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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

Connected at Last! 2003.11.28.22:05

After having endless problems dialing in to my ISP (connection would drop, sometimes after only 30 seconds or so), I've found a place in Boulder where I can get reasonably-priced wireless access. It's part of the Surf and Sip network, in case you want to give them some business on your next travel outing.

Mostly caught up with e-mail, and my LiveJournal friends-list. Crikey, but people write a lot...

# [/misc]

My Denver Lament 2003.11.28.07:23

I really miss Colorado. I've felt this way each time that I've visited, but for some reason the feeling is a lot stronger this time. Maybe because I'm not as happy in my current job as I wish to be (and last year, I was only about 3-4 months in, too soon to make that sort of judgement), I'm more given to the feelings of longing.

What really triggered the feelings so strongly this time was a trip we made yesterday to the Denver Art Museum. (We were there for the current headlining exhibition, "El Greco to Picasso." An amazing display of works from the Duncan Phillips collection, which sounds so casual as I type it now, but of course I knew squat about it before yesterday.) As we drove down US 36 to I-70, and south into downtown Denver, I just felt like this was where I belonged. Seeing the skyline of downtown, and driving past the place I used to work, just brought it all back.

I wonder why I feel so strongly about this place. Fact is, I've now spent more time in California than I did in Colorado. As of the 15th of this month, I've lived in California for six years. I was only in Colorado for about five and a half years when I left. Maybe because this is the first place I lived once I made the move away from Oklahoma. I don't feel this strong a tie to Oklahoma, and I lived there for nearly 24 years. Something about this place, maybe something about the friends I had here. It's hard to tell.

Mind, this doesn't mean that I'm going to immediately start looking for a job out here, and move back at the earliest opportunity. I have a lot vested in the bay area, and I can't just pull up stakes and go. There are things I want to get done, and friends that I've made that I can't imagine leaving behind. But I feel very strongly that I'll end up back here, some day. It may be five years, it may be longer. Funny thing is, I'm frustrated by the dryness of the air here, and the static it creates. I'm more easily winded due to the altitude (though that would improve over time). But I just miss it here.

# [/thoughts/travel]

Turkey Day '03 2003.11.28.04:30

Once again, my devious plans for world domination have been foiled by the sedative powers of tryptophan.

Pasha, the friend I'm staying with, has always been an amazing cook. But this year, she's made what I believe to be the best turkey she's ever done. Factor in home-made rolls, green bean casserole, fruit salad, and all the usual Thanksgiving trimmings, and you get one very bloated me. We didn't even get as far as the pies, let alone the chocolate-frosted peanut-butter brownies.

Thanksgiving week is never the time to be worried about your weight.

# [/food]

TiVo Envy 2003.11.27.04:51

I've been here at my friend's place for about four days now. My friend has TiVo. I have many friends who have TiVo, but this is the first time I've spent any amount of time in a house with TiVo.

I've avoided getting TiVo for two reasons: Firstly, I generally don't watch enough TV in a given month to justify even the monthly charge, let alone the set-up and installation costs. Secondly, I worry that if I had a tool like TiVo at my disposal, I would end up watching significantly more TV than I currently do.

The last four days haven't done anything to assuage that second concern. Mind you, I am on vacation. And I'm making it a point to relax and not focus too hard on anything work-related. Nothing quite takes my mind off of work like hours of TV. But as a side-effect of all this watching, I've finally seen "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy", and caught a few BBC America programs as well.

If I make the plunge into TiVo, I'm almost certainly going to end up watching more TV than I currently do. I'll also not have problems with recording multiple programs in a given evening (something I can't currently do with my Comcast cable set-up). Pah. I'm still thinking about it.

# [/tech]

Here I Am in Snowy Denver 2003.11.24.07:52

(Actually, I'm in a little suburb called Superior, but there's no need to split hairs...)

The flights on Saturday were fine, though once we were on the ground at DIA we had to wait nearly 45 minutes for a gate to pull into. Weather that day had started out as mildly snowy and gotten progressively worse. When we were leaving LAX, the flight captain said that the weather report had visibility at DIA at about 2 miles. By the time we were over the Rockies and making our approach, it was down to half of a mile. Still enough to land safely. But it was holding up some departures, and of course that cascades downward.

Once here, things were fine. I was wiped out, since I'd only gotten two hours of sleep Friday night. After we ate, none of us was up for much more than some TV and then sleep. But my host managed enough energy for a spur-of-the-moment cake, which was heavenly. When I went to sleep, it took a bit to adjust to the different bed, but apparently not too much, as I'm told I was out within 20-30 minutes.

(Of course, how timely these journal entries appear all hinges upon whether and how often I find a source of wireless connectivity...)

# [/thoughts/travel]

Chicks With Casios 2003.11.19.08:59

By way of Warren Ellis, I was led to the website for a female duo who call themselves The Capricorns. Two women with Casios, and they aren't afraid to use them either.

At the site, you can download two of their songs, The New Sound amd Pretty Girls.

Joe Bob says, "Check 'em out."

# [/entertainment/music]

Again the Floodgates Open 2003.11.19.08:53

In just the last half-hour or so, I've been getting the damnable "Latest MS Security Patch" worm-spam in a veritable flood. In addition, I'm also getting a ton of bounce messages from a Japanese e-mail server that uses the RAV for Linux suite. Those, at least, I can filter out, since they come from a consistent address. The "security patch", like most spam and/or worms, randomizes the address. All I can do is wait for it to show up in the virus descriptions that my ISP uses for SpamAssassin.

In the meantime, each time fetchmail perks up, it strangles my dial-up bandwidth for several minutes.

# [/tech]

Astro-Dating Quiz 2003.11.19.04:04

Today's quiz asks the immortal question, "What Zodiac Sign Are You Attracted To?" Alas...

You should be dating a Pisces. 19 February - 20 March
Your mate is loving and caring, trusting and
hospitable, and romantic. Though he/she can be
self-pitying, temperamental or dependent, the
fishes are quite romantic in bed.

That wouldn't be so bad, but I am a Pisces. Self-pitying? Tempermental? Oh well, at least I'm romantic...

# [/funny]

Headed to Colorado 2003.11.19.03:45

With the holidays setting in, I'm gearing up for more travel. I'll be leaving for Denver this coming Saturday, and staying there through the 30th. I'll be basically lounging about most of the time, trying to actually rest while on vacation, for a change. I do hope to commence writing again, but the main focus will be visiting with friends and eating. Yes, eating. See, I'll be staying with my ex-SO, who remains one of the most amazing cooks I've ever known. And while we'll be eating out at favorite restaurants of mine a few times, she's already promised me some of my favorite dishes, as well as utterly fattening and sinful desserts. I won't be surprised if I get back and learn that I've gained five or more pounds. Crash-space and decadent food; can't beat that deal with a stick.

While I'm there, I will also of course be up for hanging out a litte bit here and there, should there be anyone reading this who's in the Denver area. Just drop me a line before Saturday (my internet connectivity will be spotty during that week– in fact, I'd love to know of any WiFi hot-spots or fairly cheap net cafés where I'd be able to check mail).

# [/thoughts/travel]

Neil Gaiman's Matrix 2003.11.16.00:51

Through a series of links on LiveJournal, I came across this short bit of "Matrix Fanfic" written by Neil Gaiman: Goliath

I find the thought of someone like Gaiman doing Matrix fanfic kind of amusing, but I can't really laugh at it, because it's really damn good. And not just in that "I like Gaiman so everything he writes I blindly like" sense, either. I do love his work, yes. But I like plenty of writers, and while I gush about the stuff I really enjoy, I just don't bother with talking about the stuff I don't like. So while I admit to being a fan-boy where NG is concerned, I truly believe that if you liked the first Matrix movie at all, you'll enjoy this story. Bonus points if you can guess the identity of the antagonist(s).

(When I say "enjoyed the first movie", I mean that this story was clearly written for the whatisthematrix.warnerbros.com website, which was first put together to promote the second film. There's nothing about it that places it in any particular part of the timeline of any of the three movies, but I'm pretty sure that Mr. Gaiman wrote it before the second film was released, that's all.)

# [/entertainment/movies]

Underrated Albums: Concrete Blond's "Mexican Moon" 2003.11.14.10:25

[cover] (The first in what may or may not be a series...)

While cleaning house recently, I came across my copy of Mexican Moon, the 1993 release by Concrete Blond. So I slotted it into the player and gave it a spin. Wow.

I had forgotton just how really good this album is. And I started wondering why it didn't run the charts like Bloodletting had. I suppose (and this is purely conjecture) that the legions of tortured goths who felt that CB really "felt their pain" with songs like "Bloodletting" and "Joey". And maybe they felt left behind when Walking in London wasn't another paen to children of the night. Of course, if you read the reviews at Amazon, they're all written by people who feel, as I do, that this album has always been unfairly dismissed.

Who knows, I guess. But this one strayed even further from BL than WiL had. Not that I don't like those albums; "Tomorrow, Wendy" remains one of my favorite songs by any band. But this album just meshes really well. From the opening "Jenny I Read", into the title track, you just know that you're going to enjoy every track on the disc.

Money, art, a broken heart, where do you want to go?
     —Mexican Moon

I think it was the track, "Heal It Up," that got the radio air-play. I know that I'm not a tour-following devoted fan. I had BL, but hadn't gotten around to getting WiL. When I heard "Heal", though, I had to get this one. It's a powerful track, with great lyrics and poetry. And in a disturbingly smooth blend, it goes right in to the sampled excerpts of Jim Jones that open up the track, "Jonestown". And we're only up to the fourth track.

I can go one about pretty much every track. The whole album is very listen-able, from start to end, on auto-repeat even. The last track is titled, "Bajo La Lune Mexicana," and as you might guess even without speaking any Spanish, it's the title track again, only with the lyrics in Spanish (though alternating lines of the chorus are still in English). In a way, this is the most relaxing, almost ambient track of the disc. I don't focus on the exact words as much, and instead on the timbre of the singer's voice and the music that accompanies her.

Very happy that I dug this up.

# amazon (and on and on and on) [/entertainment/music]

Hot Wheel, Indeed! 2003.11.13.01:59

VOW The Forbes.com "Vehicle of the Week" for last week is this very chic-looking answer to the silly Segway. Besides capturing that cross between Terminator 3 and Sorayama, the thing runs on fuel cells for an added twist. There's no telling what it will actually cost when/if it comes to market, but I'd love to test-drive one.

(Placed in /tech for lack of a more vehicle-oriented category.)

# [/tech]

To the Charge of Journal Neglect: Guilty 2003.11.12.22:58

I'm not exactly off to a great start for November. Today is the 12th, and this is my first note of the month.

There are a lot of interesting goings-on, but there isn't a lot of free time. I'm hoping to catch up on things, so there should be some new entries (with actual content) fairly soon.

Be warned, though, that I will be making some adjustments to the templates that are used to generate the individual stories. This may or may not cause a large number of entries to re-appear on LiveJournal. So I'm apologizing in advance.

# [/misc]

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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