemon

Take that, Xenia Onatop (I hope whoever came up with that name feels bad about it): Charizard always fucking wins.


Ok. I finally figured out how to convert an animated gif. Where did my damn video button go on blogger?

Edit: I see, it's only on the "old editor." Whatever.

The big red splotch is some artifact from the conversion.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What are you doing, puppy?

Get out of that cake batter! You're not even an ingredient!

Or a sprinkle!

Friday, December 18, 2009

If the Lord were alive today, what would you give Him this Christmas?

What do you give someone who has everything and more?
He can heal the sick, so don’t give Him an asprin!
He can walk on water: don’t give Him a surfboard!

If the Lord were alive today, what would you give Him this Christmas?
Give Him a twenty dollar gift certificate at Pizza Joe’s!

Merry crust-mas from Pizza Joe’s! Ho ho ho!

What I would have tweeted from Maui, if I had had signal

"I do not know this person, but this is where I am:" [Ok, this one got through.]

Cloudy day in the valley, but up here it's all rainbows.

The dome:

The camera:

The primary:

The mount for the secondary:

I can has authorization!

That dark bit on the horizon is the big island. It turns out it really is big.

All the observatories on Haleakala:

1) There's shit going on out there! 2) This fucker's in the way! 3) Hulk smash! 4) Out of the way, fucker! I've got a party to get to! While sitting!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just one

In case it's hard to read, the small print tells you you are purchasing "one penguin."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tinkerbell and the Industrial Revolution

Tonight, while flipping through the channels, I got up to get a drink, and returned to find the Tinkerbell movie on the screen. I kept watching, mostly because I somehow assumed I was watching it before I left. Sometimes I'm dumb I guess.

The story is apparently how Tinkerbell singlehandedly pulls the Fairy Kingdom out of the drudgery of manual labor by industrializing the fairy-proletariat.  She does this using a wide selection of "Lost Things," crap from the real world that's washed up in Neverland. She also has help from her fairy friends: Pinky from Pinky and the Brain Fairy (NARF!), Pinky's Fat Friend Fairy, Bitchy Fairy, Mildly Retarded Fairy, and Southern Fairy. There are more, but they're basically Exposition and Background Fairies.

It's actually not too bad, which given the production stories, suggests that John Lasseter actually does have some  magic power that allows him to fix any animation disaster.  However, there do seem to be some serious economic repercussions to Tinkerbell'

  • Tinkerbell's industrial revolution is built upon the use of the Lost Things. Unless they invent fairy mines and fairy forges soon, they're going to run out of these mechanical components.  This kind of puts Fairy-topia in a kind of cargo-cult position: they have incredible things, but clearly don't have the technical foundation necessary to develop these things by themselves.
  • Tinkerbell just shrank the time necessary to get ready for spring from a year to a single night. That's a 36400% increase in productivity. Given that I don't recall seeing more than a few dozen fairies at any one time, I think this means that Tink's just put everyone in Fairyland out of work. Why have a bunch of different fairies doing things slowly when one fairy could do all the spring preparations with industry? Based on this totally 100% accurate wikipedia page that kind of productivity increase is roughly the equivalent of taking the 1st century Roman empire, and overnight turning it into the United States, circa 1998. That's definitely not going to create serious social unrest, and the possible reconsideration of whether a strict caste-based absolute monarchy is really the best system.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Everything is a powerlaw. Everything.

Alternate title: How to use Google and Twelve Years of Higher Education to Prove Useless Things.

So this, pointed me to this, which reminded me of a similar experiment that I'd done a year ago.  Khan's fine, but I like LOLcats, so instead of the number of "a"s, I counted "ol"s after the first "l".

Here are the interesting things I noticed from this data.

  1. The current distributions of lols is very similar to the distribution 18 months ago when I first considered the problem.  Other than a few wobbles, this is well described by a N_{ol}^{-3.5} power law.
  2. This distribution suggests that adding two more characters gets boring at a constant factor.
  3. There is a sharp jump in the current distribution at eleven "ol"s.  Beyond this point, the power law has an identical index. This suggests that during the last 18 months, eleven "ol"s became the new cool, but the boredom factor is still the same.
  4. The fall off in the 2008 data occurs at 50 "ol"s, which corresponds to a jump from 99 to 101 characters. I suspect this shows that something somewhere had a limit of 100 characters.  This isn't visible in the new data, because the tail of the eleven-ol cool boost is sufficient to wash out any such drop.
The khan data linked above has a powerlaw index of N_{a}^{-2.5} for the middle section, between the fall off at low N_{a} (probably just typos, and not meme-related), and the drop above 50 (no theories on this one).  Therefore, while adding "a"s, you're less likely to get bored as you are with "ol"s. I don't have a good test meme for larger letter sets, so I can't test that a three letter suffix/infix would drop off as N^{-4.5} or so.

Another interesting test was to look at the quoted phrase "N martini lunch", where the number was written out.

After a quick upswing (I assume while our luncheoneers gain courage from martini's one and two) to the peak at four (a skew point suggesting the proper number of martinis for your lunching), there's a rapid drop with a power law index of -8.  This probably represents the combination of two effects:
  1. The difficulty of drinking that much liquid during a standard lunch.
  2. The unwillingness of people to call something "lunch" when it's clearly devolved into "mid-day binge."

I kind of want gummy bears

  • Fact: gummy bears are delicious.
  • Fact: putting gummy bears in a gummy bear shaped jar makes them twice as delicious.
  • Fact: putting gummy bears in a gummy bear shaped jar in the hotel minibar ensures you will make $6 (+  sales tax and 18% gratuity for the "service attendant")

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I hope she's using good rum

but I'm guessing it's probably just whatever she has around.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Google Chrome

Is kind of halfway between "fucking awesome" and "total fucking shit." I like the fact that it doesn't crash on google-related pages like firefox has taken up as a hobby.  That should kind of be a given. If I'm company X, and I make a product that bursts into flames whenever someone mentions my company, I should probably burn down the factory and kill myself.

The problem is, it kind of ignores everything that's gone before. A specific example is that when I'm typing an address, I want tab to complete that address based on whatever dark necromancy it uses to generate the options.  I'm typing. Theoretically, the mouse is way over there ----->. I don't want to type three characters and then hunt that rodent down to click on the top options. A-S-T- and I should be done. I'm not. Fix that.

Also, clicking on my bookmarks thing makes it look like GC is mugging Firefox to render the menu. You can't be more original?

Another complaint: I tried to move a window, and I clicked poorly, and ended up copying that tab. I'm not sure I lost any tabs, but it was weird and disconcerting.


pros: doesn't go down like a two-dollar hooker
cons: makes you want to shout at it like it's a guy from Germany who clearly doesn't understand what you're saying.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Crap! It's the fuzz!

"No officers, I've never seen those packages before."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where can I get one of these?

Because that's brilliant.

You know Olbermann said that with capital letters

So this guy:

is David Wright. I've never heard of him until I caught part of Keith Olbermann's show while flipping through channels.  He works at ABC news, and was part of some story about climate change where he played a clip of the Daily Show that made it look like John Stewart didn't think it was happening.  This made Keith all angry and got him talking about "Journalistic Integrity" and "Somebody Should Be Fired."

Tl;dr: reporter, maybe a dick. I don't know.

In any case, Olbermann missed a far bigger story, which you may be able to detect from that small version of Wright's twitter picture (@abcdavid).  Let's go to the blowup:

He's wearing a wolf t-shirt.

In the interest of fairness, he did do a story about the shirt, pointing out the humorous amazon reviews.  This kind of leaves three options:
  1. He has no concept of sarcasm.
  2. He's some sort of hipster douchebag.
  3. He really, really loves wolves.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I miss winter

I can't even begin to count the number of times I walked through the snow here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Charizard will always be cooler than Blastoise.

 I mean, did you see Pokemon movie 3: Secret of Unown (also: Secret of Bad Spelling)? It wasn't Blastoise that flew in out of nowhere to save Ash's moronic ass.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holy fuck, that burger

I've been following the Burgers on the Edge twitter stream for months now.  Due to me being lazy, I've been meaning to go, but never got around to it. Since I was going to the Safeway it's next to anyway (see previous post for details there), I figured this would be a good chance to visit.  When I took a look at the menu, I knew immediately what I had to try.

The Parisian.

It's the type of thing that looks a lot like the crazy thing they stick on the menu because they don't think anyone's going to get it. Grilled onions? Sure. Caramelized apples? On a burger? That's a bit odd, but why not. Wagyu beef? That's kind of a stretch for just a burger, but probably works. So why is this burger $17?

Probably has something to do with that quarter inch thick slice of foie gras on top. It's been a long time since I've had foie gras, since the place I used to go in Michigan shut down.

Although I can't find any reference to it in the menu, there was also a wonderful wine sauce.  That was a bit heavy, which was really my only complaint. In any case, this was easily one of the best burgers I've ever had, and was totally worth the price.  More things need to have gratuitous foie gras.

To pair with this burger, I decided that it was worth going all out and getting their truffled shoestring fries (with parmesan and parsley).  These didn't really have the truffle taste I remember from other things with truffles, but since I think it's just an application of truffle oil, that's not much of a surprise to me.  These paired perfectly with the burger, since regular fries would probably be overpowered.

I'm going to have to try BotE more in the future. I should try some of the more regular burgers next, since I probably shouldn't be spending $25 everytime I want a burger.

Another day I should have just stayed in bed through

My plan for today involved heading in to the office to sort out some problems so I can make plots tomorrow.  This is somewhat time sensitive, as the plots are for my boss to present at the big panstarrs global team meeting on Tuesday.  I figured I could head in about 3:00, and finish the work up by 6:00, and then head out to grab dinner, and see the meat counter at Safeway that one of my co-workers emailed me about.

Because, see, the only meat counter I've found is at Whole Foods, and that's kind of silly. I want to be able to talk to the meat guy, to peer through the glass case, and select "that filet, no, not that one, back one, and over one to your left."  I'd like to be able to ask the meat counter guy for a specific cut of meat, or for suggestions as to what's good today.  Unfortunately, no one does that anymore, so it's all pre-cut pre-wrapped stuff, with no one around to tell you anything about the stuff you're buying.  We should all mourn the death of the local butchers.

Anyway, when I went down to get in my car, I discovered that it would not start. Nothing. No clicky sounds, no "guh-guh-guh-clunk," nothing.  A check with the multimeter (yes, that was my first thought) showed that the battery had 6.68V. This is clearly not enough to make things go.

Luckily, I have met the guy who parks next to me, so I went to see if he could give me a jump. I have lived in Michigan for too long, and that has caused me to expect everyone to have jumper cables, and for every store in existance to sell them.  Since there is no winter here (Today's low: 65 degrees), none of that is true. A quick trip to Sears to buy cables, we returned to discover that jumping my car results in the "alarm" to sound the horn. Repeatedly.

Google told me that this was not a sign of demons or gremlins, but rather the security feature my owner's manual conveniently forgot.  To stop the horn, I needed to unlock the driver's door. Not start the car with that key, not push any of the buttons on the key, unlock the door. That kills the horn, allowing you to continue your jump-start-ification.  Once the car was on, and running, I discovered that I had left the interior lights on Friday. I'm going to accept 75% responsibility for my car dying, since it would really be convenient if I had interior lights that illuminated when I opened the door, like every other car I've ever seen.

At this point, it was 5:00, and I had a car that ran, but had a dodgy battery.  Since driving around charges, I took a quick trip over H-3 to Kaneohe, and then back.  A quick check at home that the car would start again once I turned it off (it did), and I was able to start my plan of doing work at 6:00.

My original time budget was an hour for each of two tasks, with a buffer hour in case something ran over. This was quite the overestimate, as I was done and gone by 7:00. This allowed me to start my original plan, of heading to eat at Burgers on the Edge, followed by a check of the Safeway meat counter.

After eating, I went to the Safeway (it's only across the parking lot), only to find that the counter closes at 7:00. Oh well. I picked up some stuff for this week, including the bottle of "potato wine" (as Julie calls it) pictured above.

You might notice that there's a security cap. I didn't until I got home.  So, protip for people stealing liquor from the Safeway on Kapahulu: they don't seem to set off any actual security system.  Unfortunately, they are four kinds of hell to get open, even if you have piles of tools at your disposal.  Forty minutes, and numerous scratches later, I had this:

 I guess the lesson here is to make sure they take those things off before you leave the store. Also: turn off interior lights on your car.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I think I hate weekends more than weekdays now

At least during the week, I have something to do and a reason to wake up in the morning.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holy crap!

A bucket of puppies!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dear Reader in Iran,

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my apartment. Seems a bit odd to me that you'd care about that.

Of course, then I read this article, and now I wonder if you aren't part of the super special agents that are going around tracking down critics of the regime. Again, that seems a bit odd, since I'm pretty sure I'm not going to Iran. Like ever. Turns out that people are a bit hesitant to visit a country run by people who are so terrified of their own citizens, that they have to rig elections and imprison critics.

Hellos, Mr. Frog!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's kind of a habit now

After a month of posting crap everyday, it now feels like I should still. Today was "work from home because whatever I had last night carried over to this morning." By about noon, I was feeling better, and was able to use the day to finish up almost everything outstanding on my current project for work. I need to do a test tomorrow, which should probably only take the morning (assuming there are no added complications).

I'm also quickly becoming sick of turkey. The brining has helped keep it moist and tasty. Seriously, though, it's been almost a week. I'm looking forward to other dinner components.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I fell asleep on my couch. I have woken up in horrible pain. Part of that is due to the fact that I seem to have slept with on foot bent 90 degrees, and with both arms in some sort of tangled mess that I think it would be best to simply disconnect them and be done with them entirely.

And now my head hurts to match my sore throat. I am increasingly convinced that I've contracted some new sort of death that is likely to make the rest of the week unpleasant to live through.

I guess on the good side, there is no November 31st. That means for the first time ever, I've completed a full month of mamodonkeytoast with blog posts on each day. I don't believe I win any prizes for this, though.