dxmachina: (Computers 01)
So I've been working on the big database coding project in earnest, which has resulted in a certain amount of, um, organization to my dreams. Object oriented dreams, sheesh! But that's not the main reason I'm here.

Not long before waking this morning, I dreamt that I happened to glance at a piece of code that went something like this:

If varPerson = "Vampire" Then GasolineDiscount = 50% *

When I woke, I couldn't help but think that that's would be one heck of an incentive to wander around a Sunnydale cemetary after midnight.

* Thinking back, it was more of a lookup table than straight code, but you get the gist of it...



dxmachina: (Hangover)
...because the dreams can get a little weirder than usual. All I can say is that it is comforting to know that Lea Michele won't be playing Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in real life.

* Well, snacks and watching the Swedish version of TGwtDT whilst reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest...
dxmachina: (Crusader02)
World Crossing is apparently closing its doors, or rather having its doors closed on it. Another piece of my past vanishing. Not that I'm particularly upset about it. I pretty much stopped hanging out over there at all once b.org finally found a stable hosting solution. But it is sad. The folks still over there are scurrying around looking for alternative hosts and ways of saving their forums*.

* I took a look to see if my Caretan icon was still in place on the last forum posts before the move, but I must have replaced it with my usual Opus icon during one of the brief returns during a b.org outage. OTOH, Lorne's head is still falling off up at the top of the page. I hope someone saved that somewhere.

It was never the best system, and since it was essentially a test bed for the platform, service was occasionally spotty. But it had the virtue of being free, and it served as a lifeboat for a number of communities after Salon pulled the rug out. And for awhile the Buffista Contingency Plan was the most active forum over there, at least until the Rules Girls showed up. Good times.

At least there is some warning for those still there. Peoples Forum, which ran on the same platform and served as another b.org safe house, just vanished without a trace one day, an example of what happens when one entrusts a community's existence to a single hobbyist. Table Talk continues to hang on, but it seems a ghost of what it was before it went pay. There is still a Buffy thread, #9, although it was frozen three years ago. When we left it was on thread #8. And Mary Beth is still there, so that's something.

---
For the past few months an old post of mine here on LJ has been attracting the occasional spam comment. I screen anonymous comments, so LJ notifies me every time one shows up, and I delete them as spam as soon as I see 'em. It's always the same post. The odd thing is that the post is from June 2009, and is just me quoting another blog comment that I thought was hilarious. (Still do.) Clearly this must be a spambot algorithm gone wrong, because why spam a two year-old post? Nobody except me has likely looked at it in ages (if ever). I suspect a couple of words from the quote are the red flag for the bot. I suppose I could put up a test post using them as a honeypot to see if my suspicions are correct.

---
Spring seems to be slowly making its way to Rhody. The weather has been a little warmer, and the snow cover has mostly gone away. The exceptions are shady areas and the huge plow piles that are holding tightly to their existence.

I hauled out the bike yesterday for the first time since December, and took a ride on the bike path. It was good to be on the bike, less good to have to deal with all the puddles on the path. At some point it was plowed, and being in the woods, the plow pile is still there leaking all over the path. Plus, they only made one pass, so only about 2/3 of the path is exposed along most of its length, making for some narrow squeezes twixt strollers and bikes. Also, I started breaking in a new saddle (more on this later), and my butt got really sore. If it gets a little warmer, I may have another go today, this time with the old saddle.

Gronk...

Jun. 7th, 2009 07:53 am
dxmachina: (Garden02)
Ah, circadian rhythms, you are a cruel master. I've been up with the sunrise the past couple of days, my eyes popping open for good somewhere between 5 and 5:30 in the frelling A.M. I've been hitting the sack between 10 and 11, so it hasn't been that bad. I was up at 5:15 this morning, for example. Went into the kitchen, ground some coffee, put water in the coffee maker, dumped the ground coffee into a filter, put the filter in the basket inside the maker, hit the switch, and went over to the computer to read the Sunday funnies. Five minutes later I went back over to pour myself some coffee, and noticed that there were coffee and grounds all over the kitchen counter. I'd completely missed the step of putting the actual coffee pot under the basket, and since the basket couldn't drain, it overflowed.

---
The weather continues to be ridiculously chilly and wet. I considered turning the furnace back on one day last week. Doesn't mama nature know it's June? Even yesterday was cool, although the humidity made it feel warmer than it was. Today looks good so far, though. Very sunny.

Tomato Patch, May 2009 Last weekend was pretty nice, too. I planted the tomato patch last Saturday. Just four plants, two reds (Better Boy and Beefmaster), a cherry (Patio), and an heirloom yellow (Brandywine), along with a pair of muskmelons. I got the melons and Brandywine at Schartner's, the others at the Depot. The Depot had single plants, as opposed to Schartner's four-packs, so although the price per plant was higher there, the overall cost was lower. The Depot's plants were from a local grower, and much cheaper (less than half the price) than the national brand they (and Wal-Mart and Lowes) also carry. I wanted to try spaghetti squash, but couldn't find any plants. I have some seeds, but I never got around to starting them.

I also hacked back the bush that sprang up from the root system of the Bradford pear that crashed to earth a couple of years ago. I'd originally let it grow in order to replace the lost tree, but then the town planted the new cherry tree in the same location. My next plan was to take the strongest stem and transplant it elsewhere in the yard, but I never got around to it. So the shrub grew. The cherry is doing famously, but the pear was also running riot (you can see it in the background here), and some of the stems were already taller than me. It was starting to crowd the cherry, so clearly something had to be done. So I took the loppers to it, and cut out all the stems but one. That one I'm going to try to move elsewhere. I'm not sure how easy that will be. It's growing out of a twenty year-old root system, so I may not be able to hack it out of there without seriously damaging it, or even be able to do it at all. If I can't do it, it'll have to get lopped, too. We'll see.

Jinx

Apr. 26th, 2009 08:44 pm
dxmachina: (Calvin)
Well, today it was wicked hot for April, reaching the mid-eighties. Very summery, with little shade from the trees yet to mitigate all that hot sun.

I drove up to the Blackstone Valley path for the first time this season. I did this with a bit of trepidation. Last time I rode Blackstone, a young man became trapped in one of the tunnels under Pratt Dam, and drowned while rescue workers tried in vain to free him. I was worried about my reaction to the place where it happened, but it turns out I had little reaction at all. It was a quiet, sunny day, with no one around the spot, and no outward evidence that anything bad had ever happened. I sent a silent thought in the young man's direction and kept on going.

The path runs from Central Falls all the way up to Woonsocket now. I always start near the mid-point of the path, and head south first. The southern half is older, bumpier (tree roots have buckled the pavement upwards in spots), and more heavily trafficked. I felt really strong despite the heat, and made pretty good speed in some pretty high gears for me. Then I turned around to head north, and finally noticed the stiff breeze that had apparently been pushing me along so well. It was pretty much in my face all the way up to Woonsocket, and made for slow going.

Then, just a little south of the Woonsocket treatment plant, I saw a vehicle on the path ahead of me surrounded by a group of men. At first I thought they might be some clueless anglers (trout season just opened here) with an ATV, but as I got closer, I realized that they were rescue personnel, and that they were loading a stretcher onto the back of what turned out to be the groundskeeper's cart from the athletic field complex a little further on. Now I got weirded out. I was able to ride past as they were seeing to whomever it was, but I didn't rubberneck. The actual rescue vehicles were waiting at the treatment plant, and I saw one of the firemen propping up a bicycle. Now I'm wondering if its owner was the person on the stretcher.

By the time I got turned around at the north end and headed back (the new section that was under construction in the fall is now fully open), the rescue trucks had left. With the wind at my back again, the rest of the ride was easy.

When I got home, I looked to see if there was anything in the news about the incident,but there was nothing. I'm hoping no news is good news this time out.
dxmachina: (Calvin)
So, I took the bike in to have the wheel repaired. I explained to BikeShopGuy that I'd broken a spoke as he started examining the wheel. He found the loose spoke right away. Then he found
another
loose spoke. Except neither were actually broken. They were loose because it turns out I'd actually broken a piece of the frellin' hub off, to which piece the spokes were still attached. Yup, turns out I put enough stress on the system to break off a 3/16" thick piece of cast aluminum. BSG was stunned. He said he'd never seen a Fuji hub break like that before. Give me a big enough pulley, and I'll lift the world. Now I'm trying to remember if I had a recent encounter with a radioactive spider. Or maybe a homebrew.

The good news is that it looks like I managed
not
to ruin the rim, so BSG can rebuild the wheel with a new hub, rather than me having to buy a whole new wheel. For the time being he mounted my gear set on his "emergency" wheel, one he said has been used on more than a hundred bikes, so I can use the bike in the interim. I just had to promise that I wouldn't exert excessive force on it.

Cool...

Aug. 13th, 2008 10:29 pm
dxmachina: (Bike)
As I was getting ready for my ride this evening, a couple of small kids on bikes (with grandma walking behind them) passed by, and the boy looked at me and said, "Cool!" When I asked what was so cool, he said it was my gloves. I mentioned that the palms were padded, which helps protect your hands in an accident. He agreed that this was a good feature, then showed me the scab on his knee that was the result of his most recent bicycle mishap. Then he noticed the toe clips on the pedals of my bike. That got another "Cool!" Meanwhile grandma and little sis were waiting quietly while he geeked out. A seven year-old thinks I have cool stuff, so I've got that going for me...

It was nice to get out after a couple of days of heavy rain. The weather has been wreaking havok on my attempts to get into a decent riding routine. I thought I'd finally settled in towards the middle of July. I even managed to get in a good ride between afternoon and evening sessions at ReaderCon. (My hotel was only a mile from the Bedford end of the Minuteman bike path.) Then monsoon season started. Ride two days, Watch it rain for three, mow the lawn, get a ride in, watch more rain fall, lather, rinse, repeat. Still, I am closing in on a thousand miles for the year (959 so far), and the odometer on my not quite 15 month-old Fuji rolled past two grand tonight.

---
My legs hate me, apparently... )
dxmachina: (Calvin)
Headline noted by Marty over at DT:

Royals To Get A Taste Of Angels' Colon

The rest of the story... )

---
Still cool out, but I managed to get out for a ride tonight. It was chilly and the battery on my bike computer died, but I persevered.

Weirdness

May. 6th, 2007 09:06 pm
dxmachina: (Default)
Weird weekend weather. Yesterday was cool, but still fairly nice. I did some outdoor chores, mainly hacking apart a gas grill three years dead into manageable hunks for disposal, and went for a ride. Then it got cold and really windy with some rain overnight. Today was a mixed bag: a little rain, a little clouds, a little sunshine, but all of it cold.

When the sun finally came out for good, I glanced out the front window, and noticed the world's biggest bumblebee buzzing about the rhododendron blossoms just outside the window. Then I realized it was no bee, but a hummingbird, something I'd never seen before in real life. Neat! But still weird.

It occurs to me that the seventh anniversary of moving into this house is coming up this week. Seems like yesterday. Actually, Sometimes it seems like grad school was just the day before that.
dxmachina: (Calvin)
Posted by Jon B. over at b.org:

Celine does AC/DC...

The air guitar makes it perfect.

Still better than the State of the Union speech.

Irony...

Nov. 18th, 2006 09:57 am
dxmachina: (Calvin)
Two bizarre items culled from the the Griddle.

First, remember the Lehigh Valley IronPigs? Apparently there's a motorcycle club down in Texas called the Iron Pigs™, who've trademarked their name, and are challenging Lehigh Valley's use of "their" name. I'm not sure what the grounds for challenging will be, since I don't see how the person on the street could mistake a AAA baseball team for a bunch of bullying ex-cops on bikes, but what do I know?

---
Second, when the grim reaper gets a post-it with your name on it, there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Bob Cartwright, a friend of flight instructor Tyler Stanger, was telling everyone who would listen that Stanger had invited him along on the fatal flight that took the lives of Stanger and Cory Lidle, but he couldn't make it. It appears that the gravelings finally caught up with Cartwright on Tuesday, when he and two other men were killed in the crash of a light plane in California.
dxmachina: (Runforit)
...while following the A's-Twins game on GameDay. Barry Zito's GameDay photo scarily resembles young Steve Gutenberg.
dxmachina: (Calvin)
So, when I checked my e-mail first this morning, there was an anonymous LJ comment in my inbox. I marked it as read (I prefer reading comments in context), and clicked over to my most recent post on LJ to read the comment. Except there were no new comments in my most recent post. I checked all my other recent posts, and there were no new comments in any of them, either.

Went back to the message in my inbox, and read it. It was for a post I'd written back in July, and the new comment was from a total stranger, mentioning that she was also a mad scientist. Huh? I sat there for a second wondering at how a random stranger had come across that particular post. If she had selected "search random," she'd have gotten the most recent stuff. My head started to hurt, so I went off to take my shower.

I was in the shower when I remembered something [livejournal.com profile] alterjess posted at b.org yesterday. Google now has a blog search function. In my LJ settings, I've checked the little box that says "Block Robots/Spiders from indexing your journal," but there is a disclaimer that says some robots may ignore it anyway. Google never indexed my journal, having pledged to do no evil, but maybe the new function did.

After I toweled off and got dressed, I went to Google Blog Search, and entered "mad scientist" into the box. Sure enough, there was my post of July 5th, fourteenth on the list. Apparently, Google Blog Search is not as polite or ethical as far as its indexing goes as its older cousin. Pillocks...

As a side note, I tried entering "dxmachina mad scientist" into the main Google search box, and only got a handful of results, none of them from my LJ. It was an odd group of links. One was to an old Buffistas thread over on WX. A couple were about the two imposter DXMachinas on the net. I also discovered a third, who has managed to snag the domain dxmachina.com, which used to belong to a French manufacturing company. Rats. I wanted that domain, but I never figured it to come back on the market. (Note to self, see if dxmachina.org is available.)

The oddest cite was the last.

☞ landscaping - care plant take
... can spread quickly when pushed by power-mad men. ... was really cold out), I ran into dxmachina, who was ... viral-marketing game about a nonexistent scientist for the ...


Clicking on the link takes you to a links page for folks interested in landscaping. None of the text cited in the search appears on the page. I checked the cached version, and it doesn't show any of the cited text, either. The thing is, I recognized the middle sentence of the text. It came from [livejournal.com profile] veejane's recap of Boskone last February. The "viral-marketing" sentence comes from the same post. The line about "power-mad men" doesn't, though. Very strange. I can only conclude that Google's database is corrupt. As are their blog indexers.
 
dxmachina: (Hangover)
I had a deeply weird dream last night. I was in a clinic of some sort. I didn't start out there, but things are a little fuzzy before then. I was there to get medication of some kind, and they gave me three different drugs in serum vials. I went off to try to find a private room to take them, but there were two problems. First it dawned on me that I would need a syringe to administer the drugs, and a) I didn't have one, and b) I had no idea how to give myself an injection anyway. Second, there was someone else in the room. He talked to me for a moment (I don't remember what he said), then left through a hole in the wall, and it occurred to me that he was probably living inside the walls like Lazlo in Real Genius. He even looked like Lazlo, now that I think of it.

Anyway, I was trying to decide whether to find someone to give me the injections, or follow the guy into the wall when a woman came through the door, and she asked me if I would teach a groups of kids in the next room the sugars song, just like I did the last time I was there. (Huh?) So I followed her into a what turned out to be a class room, with a mixed group of adults and kids, and tried to remember the sugars song. Except there was no song. It's the mnemonic for remembering the names of the eight aldohexoses. So I started writing it out on a white board, except I couldn't remember it because I kept thinking it's a song, and I couldn't get the song right because I was earwormed by Tom Lehrer's Elements song. I tried singing that with another guy in the class, but we completely frelled it up. ("There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium, and hafnium and gubnium, and bremium, and reenium, and...") I went back to the white board, and as I was writing, I did remember the last part of the mnemonic, "in gallon tanks," so I wrote that, and started writing "galactose" under "gallon." Except I kept getting confused by the earworm, and kept making mistakes, which I tried to erase, but the teacher had given me the wrong kind of pen for the white board, so it won't erase, and I still couldn't remember the first part because of the earworm, and I started to get embarrassed that I couldn't remember.

Then I wake up. It's morning, so I get up. And I remember, "All altruists gladly make gum in gallon tanks." Allose, altrose, glucose, mannose, gulose, idose, galactose, and talose. Go figure.

Jon at DT posted a neat recap of a great Dodger-Braves game played twenty-two years ago today. DLowe pitched another excellent game yesterday, beating the Padres, 3-1. His games scores since he made the adjustment to his motion are 63, 90, 74, and 63. The five immediately preceding the adjustment were 35, 54, 41, 53, and 23. The adjustment? He nows starts his motion with his foot on the first-base side of the rubber, instead of the third-base side.
dxmachina: (Calvin)
...major leaguers are playing catch. This pleases me.

---
A few years ago, my late aunt gave me an indoor electric grill as a Christmas present. It sat in its box unused up in the attic ever since, just one more big, bulky appliance that would otherwise take up far too much of what little counter space I have in my kitchen. Until this weekend, that is. I finally decided to at least try the thing out, so I hauled the enormous QVC box down from the attic. Inside, amidst a sea of foam peanuts, I found the grill (which is about the size of two electric skillets side-by-side), the instructions, and a piece cut out of the grill's original carton with the proof of purchase info on it (WTF?). I wondered why the grill wasn't in it's original packaging, but it seemed to be unused and in good shape, so I didn't worry too much. I figured perhaps my aunt had bought it for herself, thrown away the box, and then decided that I might get more use out if it, or something like that. I loved my aunt dearly, but she was notorious for making impulse buys from QVC and HSN, and sometimes her choice of presents could be a tad, er, endearing.

Anyway, after I'd pulled all this stuff out of the box, I decided to sift through the peanuts a bit with my hands, just in case I'd missed anything else. Sure enough, I felt a smallish glass jar. My first thought was "Barbecue sauce, how nice." Then I pulled it out. Baby food. Gerbers ham (with ham gravy), to be exact.

I, of course, have several theories on how a jar of baby food managed to find its way into my Christmas present, but I'll spare y'all. The grill itself works fine, and is easy to clean (dishwasher safe!). It just takes up too much space.

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