Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday: I think this is a random rant, and then a pile of links.

I've determined that Target kleenex are better than Kleenex kleenex.  I've been sick all week, so that's involved a mountain of kleenex being used, and I finally ran out yesterday, resulting in me stealing the couch kleenex to replace the expired bedroom kleenex.  This prompted today's run to Target, where I bought a number of things I needed (and some chips and salsa, because that sounded good).  The Target brand kleenex were significantly cheaper, at like $4(?) a four pack compared to $6(?).  I've been home for a couple of hours, and in that time, I've determined that these are also more durable, with fewer sneezes compromising the integrity of the kleenex barrier.
I have no idea what this is from, but I assume it's been photoshopped.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday: Sushi on Thursday?

I was out of shampoo, and I only really like the fancy expensive kind that they sell at the mall.  So, I figured I'd just eat dinner there as well, and get in my weekly sushi:

Tamago, amaebi.
I decided to try the amaebi, which is apparently based on this shrimp, instead of this one that most ebi dishes use.  It's a milder flavor and quite tasty.
Huh, mine didn't seem so happy.
Oh, I see, I just had use a different angle.

  • I discovered this page last night.  I recommend reading the about, but then not actually clicking through to anything else.  The basic idea is that lots of porn apparently had Ikea furniture in the background, so this person has put together a tumblr pointing out that furniture with links to the Ikea webpage.  The amount of time necessary to both memorize the Ikea catalog and watch that much porn is kind of stunning.
  • Red panda!
  • Patrick Stewart is basically the definition of awesome.
  • I enjoyed these fake tweets.
  • Memes about astronomy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday: Significantly less sick

I'm still coughing, and occasionally that produces something that makes me suspect that my lungs accidentally the whole Wilbur Whateley, but that's been decreasing as the day goes on.  I guess that's good as I now only have two days left for work this week, but still have lots of things I'd like to get done.

I'm assuming this is fake.  Not even people from the 50s were this stupid.

This is the horror that happens when you anthropomophize things.

This is the horror you get when you suck all the humanity out of something, I guess?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday: Definitely sick

It was pretty easy to confirm, given that I woke up with my throat continuing to be on fire, and coughed up things that were in colors you're not generally supposed to cough up.  I think that means that bronchitis is back again for a standard summer visit.  It wasn't so bad that I felt it necessary to go to the doctor, but if it hasn't cleared up somewhat by tomorrow, I think that's my next step.  I figured that it'd be super busy today after the three day weekend, and sitting in a room with sick people (even if I am myself sick) isn't ever fun.

My strategy for dealing with it today was to drink a bunch of water, and sleep in in the hope that would resolve it.  That helped, but there's only one thing that can truly help when you're sick:
Unfortunately, those don't exist until the Great Mushroom War.
Since my apartment has no soup, no juice, and pretty much nothing needed for getting not-sick.  This led to me driving across town to get the best soup in the world:
While I was sleeping this morning, I had planned on getting this, and that led to a weird dream where I did, but forgot to order extra menma.  In reality, when I went, I also forgot to order extra menma.  That didn't matter, however, as there was no menma in the store to be had.  In any case, the super thick and rich broth helped my throat, and I got gyoza so I could make an extra spicy dipping sauce to help as well.

And then I went and bought soup and juice and vitamins and other various drugs that can be used to mask the symptoms of being sick while my immune system gathers resources and launches a counter-attack.

One more thing I noticed while sleeping this morning: after I woke up, I turned on my TV to the news, as that's usually a nice drone for the background.  It was generally fine, as Martin Bashir's voice is reasonably calm, except when he decides it's time to be gratuitously sarcastic.  However, he's followed up by Chris Matthews, who shouts all the time.  Even worse, Matthews is followed by Al Sharpton, who doesn't ever stop shouting.  Someone should really introduce these people to Bob Ross.

  • Tiny red panda.
  • That's an interesting story.
  • This can be summarized by just noting that gun manufacturers's best interests are to sell guns to criminals, and then convince regular people that the only way to defend themselves is if they also buy lots of guns.  Stunning how close this is to the NRA's view.
  • Why top tax rates should go up.
  • "Oh, no, cat.  They'll never find your body.  I'll make sure of that."

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday: I think I'm sick

Day off, various miscellaneous futzing with work things, vacuumed and did a bit of cleaning.

And now my throat super hurts, as does my head, and I think I have a bit of a fever.  Wonderful.  Hopefully it'll be gone by tomorrow, otherwise I'm going to look like the slacker who enjoyed his three day weekend so much that he decided to keep the party going for another day.  At least I have stuff that I can easily work on from home, if that does end up being the case.

It's made the evening increasingly suck.

The Wedding of Psyche.  I should do more tl;dr myths.

  • I'm too sick to talk about this too much.  Basically, don't use price controls, because you get this kind of situation.  Subsidies for the poor is generally going to work better, as you're not subsidizing prices for people who can afford the product.
  • Via Julie, the cutest sandwiches ever.
  • I guess since there are like three months of festivals, I could probably go to Obon without much trouble.
  • I am posting this link just so I could make this image:
  • Dress shirts.
  • It's odd that this article didn't care to post the fact that the early suggestions are that states that implement the ACA fully are likely going to have significantly better results that states like Texas that are ready to doom poor people to not having coverage that they'd be able to get in states that do implement ACA.
  • The artist of the painting above.  Google image search has made things much easier to identify.
Alternate version I made of the Paul Krugman "look at all the fucks I give" macro.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday: Part 2

It's a good thing that I broke out the Sun thing into its own post.  This is already going to be too long and complicated.  I think my suggestion is going to be to read only a little bit at a time, so I can link back here later in the week when I have nothing to post.  Yes, I could save things, or schedule a post, but that seems dumb.

Part 2.1: Burger Time

I decided to get a burger for late-lunch today.  Honolulu Burger Company won out, although I think this was my most disappointing visit.
Truffle fries.
The first issue was that they still don't have a small fry size for fries with toppings.  This basket is just too big for one person.  It's not even really the money, it's more that I feel bad throwing away 60% of my fries.

Mushroom mushroom burger.
 The second issue was that my burger had some issues.  I asked for no-tomato, no-sauce, and the girl at the counter entered that in correctly.  However, my burger arrived with both of those.  In addition, the bun was cold and somewhat stale.  Ick.  This led to me just ignoring the bun and eating the burger "fancy style."

Then this couple came in, and decided to again point out that Japan is better at eating lots of food than America.  It's hard to see, but he has a triple burger (I can barely finish the single).  She went lighter, only getting a double.

Part 2.2: Fourier Transforms, Again

This week I re-remembered another important detail about FFTs (this is another in this series of random points about FFTs).  Consider this image:
This is just a sine wave tipped at 45 degrees.  Now, look at the power spectrum:
Ok, the two spots make sense, as those correspond to the point in the (U,V) plane that has that frequency, along with it's reflection (the negative frequency).  But what's up with all that other crap?

FFTs make the assumption that the signal is periodic, and since it only has the image to work with, the default thing to do is to calculate a circular FFT, where the left and right edges wrap around, and the top and bottom do as well (making a video game torus).  However, since the sine signal doesn't nicely match up at the edges (most obvious at the top and bottom), this introduces a lot of extra Fourier components that correspond to those + shapes.

The solution to this problem is to taper the image down so that it is effectively periodic.  The easiest way to do this is to just multiply by a Gaussian so that the edges drop down to zero at the edges, like this:
Ok, what's this look like in (U,V)-space?
The two dots we expect.  There's some lower level noise, but this has the same colormap as the previous spectrum.  The dots aren't perfect points, which I think tells us something about the size of the Gaussian we used.

This is important, because the science stuff I've been playing with has odd edge effects that impose a strong sinc^2 signal onto the power spectrum.  This makes it difficult to isolate bad frequencies.  Remembering this trick solves that problem, and should make cleaning those images much easier.

Part 2.3: Travel Pants

I've been thinking about the various trips I'm likely taking in the second half of the year, and came to the conclusion that I think I want new pants for travelling.  Jeans really aren't very comfortable after eight hour flights, and I think I have ten hour flights coming up.  So, I spent part of the evening yesterday looking at various options.  I'm still not totally happy with the options.

  • Julie's simple option.  Cheap, but the downside is that they don't really look very good, especially if you're planning on going through customs.  I don't want to have to say, "No, really, I actually do have a Ph.D." (C9 by Champion® Men's Running Pant)
  • These seem like we have different understanding of "travel."  A lot seem to be for hiking, which is something I don't intend to do. (Kuhl Raptr Pants)
  • These seem like they'd be hot.  I'm very rarely actually cold while travelling, so I think that's the main issue I have.  Comfy, and not super hot. (Deluth Trading MEN'S MICROFIBER TRAVEL PANTS)
  • Similar issue with these.  They do look a bit more comfy than the previous one, though. (Travel Smith Aero Microfleece Pants)
  • I found a webpage that suggested these.  However, they're "convertable pants," which means they turn into shorts.  That means that they're automatically a no. (REI Endeavor Convertible Pants)
  • Maybe these?  Mostly cotton, but with added materials to make them stretch some.  Explicitly states that they're good for flights. (ExOfficio Men's Roughian™ Pant)
  • Another option.  Also look like they'd be comfortable, although "100% nylon" is suspicious. (Royal Robbins' Global Traveler Pant)
Hrm.  I should have added notes of brands and styles before closing all those tabs, since those links all go to retailers, and those aren't the most stable links.  I'll fix it in post.

Part 2.4: Shoes

The pant thing led me to thinking about shoes.  My shoes need to be replaced, as the tread has been largely worn off them.  They're still comfortable, so I'm tempted to just buy another pair.  Here are quick links for this.

  • What I have now.  Basically.  Mine has black stitching, which I would prefer. (Dr. Martens 1461)
  • Similar style.  These have a bit more stitching, which I'm not a fan of. (Dr. Martens Andre)
  • These have more laces.  I don't think I want texture. (Dr. Martens Boston)
  • These have fewer. Maybe for travel.  (Dr. Martens Ethan)
This search shomehow led me to shoe lace tie methods.  That led me to finding this one.  I'm thinking of switching my shoes to use it.  I generally prefer to not tie my shoes each time I wear them, as I usually keep them laced fairly loosely.  This works fine for my left shoe, but somehow my knot is always untied on the right one.  Yes, I realize this is a dumb thing to worry about.  Still, a way to have my shoes perma-tied at a decent level, while retaining the ability to adjust the fit somewhat seems like a good idea.

Part 2.5: Links

Sunday: Sun day

Other than me messing with panorama projections, what's odd with this photo?
Trans-Mercator.  For when regular Mercator doesn't quite look right.  This one bends buildings, but seems to preserve a flat horizon pretty well.
Luckily, last night I put the TV on local news as a "figure out what to do for dinner, and until you do: local news" strategy.  That led me to hearing that today is Honolulu's "Lahaina Noon" day.

What's that?

Basically, since Hawaii is in the tropics, there are two days each year where the sun is directly overhead.  Like it is on the equator on equinoxes, or on the tropics on solstices. I'll have to catch the second one on July 15th, if I can.

In any case, here are random close-ups of things without shadows.
That's the power line.

I should have taken a picture of the top, so you can see all the stuff there.  You can see it in the panorama on top, though.


Vent pipes.

More different vent pipes.

This sign has a shadow.  If you look closely, though, you can see that it's because this sign is crooked.



I liked this one.

My hands, holding the camera taking this picture.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday: Let's write the post first, and see if that prompts a good title.

This looks a lot like they drove their car (and tiger) to their "common people crusher" car.

That chauffeur couldn't look more like a storm trooper.  Also, isn't that car kind of short? Is it just a bed inside?

Well.  Now I have a name for it, I guess.  I did just get a book in the mail today, so I probably should work on the backlog.

Damnit, Nazis, you do not get to play with squirrels.  They are cute and cuddly, and you are murderous barbarians.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday: Clouds and links

I saw these clouds over the mountains as I was walking to my apartment.

  • Squirrel!
  • Rings!
  • Eton is where the people who rule Britain go to school.  Go read about it on wikipedia and see if you don't think it's the most anachronistic thing ever.  I can't really imagine that really being a healthy way to educate people.  "Here, go live with a bunch of people who are more concerned with things a hundred years ago than your actual well being."
  • Different squirrel!

Retroactive Thursday: Bloody Murder

Part 1: Dinner

There's a (relatively) new Japanese place near work, so I figured I would give it a try.  It's replaced another place that I seem to recall was a buffet style place.  

The yelp reviews suggested getting the sashimi combo, which is what I did.  I clearly did not read the menu sufficiently, as I was soon bombarded with piles of food.

  1. Edamame.  I believe these were complementary.  Not as salty as I usually like, but not bad.
  2. Miso soup.  Standard.
  3. Tsukemono.  I don't like pickles, so I ignored them.  Sorry.
  4. Salad. The lettuce was a bit pale, but it had a good dressing.  I'm not sure what it was, and the menu describes it as "house miso dressing."  There was something sweet about it, and I kind of thought it had a pineapple-y flavor.  I was offered more dressing for it, but by that time, the rest of my food had arrived.

  1. Rice.  Duh.
  2. Ahi sashimi.  Not much to say on this. It's ahi.  Sweet, delicious ahi.
  3. Unagi.  This can't have enough said about it.  Properly grilled, so there's crispy burnt ends.  I think this was the best unagi I've ever had.   

Part 2: and a Show

It's been awhile since I've been to the theater, but I saw that they had a "comedy murder mystery," and couldn't pass that up.


See, I told you that was the title.
Generally enjoyable, although it can be a bit too much (such as the scene where the characters realize they're being played by Americans).  A bit too much direct influence from the Clue movie, what with the closing with "Shake Rattle and Roll."

I will admit that it took me far longer than it should have to realize that they were doubling up the characters. It should have been obvious, in a kind of Superman/Clark Kent fashion.

Now I kind of want to rewatch Clue and Dark and Stormy Night.

I also had the weird experience of seeing someone who you think you know, but then don't have a name for that person, so you assume that you really don't know them.  Weird.


Seriously, I hope you die in a fiery car crash.

Reasons why you should die horribly, you stupid fuck:

  1. Driving 12 miles an hour.  Twelve.  What the fucking fuck?
  2. Why are you three car lengths behind the car in front of you at the stop light?
  3. Oh, I see, it's because you're FUCKING TEXTING WHILE DRIVING YOUR CAR!
  4. When I notice the yellow line on the right side of your left rear tire, I assume you're probably not trying to kill everyone in the world, so I give a little beep.  For realsies, I did a tiny single beep.
  5. Five seconds pass.
  6. YOU FUCKING STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING ROAD?  Does it seriously take five seconds for you to process that a horn has been sounded somewhere?
  7. Yes, you very nearly scraped the fuck out of the side of that oncoming car.  Nice job, asshole.
  8. I hate this light, because it's so damn long.
  9. And now you turn right.  We were stopped at that light for more than a minute, with no traffic anywhere, and you decide (without signalling) that you really want to turn right.  YOU COULD HAVE DONE THAT WHEN WE FIRST GOT HERE!
  10. Did you see me doing the game of charades in your rear view mirror? No, of course not, you were too busy dicking around on your phone.  Here's what I was miming:
    1. Two hands together, with thumbs frantically wiggling: you doing shit on your damn phone.
    2. My right hand doing an over-dramatic arc pointing down at the passenger seat: put your fucking phone down, asshole.
    3. Hands back up again, this time holding an imaginary steering wheel that I'm turning back and forth: just fucking drive your stupid car.
    4. Me, holding up just one finger: do one damn thing at a time, jackass.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday: Adventures were had

But due to the disk failure, I now have to resync four months of pictures.  So I'm just going to delay the adventure post until tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday: "Frankly, I'm somewhat surprised that worked so well, too."

It turns out that in a bizarre feat of mathematics, for mode X of the camera, the noise signal and the standard dark current are actually simply added together.  No scaling, no polynomial transformation, no nothing.  O = A + B.  Technically A' - A + B, but whatever.  The point is it actually works like you would hope it would, but then end up cursing at it because things never work like that.

Until today, I guess.

Plus it gives me an excellent opportunity to use this picture.

  • Except I don't like gluing things into my book.  I do like it when I buy used books and they have ex libris stickers inside, but that's mostly so I can internet stalk people who decided they didn't want that book anymore.  Or they're dead.  Mostly the dead thing.
  • There's no way to link to this without ruining the joke.  It's a pokemon related joke.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday: new disks

I've installed them after swapping around drive cables because I'm not fucking paying $22 for a fucking sata cable when I can get two for $3 from amazon.

Formatted and all that, with UUID values that I manually set so I don't forget which one is which.  I'm rsyncing the data I did have backed up, and I've deleted the important things from the DVR with the added command to rerecord them.  I know I'm unlikely to be able to catch up on some shows (like those that were cancelled), but I can at least try to recover somewhat.

I decided against doing the RAID solution, in favor of a JBOD solution.  I think the correct failsafe method is as follows:

  1. Drive 00000000-0000-0000-0001-abcdefabcdef will be the master DVR drive, and serve the main copy of the mp3s, images, videos, etc.
  2. Drive 00000000-0000-0000-0002-abcdefabcdef will be rsynced daily from the master, and serve as a hot swappable replacement if the primary fails.  Since this will be structurally equivalent to the master, I can repoint the DVR just by changing the symlink.
  3. If either drive fails, I immediately replace it with the current $100-tier disk.  This suggests that in a year when one of these fails, I'll upgrade to a 3TB disk.  That allows a reasonable growth in data volume.
  4. Keeping them out of RAID allows me to temporarily use the full free space if I need to backup a laptop or something.  It's more flexible than committing half the free space to unused RAID redundancy.
  5. The external USB drive will still get the standard backups of the "valuable" data, such as the mp3s, images, videos, etc.
  6. I should probably have an offsite backup solution, but that's slightly harder without having hardware I can control remotely.  I'll continue pondering this aspect.
Also, I know I didn't zero index the drives.  Since I was able to largely recover after the previous disk failure, I'm claiming that the one that just died was ---0000-.


  • Wait, so to protest people being allowed to get married, you decided to show them all by shooting yourself?  That's...that's just a really poorly thought out plan.
  • I know it's overly optimistic, but I really hope this bites him in the ass.  Either way, he's pretty much screwed on this one.  Option A, he tells his constituents that he doesn't give a damn about them. Option B, he shows that he's a hypocrite.
  • Helen Mirren. Again. Being awesome. Again.
  • Mario dog.
  • I don't have a bear perspective today, but this link does.
  • Remember when I called Peggy Noonan an idiot over the weekend?  Here's more details on why that's totally true.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday: Further adventures in fuck fuck fuckity fuck

  1. Everyone in existence decided to get gas after work today.  It's like someone had claimed a tsunami was coming again.  My car was just regular out-of-gas.  The guy in front of me decided he needed to put fancy gas into his crappy jeep.  Given that I paid $4.259/gallon for the regular stuff, that seems somewhat wasteful.
  2. Bought two new nice 2TB hard drives, and then went elsewhere to buy an external HD enclosure.  
    1. Since when do hard drives not contain any cables?  I now need to go out and buy SATA cables tomorrow to make this thing work again.
    2. Hard drive A (the one that died a year-ish ago) is elaborately wedged in place, and will require a lot of disassembly to extract from the case.
    3. Hard drive B (the one that died yesterday) slid out nicely, slid into the enclosure without too much trouble, but refuses to respond.  Based on the sounds, it seems this is the click-of-death problem, which is effectively an irreparable hardware issue.  That of course means that all those shows I hadn't watched on the DVR are gone. As is the other miscellaneous data on that drive that I hadn't gotten backed up.
  3. All the grapes at the store were either brown and mushed to fuck and back, or were moldy.  Proper moldy.  WTF?
  4. Some crazy old man riding his bike decided that he needed to stop in the middle of my apartment building's driveway.  Not to one side, not on the large loading dock apron area, not in the grass or on the sidewalk.  Right on top of the yellow line that denotes the lanes.  He then stared at me as I slowly eased my car around him, trying not to hit him, the building, or anything else.  Reasons this crazy old man was crazy:
    1. black socks pulled up to his knees with shorts.
    2. and sandals.
    3. and a giant (18+ inches) floppy pseudo-fedora hat.
    4. his blinking lights on his bike that were still going despite him being stopped.
    5. and it still being light out.
  5. I'm simultaneously hungry, and not hungry for any food I can think of.  I think I have cookies, so that might be my best option.
You have got to be fucking shitting me.  Really?  A fictional character makes actual history more real to you.  I'm...I'm just going to go lie in bed for awhile, and hope for the entire universe to go away in a false vacuum collapse.  

I didn't post this one already, right?  If I did, I'm sure this is a new caption.  "Whoa...those bricks look a bit slippery.  I'm just going to walk slowly with you under this umbrella until we get home, ok?"
  • Really, Waco?  Because the bible says the moon shines it's own light, it must do so.  Even when it's a new moon, and not actually bright?  I vow, that if I ever become president, I will force through legislation allowing Bill Nye to just straight up shoot people who are that dumb.  Not kill them.  Just like in the knee or something.
  • I had a gif of this bear eating the camera, but it's pixelated, and a bit gross, so here's the youtube video so you can watch gross bear mouth in high quality.
  • I'm torn between this being an interesting idea, and it being incredibly depressing.
  • Bianca, with important facts for kids.
  • So you defund higher education at the state level, and then veto their ability to raise tuition to cover expenses.
  • That sucks.
  • Is the logic here that the government should have a tax repatriation holiday because otherwise corporations are just going to pretend they didn't earn that money and effectively evade?  As above, but Bill Nye is also able to nationalize companies for any reason he sees fit.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday: Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.

I'm calmly making something for dinner after a day of not doing a damn thing, when I hear a random "beep" from the computer in the living room.  Finish cooking, sit down to eat, and I see a "I/O error" on the terminal logged into that computer.  A series of futzing around later, I discover that the drive seems to have died in exactly the same way as the last one I had: randomly dies, and refuses to allow the computer to reboot while plugged in.

Fuck.  There goes all my DVR data.  Again.  Except this time, I didn't even have the chance to copy a bunch off.  I do have backups of the important stuff (photos and things like that), but if I can't get the data from these disks, I'll be starting my DVR collection over from scratch.  Wonderful.

I think my strategy is going to be to go to best buy tomorrow, and buy two disks, and either set up a proper raid array (somewhat time consuming), or do a quick rsync based A/B system.  Hopefully I can get a drive enclosure as well, and see if I can get the broken drives to respond that way.

I know frog, it could be worse.  My bathroom could be breeding Bolsheviks.

Wait, what?

  • This is fucking stupid.  The followup article suggests that this is getting a decent amount of coverage, but the very fact that the state attorney would let the legal system be used to let people attempt to ruin someone's life is disappointing.  Although, it is Florida, which probably should just be sunk into the ocean.
  • Tepig!
  • I didn't see this the first time I was reading this page, probably because it's two years old.  Somewhat NSFW, since it's a review of a Star Trek porn, but it's worth it just for the phrase "It’s like trying to fuck an onion".

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday: Nothing interesting happened in the world today, so I have one damn link.

You don't count anymore, North Korea.  "Launching missiles into the sea" is functionally equivalent to "our missiles suck, and crashed into the water instead of Hokkaido."  Go read boy who cried wolf again, and contemplate structural reforms that have a chance of improving your crappy little country.

Today's sushi needed some structural reforms as well.

I like the tiny drawings next to things.  Even the ebi has a happy smile, despite his actual head being removed.

I can't tell if they're friends, or co-conspirators against the Hu-mans.


  • If this is true, then I support the new Mew2 design.  However, if they replace old Mew2 with new Mew2, I'm going to be unhappy.