Friday, September 30, 2005
YA really likes to play in the sand. One of the rituals when I pick him up from Preschool is emptying the sand out of his shoes. But at least the sand at Preschool is dry. The sand at the beach insists on sticking.
- Scratch 'n' Sniff Rhino Bucket
- Super Sounds Reservoir Dogs Soundtrack
- Walkin' After Midnight Patsy Cline
- Phantom Of The Opera Iron Maiden
- Down And Out In New York City James Brown
- The Distance Between You And Me Dwight Yoakam
- This Is It The Blasters
- Delta Blues Shuffle Iggy And The Stooges
- Silent Ways Michelle Shocked
- Zaar Peter Gabriel
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
But, getting all that set up is non-trivial. Especially if you're doing this all on a Macintosh. The Macintosh is almost Unix but with enough differences to throw the User a few curves from time to time. One of the differences is that the Mac prefers to have programs built as 'frameworks' (don't ask, just accept it). There is a howto on building R on the Mac that gives the direction for doing just that. The main take-home from the howto is the options for configure:
The rest is vanilla make and sudo make install. But to build rpy you need to build R as a shared library. This means, according to the rpy README, that you should add --enable-R-shlib to the R ./configure line../configure --with-blas='-framework vecLib' --with-lapack --with-aqua
Building rpy is pretty easy:
But if you do that you pretty quickly fail withRHOMES=/Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Resources
python setup.py build
sudo python setup.py install
If you look in /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Resources/modules you will find lapack.so which seems like it should do the trick. You can modify the setup.py to look at that lapack.so, but it just won't work. You can then tear your hair out for a while. At some point before you go bald you should note that the setup.py is looking for Rlapack not lapack. At this point you're desperate so you delete the entire R build and start over with this configure line:ld: can't locate file for: -lRlapack
error: command 'gcc' failed with exit status 1
Looking in /Library/Frameworks/R.framework/Resources/lib will show you Rlapack.dylib! Try the rpy build over again and now you succeed! Wahoo!./configure --with-blas='-framework vecLib' --with-aqua --enable-R-shlib
I'm having a bit of trouble generating graphics, but the basic R functionality seems to be visible from Python. Life is full.
I was, at the time, working on my Master's in Computer Engineering. I was interested in having a bit of spending money, but at the same time preserving my study time as well. At the beginning of the school year I applied for a job in the undergrad computer lab. This job involved sitting in the lab for a few hours a week and helping undergrads with the computers. Now these were, mostly, not Comp Sci students. They were random people using the computers to write papers, do their stats homework, etc. Lets just say it wasn't the hardest job in the world and after the beginning of the quarter familiarization, it didn't require a lot of actual work. Can you say, "getting paid to study"? I thought you could.
For reasons that I never really figured out, the guy that ran the computer lab just hated the idea that the lab attendants were doing homework in between bouts of undergrad-assisting. So he came up with a plan. The plan, in all its glory, was that all the lab attendants should write either a review of a software package or tutorial on how to use a software package. Each lab attendant was assigned a package and told to write a review or tutorial. Furthermore, we were to work on our project while at work when we were not helping the Users.
Here's the thing, though, the reviews were of software packages that had already been purchased and all the software in the labs already had tutorials available. It was busy work. I was assigned a review of some stats package that was installed on every PC in the lab. I would have actually done the work if it was for an evaluation copy of a package that the lab honchos were considering for purchase; as it was I did my homework and ignored the assignment.
The end of the quarter was fast approaching. One day I was chatting with another lab attendant about the assignment. He was whinging about what a pain it had been to write his. I revealed that I hadn't actually done more than start the stats package one day to see what the interface looked like. He was shocked, shocked I say, to hear this. It turned out that one's employment over Winter Quarter was at least partially contingent on completing the assignment. That put a different complexion on things.
Having about half an hour left in my shift I decided I should write my review. I started off stating what it was I was supposed to do, and then being in a fiesty mood, I launched into 2 page screed about how it was the dumbest thing I had ever been asked to do at any job I had ever had. I further stated that whomever had come up with the idea should be fired forthwith. Then I printed it out and handed it in.
A day or two later I had another shift in the lab. I had been there for a few minutes when the big boss wandered in and asked me to come into his office for a chat. When I got to his office he had my 'review' in his hands. He asked if I had really written it. "Oh my yes," I said. Did I really believe the things I had written in it. "Yes, absolutely," I responded. He was sorry to hear it and fired me on the spot.
Now having a bit of break before my next class I went off campus to get a coffee at the local coffee bar. There I ran into a friend of mine. We chatted. I mentioned that I was currently unemployed. He mentioned that the Anthro professor he worked for was looking for someone to write software for him. Did I want the job? Sure I did. So we finished our coffees and went to the Anthro Department. My interview consisted of my buddy saying, "This is Hank. He writes good software, you should hire him." Chag (for his name was Napoleon Chagnon) said, "OK. Does $8/hour sound good?" It sounded just fine. I started a couple days later.
So I was unemployed for about half an hour and was making more money at the end of the half hour than I was at the beginning. And I was properly positioned to meet MLWN a couple weeks after that. Woo!
The funniest part happened in the Spring. I was at a party and chatting with someone who revealed he worked in the computer lab. I asked if they still had to write those stupid reviews. Yes they did. I said that I had worked there the previous Fall but didn't write an acceptable review and got fired. He was intrigued and asked if I had written something about how it was a stupid assignment and that Big Boss should be fired. I admitted as much. He very nearly did a Wayne's World style "I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy" at me. Somehow copies of my thoughts had been made and were handed around, to much appreciation, to all the lab attendants. I was famous.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The first thing that popped into my head was: and if he sees his shadow we'll have another 6 weeks of hurricanes.
Monday, September 26, 2005
The boys got their soccer act together on Saturday and did much better than they did on opening day. They scored goals, they defended. It was very exciting. Here we see YW waiting for the opening kickoff.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
We must have looked at 40 houses before we found our home. None of the others seemed to be the right one. As soon as we saw this one, we knew God had saved it just for us. We have been blessed beyond measure. God is sooooooo good.As far as I can tell they live in Texas since they evacuated for Hurricane Rita according to a post a bit further down the page. I can't begin to describe how much I loathe the piety that allows someone to think that God takes time out of his busy smiting schedule to make sure some family in Texas has a nice house with a pool. And the gall of bragging about God's love for their living arrangements in the wake of Katrina and Rita is just stunning.
Pacifica, for those of you not in the know, is renowned for the number of foggy days it has. So when it's time for the annual fest, the theme was a no-brainer. It's the Fog Fest! Yay! But because festing in the fog isn't actually that much fun, it is scheduled during the time of the year most likely to have clear, sunny days. This year is no exception. The snap shows YW and YA sliding on the giant slide in the kids-having-fun section of the fest.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Now that school has started it's nothing but homework as far as the eye can see.
- It's a Shame about Ray Lemonheads
- Mink, Schmink Eartha Kitt
- Cat Video Blue Man Group
- Congratulations Paul Simon
- Here Comes President Kill Again XTC
- Antenna Church
- Master & Slave Cherry Poppin' Daddies
- Five Little Frogs Raffi
- Radar Morphine
- Lose This Skin The Clash
Thursday, September 22, 2005
I didn't mind the getting-to-know-the-guide questions. I took them as compliments; the folks wanted to get to know me better. But I did get a bit tired of the questions that could be answered with perhaps an entire second's thought. Things like, "Do we get out of the boats where we got in them?" "Does that rock go all the way to the bottom?"
I confess that I did laugh out loud at the Dad who, showing his young son some swallows' nests on a highway bridge we were floating under, said, in all seriousness, "Look son, barnacles."
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
The reason SF is the lone hold-out against the 2.5" standard is that instead of their hydrants running off the local water mains, they have a dedicated, high pressure fire hydrant water system. This system allows them to run more hoses off a single hydrant before requiring a pumper truck to boost pressure. They argued, back in the day when the standard was worked out, that it would way too expensive to go back and replace all the custom (read very expensive) hydrants to meet the standard.
Now lets think this through a bit further. In the event of a Katrina-style disaster in SF, there will be no "rushing" of fire engines to the scene. The roads will be quite blocked by debris and collapsed bridges, etc. And it's not too likely that there will be a lot of pressure in the pipes feeding the hydrants, what with the buckling of the ground and the shattering of all manner of whatnot.
The SF hydrant system is going to be useful for that happy medium earthquake that knocks some stuff down but doesn't really do a lot of damage. In the event of a cataclysm the PGE crews closing valves on gas mains are going to be what slows down the fires. Anything that really gets going will have to burn itself out. I think its time to do some fear-mongering on a topic that where it might do some good.
Update:Today's (Thursday) Chron has another article about The City's nonstandard hydrants and how there is some serious head scratching going on about coming up a with a better plan than handing out adaptors to engines as they come into town. Having devoted about 1 minute to the problem, I have the solution. It would cost too much money to replace all the hydrants with new ones with the right diameter connectors. But there are adaptors that can be used. Each SF hydrant has 6 connections. Buy 6 adaptors for every hydrant in the city. Go to each hydrant in the city and screw an adaptor onto each connection. To prevent theivery, weld the adaptors onto the hydrant. Buy new hoses with 2.5" connectors for all the SFFD trucks. Problem solved. My favorite part of the article was about how SF got the exemption to the rule because
...has a one-of-a-kind, specialized system that was specifically invented to work after the havoc of a major earthquake, and that the system has not failed the department yet.Man that's funny. How many major earthquakes have their been lately? Loma Prieta is the only one I can think of and its epicenter was down by Santa Cruz. The water system has not failed to perform in a situation that has not yet happened. Woo!
Monday, September 19, 2005
So all you Illegals-Are-Taking-Jobs-Away-From-Americans wackjobs out there, nows your chance to get yourself one of those good jobs those darn illegals have been hogging. Hie yourself to Fresno and get yourself a job picking raisin grapes or lettuce or something. You owe it to America, or at least the farmers.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Poor YW was so hot to play in the goal that I let him play there first quarter. The other team had, I suspect, a core of kids who'd played together before because they seemed a bit more together than the typical group of 7 year olds. My boys hadn't quite realized they were in a game when it all started so YW was left all alone on a few break aways and let four shots into the goal. I think the last couple were hard for him to defend against because it's hard to see the ball through tears (that's the trouble with playing goalie, when all is said and done you're the one who let the ball get by you into the goal). Second quarter they scored once and they only had a couple of shots on goal in the second half. I think YW will have a better time in goal next weekend when he gets a bit more support from the rest of the team.
When I was a little soccer player I gravitated to playing defense. There was something about it that just felt right for me. I think there's a kid on the team for whom that's true as well. He was supposed to play offense for the entire second half but he kept being johhny-on-the-spot taking the ball away from the other team deep in our end of the field. He kept asking if he could attack and I'd say, "You are attacking. You're on offense, go score." 30 seconds later he'd be back anchoring the defense. He couldn't help it. It was adorable.
And not that I'm trying to whinge or anything, but the other coach kept the same kid in the goal for the whole game. And the kid was good. I think 7 years old is a bit young to start specializing on your position. I thought it was strange that during the pregame warmup the other coach spent the whole time working with one kid on goal keeping while one of the dads worked with all the other boys. It all became clear when keeper duties never rotated during the course of the game.
Getting back to our dog example, if we released a bunch of Chihuahuas and a bunch of Great Danes into some contained range where there were no other dogs of intermediate size (say an island far from any other dog populations), the two groups of dogs would be reproductively isolated and would never never never interbreed even though they could produce viable offspring. So without a gradation of other dog breeds to connect a Chihuahua to a Great Dane, the two breeds are effectively different species.
So there, my stupider friends, you have seen evolution.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Jim is being coy this time around and waiting to post the list of players so that everyone should have time to listen before searching out the source of their disk. It's totally working. I really want to know who put this mix together.
H - (sniffing the air in the car) YA do you have the poop?
YA - No
H - Are you telling the truth?
YA - No
H - You're lying?!?
YA - No! I'm sitting!
Monday, September 12, 2005
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Karen E. Armes was appointed Acting Regional Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Region IX in April 2004. In this position, she oversees the operation of the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities in the states of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Federated States of Micronesia.She appears to be good at money, but I see no sign that actual physical disaster has been a big part of her professional life. Dang. I hope we don't have any earthquakes (He says from almost in sight of the San Andreas Fault).
In addition, Ms. Armes continues to serve as the region's Deputy Director, a post she assumed in December 2000. Previously Ms. Armes had served as director of the Operations Support Division and as branch chief of Program Services. She also served as Acting Regional Director from January 2000 until November 2002.
Before joining FEMA, Ms. Armes was director of the Business Management Department of the Navy Finance Center in San Francisco, a position assigned to her after the capitalization of the data automation centers by the Defense Information System Agency in 1994. Prior to that, she had served more than 10 years with that organization being promoted from budget analyst to the director of the Budget and Accounting Division and then director of the Management Support Division. She began there in 1982 as a NAVCOMPT financial management trainee.
Ms. Armes holds a bachelor of science degree in recreation administration from Radford University, Va. She has also completed graduate courses in business administration at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Friday, September 09, 2005
- Panama Van Halen
- Jenny Says Cowboy Mouth
- Tonite Go Go's
- No One Lives Forever Oingo Boingo
- Wild Thing (Single Edit) X
- Teddy Bear's Picnic Trout Fishing In America
- Mexico The Rave-Ups
- Good Better Than Ezra
- Volcano Girls Veruca Salt
- Good Morning Aztlan Los Lobos
- Jungle Bells Hoodoo Gurus
- My Love Will Not Change Del McCoury
- Jesus Built My Hotrod (Short, Pusillanimous, So-They-Can-Fit-More-Commercials-on-the-Radio Edit) Ministry
- Like An Outlaw Social Distortion
- The Impression That I Get The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
- The Call Of The Wreckin' Ball X
- London Calling The Clash
- I Can't Explain The Who
- Bomber Bash Ry Cooder
- Send Me on My Way Rusted Root
- Gimme Three Steps Lynyrd Skynyrd
- (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction Devo
- I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow The Soggy Bottom Boys
- Rock Island Line The Knitters
- Maggie Campbell Dave Alvin
- Ring of Fire H-Blockx Vs. Dr. Ring-Ding
- Take Me I'm Yours Squeeze
- Get My Rocks Off Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
- Rack My Brains Huxton Creepers
- Santa Monica Everclear
- Bikini Girls With Machine Guns The Cramps
- Amanda Ruth Rank And File
- Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash
- I Love You So The Blasters
- Kryptonite 3 Doors Down
- Drive She Said Stan Ridgway
- Pipeline Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
- Fast As You Dwight Yoakam
- Ways To Be Wicked Lone Justice
- Remember (Newman's Lovesong) The Rave-Ups
- Knockbacks In Halifax Weddings Parties Anything
- Tainted Love Me First & The Gimmie Gimmies
- Tainted Love Soft Cell
- Gone Daddy Gone Violent Femmes
- I Wanna Be Sedated The Offspring
- Honey White Morphine
No, wait, that's not it.
One of the rivers on which I did the Guide thing was the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. It's great, you should go see it. Somewhere in the latter half of the trip, in the middle of a really big, really deep pool there is a huge rock outcrop next the river. It's almost 40 feet straight down from the top into water that is at least 20 feet deep. And there is an easy climb around the back that takes you up to the top of the rock. If we thought we had sufficient time and cool enough people on the trip we would stop and let those who wished climb up to the top and jump into the water.
It took a me a couple of trips up to the top of the rock before I jumped off it. 40 feet doesn't look very far from water but is really really high when your on the rock. But I did it. You're in the air long enough to think to yourself that it was a really dumb idea to step out into the void and that you're not having any fun.
Every trip after the one where I did the jump I would trek up to the top of the rock to see if I wanted to jump again. Here's the thing: I never did.
But almost invariably there'd be some college kid on the trip with Mom 'n' Dad who'd be itching to jump and we'd have a conversation something like:
CK - Are you going to jump?
H - Nope.
CK - I'm going to do it.
H - That's great.
CK - Why aren't you going to jump?
H - I come up here every week to see if I want to and I don't want to jump today.
CK - What, are you afraid?
H - Yup. Now go jump off the rock and I'll row you through a few more rapids.
On YW's first day of school, YA would not be denied and had to have his picture taken too. As you can see he is proud as can be about being in the picture. The toys he's holding do creep me out a bit. On our trip to SB to celebrate Grandma's birthday the boys were each allowed to pick out a modestly priced item in a toy store. YA homed in on two Boobah dolls in the We're Trying To Get This Crap Out Of The Store bin. Since they were only a buck a piece, I let him get both. He's never even seen the show, but he had to have them. They have contributed to the high standard of conversation at Casa Hank: "YA, get your Boobahs out of my face." "YA, where are your Boobahs?" "YW, leave your brother's Boobahs alone."
- Someone Like You The Knitters
- Poor Little Critter On The Road The Knitters
- Born to Be Wild The Knitters
- Little Margaret The Knitters
- Burning House of Love The Knitters
- I'll Go Down Swinging The Knitters
- Long Chain On The Knitters
- The New Call of the Wreckin' Ball The Knitters
- Rank Stranger The Knitters
- Skin Deep Town The Knitters
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Update: He can't do it. I was listening to NPR in the car a little while ago and his office has made it known that he will veto the bill. So the Know Nothing dumbass wing of the Republicans is with him. But that's about it. Given the trends on this issue he has no hope for getting elected to anything ever again. Of course if he signed it he couldn't get nominated for anything ever again either. It's almost as if the California Democrats passed the bill as some sort of Poison Pill. Good for them.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
One of the advantages of having a digital camera, and of course a good photo-app on the computer, is that you can go back in time to find pictures really easily. Yesterday was YW's first day off 2nd Grade. It doesn't seem all that long ago that he was on his way to his first day of Kindergarten. But through the Magic of Computation we can see that YW has definitely changed in appearance since he first headed off to start stuffing his brain with State Approved Knowledge. We have here his First Day Of School pictures from Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grades.
Friday, September 02, 2005
I remember way back when, when UC Merced was first proposed. *(And let's be honest, UC Fresno should be its name, but Merced sounds cooler.) The reason given for building it out there was that there was this terrible coastal bias in the UC system. All the campuses (except Riverside) were either right on the beach or within easy striking distance of salt water. This was just a terrible disservice to those California residents who made their homes East of US 101. It was put forth that they would be much more likely to apply to the UC if only they had a campus where they would feel comfortable. A campus in their native environment. That is perhaps the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Let's say you live in Blythe, or Barstow, or Bakersfield and you really really want to go to the University of California. Would you rather go to Santa Barbara or San Diego or Santa Monica or Fresno? Lets be serious here, the UC probably does need a new campus and building one in Fresno has to be a lot cheaper than building one in, say, San Luis Obispo, but excusing it as way to ease the tender sensibilities of our inland neighbors is just silly.
And just to prove how important education is to the modern Republican Party, Governor Arnie won't be attending the Grand Opening of the first new UC campus in 40 years. The dink.
Thursday, September 01, 2005