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(no subject) [Dec. 31st, 2008|12:05 am]
Legend of the Seeker

Obvious influences from Star Wars, and all heroic myths. I've only seen the first two episodes so far, and it is very promising.

Even if it ends up being a bit silly, I'm already hooked (mostly because of Bridget Regan...).
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employment possibilities [Nov. 14th, 2008|08:42 am]

My employer is looking for a rails dev. Starting pay is likely to be below market average.

I'm also going to try to convince my employer to hire a part time linux (fedora, apache, mysql, puppet) sysadmin in December. There would be at least 2 weeks of work migrating us from Rackspace to EC2, and then probably 10 hours per month of miscellaneous stuff.
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(no subject) [May. 29th, 2008|08:30 am]
Fashion industry finds skinniest model ever.
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housing market recoving already, or just a pause in the collapse? [May. 27th, 2008|10:20 am]

At least for today, I don't hate Zillow. Apparently, my neighborhood has seen a slight increase in property values over the last 2 months. The Zestimate for my house is actually a few hundred dollars higher than the balance on my mortgage.
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Finale [May. 20th, 2008|09:16 pm]

Probably the weakest finale yet.  No performances good enough to mention.  I'm fairly certain that David Cook didn't want to win, and chose songs that he knew were weak.  David Archuleta is the next Taylor Hicks.

The ending by Ruben Studdard blew both David's performances away.  They should have added 3 more numbers where you could vote to re-elect Ruben the American Idol.
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(no subject) [Apr. 15th, 2008|07:30 am]
Memebon is almost cute enough to make me a fan of pureinbred cats.
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David Cook's covers [Apr. 1st, 2008|09:51 pm]

Big "controversy" about David Cook using Whitesnake, Doxology and Chris Cornell's arrangements.

While I certainly agree that an American Idol contestant should be upfront about credit if using a little known arrangement, in the case of both Doxology and Cornell (based on snippets from iTunes), David's covers of the covers were better performances than the original covers.

In the case of "Day Tripper", the vocal was significantly different than Coverdale's. I prefer Coverdale's, but Cook's ain't bad at all.

I can't remember the exact quote, but someone famous, I think it was a musician, said something like:

If you steal from one artist, it is copyright violation
If you steal from two artists, it is plagiarism.
If you steal from three artists, you're being creative.

original quote was significantly less clunky
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A bad day at the track is better than a good day at work [Mar. 21st, 2008|07:34 pm]

Today was my second track day of the year. It neither started nor ended well, but the middle was great!

Last week, I had the transmission serviced. On the way to the track this morning, the transmission started slipping. The car wouldn't go over about 25MPH, so I limped it back to the dealership that did the service. Turns out they hadn't clamped one of the transmission lines properly, and it had dumped all of automatic transmission fluid. So they cleaned it up, refilled it, and double clamped the transmission line. This made me miss the first session of the day.

The middle sessions all went well. I was reasonably fast (I'm guessing 1:45 or better laptimes) and had a lot of fun.

It was raining for the last session of the day, so I decided to take it fairly easy. Apparently, I didn't take it quite easy enough. The back end snapped out on me in turn 5A. Counter steer did absolutely no good, so I locked up the brakes and became a passenger. After doing a 180, I went off track and bounced off the embankment. The right rear took most of the initial impact, and the front had a bit of damage as well. The car came to rest on track after it bounced off of the embankment.

The response from the corner workers, medical staff and coaches was timely and professional. After they made sure I was OK (just a bit sore and embarrassed) one of the coaches talked to me about why it happened. Skid marks indicated that I missed the apex. Now that I think about it, I think the spin may have started on turn entry, which is probably what caused me to miss the apex.

The most likely cause is that I was just going too fast for the slick conditions. My sense of what is slow needs to be readjusted. A few laps earlier I was doing just over 100MPH through the kink/turn 10, and it felt like I was crawling since I typically take it at around 120. Another possible cause is that I didn't manage the weight transfer very well on the approach to 5A. For 5A, I have to brake fairly heavily, downshift and get on the throttle simultaneously just before turn in. I probably didn't blend easing off the brake while adding throttle after the downshift very well, which would lead to an abrupt weight transfer, which could kick the rear end out.

The car is at the body shop, and I'll probably go with aftermarket bumpers. The car is currently stuck in Neutral, which I'm hoping won't be an expensive fix.

The new race seat and harness appear to have done their job well. It is impossible to know for sure, but I suspect I would have sustained minor injuries without them. I don't think the roll cage made a difference either way, but the additional stiffness may have kept the frame from bending.
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First Trackday with Cage [Mar. 5th, 2008|08:12 am]

Monday was my first trackday of the year. The primary goal was to get used to the new roll cage, racing seat and harnesses. I wasn't able to notice any increase in chassis stiffness, but being strapped into a tight fitting seat did make it much easier to feel what the car was doing. The improved feel allowed me to push closer to the limit of traction.

When I exceeded the limit of traction, it was also much easier to correct. I haven't mounted the camera yet, so I don't have any video of me getting sideways in 3A and saving it with countersteer.

I suspect that the cage/seat/harness is going to take at least 2 seconds off per lap in dry conditions, and a lot more than that in the wet. Last year, I was usually the slowest car on track in the rain, but even though it was wet for most of the day, on Monday I only had to let one car by (a Lotus Exige).

Photos by Pete Stoppani, Red Mist Photo
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I'd rather be fat. [Feb. 6th, 2008|09:50 am]

Bulimia in a bottle: Alli side effects

Instead of sticking a finger down your throat, slip it past your sphincter!
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