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+ raelity bytes
+ paul e. [LJ]
+ Rain Graves
+ gnat [use Perl;]

Syndication feeds:
# RSS 1.0 format
# Atom 0.3 format

My other sites:
- Silicon Valley Scale Modelers
- Book page for Programming Web Services With Perl

Other journals I read:
= DJ Adams
= rebecca blood
= Tim Bray
= Margaret Cho
= Warren Ellis
= Neil Gaiman
= Rafael Garcia-Suarez
= John Gorenfeld
= Lawrence Lessig
= Michael McCracken
= Jeff Vogel
= Norm Walsh
= Wil Wheaton

My journal at use.perl.org:
· Restless
· RPC-XML-0.57.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.56.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.55.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· Forgive Me, Bretheren Monks
· Extry Extry: Winer Leaves the RSS Advisory Board
· RPC::XML 0.54 Uploaded
· The Books of Perl
· Good Intentions Don't Equal Good Results
· Errata Tracking Page for PWSWP
· Image::Size 2.992 Uploaded
· Props to Portland PM
· Lightning Talks
· OSCON, Tuesday
· OSCON Plans Now Set

» Blogs that link here

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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

Pax Bill Mauldin 2003.01.24.00:56
# [/misc]

And Another One Down 2003.01.21.09:44

The Stacey's Bookstore location in Cupertino (California) is closing, another casualty of rising rents, dropping sales and vicious competition from chains. This is the last of the truly independent bookstores in the south bay, the next-nearest being in north Palo Alto (almost to Menlo Park) and Kepler's. I've been told that Book's Inc. has re-opened in Mt. View, but the only other I know of is Digital Guru on Lawrence Expressway, and they're just not that great (to put it kindly).

I've probably spent upwards of $1600 at Stacey's just by myself, in the 5 years I've lived out here. I've only bought two books for myself from Amazon, and those were esoteric military history titles that hardly anyone stocks on shelves, anyway. I haven't bought a book at Barnes and Noble or Border's in about 3 years (though 2 Christmas' ago I got a gift card from Border's, which I did use). I still won't, even with Stacey's gone. But it will be a lot less convenient to casually browse the latest tech volumes, now.

# [/tech]

Interestingly Enough 2003.01.20.21:45

This quiz produced a fairly accurate summary:

Your score is 25
what does that mean?
Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest...Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.
# [/funny]

The Fine Art of Flirting 2003.01.20.10:08

I often lament that I'm terrible not only at flirting itself, but at recognizing when I'm the target of it. This is not a story of being flirted with, however.

While running a few errands today, I ducked into a local place for a quick lunch (the place is Gus' Deli in Campbell, on Winchester, maker of truly superb Gyros). Just ahead of me was a really, I mean really attractive woman. Already in the deli were a couple of guys who could have been extras in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (excellent film, by the way). I don't say this as a racial stereotype– I mean that one of them was the spitting image of *N Sync member Joey Fatone, who played a small role in the film. And acted like that character, too. He asked the woman (after she'd ordered), if she was eating there or getting take-out. When she said she was getting take-out, he didn't miss a beat. Asked if she liked to go out. What does she do? Dancing? What clubs? About that time, his friend sat down, looked her over, and immediately invited her to sit with them. Guy #1 explains that he already offered, and made some good-natured joke about spurning them.

I watched it all with great fascination. It never occurs to me to be that forward. And while it didn't pan out for them, I can't help but think that it must work at least occassionally, or the guy would have changed his tactics by now. Hmmm. And the woman, while not really receptive, wasn't put off or (noticably) offended, either. My mind, it is boggled.

# [/misc]

Quote for the Day, #1 2003.01.17.01:35
Cold silence has a tendency to atrophy any sense of compassion.

Tool, from the song "Schism", on the CD Lateralus.

# [/thoughts]

DVD Review: <a href="http://us.imdb.com/Details?0246464">Big Trouble</a> 2003.01.12.09:21

This is an above-par comedy. It's not as good as Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty, but it kicks the ass of the of the painfully-lame Men in Black sequel (not even worth the effort of linking).

Rather than giving a weak summary of the plot, I will give you three reasons why BT is worth renting:

  1. A brief flashback-type glimpse of Janeane Garofalo in a red Victoria's Secret bustier.
  2. Patrick Warburton running naked through an airport terminal.
  3. Stanley Tucci hallucinating Martha Stewart's head on a dog, barking a bark that sounds like "arugula".
# [/entertainment/movies]

I've Never Liked SUVs Anyway 2003.01.09.23:29

According to this, an off-hand remark by Arianna Huffington led to the creation of two ads that parody the gov't's current drugs-lead-to-terror ad campaign, only focusing instead on the ludicrous gas-guzzling SUV fascination. The ads themselves may be viewed in RealPlayer format here.

# [/politics]

Headlines #2 2003.01.09.07:32

Ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, and touching on the truly unnerving along the way:

# [/misc]

Don't You Feel Safer? 2003.01.03.07:57

This makes me feel so warm and fuzzy: They were jammed into a small cell without beds or chairs, rationed two squares of toilet paper

Two squares of TP just totally sucks ass. Is this Bush's economic plan, to harass and deport the people making good salaries and paying taxes? I guess that would create jobs...

# [/politics]

Five By Five 2003.01.02.01:30

Inspired by a "meme" that's floating around LiveJournal, here are some fives for the start of a new year:

Five Things I Learned in/from 2002:
  1. Our government can be just as scary as any socio-politcal commentary novel would portray it, just as bumbling and inefficient as any comedic troupe would portray it, and just as blatantly corrupt as the most rabid of third-party zealots would portray it.
  2. Not everyone who claims to be my friend really is, but I lack the clarity of mind and purpose to know for certain whom, especially when two or more sides are in direct opposition. I'm also paranoid enough to worry about things that I am certain can't be true.
  3. I can say no, albeit with some internal conflict.
  4. I can't count on my talent as a programmer to keep me employed, even as I perform noteworthy feats; I can even get laid off within weeks of solving major system problems. I can, however, count on my talent to get me re-employed, even in a difficult economy.
  5. Writing a book is much more demanding than I thought it was, but also that much more rewarding.
Five Really Memorable Moments in 2002:
  1. Holding the first copy of my book in my hands.
  2. The shock, distress and immediate onslaught of depression upon being laid off by Red Hat.
  3. Attending my first real sex party, and seeing six people I knew there.
  4. Drinking at a pub in London, with the local Perl user group, at an event they threw together on my behalf.
  5. Learning basic Tango.
Five "Really Bad Things" from 2002:
  1. Falling prey to a pair of con-artists in the SoHo district of London. It's not the money I lost (only £40), it was the embarassment of falling for their scam.
  2. The 2002 elections, and the change in the balance of power they brought. Also, the passing of legislation that erodes freedoms and moves us more towards a police-state, which was made easier by negligible resistence from the Democrats (who, frankly, deserved every loss they were handed in November).
  3. Losing two friends and one distant family member. The family member (an in-law, to be clear) was natural causes. One friend was a heart attack, an unusual exit given his age. And one friend's death was accidental, and it hurt the most, as I had only just made her acquaintance I was eagerly looking forward to knowing her so much better.
  4. Losing my job, and not finding one as fast as I thought I would. Also, seeing the job I really wanted dissolve as the company implemented lay-offs.
  5. Having grudgingly chosen to take on more debt, as a result of being unemployed. I'd been debt-free (save for my car payments) for over a year at this point.
Five Things I Hope to Accomplish in 2003:
  1. Listen to more classical music. I've recently started doing this, and I realize how I'd forgotten the relaxation and comfort it brings me. I hope to "discover" a new composer or significant composition at least once a month, to expand my range of knowledge from just what I currently own on CD.
  2. Write another book.
  3. Get to know certain people much better than I currently do. I say this in lieu of having a "Five People I Want to Know Better" list because (a) I don't want to shine a spotlight on the particular people, and (b) I don't want to limit myself to just five :-).
  4. Improve my life, even if only somewhat. This covers health, diet, taking care of my apartment, several things. I don't expect to have a total turn-around in the span of just a year. I simply want to be able to look back in 365 days and see an improvement. That's all.
  5. Travel more. Of course, I'm limited by the amount of time off I'll have from my work, but I want to visit at least one place this year that I've not yet been to.
Five Things I Hope to Avoid in 2003:
  1. Falling back into any serious level of depression.
  2. Re-gaining any of the weight I've lost thus far.
  3. Increasing my personal debt.
  4. Wasted evenings. I have a habit of just wasting an entire evening watching TV or playing games, when what I really want to do is work on my hobbies or read, or program. I hope to cut back on this significantly.
  5. Other people's drama. I can still be a friend to my friends, and an aid to people I can (reasonably) help (within my means). But I can do these things without becoming entangled.
# amazon () [/thoughts]

Um, Happy New Year, I Guess 2003.01.01.23:40

I'm not sure at what point in my life I noticed that I don't feel at all different on the morning of January 1st than I felt when I went to sleep the night before. It was long before I learned the truth about Santa or the Easter Bunny.

Ah well, off to the grocery– I forgot to ensure that I had any black-eyed peas for New Year's. Some superstitions die harder than others...

# [/thoughts]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

Category quick-links:


24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Apr May Jun
Jul Aug Sep
Oct Nov Dec

Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

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