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December 2004

November 2004

Punkin Chunkin 2004 photos and impressions

trebuchet.jpg I am just a photo postin' fool! For your viewing pleasure, my Punkin Chunkin photos are now available.

I am not sure if the sheer size of the air cannons come across in this pictures, but believe me they are freakin' huge.

I took a few movies with my digital camera:

This one (2.9 meg avi file) features a machine in the centrifugal force category. Keep in mind the noise you hear is being made by that big machine. As an added bonus, you get to hear my lovely voice loud and clear on this one.

A little trebuchet fires (1.2 meg avi).

Finally, a big catapult fires (1.8 meg avi).

A good time was had by all, and all the proceeds go to charity, so that is good I suppose.

A big thanks to Becky, of Good Grief! fame, for putting up with me for the 2 hour car ride there, the few hours we spent there, and the 2 hour car ride back. That is a lot of me in one sitting, and Becky only broke down in tears 3 non-consecutive times. She even provided me with some water so I could fight the Pepsi temptation.

I want to go back next year, but perhaps on a Saturday since it felt like they were winding down on Sunday (no pun intended, but it had to be pointed out for my slower readers).


2004 Punkin Chunkin coverage at Good Grief!

Becky, of Good Grief! fame, and I held yet another cross blog outing, this time to the 2004 Punkin Chunkin in Delaware today, and it was a hoot.

I was hoping to post my pictures tonight, as well as my impressions of the events; but it didn't work out.

Becky, being the industrious blogger that she is, has posted her thoughts already, along with some pictures from her antiquated digital camera. Check it out, and tomorrow I will post my own pictures and thoughts about the event.

I promise there will be at least one picture of a lady bug chillin' on my hand (and no, that isn't code for something).


Playlist Reviews the Bose SoundDock

Playlist's Review of the Bose SoundDock:

As Apple’s iPod has become a cultural phenomenon akin to Sony’s Walkman, the market for iPod accessories has exploded—some of the biggest names in computer and home audio have responded with systems specifically made for the iPod (and, just as significantly, incompatible with other portable players). Bose has recently joined the fray with its $300 SoundDock speaker system, which uses the now-familiar dock connector base for iPod connectivity. Featuring a glossy white body and large, full-face metal grill, the SoundDock is a good aesthetic match for full-size iPods (and even silver iPod minis) with an attractive but simple appearance that won’t dominate your decor.

I am sure, like all Bose products, this thing sounds amazing but is over priced. My computer speakers, and my home theater work well for me (especially since I figured out how to work it).


Hewn and Hammered

I am a big fan of the Craftsman style of furniture and architecture (I like the plain geometric lines, they soothe my soul), and as such I got an email from the fellow running Hewn and Hammered

He asked me if I wanted to contribute, or at least link to his blog. I agreed to link to it, but since I really know nothing about the subject I thought he was better off without my opinions (as the good folks at Orablogs quickly figured out after they invited me to post there).

That was a few months ago, and I completely forgot to link to Hewn and Hammered, and I didn't even subscribe to it. Now they are a featured blog here at Typepad, and that jolted my memory.

It is a great site, and has some really cool stuff on it. I wish that I could find a Craftsman bungalow here in Philly.


Quick, scan that award

cube_icon.gifThese guys won an Apple Design Award and did what any normal person with access to a cone beam CT scanner would do, they created numerous 3D movies of the award:

On June 29th we won the Apple Design Award in the category "Best Student Mac OS X Project" for our program 4Peaks. With the prize came a beautiful metal cube as trophy that glows when you touch it. While showing the cube to everyone, most people asked if we knew what was inside and how it worked. How did the cube notice that it was touched? Opening it up would be a simple solution of course, but we were afraid to break it. Still, curious as scientists can be, we thought of something more elegant to answer the burning questions. We contacted the people of the radiotherapy department in the hospital to see if they perhaps could take an X-ray of the cube and reveal its inner being, just like people had previously done with a Titanium PowerBook and iPod. Unfortunately they told us that they did not have an X-ray machine, we should contact the radio-diagnostic department for that. Instead however, they did have something else: a cone beam CT scan that would even allow 3D reconstruction!

This one is my favorite one. Ahh we Apple people are a special lot.

Oh, and the picture in this post is an example of one of the scans taken from the website.


Conference note to self

When the session is called "Beginning SQL Queries," they really mean beginning.

Now I am SQL wizard, but I know my way around a database, I should have ducked out when the first question the presenter asked was, "Does anyone know what a relational database is?"

My second clue should have been when the guy who is presenting the session on advanced SQL told me, "You're going to be bored in this session."

There is a chance that I will learn something, although the session is about MSSQL and I use Oracle, so my hopes aren't set too high.


Do you blead or blurf?

I was having an IM conversation with Paul, and he asked me if there was a verb for 'the act of reading many blogs.' I suggested 'reading' was enough, but Paul resisted and said that while reading is fine for one blog, there must be a word for reading many.

We came up with two options:

Blead (blog plus read equals blead) by yours truly.

Used in a sentence:

"Not right now, can't you see I'm bleading here?"

Blurf (blog plus surf equals blurf) by Paul.

Used in a sentence:

"Man I really need to get some blurfing done tonight."

I lean towards blead myself, but Paul contents that blurfing is edgier, but it seems that blurfing may be taken (via a Google search).

What do you think?


Election Day in Austin

Election Day in Austin, TX isn't all that exciting. Since I am in Texas I was thought I would be deep in Bush country. And of course, I am very deep in Bush Country, but I happen to be in the most liberal city in Texas.

I am surprised by the lack of any political signs or commercials. Coming from the battleground state of PA, it is a shock to watch tv without hearing about John Kerry and Congressional Liberals, or how GW is wrong on everything.

That is my election day report from Austin, Texas.