Archive for March, 2007

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Anti-evolution belief on the rise

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

./ just pointed me at an article in Newsweek where they found that about 48% of Americans don’t believe in evolution and answered no to ‘Is evolution well-supported by evidence and widely accepted within the scientific community?’ in their poll.

Are science and religion about to start a civil war? With how pervasive technology is getting and the level of scientific understanding of the world it’s a possibility.

My grandpa’s hands featured on Politik-digital

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Politik-digital

Cool – my grandpa’s hands are famous!

The German site Politik-digital.de appears to be focused getting seniors active in technology and other tech-related issues is using this photo on their website – I’m sure my grandpa will be pleased to hear it given that German is his native tongue.

Politik-digital” by sparktography

Chain link

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Chain link

An old shot I found while combing through iPhoto to clean out crappy photos to make my AppleTV screen saver more interesting. It was taken at Gasworks park a couple of months back and I like the way the machinery in the background fades away before the chains in the foreground.

Chain link” by sparktography

Getting Scrummy

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Things are pretty crazy at work – we are going through some growing pains in a new project and things are hectic from a PM perspective as a result. It’s great experience on how to manage rapidly changing requirements as well as an opportunity to learn more about new methodologies. A big part of the stress is coming from my groups conversion to the Scrum methodology.

So far I like Scrum, and will be interested to see how things turn out. It seems much more focused on getting rapid results than waterfall and suits my personality better. I like being able to work through issues in real time (so to speak) and focusing on delivering features rather than documentation. I’ll be interested to see what my take away lessons from Scrum are after we have gone through a few sprints and I feel more confident and educated about the process.

Luckily the week is over half over. Last weekend I didn’t get much ‘me’ time between visiting my grandpa and getting my car taken care of so I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time with my couch this coming Saturday and Sunday.

Mirrorworks: Mirrorworked

Monday, March 26th, 2007

The masters work

The above photo is of the finished product of Mirrorworks amazing job restoring and detailing my car. They did a full clay bar and polish treatment to get the paint back to it’s former glory and then did a fantastic job treating the leather in the interior and steam cleaning the floors and mats. The paint is silky smooth and has its former inner glow. I’m simply stunned at the difference the treatment made – even though it was expensive I figure it’s the best thing I can do to protect such my treasured Pimpmobile

It’s one hell of a detail job and I’m now a convert – I won’t let anyone but Mirrorworks touch my car from now on! For a better understanding of the miracle they accomplished check out the before picture, or my new Pimpmobile set on Flickr for some of the photos I took during the restoration and detailing process..

Grandpa

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Today I drove up to Abbotsford, BC to join the rest of the family with my Grandpa Vernon for dinner. I don’t see him as often as I would like, and it troubles me. I love my Grandpa for many good reasons, and hate being around him for equally good reasons.

Grandpa

He’s a genius – speaks 7 languages, understands fine art, and grew up a professor of language as an open man – embracing of all cultures and walks of life. Grandpa was a role model to many of his students, and as well for his two children.

Sadly when he retired he moved back to the Mennonite community in Abbotsford and has been gradually becoming bitter, bigoted, racist, and homophobic. His Christian moral values are becoming more extreme, and his world view is becoming more and more negative.

Losing Grandma last year was very hard on him. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be married to someone for 60 years – it’s so much longer than I’ve been alive – let alone lived with someone. I sympathize for him and have appreciation for he’s lived through – he’s experience everything from WW2 and the great depression to losing Grandma after a life of pain.

I love him and realize that he’s lonely and should visit more often, but it’s really hard to do when everything around him seems to center around negativity and hate. The decline I’ve seen in both his outlook on life, as well as and end to his feeling of swamped and love for all human being fade has left feeling that It’s simply no longer fun to be around him.

Grandpa” by sparktography

A fun day: family and technology

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

My cousin Heather was in town this evening with one of her friends so we went out to hit the town. Her 23rd birthday is tomorrow so I took her out for some Sushi and a birthday drink at Blue C. It was good to see her, and a good start to a family-tastic weekend: tomorrow morning I’m headed up to Abbotsford to see my Grandpa, Uncle, Aunts, and other cousins. Sadly Grandpa has not been doing as well, so I think it will be good for the family to get to hang out with him for a while.

In technology news I’ve been on one heck of a spending spree – I need to stop! In two days I’ve purchased both a GPS unit for my car, and one of the new Apple TV’s. The GPS unit is cool (and might help keep me from getting lost), and makes up for one of the two missing features in the A6. The other missing feature is rain sensor wipers and I doubt if there is a way to hack that in after market.

In a way I’m looking forward to the drive tomorrow as it will be my first long haul in the A6 (now affectionately named the PimpMobile (in honor of Bender)), and a great chance to play with the GPS unit. I already asked it to calculate the route up to Abbotsford and it is a different one than I’m familiar with. Looking at the details in Google Earth it actually looks to be a faster and shorter way there so I think I’ll give it a go.

The Apple TV is great so far. Exceptional and simple out of box experience (like all Apple products in recent years), and the initial setup was a breeze. I plugged it in to the wall and to HDMI and I was off. After selecting my 802.11n network, entering the WPA password, and selecting the computer I wanted to sync with it was ready to use. Total time from plugging it in to me watching an episode of the Colbert Report: 2 minutes.

Unix is cool

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Last nights rebuilding of Marbles the macbook was a surprisingly easy, quick, and pleasant experience thanks to my recent work with bash scripts for syncing. In the past 6 months I’ve written a number of syncronization scripts to help keep my notebook up to date with my desktop machines and ensure that no matter what machine I’m using it always has the most recent version of my data.

All this scripting paid off via the side benefit of making the rebuild almost entirely painless. It look less than an hour to reinstall OS X 10.4.1 from the DVDs that came with Marbles and then run software update to get it upgraded to 10.4.9. Once that was done I hooked into the gigabit network, copied over a few applications, ran my update script and Marbles was back in action.

I remember back in my Windows days how rebuilding a machine and moving data over could be a day long saga – no more of that for me though – an hour and some Unix hackery is all you need now!

Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that rebuilding fixed whatever system corruption I had that was causing the system hangs to begin with.

802.11n – is the struggle over?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

My struggles with the new Apple 802.11n drivers continue. After several weeks of kernel level hangs (from securityd failing to work properly with the new driver) and two patches I think it’s come down to one of the early hangs must have hosed a low level component. Since I don’t care about any of the data on my Macbook (it’s really just a mirror of my desktop anyway) I’m blowing it away and reinstalling the OS from scratch. I know it’s very much like using a cruise missile to kill a mosquito, but system crashes annoy me enough to spend an evening setting my laptop back up to hopefully get back my stability. If this fails then I’m chalking it up as bad hardware and taking it straight back to Apple to let them deal with it.

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