Archive for the 'Random' Category

Upside Down Can Be Better

Friday, October 26th, 2007
Reflecting Upon the Pond

Ever hang out with a little kid — 2 to 5 year old, typically — that insists on being held upside down and then laughs and laughs and laughs when they are?

Why is that?

Because, sometimes, viewing the world upside down makes it all so much better.

Same can be said of photos. Sometimes, a mediocre photo becomes something magical when viewed upside down.

Random Ebay Purchases; Confiscated Tools

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007
Random Tool Assortment

At whim, I did a search of ebay for “ confiscated “. I figured that any of the random NTSA security theater booty would likely show up on ebay and “confiscated” would be a reasonable search term.

While most of the auctions show lots and lots of stuff with only 2 or 3 items in the actual auction, there were a handful of “random tools by the pound” auctions. I put a bid in on an allen wrench assortment and actually won! All total, it cost me $25.43 for the pictured set of tools.

I needed allen wrenches, but got so much more. Beyond the allen wrenches, of which there are several very nice sets, there are also a bunch of miniature screwdrivers, some random nut drivers, some driver bit sets, a spark plug wrench and– oddly– a single arcade joystick handle.

Strange. Worth the money and entertaining, to boot. Why the TSA might find an arcade joystick threatening is beyond me. Hell, why was someone carrying such a thing in the first place?!?!!

Or, for that matter, why are allen wrenches a big deal? Or miniature screwdrivers?

Damn Interesting: Winchester Mystery House

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

I have been meaning to post a link to the Damn Interesting site for some time. Damn Interesting posts one story a day that documents something in the world that is, well, damned interesting.

Today’s story prompted finally kicked off a post as it is about the Winchester Mystery House. This is a very strange place that happens to be located within a few miles of my house in San Jose, CA.

For a taste of damn interesting, this link will take you to a random story.


Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

Apple has surpassed Dell in the market cap department. This happened earlier in the year and then Apple’s stock got nailed.

Hopefully, that won’t be the pattern this time around.

Ronald Oussoren — of PyObjC and Universal Python fame (amongst other things) — is in town and will be joining us for Korean food and Bowling this evening. Korean food starts at 7:30pm at Fusion Korea next to Homestead Lanes (though we don’t bowl there — long story).

[ Yahoo! Maps ]

Map of Fusion Korea:
20956 Homestead Rd Ste A1
Cupertino, CA 95014-0310

Brain Surgery

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

This guy photoblogged his own open brain surgery (consider that a warning for the faint of heart). He had a tumor on the surface of his brain that required full-on open brain surgery to repair.

Very cool in two ways; the surgery was successful and, well, it is open brain surgery.

In high school, I spent the day with a friend’s father for career day (I had spent a number of days with my own father at his workplace and we agreed that I should take the opportunity to branch out). He was one of the top brain surgeons and researchers in the country.

While “on the job”, I suited up and spent the afternoon in an operating room while a patient had a tumor removed from the middle of his head. The photo series linked above was of a relatively non-invasive surgery. What I witnessed involved effectively tearing a hole through the brain tissue into the center of the skull to remove a golf ball sized tumor.

While inside the head, the doctor’s used a set of electrodes to manually stimulate different muscle groups. This was both to verify various theories of neurophysiology and to verify that the patient’s brain still worked as expected.

It was an incredible experience. Almost incredible enough to make me pursue a medical career, but not quite enough to desire dealing with the incredible legal morass of stupidity that our “modern” health care system has degenerated into.

Penny Structures

Thursday, March 17th, 2005

Someone built a series of really cool structures made entirely of pennies.

In other structural news, the gigantic ice sculpture in Alaska collapsed in the past few days. There are also some pretty weird rants regarding the state of the local news agencies included as a bonus.

Google for drinks seems appropriately random for this entry.

Foo Camp

Monday, September 13th, 2004

I just got back from Foo Camp. I wouldn’t know where to begin in describing the experience. I met some incredibly interesting people and we all worked together to learn about, and hopefully contribute to, each other’s interests. I am certain that the Fruits of Foo will influence many projects over the coming days/months/years.

So, to the entire O’Reilly crew: Thank you.

Napolean Dynamite

Friday, July 30th, 2004

My wife and I saw the movie Napolean Dynamite this evening.

I’m one of those people that generally cannot stand movies. The stupid plot, the stupid need to have a happy ending, the stupid director’s ego ruining something that could have been good [AI, for example], or the assumption that the audience is no smarter than your average bag of rocks.

I really liked Napolean Dynamite. A very strange and wonderful movie. It was wonderfully stupid and had an absurdly enjoyable plot. Thing Breakfast Club meets Slackers with the non-violent part of Fargo thrown in for good measure.

AnswerBag & WikiPedia

Monday, July 26th, 2004

The answerbag is an awesome site that collects questions and allows users to post answers. A community driven rating system evaluates the quality of the answers and generally seems to filter the noise from the signal quite effectively.

The questions range far and wide and the answers are typically succinct and accurate. Generally.

I had been consuming their RSS feeds (summary of feeds) for quite a while and found it to be an interesting way to throw some random bits o’ information at my brain in the morning.

Now I am finding myself throwing out an answer or two and rating other folk’s answers. Kind of fun.

Unlike answerbag, WikiPedia is intended to be an open content encyclopedia in many languages. It is truly an incredible resource.


Tuesday, July 20th, 2004

I always wanted a hole big enough to camp out in. I don’t know why. It just seems like a good idea. Maybe it comes from spending a lot of time in caves in the midwest while growing up.

As such, this guy amuses me at the same time his story has inspired me– not for the first time– to dig a hole in my yard.

I don’t think I’ll be playing with firearms in my hole, though. I’m betting that doing so would put me firmly in the “bad neighbor” category.

Maybe so, maybe not…. when I was 8, I had friends that liked to dig holes with me. At 34, I’m thinking that may no longer be the case. Then again….