Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday: So instead, I'm just going to caption a bunch of medieval drawings

Artist: Wait, so I'm confused here.  Do I draw the halo for Dionysius where his head should be, or do I draw it where he's holding his head now?  Fuck it, he gets two halos.

"Dude! Hey! Look! I've got a ball! Fuck you winged jerks! We're totally playing soccer later!"

"No, see, look.  I'm reading the passage, and it clearly says, 'people have two arms.'  I don't know what the fuck is going on with you, but you've got too many.  I mean, I only have two arms.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the freak here."
"Oh come on! Every fucking Thursday it's the same damn thing.  You come rolling in at 3AM, turn on all the fucking lights, and start making noise.  Some of us have to get up on Fridays.  We're not all business majors!"

"I literally have no fucking clue what I'm supposed to be."

  •  How did I know that "random saint holding his own decapitated head" is Dionysius?  Because I do.  I've long ago stopped wondering where the random shit I know comes from.
  • Careful there, Mr. Panda.
  • "It's pinterest that you eat."
  • David Bowie in something I don't care to track down tonight.
  • I can't wait to see how pissed people are going to be when they discover that people in other states have wonderful health care and they've been screwed out of it.
  • Also, have you seen the new healthcare webpage?  I went through the things, and it's all "whoa, hold on there, Captain.  You have insurance, and want to keep it?  Boom. Done.  Go off and enjoy your health insurance.  We're here to help people who want new stuff."  You know, kind of completely the opposite of what those assholes that shut down the government today have been saying.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday: That time of year again

However, this year I didn't feel like spending $300 on dinner, nor did I really feel like cooking.  Since it's been a while since I had Italian, that seemed like the way to go.  So, I went with the Cafe Sistina idea from yesterday.  I'm not going to claim that the ability to make online reservations was an important part of that, but it is always nice to not have to talk to people.  As it turns out, it wasn't super busy anyway, so reservations weren't really needed.

Funghi con Polenta. Italian cremini and wild porcini mushrooms in a Gorgonzola cheese sauce over polenta.
The mushroom sauce was very good.  I think a bit more Gorgonzola would have been a good idea, but that's probably just me.  The polenta cakes basically prove that I should just not ever make polenta again, and just let the professionals do it.  Tasty with the sauce, although they lost their good texture as they soaked it up.

Venison Ragu Pappardelle. Fresh wide ribbon pasta sauteed in butter and sage topped with a venison ragu.
My main complaint on this one was that it was also full of mushrooms, and if I'd known that was going to be the case, I probably would have gone a different direction to try more not-mushroom things.  I also would have liked more sage flavor.  Sage is one of my favorites, but it seemed to be mostly on vacation in this dish.  In any case, this was good, and had a nice hearty "you should be eating this in the dead of winter as snow falls outside, not in the tropics" flavor.

The tiramisu doesn't get an entry in the online menu.
There's not much to say on this.  Tiramisu is pretty much always pretty good, although this did suffer from the standard tiramisu problem: the bototm layer(s) get overly soaked with liquid, and become soggy.  That's generally just how it goes, and there's not much that can be done to stop it except to make it fresh for each serving (which is crazy, of course).

Reading back over that, I think I come off a bit harsher than I really mean to.  It wasn't the best meal I've ever had.  However, it was also like 1/6 the price.  It's an optimization problem of a kind, and this is a decent solution.  I'll probably have to go back a few more times and try some other dishes.  This easily beats Auntie Pasto's, likely due to the fact that there's a chef presenting a single vision.

Unrelated side note: I still love that tiger.

This would be the place I'd put the giant mosaic of the art at Sistina, but I'm having trouble with the stitching code understanding how to map the 360-degree output.  I'll futz with it tomorrow, and if it still doesn't work, break it up into two or three chunks.

I also have the start of a detailed economics rant that will probably require at least a day to work through the math on.  Woo.  It's like I'm doing blog previews now.

  • I like how if you read the first page caption, it basically just says, "We told Frank, one of our art guys, we were doing a story about algae production for future food, and he took that to mean, 'boom-zippo! Space Rocket Farms!'  He started scribbling so fast with those crayons, we just let him finish his idea."
  • I regret not having made this pun myself.
  • Seriously.  Burning people with my mind.  I promise I'd only use it for good.  I'm coming to the conclusion that setting up a massive mind-burning based empire would be difficult to administer.  Basically, you'd spend all day iterating over lists of people to mind-burn.  However, doing it kind of as a freelance mind-burner, you could just let things pile up, and then pick people out of the newspaper.
  • I should have made a cookie pie.
  • Flash forward thirty or so years to see the contractor inspecting the first house, and noting that he's going to have to tear up that entire living room to get all the roots of that dead tree out.  Only then is he going to be able to fix the foundation cracks.
  • Pandemic.  The board game, played by Wil Wheaton and friends.
  • This looks like a fun game, too.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday: Unsuccessful quest for curry-pan

Since getting back to Hawaii, I've had this really messed up sleep schedule where I wake up around 8-9AM. Crazy, I know.  One benefit of this is that I have pretty much all morning to come up with things to do.  Since doughnuts are delicious, I thought about heading out to get some today.  Eventually, this changed to a plan to get curry-pan, partially because the bakery that makes that is closer.

First, however, I wanted to get something for lunch.

Burger time at Honolulu Burger Co.
It was kind of crazy busy there today, so maybe I should stick with my plan to eat lunch at like 3pm on weekends, just to avoid people.
Also, there was a minor bird invasion.
Blah blah blah, other stuff happened that I'm skipping over because I just spent like an hour working on a random script.  I came to the conclusion that if I'm only stitching together two images like the one above, I probably don't need to do all sorts of manual optimization in the panorama code.  A well chosen set of blind defaults would probably work just as well.  So, an hour of documentation reading later, I have a script that makes panoramas from individual images without me having to futz with it.  This is nice, as I can now just scan my images, choose the ones for the days panorama, and send that work off to be done in the background, with only minor gimp-work to be done at the end (crop correction, resizing for blogger, etc.)  Comparing the one from Thursday with the automatic version makes me think this will work just fine.
I had to fix the angle on Thursday's as well, so that's not done here.
Plus I bought a new pillow today.  Woo.  Exciting Saturdays.

Oh, and no curry-pan, as you probably guessed.  I got random doughnuts instead.  I guess I should have just done that to start with today.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday: Lazy days to end vacations are a good idea

It gives a nice slow down from all the travel, and gets everything back into the "being home" concept.

Nothing to add here, so it's a bunny.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday: Travelling home

Or, a summary of the food I ate today.

Pizza from Austin airport on the plane to San Francisco.
Not a bad flight, with a reasonable seat.  I probably should have finished the pizza before getting on board, as it was a bit cold.  The problem with this is that they kept taunting that they were going to start boarding.

Side note for travelling through Austin: if there's a big line for the security, just go through the "premium" line.  The guy checking IDs doesn't fucking care, and getting you through is just easier than checking that you belong there.  I also don't understand the point of those stupid backscatter machines if they're not used all the time.  Why do I need to bother with the stupid opt-out shit?

After arriving at SFO, I had just enough time to get from one flight to the next before boarding started.  There was the standard mob of people who didn't understand how boarding numbers work.  I got to my seat, only to discover that the people in front of me were trying to get everyone around them to trade seats so they could sit with their friends.  As far as I could gather, the problem was:

  1. These jerks were travelling as a set of three couples.
  2. None of them booked together.
  3. None of them understood how to change seats prior to check-in.
  4. One couple was extra stupid, as they not only were in different parts of the plane, but had different boarding numbers.
I've had to deal with these kind of people before, and I do not understand why they get so angry when you tell them you don't want to switch seats.  I planned ahead, jackass, and figured out where I wanted to sit.  You didn't, so why should I trade my research and planning so you can sit together with people you're going on vacation with?

In any case, some other jackass on the plane decided that he didn't want an upgrade to business class if he couldn't have a window, so I got it instead.

Did you know you can get free mimosas in business class just by asking?  That guy apparently didn't.  Also, since this is America, the free mimosas are technically free bottomless mimosas.  One before breakfast, one with breakfast, and then I decided it was time to sleep.
Sure, it was a middle seat, but when the middle seat is huge, and comes with eight inch wide armrests, it really doesn't matter.  I would have liked a window as well, but this seat comes with free food and a more comfortable place to sleep.

The free food.  Breakfast isn't really something that can shine.  The fruit was decent, as was the strawberry yogurt.  The croissant that came later wasn't terrible, either.  The omelette was ok, although some sort of hot sauce would have helped.  The sausage wasn't great, and the middle thing is some sort of spinach/potato hash.  It wasn't really "bad," but it's not something I would have wanted if I had had a choice.
Sleeping on the plane to Honolulu was really the best use of time, as it meant that I wasn't super tired when I got home, despite not sleeping at all Wednesday night.  That was good, as it allowed me to head out to get groceries.

Also sushi.
I had been thinking about taking friday off as well, and when I got home, I found a good reason to stick to that plan:  They're painting apartment doors this week, and I need to be home tomorrow for that to happen.  Plus, once they're finished, it has to sit open for two hours to dry.  That means I'm going to work from home getting the stuff I sorted out while on vacation checked to see that it's working as designed.


Quick check in to get my bag checked.

No trouble getting foil wrapped sausage through security.

Easy time just walking through the short security line.

Xray, no opt out needed.

Pizza obtained.

Nearly time to board.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday: Final day of vacation

Well, to be more accurate, final day of vacation away from home.  I travel all day tomorrow, and then I think I'm taking Friday as a recuperation day.  Yes, a day to recover from the harshness of vacation.  My life is totally difficult and rough.

Another title that I had thought of for today was the following dialogue:

Me: "So, are we friends now?"
19-month-old: (quietly) "No."

I realized yesterday that I hadn't posted any Kimchi pictures.  I am resolving that today.


"Food over there?"

Mexican coke and sleepy puppy.

Charging lasers...

This place has dinosaur shaped cookies.  Dinosaur shaped cookies that kind of look like a bus.

Then we got barbecue, and I had a lot of brisket left over.


  • Squirtle squad.
  • I dare you to read any of this guy's webpage and not come to the conclusion that he's a terrible person.
  • Gnome is run by fucking idiots.
  • Idiots.  Idiots everywhere.
  • Note for me: find a bigger version of this image so I can read the cut-away.
  • Politics.
  • Pikachu face butt.
  • Omni.  I don't have time to read it.
  • This is where you realize that even the people who totally are into all that Tea Party shit are basically hypocrites.
  • Here are my notes:
    • Page 1 notes that you need to hold the reset button down for five seconds, and that will allow the USER: (blank) PASS: admin account to work again.
    • Page 9 shows that you can set up WPA security using a defined shared key.  This should allow the same key currently in use to be retained after the reset.
    • Page 15 discusses the "Port Range Forward" option, which can be used to map the world visible IP/port combination to an internal IP/port combination.  For instance, to set up SSH, you would set port 22 to be fowarded to  Then, whenever you want to SSH into the home network, you could simply do an "ssh AAA.BBB.CCC.DDD".

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday: Vacation quickly coming to an end

Which is unfortunate.  It'd be nice to have infinite money to allow for permanent travelling, but that's not likely to happen in the near future.  If only we had a decent government sponsored patronage system to allow scientists to wander and do unrestricted science without having to constantly justify things and apply for new grants.

In any case, dinner tonight was at Jack Allen's Kitchen:
Last remaining chorizo stuffed pork tenderloin.  Tasty yummy.

Alternatively, google's search/assistant/whatever thingy wants me to be aware that there is a Waffle House near by:
A Waffle House that has "waitress" as one of the important points.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday: Too much coffee, too late in the day, too much stuff

Ryu of Japan.  Combination plate.  I like large varieties of food.

"We'll never tell where the bodies are buried!" "Never ever!"

For reasons.

Late night:
I felt bad not getting proper food when visiting a place late at night to take advantage of the isolation to do work stuff.  Not a terrible sandwich, but tomatoes don't really belong inside paninis.  Still, on the way over, I had a thought that "grilled cheese" would be a good late night work snack, and this covered that base suitably.

Allowing me to do this (left: original; right: modified reconstruction).
Given image i, such that i = a + n + c, where a is the astronomical signal, n is the random noise, and c is the detector specific corruption, define a new image i' = (a - a') + n + c, where we've removed an estimate of the astronomical signal a'.  This has a Fourier transform F(i') = (A - A') + N + C, using the fact that Fourier transforms are linear.  Assuming a' is a sufficiently suitable proxy for a, and that n is small (specifically that ||N|| << ||F(i')||), this leaves F(i') ~ C.  Constructing a Fourier mask that removes C results in t ~ (a - a') + n + c.  The difference of i' and t provides a clean estimate of c, which can then be removed from i: o = i - (i' - t).

I need to test that photometric properties are retained by this transformation, and I'd like to speed it up some and sort out some of the edge case issues (visible around the blank bands above), but I think this solves the bulk of the issues with this problem.


  • For tomorrow: how to set up a CVS repository.  Yes, I know everyone loves SVN now, but CVS is easier, and it works just fine for projects that aren't likely to need lots of branches and reversions.
  • Squirrels.
  • If I recall correctly, this image is from the episode of Black Books where Bernard and Manny drink a bunch of really expensive wine.  That reminds me: I should rewatch Black Books again.
  • I apparently have this on already?  I don't have the password locking in place, but I can find my phone if I lose it, or make it ring via the internet.  It's like google is that person you IM to have them call your phone because it's hiding between the couch cushions.
  • Sleepy Puppies.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday: Lazy Vacation Day

I'm bad about remembering to take pictures of food.
Central Market "Special Chicken".  Asian spices with garlic ginger rice and hoisin sauce.

Also, there's a nice conjunction going on right now.  Venus is bright in the evening sky, and Saturn is just slightly to the north of it.  Saturn doesn't show up in this picture because my cell phone is not a scientific grade camera.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday: Well, that was unexpected

This Cards Against Humanity response was put together by a 19-month old:

Following the game, she attempted to beat me up with a recorder.  Today's been a bit odd.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday: Rain, food, different food, some math, links

Austin was rainy today:

But then we went to get Noble Pig for lunch.  I forgot to take a picture.

Dinner was a meat overdose at Estancia.  I did take a picture.

Is there an actual name for those plots that show all the combinations of N-dimensional data as a grid of 2-D plots?  They're usually done in upper or lower triangular form, as the other entries in the grid are transposes of the ones plotted.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday: Apparently my recent posts have been "bad"

That's largely been due to the fact that I've been travelling, and on vacation, and not having consistent internet access such that I can read the internet, filter it down to a select set of links, and compile that into a post.

I now have caught up on the majority of the internets, so I can clear out the backlog of links I've been saving.

Masala Wok.  Why isn't this everywhere?  It's currently only in Texas and Virginia.  That's fucking bullshit.  Tasty Indian food should be omnipresent.

I honestly did not expect this post to take so long to put together.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday: austin

I could do a full post, as I'm currently charging my phone through my laptop (as the most expensive extension cord ever) and I'm pretty much right next to the wifi router.  However, I'm sleepy, so I'm not going to.  Instead, three scenes.

First: the first qdoba burrito I've had in like two years.  IND has one before security, so I got one today.  Somehow, I also got the cool security line, as it was run basically on the "pre check" standards.  Shoes stayed on, lappy stayed in the bag, liquids stayed in the bag as well.  It was a wonderful return to the pre-insanity days.  I can only hope this level of sanity starts spreading.

Second: a somewhat unhappy dog being loaded into the cqrgo bay at IAH. I would think it'd be better to drive, but whatever.

Third: delicious fried chicken.  Lucy's, I think? Delicious.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday: i need to read my calendar better

I had been thinking

Seriously? Blogger app just ate my post. Fuck.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday: still wifi deficient

I did sort out an fft issue today, though.  Turns out saving values is far more efficient if you do your math first.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday: Not much here

  1. Helpful seal.
  2. Larry Summers.
  3. Philadelphia schools.

Fuck, that's the wrong list type.

I did get a bit of work stuff done today, sorting out a new modularized FFT code.  I haven't reimplemented the algorithm in any useful way, but it's at least something.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday: Sitting closer to the router, so here are the links

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday: still too far from the router

So I'm going to just stick this filler post in, maybe with a photo I took long ago.

It turns out letter cube kleenex boxesare a bad idea.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday: so far from the wifi router

I flew through Houston this morning.
This is a stupid pose.

I got doughnuts.  Not bad, but who makes chocolate yeast doughnuts?  Assholes who want to fool you, apparently.

Also, they may have been trying to kill me with this OJ.  Thanks, Shipley Do-nuts.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Burrito style

Usually, with most sandwiches, I like them cut in half. I also have some bizarre rules for how the should be sliced. Triangles for most sandwiches, except those that contain a sausage as the main component (like salami). Those should be cut into rectangles. I kind of like grilled cheese the same way, unless it will be used as a soup dipper, in which case the triangles give you a better point for dipping.

However, things like this quizno sandwich I like to eat "burrito style", without cuts. Somehow it seems like two smaller sandwiches aren't as good. It's weird.

#wtf cares, #posts from airplanes and airports, #food