## Friday, February 28, 2014

### Friday: Did it seriously just rain super hard for thirty seconds?

WTF, the sky?

 But not this kind of rain.

## Thursday, February 27, 2014

### Thursday: never ending statistics

There is no fun math here.  This dataset is where fun statistics go to die.  The best algorithms I can come up with to smooth out the noise in a unquantized manner is of order O(N^4).  That sucks.  So instead I'm using median-based histograms, which means all the high frequency information larger than the box size is eliminated.  I guess I should be doing sigma clipping on that box to remove the discrepant points, and then feed that filtered set into a better smoothing function that now doesn't need to deal with the nonsense data.

And then I need to iterate the thing to identify the three different signals I'm trying to calibrate out.

 I wanted to say "dogtender," but that's obviously wrong, and "bartendog" seems like trying too hard.

## Tuesday, February 25, 2014

### Tuesday: Fuck tuesdays while we're at it.

I woke up this morning to discover that my back felt horrible, because apparently my "new bed" only lasts almost exactly one fucking year.  The problem is that all the springs are isolated, and then topped with a squishy layer of foam.  However, now it feels like two of the rows of springs have separated, and the squishy layer of foam is gone (possibly down into the spring gap).  Now I need to do this test myself, confirm that it's above the 1.5 inch threshold, fill out a complaint, and then probably pay a bunch of money in shipping costs because I live in Hawaii and beds are heavy.

If I ever have the chance, I will murder everyone involved with mind fire.  The fire of the mind.  Where you look at them, and your sheer hatred causes fire to erupt inside them.  Where they probably weren't expecting to have fire that day.  Resulting in mind fire murder.

For now, I've rotated the mattress 180 degrees, so the pain spot is now in "blanket and pillow collection land", and the undisturbed spot that was once B&PCL is now where my back will be.

One more thought on this rant:  They arrange the springs into columns and rows.  That's fucking stupid.  What's the best packing for circles in Euclidean space? Pseudo-hexes.  You shift row/column 2 relative to 1, thereby increasing density and forcing fractures to zigzag along.  Sure, the edges are weird then, but who sleeps on the outer two inches of bed?

## Sunday, February 23, 2014

### Sunday: Why can't this be a three day weekend like last week?

It would make things much easier.

It would also be much easier if WF sold pre-washed pre-cut romaine.  I don't want 99 kind of baby lettuces.  I also don't want to have to wash and cut my own lettuce.  I'm lazy.

Another thing that I think I've figured out on my drive yesterday, and in the little I drove today:  Part of the reason H-1 is so bad is that there is not velocity segregation.  People drive on it like it was a standard surface street.  This means that instead of having a regular situation where the left lane is used for driving, the middle lane is for driving somewhat slower, and the right lane is for driving even slower, you get a bunch of random speeds in all lanes.  This sets up lots of situations where someone is driving slowly in the wrong lane, so all faster traffic has to slow down as well, then merge over to pass, and then resume driving.  This reduces average velocity over what it could be, and sets up lots of congestion.

## Saturday, February 22, 2014

### Saturday: Kind of an adventure

I decided this week that I wanted new pillows.  All the pillows.  Couch pillows and bed pillows.  Puhoy!

To make it more of an adventure, I decided to go to the far away Target in Kapolei.  I think a large part of that was wanting to actually drive a distance.  Twenty-two whole miles.

 Also, they have a Wendy's there, so I could do the fry/frosty thing.

 And there was a surprise car show thing happening there?  In the Wendy's/Kmart parking lot?  I don't quite understand it, as it seemed like the goal was to park your car, then get a lawn chair, and sit next to your car, like you're waiting to answer questions.  But everyone else is also just sitting in a chair, so it looks like some sort of weirdo standoff, but with fancy old cars.

• The Ukraine.  He had peacocks, and tried to get rid of the incriminating evidence by throwing it in the river.  Worst attempt at dictator ever.
• This dog joke made me laugh.
• Waffle dogs.  So now I have to try and work this into the schedule for tomorrow.

## Friday, February 21, 2014

### Friday: This is why I need more robots

I was sitting at work, and went to check my email (which lives at home).  The terminal connected there didn't respond at all, making me think that the network connection at home had dropped.  However, I could ping my ip address correctly, and the cable status said that everything was working fine.

The nice thing:  the webcam/raspberry pi/security bot kept making the scheduled hourly image tweets when it detected that my phone was gone (which enables security mode) and that my laptop wasn't responding (due to the wireless being down).  This led to the diagnosis that the dvr/mailbox/rss database server/storage box/wireless router had crashed.  That sucks, as it runs a bunch of things.

The panic moment:  an hour or so after the big computer crashed, the hourly image tweets stopped showing up.  I think this happened because it hit the daily "save security images to the backup disk attached to the big box" part of the script.  Since that's a NFS mounted partition, it hung until the disk became available again.

So the obvious improvements:   First, the pi needs to check to see if the big box is up, and monitor its status as well.  Second, it would probably be a good idea to move the webcam back and up, so it checks the front door, but also can see the computers as well.  That way I can verify that there aren't any major (fire) issues.  Third, it'd be nice to wire up a reset switch to connect to the pi's IO ports.  That way, if it loses contact with the big box, it can attempt to reboot it.  Since those are both connected to the wired internal network, that doesn't have to be concerned with wireless interference.

• I noticed that in the wording as well.  Basically, there's no limit until 2015, and whatever we have borrowed until March 2015 becomes the new limit, unless prior action is taken.  This makes it a fixed date issue, not a fixed money issue.
• This article is dumb, because the argument is basically, "google is mean for not installing their fiber in poor neighborhoods," but the author never brings up the obvious solution that fiber is infrastructure, and infrastructure should be built and supplied by the government, so people aren't subject to the profits of a company.
• "Rectify its coverage"? That's pretty much how you know you're trying to run a dictatorship.  And no, this is a different situation from the previous argument.  Venezuela nationalized their oil production, but although they have a sovereign wealth fund (basically the good way to manage resource based money), it's not a very...good?  Transparency of 1, been in operation for 15 years and has less than a billion dollars?  Look at Norway.  Complete opposite.  Especially since Norway produces like half of what Venezuela does.  The point is, nationalization makes sense for some things, but you then also have to not run a country where you say things like the press needs to "rectify its coverage."
• That list doesn't mention Honolulu, but it seems it's already playing here.  Next weekend it opens at the theater next to sushi, so I'm probably going to wait until then.
• Professor Oak.

## Thursday, February 20, 2014

### Thursday: Why do I only ever have like 99 things or zero things?

Today is a zero thing day.

 Here. Let's go with this.  WTF?  "Hold on, tiny dogs representing France and Belgium nipping at the heels of, let's say, The Kaiser.  Wait, you mean to tell me Willy did have that ridiculous mustache?  I just thought that was some editorial exaggeration.  Anyway, I will add my own tiny dog representation to the fight, where we can slog on for four years.  I'm totally sure we won't completely destabilize all of Europe and set the groundwork for seventy years of various levels of worldwide conflict.  I'm totally sure of that last one."

## Wednesday, February 19, 2014

### Wednesday: That's going to take forever.

It turns out that even when the operation is O(N), if N is really big, that can still take a long time to sort out.

I also discovered that I didn't put enough dressing into the chicken caesar salad for today's lunch.  I don't want it to be drenched, but this wasn't enough to ensure all the lettuce had some caesar flavor.  Plus, without a bit of stickiness on the lettuce, all the cheese and delicious bacon bits fall down to the bottom, which isn't what it's supposed to do.  And yes, I know bacon bits are not an authentic caesar salad ingredient.

## Tuesday, February 18, 2014

### Tuesday: This got stuck in my head today

Mostly because I had a problem that basically boiled down to "take that X, slap it into that Y, and roll it into that Z."  Plus, this is one of the greatest Joker quotes ever, even if it is three minutes long.

## Monday, February 17, 2014

### Monday: Today I learned that Blue from Blue's Clues is a girl.

I did not know that.  Doesn't really change anything about the show, since you know, she's a cartoon dog and all.

Anyway, it's President's Day, so I did as little as possible, and didn't even leave my apartment.  This is how vacations should be.

 Because I don't have any other images to post.

• Ok, so the timestamp says this is from October, so it's not like this cat did crash the ongoing Olympics.  Still, I would expect an Olympic arena to satisfy two things: a) ceilings that don't fall apart under the weight of a cat; b) ceilings that don't allow easy cat access.
• Fuck you, Tony Scalia.
• Presidential.
• Bunnies.

## Sunday, February 16, 2014

### Sunday: How did this happen?

I have the option here to either write like four separate blog posts, or stick them all into one.  I'm going to do the second one, even though the result is going to be a short set of links.

Part 0: This little guy.

I stepped out of my apartment, and saw something on the hallway railing.
 This little guy.
It's been rainy all day, so I assume Mr. Butterfly was just taking a break and drying his wings.  I was able to get that picture, but I scared him off:
 See the out-of-focus blur in the upper-left corner of that house?

 Somewhere in here.  I could see it with my eyes, but I guess the camera couldn't.

Part 1: The regular weekend stuff.

Sushi time.

 I was just about to ask for a soy sauce dish when one magically appeared for me.

 They had really good ahi today.

 I think I've mentioned these squirrel branded nuts before, but I had lots of time waiting at the deli.
Part 2: The story from yesterday that I totally forgot about.

Yesterday when I went to get the burrito, I got stuck at this intersection, as usual.  I have to go this way to get to H-1, and it's designed such that the east-bound Wilder traffic gets a full light, while the west-bound traffic (and me) get's a forward-only green, and has to wait for a green arrow once the east-bound traffic is stopped.  It's a sucky intersection, and can't be the best solution.

In any case, the car I'm behind is painted like this:
 My car drawing is too small, so just pretend that's all on the back side of the trunk lid.
It's the company car for some private security guard service.  Ok.  Fine.  Then I got to the right side of the car. "Special Ops."  WTF?  I couldn't stop laughing.  What kind of special operations do you need to have to make sure people don't break in to or vandalize buildings?  Do you have some sort of tactical cell phone for calling the actual cops?

So I'm laughing to myself about what kind of special operations this guy must go on.  We turn, drive on, wait at the next light, and then I find out.  What kind of special operations you call Guard Security for.  First, you need to see something, so I'll just crop it out of google maps:

That's my post office, it lives under H-1.  See the "one way" and "do not enter" signs?  They're there because the lot is set up to funnel people from Lunalilo Street in, and then out onto Pensacola, with drive-through mail boxes (as you can see).  If you're on Pensacola, you park on the other side of the street and walk over.

Unless, of course, you're part of the Guard Security Special Ops Team.  Then, you use your incredible Special Ops training to Special Ops your car through that one-way exit.  To secure things.  However, no degree of Special Operations could possibly prepare this guy for his arch-nemesis: Dude Who Just Wanted to Mail a Fucking Letter but Now We're Both Trapped You Jackass.  Yep.  He made that turn, and very nearly rammed into a guy using the mailboxes.  I drove past, continuing to laugh to myself, so I never saw how this epic Special Operation was resolved.

Part 3a: The economics of Minecraft as compared to the real world.

I found this link in the RSS today, which points out that the Minecraft characters have absurd carrying capacities, because it's a game and games should be fun.  Their final number is 44.519e6 kilograms of gold, if that's all you're carrying.  Cool.  But then I remembered this other thing that showed up a few months back, which does info-graphic-y things to show you how much gold has been mined on Earth.  In ever, is their claim (and I'm not going to try to verify that, so we're going with it, because they have shiny graphics).  Their number?  166500 tonnes, which is a unit no one uses, so I had google turn that into kilograms.  166.5e6.  Therefore, in Minecraft, you can carry a little bit more than a quarter of all the gold in the world.

Part 3b: Walmart.

I was watching Olympic throw yourself down a mountain, and a commercial for Walmart came on.  In it, they claim that they're going to spend 250e9 dollars buying made-in-America products over the next ten years.  I googled a bit, and found this thing about how the Dirty Jobs guy is associated in this story somehow, but is less progressive about labor relations, and blah blah even I don't care about this sentence anymore.

Anyway, $250e9 over 10 years. That's$25e9 per year.  That's: "Revenue (ttm): 474.88B"...um...like 5% of their revenue?  Ok, great, thanks, but that's kind of approaching the rounding error level.  This isn't really much of anything.

Finally, the punchline as to why I looked into this at all:  In their advertisement pointing out how they're going to start buying more American goods for their stores, they have the song "Working Man" playing in the background.  By Rush.  A Canadian band.

...

Part 3c: Inequality and taxes.

f(x) is a simulated income distribution curve, defined as  f(x) = (100 - x) ** (-1/0.3).  g(x) is a simple ramp down: g(x) = (100 - x)/100.0.  It's plotted in log-space because otherwise nothing is visible.

The red curve shows an initial income distribution, f(x).  Let's put a flat tax on everyone of 20%.  That yields the blue curve.  That has effectively zero effect on the inequality of the distribution: the top earner still earns 1e7 times as much as the poorest.  Next idea: ramp up the tax rate as the income increases.  That gives the purple curve.  That's somewhat better, but since the distribution is a power law, it's basically a battle between the index of the income distribution and the tax progressivitiy.  You can see that with the brown line, which has an index of 2, and that's still a pretty wide range.  Only when you fully balance those indices (yellow line, 3.33333) do you get a case where the tax has eliminated the income inequality.

Now, back to the Krugman article: the article it's countering points out that the top 1% paid on average 33.8% in taxes.  Ok.  Fine.  Do you want to know what the top tax rate in my yellow simulation is? Something in the ballpark range of (1 - 1e-7)%.  99.99999%.  That is the full communism, all money is stolen by the government, "there's no point in working hard because all your effort is stolen in taxes" solution.

There are some details (this doesn't model marginal tax rates, it ignores any actual incentive issues, reduces the problem to two variables, blah blah), but the conclusion remains essentially the same: pushing up the top tax rate is not going to instantly create a communist gulag.

## Saturday, February 15, 2014

### Saturday: Three day weekend!

Which I totally took advantage of by not doing anything at all all day long.

 Then I went to get a burrito.
I should probably not get burritos here anymore.  They're not really bad, but they're also not really good.
 Some other people had a dog with them.

## Friday, February 14, 2014

### Friday: Valentine's day

 I've been saving this for a week.
But it's also Julie's birthday, so I can't just say we should blot the day out of history.  And now I want cake.

I decided last weekend that I was bored with lunch sandwiches, and decided to try lunch salads:
 Like this.
I haven't sorted out the best way to do this.  This one has baby lettuce, sundried tomatoes, slivered carrots, croutons, ham, and that really tasty gouda that WF always has presliced like that.  The problem is the balance between dressing and not having soggy croutons.  I made a quick red wine vinaigrette, but it doesn't coat things very well, and putting the box's lid back on and shaking it around magically does three things:

1. all ham immediately finds the closest ham, and they stick together into a chunk.
2. all carrots and sundried tomatoes flee to the bottom of the box, so once you eat that last bit of lettuce, you find a secret pile of both of those.
3. the dressing vanishes, no matter how much you put in, only to appear again later in a puddle around the edge of the box.
I clearly have some work to do.  I've also thought this would work for a chicken caesar idea as well.  I do need to get better croutons, as the ones I have were designed by an idiot, so they crunch perfectly fine, unless you get one with the solid grains in it, which cannot be crushed by a molar, and exist only to break teeth.

Plus, I've done seafood the past two days:

 This soy-honey salmon recipe was a lie.  The sauce did not in any way "form a glaze," and I shortchanged your cooking times and still ended up with overcooked fish.  I guess that's what I get for not marinating it overnight.

 WF fish counter crab cake.  I kind of want to do slider week again, and put this in as one of the sliders.

I also came up with a brilliant idea today for a product that doesn't exist but totally should.  I have lots of books.  Like think of some books, and I have like twice that.  Maybe more if you thought small.  However, I have insufficient shelf space for all of these books.  This means, I lot of my library is in stacks on the floor, or in double-packed shelves (one layer of books, with another layer of books in front).  The problem is that I have a limited amount of wall space, and you have to put shelves against a wall.

Instead of doing things like this, they should make filing cabinets that are designed for books.  This stores the books like a normal shelf, but it's perpendicular to the wall. This makes is stick out further than a regular shelf, but you usually don't put things in front of a bookshelf anyway.  Instead of just pulling a book off the shelf, you open the drawer, and then pull the book off of that shelf.  Here, have a quick doodle-y sketch:
 It's nearly legible.
The important thing is that the sides have to be kept as hollow as possible, so my quick idea uses a set of six rails to support an open drawer:  each side has a top and bottom one, plus there are two tracks on the bottom.  Since regular filing cabinets don't fall over (due to the trick that opening one drawer locks the others closed), this would be similarly stable.  The slidey bookend doodle isn't something I've made up, my filing cabinet has that, so I assume it's a standard filing cabinet thing.

This would be significantly more expensive than the cheap flat pack shelves that are common, but I think the storage density would help mitigate that.  The other benefit would be that since the books are isolated, there'd be less chance of dust/light/bug damage, so the books would be safer.  In conclusion, I really want to have a filing cabinet style bookcase.

• I read Paul Krugman, so I saw this.  Then I did a search on twitter (assuming this was something recent), and discovered this and this.  The WSJ has had grammatically incorrect advertisements out for two months.  Holy unprofessionalism, Batman.
• Pika-jollnir?
• This title is completely accurate.  There's using technology for good purposes (like cool filing cabinet bookcases) and then there's using it for bad purposes (like building eyesores that inevitably leak because you don't understand what you're doing).  I'm not kidding.  Like all of his buildings leak.  Or try to set LA on fire.  I can't come up with more fundamental purpose of architecture than a) don't let the rain in; and b) don't burn down the fucking town.  You suck, Frank Gehry, and I don't care how many rich assholes you fool into paying for your shit.

## Thursday, February 13, 2014

### Thursday: I have nothing because I just spent an hour getting simcity 2000 to run in linux.

That's actually not true, I have three different things I could put here, but I didn't prep any of them, so they'll have to wait.

• Misty.
• Star Wars.
• Ok, this makes sense.
• This is suck, though.  Would it have been that hard to let the last season play on Cartoon Network, where all the other seasons played?
• Television.
• Detailed analysis of why this Comcast thing is bullshit.
• Does anyone watch Headline News anymore?  It doesn't do news headlines, since everyone has twitter.  So I guess it's just going to be a bunch of people reading their twitter feeds now?  That's...just stupid.  I can't imagine someone else has a twitter feed more interesting to me than mine is.  Given that that's the case, why would I ever turn to a television channel for this, when I can just watch something else, and have twitter open in a tab?

## Wednesday, February 12, 2014

### Wednesday: lists

I usually try to structure the day with a set of items to accomplish.  You know, just a clear way to organize the things that need to get done on any given day.
 Today I discovered that although I usually do checks when something is done, you can also just put two dots, and then you get a concerned face :| guy.  This is why I will never stop using paper notebooks.

• Squirrel.
• Different squirrel.
• I tried to do this today, but gave up on getting crispy potatoes when it became 9 and I still hadn't eaten dinner yet.
• Fuck.  This shouldn't be allowed to pass anti-trust checks.  "Oh, but we don't compete," that's because you've gamed the system and divided the country into different regions, you fuckers.
• This is why She-Hulk is cool, and really deserves to be more popular.

## Tuesday, February 11, 2014

### Tuesday: Today's accumulation of random things no one cares about

 First, this fox.

• CNN is bad at news.
• This tweet, by itself, is useless, as everyone else pointed out.  There's not even a link to further explanation.
• This story.  I was going to use it as a "Russia is screwing up the Olympics," which they are, and this covers some points, but then I saw something else:
• "Ultimately, however, between the snow-making machines and the millions of pounds (kilos) of snow [...]"
• "These mountain peaks rise over 2,300 meters, and since air temperatures generally cool with height, it means these venues stay 5 - 10 C (41 F - 50 F) degrees cooler."
• Holy crap, you are bad at news, CNN.
• While we're talking about Russia.
• So at least that's not a problem for the next year.
• Here's a plot I put together today, but then didn't feel like actually talk about.  Blah blah productivity gains, blah blah unequal distribution.
• The other thing is that if you assume these plots are sequential (they are, I made the previous one too), and that the letters are from the set [0-9a-z], then that plot is the 1353040 made.
• I didn't know you could do this with google.  It's totally the "I want to go somewhere, don't care where, but I do have a budget" way to find flights.
• I'll forget to read this story this weekend.
• I probably should have sat down to figure out how much water needs to be raised how high to provide a hydroelectric battery to solve this issue.