Tuesday, December 22, 2015

SpaceX lands first stage

You are not seeing a rocket lifting off in the above picture. You are seeing one return from space, after having successfully delivered its payload of 11 satellites to orbit, and land on a freaking 'X' on the earth.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The October 26, 2013 edition of the Economist reviews a biography on George Bush junior. One that discusses the legacy of his presidency. The review makes reference to this poem by Shelley,

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

                                                    - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sunday, October 20, 2013

First post in a long, long while...

Wow, it's been a few years since my last post. So what's happened in that time?
  • President Obama has lost some of his shine.
  • The War on Terror has wound down. That accomplishment alone has cost the president dearly  due to his (necessary?) compromises and the difficulty impossibility of shutting down the powerful machine that is the U.S. military-industrial complex. I still don't know why the U.S. people allow their country to go war against things (drugs) and political ideas/policies (Terror). Could this possibly have gone well...Oh, I guess it did go really well for some people
  • The economy seems to have improved somewhat although it's hard to tell.
  • My consulting work has become much more stable and I've successfully made the shift from management in 2008 to technical work in 2013 - full time consulting as a software architect. You can see this progress here if so moved.
  • I've learned Objective-C, Ruby, and Ruby on Rails. Creating is something I love doing. This has been a long time coming.
  • I learned to touch-type last month - actually it took me six weeks of concerted effort in my free time. This is something I regretted not learning in high school - a regret I finally decided to do something about - and did. For exanple, I just typed this sentence without looking at the keyboard or my screen. OK, I got example wrong...but still, not bad for a beginner.
  • Many other personal things I won't blog about :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mac Viruses are coming to get us!!!

John Gruber has a great post that gives a little bit of insight into where Malware is on the mac today.

We start in 2004 with the following post:
Eric Hellweg, MIT Technology Review, October 2004: “Hackers Target Apple? Congratulations!”:

The Apple community has, since its inception, been largely immune to nefarious hackers bent on spreading harm. If you are a Windows user, as I am, you know the routine. You complain about the latest spyware or virus attack, and Apple devotees respond with good-natured teasing — they don’t have worry about such nonsense. Well, now they do.

Predictably, posts on various Apple-related message boards have been offering varying levels of concern, ranging from mild disappointment to utter gloom. I think this reaction is fundamentally misguided. MAC users should not be upset about this malware news; they should rejoice.
Keep reading Gruber's post to see a series of post leading to today.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Obi-Wan Kenobi Is Dead, Vader Says

CORUSCANT — Obi-Wan Kenobi, the mastermind of some of the most devastating attacks on the Galactic Empire and the most hunted man in the galaxy, was killed in a firefight with Imperial forces near Alderaan, Darth Vader announced on Sunday.
In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the Imperial Palace, Lord Vader declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that agents of the Imperial Army and stormtroopers of the 501st Legion had finally cornered Kenobi, one of the leaders of the Jedi rebellion, who had eluded the Empire for nearly two decades. Imperial officials said Kenobi resisted and was cut down by Lord Vader's own lightsaber. He was later dumped out of an airlock.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Try to have a sense of humour when working with customers

Some guy (wasn't me, really) contacted Kitchen Aid to get support for a Chef's Chopper which had a stuck blade. It was on a Saturday - so it's pretty cool they offered chat support...only problem is they have no sense of humour. Shouldn't that be a prerequisite when dealing with customers? Note that names have been changed to protect the guilty, or something...

What's your problem?
Appliance Owner Dude: I can't get the blade out of the Chopper.
Kitchen Aid Girl: Thank you for contacting KitchenAid! My name is Kitchen Aid Girl. I will be with you momentarily.
Kitchen Aid Girl: You take the lid off the food chopper first, then the multi-purpose blade pulls straight up.
Appliance Owner Dude: I tried that - it doesn't work
Appliance Owner Dude: It is really stuck
Appliance Owner Dude: Hello?
Appliance Owner Dude: Laurie?
Kitchen Aid Girl: Yes, I am here.
Appliance Owner Dude: did you get my response?
Kitchen Aid Girl: How long had you just been processing for?
Appliance Owner Dude: Actually, not long. And it's been sitting there for a couple of days as the person who last used it couldn't get tyhe blade out
Kitchen Aid Girl: (I am sorry, there is a slight delay between our answers here).
Appliance Owner Dude: no sweat
Kitchen Aid Girl: Is this for a restaurant or commercial setting?
Appliance Owner Dude: Nope. personal.
Kitchen Aid Girl: The blade should pull straight up. If it is not, then it appears that perhaps the unit was run too long and the friction between the blade and shaft may have seized it together.
Kitchen Aid Girl: Do you know when it was purchased/store information?
Appliance Owner Dude: When I try to lift it, it comes up about an eigth of an inch
Appliance Owner Dude: so there is movement there
Appliance Owner Dude: It was purchased about a month ago - maybe 6 weeks
Appliance Owner Dude: From a store in montreal quebec
Kitchen Aid Girl: Are you located in Canada?
Appliance Owner Dude: Yes I am
Kitchen Aid Girl: For information regarding KitchenAid Countertop Appliances and assistance in Canada, please contact the following representative:

KitchenAid Canada
6750 Century Ave
Mississagua, ON
Canada L5N 3A7

Or you may view the following website link:


You may also feel free to contact the KitchenAid Canada Customer Service Center by calling (toll-free) 1-800-807-6777, between the hours of 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday through Friday (ET).

Kitchen Aid Girl: I am sorry for the inconvenience, however we are located in the USA and we do not offer international warranty assistance here.
Appliance Owner Dude: soooooo I can't get this resolved now?
Kitchen Aid Girl: Our Canadian representatives would be happy to assist you further.
Appliance Owner Dude: did I say Canada?
Appliance Owner Dude: I meant, uh, New York
Appliance Owner Dude: That would be in the US
Appliance Owner Dude: :)
Kitchen Aid Girl: If you are located outside the USA please contact our Canadian representative - we do not offer international shipping or assistance from the USA.
Appliance Owner Dude: Did I at least get a smile for that - just trying to inject humour into a dissapointing, unresolved, situation
Appliance Owner Dude: ANyway, have a great weekend (after you get off)
Appliance Owner Dude: Cheers!
Kitchen Aid Girl: Do you think perhaps there is food stuck underneath the blade that may have hardened and making it difficult to remove? You may try adding warm water in the work bowl and let it set.
Kitchen Aid Girl: Take care.
Appliance Owner Dude: Warm water - ahhhh, something to try. I'll do that
Appliance Owner Dude: Bye.
You have disconnected.Kitchen Aid Girl

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

John Hodgman testing President Obama

An absolutely hilarious video! It had me ROTFL'ng several times. And by the way the answer to three-part question is Shai-Halud (might have mis-spelt this one), a Thumper, and The Water of Life. And no, I did not look those up. No self-respecting geek, of which I consider myself one, would cheat! I found the video through the Wired article here.