Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Liz Phair Youtube

This is pretty awesome:



The Top Songs of the Moment (In All the World)

At this exact moment there are no better songs known to mankind than these:
  1. The Coral Sea -- "Under the Westway"
  2. Adrian Belew -- "Young Lions"
  3. Jenny Lewis -- "Rise Up With Fists!"
  4. Raconteurs -- "Intimate Secretary"
  5. Lucinda Williams -- "Can't Let Go"
  6. Kathryn Williams -- "Flicker"
  7. Alpinestars -- "Carbon Kid"
  8. Pierce and EJ Maggi -- "Space"
The above songs replace any previously identified songs.

Abbreviation Project/Scheme

Ok. All of the following is true even if you don't think it is. I wouldn't lie to you. No, not to you.

Right now, I'm learning the following scheme for abbreviations (it's pretty clever and useful):


Under this scheme:
  • only the most commonly used English words are included
  • the more common a word, the shorter its abbreviation
  • abbreviations can be extended using a set of characters that are added to the end -- for example, 'g' attached to the end of an abbreviation generally means 'ing'
Now, you might ask "Why are you doing this?".

I'm going to use this scheme to:
  1. Type faster with fewer keystrokes
  2. As a shorthand system for taking notes (I take a lot of notes)
  3. As part of my note obfuscation scheme (I have a system for taking notes in code so they can't be easily read -- I sometimes do this when prying eyes are near and I don't want people to know what I'm thinking -- I've been doing this for years, since high school at least -- it's awesome -- my mom doesn't understand why I do it -- I can write most characters in 3 to 5 different ways -- some symbols can be used for multiple characters -- etc)
Further, you might ask "How will this allow you to type faster?".

Well, this scheme and a text editor with a feature known as "abbreviation expansion" will result in much faster typing and fewer keystrokes.

The best text editor I've found so far for this purpose is emacs. It has an abbreviation mode which allows for abbreviation expansion.

I wrote a perl script that produces an abbreviation list for use with emacs. Here is that file:


So, when I fire up emacs and hit "k[space]" the "k" is magically replaced with "and" and when I type "bc[space]" the "bc" is quickly replaced with "because". If I type "Rt[space]", the "Rt" is replaced with "Right".

Also, you might ask "How are you learning this abbreviation scheme?".
  1. Slowly
  2. I'm using my flashcard system (written in Java) to learn all the one and two character abbreviations (later I'll move on to the longer abbreviations)
  3. At home, when I transcribe notes or work on one of my writing projects I use emacs and this system (at times it's slower going than my normal typing but I'm gradually getting better)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

New Hurricane Naming Scheme Proposed

I propose a new naming scheme for hurricanes (because our current naming scheme is boring).

We should start naming hurricanes after movies. This would allow for some really cool things to happen. For example, imagine a hurricane named Hurricane "Caddyshack".

As the hurricane forms, builds, and approaches the coast, the stars of "Caddyshack" could be interviewed. "Bill Murray, where do you think 'Caddyshack' will make landfall?" "Chevy Chase, what kind of damage can we expect from winds gusting to 125 mph?" "Rodney Dangerfield, why doesn't Hurricane 'Caddyshack' get any respect?" Etc.

Whenever satellite pictures or radar images of Hurricane "Caddyshack" are shown on TV, clips or images from "Caddyshack" could be shown as well. Imagine a picture of Bill Murray in a goofy getup from "Caddyshack" superimposed on the satellite image of a fearsome category 5 storm. People will be calmed by the juxtaposition of the fun/happy/familiar and the awesome power of nature.

Commercials could be made warning locals of the approaching storm. These commercials would mostly consist of clips from "Caddyshack" that ended with an "oh by the way Hurricane 'Caddyshack' is on the way and you should prepare for it".

Whenever and wherever Hurricane "Caddyshack" makes landfall, guess what would be on TV? That's right, "Caddyshack" (with a small radar insert). Also, guess who would be reporting on the storm from locations near the landfall? That's right, the stars of "Caddyshack" in character! "Carl Spackler, what do you think of the storm?" "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former tropical storm, now, about to become the most destructive storm in US history!" And he could say: "This grass is a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff. I think it will stand up to this storm. This storm is nutin'!"

Also, if your house is destroyed by a hurricane under this naming scheme, you could say something like: "My house was destroyed by 'Caddyshack'. I hate that movie so much!" And, nobody would blame you for saying that about such a great movie.

After the storm passes, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase could tour damaged areas and try to cheer people up.

This is clearly one of the most awesome ideas I've ever had! Woot!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lange Family Org Chart

Gina and I had some problems around the house. So, we made an organizational chart. And, here it is:

Now, things are much better!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

San Antonio Now Seattle of the South

With all the rain we've been getting lately, I say we start calling San Antonio the Seattle of the South.

We'll just need to add a few things to San Antonio in order to make the new designation more exact:

  1. We'll need a chain of snooty coffee shops with headquarters here.
  2. We'll need more open water in and around town. I say we replace the South and East Sides with big holes that we fill with water. We'll move the displaced people to Poteet.
  3. We'll need a fish market, someplace you can go and have people throw catfish at you.
  4. We'll need a large tech company to make their home here.
  5. We already have the Hemisphere Tower. So, there is no need to build a Space Needle knockoff.
  6. We need a Boeing clone, maybe a company that builds submarines.
  7. Seattle has Mount Rainier. So, I propose we build a mountain out of trash and debris. Further, I propose we build it on top of Castle Hills (nobody will miss it). We'll accept the garbage from the rest of Texas for as long as it takes to build a 12k foot plus mountain. We'll name it Mount Fearsome and it will be awesome! We'll model it on K2.
  8. In case the rain doesn't continue at its current pace, I think we should install the World's largest sprinkler system. Huge sprinkler heads would be placed all around town in a grid-like pattern. Whenever we need rain to maintain the illusion of being the Seattle of the South, the Mayor can just hit a button and rain will fall!
I should be elected Mayor on the above platform alone!

The Exact Moment "The Love Boat" Jumped the Shark

Here's a screen capture showing the exact moment "The Love Boat" jumped the shark.

SPX Beats Last Year's Champions in First Game of Season

The basketball team I play on, SPX (Saint Pius X), played the first game of our new season tonight and we beat last year's league champs.

BrianB hit a huge three from behind the NBA 3-point line to put us up 3 with 20 seconds to go. RyanG is probably the best player in the league and he had a great game.

We've historically had trouble in this league. However, we came in second in the third division last season (losing the championship game on a tough shot with a second left by Bobby Anderson) and tonight was a great start to this season.

I managed to get 5 points this game, but I wasn't able to hit any of the three jump shots I took. I need to be able to hit open jump shots from the wings about 12 to 16 feet out or I'm not helping us on offense very much. My passing and ball movement will always be there but I need to hit a few shots just to keep the other team honest.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Photos

Five new photolog pages.

Check them out!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Brother Wins a Golf Tournament

My brother, Clint, won a golf tournament this week.

You can read about it here.


Monday, July 9, 2007

My Birthday

Today, July 9th, is my birthday.

At work, HR puts this goofy birthday hat on your desk on the fateful day.

I manged to get in pretty early and hide that hat before too many people saw it.

So, I was free of birthday related nonsense all day.

That really helped me process the normal work nonsense a little more successfully.

Small victories are sometimes important.

Nielson on Blogging

Jakob Nielson has posted a new article, Write Articles, Not Blog Postings. In the article, he makes the case for writing substantial content over shallow blog posts if your goal is to establish yourself as a person with world-class expertise.

In response, I can only say these things:

  1. I'm not being shallow by choice!
  2. The world really seems to enjoy shallow (see popular culture for example).
  3. Blogs and blog posts seem to have their places. What would you say those places are, Mr. Nielson?
  4. Did you examine and contemplate the quality content this blog has to offer before writing such an obnoxious and elitist article?
  5. Usability is for sissies.
  6. Who made you the expert?
  7. Watch this blog will change the world! Then what will you say?
  8. You can pack a lot of meaningful content in a few words if you know what you're doing.
  9. Sometimes people don't need to be hit over the head. Sometimes people need only a nudge.
  10. Some people only have time to blog.
  11. Somebody is a tad bit pretentious.
  12. What if a person isn't trying to establish himself as having world-class expertise? Why isn't Nielson telling other people with other goals what to do? How is anybody going to know what to do if Nielson doesn't say anything? I'm lost without his words of guidance. Whatever will I do?
  13. When is Nielson going to get a real job? What was the last real thing he did?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Top 5 Songs of the Moment

At this exact moment there are no better songs known to mankind than these:

  1. The Arcade Fire -- "Keep the Car Running"
  2. The Wallin' Jennys -- "Take it Down"
  3. The Rolling Stones -- "Sympathy For the Devil"
  4. Patty Griffin -- "The Long Ride Home"
  5. Billy Bragg and Wilco -- "Airline to Heaven"

At some other moment, these will not be the best.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Career Move

I've decided on a big career move.

I'm going to tour Mexico singing songs in broken Spanish.

My first hit single will be titled "Yo Soy Mas Grande del Mundo por la Vaca!".

My stage name will be "Gringo Starr".

There is no way this plan can fail.

Do the Right Thing and Let the Chips Fall Where They May

Just do that, world, and I'd be happy with you.

Stop playing stupid games.

It's not funny.