November 2003

Album Cover: The Open Door EP

"Pretend every slot machine is a robot amputee waving hello."
Death Cab For Cutie / Little Bribes

And it Begins

November 28, 2003 11:01 PM

First off, happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there who read this blog...all three of you, that is. Hopefully you stuffed yourself with turkey and all the other good food like I did.

They say when it rains it pours, and I'm not sure there's any place on earth that the saying applies to more than Seattle. Even though there's been no more than a drizzle here the past few days, it's been pouring in another sense. Yesterday Katie and I noticed steam coming from under the hood of our car, and upon further inspection it looks like we may have a crack in our radiator. I don't know much about cars, but I do know that anything involving a radiator means big bucks.

To make things worse, I woke up to a marching band this morning at around 9 o'clock, and they just kept on playing until around noon. There must have been some parade going on right through the middle of downtown Seattle. Seems odd that it would come the day after Thanksgiving, but that's just how things have been stacking up. I also woke to a sore throat this morning, and it has stayed with me through the day. I have sweat dripping down my forehead as I write this, so the next few days aren't looking too good for me.

To make things even worse (yes, there's more), Katie and I found out that our lease expires on December 31st, not January 31st like we had believed for the past year. There is some law in Washington that states no one-year lease can extend beyond 365 days, so because we moved in on the 25th of January, we're basically screwed. We'll be heading down to Arizona on the 17th and not returning to these damp parts until the 5th, so that means we have to find a new place to live over the course of the next two weeks and get moved in. Can you say "stress?"

The good news is, we've still got two days left of break to drive around and look, and we actually already spotted two houses this evening that seem like good prospects. One of them even comes with a piano. How cool is that? Our only fear is that they'll be strict about pets, and our goal is to get not only our cat, "Mischief," and our Pomeranian, "Pixie," moved in with us, but our Bulldog "Roddy" as well, since my mom has been watching him for us for the past year.

If you're interested in hearing how this story ends, fear not, I'm sure I will be writing more about it as time goes on. Hopefully it will have a happy ending, but at this point I just hope it has an ending, period. How very desperately I need a vacation! :)

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Unsolved Mysteries of the Unix Timestamp

November 26, 2003 4:28 PM

If you're not a geek like me, you may not have heard of the Unix timestamp, also known as the Unix epoch. Basically, some geeks decided it would be cool to base time representation off the number of seconds since January 1, 1970 at midnight. The one downfall of this new method of time tracking, however, is that it will no longer work after 2038. But, the geeks are pretty sure we'll all be using 64-bit computers by then, and this won't be a problem. What will actually happen is probably another Y2K scare, but life wouldn't be as fun if we couldn't rely on one of those every 38 years or so.

Y2K+38 isn't what I perceive to be one of the mysteries of the Unix timestamp, though. What I think is most mysterious about the Unix timestamp is the day chosen as the epoch's beginning. "Why January 1, 1970?" you might have already asked yourself. I asked the same thing. If it were me, the Unix timestamp would have been based on the number of seconds since October 16, 1979, but perhaps that's a bit too selfish. Then again, it might have pushed Y2K Part II off by another 9 years. But anyway, back to the mystery. Or should I say solved mystery? I think I know why those geeks chose January 1, 1970 as their date. "Why?" you ask? Because that is the day Paul Thomas Anderson was born, the mastermind behind such blockbusters as Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love.

You didn't think you'd ever know the real truth behind the Unix epoch, did you?

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The Perfect Saturday

November 22, 2003 9:14 PM

Okay, the biggest news of the day is that somehow the University of Washington Huskies beat the Washington State Cougars tonight in the Apple Cup. I wasn't able to watch it, unfortunately, since DirecTV doesn't let you have Fox Sports Northwest unless you pay an extra $12 a month, but I listened to bits of it on the radio and was secretly praying to the football gods that the Huskies could pull it off.

To make the day even better, Katie and I bought plane tickets for our Christmas trip to Arizona today, and we saved a ton of money. We'll be heading down on the 17th and we don't have to come back to Seattle until the 5th, so the holidays should definitely be great this year.

And speaking of great (and of the holidays), the two of us caught Will Ferrell's Elf tonight. If you haven't seen this movie yet, see it. I'm a huge Will Ferrell fan (you know you're a huge fan when merely seeing his name appear in the opening credits makes you giggle), so I was laughing harder at this movie than I can remember laughing at any movie in recent memory. Will has some great lines in the movie, like "this place reminds me of Santa's workshop, except that it smells like mushrooms and everyone here looks like they want to kill me." To top it off, the movie has a great storyline that even attempts to jerk a few tears toward the end.

And finally, this wouldn't be a true blog entry if I didn't have something geeky to mention before it was over. A List Apart has a great article online about retooling Slashdot with XHTML and CSS. I've been reading Slashdot fairly regularly now for about a year, and one of the things I've always disliked about it is how mid-90s its design is. I mean, come on, 90% of their site is using Times New Roman for God's sake! So this new article's approach was very welcome to me, and I can only hope that the folks who run Slashdot and Slashcode will take it seriously and someday soon decide to apply the ideals of web standards to their very intriguing and useful site.

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Rupert, No More

November 20, 2003 10:12 PM

It's a sad night for reality television. Tonight, on Survivor, Rupert was voted off the island. You might have read my previous post, in which I praised Rupert for his character and his proven ability to dominate the rest of the Survivors this season. Back then I didn't think there was any chance we'd see Rupert go out as only the 2nd member of the jury. Two hours after the show aired, I'm still struggling to come to grips with the fact that he is no longer in contention for the sole Survivor title. Now I just have to sit back and watch as the merged tribe begins to dwindle down to the final two. One thing that hasn't changed from that first post is my disdain for Jon and all that he represents. As long as he goes out soon or gets obscenely humiliated in the final tribal council, I suppose I can leave this season of Survivor with half a grin on my face.

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Cold and Wet

November 18, 2003 10:39 AM

What a day in Seattle today! The rain is coming down in buckets and the entire Seattle metro area seems to be immersed in one big cloud. It's Katie's birthday today, and I'm sure she couldn't be happier with the current conditions. Seems ironic that an Arizona girl would be so in love with the rain, but then again, maybe it's not so ironic afterall. I think the following webcam shot from the University of Washington's Red Square says it all:

Rainy Red Square

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Random Blog I

November 17, 2003 10:00 PM

What good are blogs if they don't connect to each other? I've found some very interesting blogs in the past simply by following the links from other blogs I tend to read regularly. So, I am going to start what will hopefully be a trend on my own blog, posting a link to a random blog so that I can do my part in connecting the blogs of the world.

Here's an excerpt from a posting at the very first Random Blog, "Look Upward, And Share The Wonders I've Seen:"

Oh, great, now I'm touching on death. That's a kind of deep and profound. But my views on that are simple. There's more to me than a collection of atoms and the like. Maggie not only taught me that, but proved it to me, by her very existence, really. Some may not agree, and that's their right. But enough on death.

Keep an eye out for Random Blog II, coming soon.

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Mozilla T-Shirts

November 15, 2003 4:51 PM

Okay, this is probably really geeky of me, but I just noticed on MozillaZine that the Mozilla Foundation is now selling Mozilla t-shirts with the Mozilla logo on the front and sleeve, and "" printed in black on the back. I think I'm going to order one. I've been wanting a cool white t-shirt for some time, and now Mozilla's given me a reason to get one. In case you're as geeky (or more?) as me, you can pick one up too at the Mozilla Store.

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Get Yourself High

November 13, 2003 10:34 PM

So I'm doing my usual thing last night, cruisin' around online and listening to music, when I decide I want to listen to Pearl Jam's new song, "Man of the Hour." I happened to find a direct link to it over at The Sky I Scrape, so I clicked on it. Because the track's in RealAudio format, an intermediary website popped up with some information on the different songs, videos, etc. that Real is currently featuring. A link to a new Chemical Brothers video quickly caught my eye, so I clicked on it before my Pearl Jam song started up (and before the page went away). What followed was probably the coolest music video experience I have ever had. I've always been a huge fan of the Chemical Brothers, but they've outdone themselves with this latest song...and have totally blown me away with the video. It is seriously the coolest thing I have seen in a really long time. Just watch it. Fair warning, though, you may never stop.

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Britney Spears

November 09, 2003 9:56 PM

I will be the first to admit that as little as two years ago I was about as anti-Britney Spears as a person could get. I didn't fall for all the hype at that time, and I certainly didn't find her the least bit attractive. However, having been submitted to way more Britney than a non-fan should ever have to handle (thanks to my girlfriend and her website), I have to say that my respect for her as a talented artist has crescendoed immensely. Not only has she proven that she can continuously sell records, but she has also shown that she has an unmatched savvy for keeping her name in the papers and her face (or at least her torso) in the spotlight.

Now here we are near the end of 2003 (can you believe it?) and Britney is scheduled to release her fourth album on, coincidentally, my girlfriend's birthday, November 18th. She probably wouldn't want this to be shared with the online world, but my girlfriend has already downloaded several of the leaked tracks from In The Zone, and so I've heard them quite a few times. I have to say that I am really digging the beats on this album, and it's made me, a self-proclaimed non-Britney fan for many years, actually anxious to hear the rest of the record. Her collaboration with Moby, titled "Early Mornin'," is awesome. I can't get the upward-looping bassline out of my head. "Toxic" is another great track...she pulls off quite a few cool vocal moves in the song, and the surfer guitar combined with the high-pitched violin sounds is pure brilliance.

I won't go on record saying that I would ever listen to Britney's first three albums on my own. I willingly submit to my girlfriend's desires when it comes to those albums, simply because I know she enjoys them so much, but I actually believe I would bust out "In The Zone" on my own in the car on the way to or from work. And I'd probably be bobbing my head and singing along with the lyrics too. Man, how embarrassing is that to admit! It's the truth though. I better stop while I'm behind ;)

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November 06, 2003 5:33 PM

If you are a die-hard or even casual Mozilla user, you absolutely have to give the new "Smoke" theme a try. It is now available for the suite, Firebird and Thunderbird. Bad Mozilla themes are a dime a dozen, but good themes like this one only come along once in a blue moon.

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