The Big Think

November 30, 2003


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 1:38 am

What we are now is what we are now, but what we will be tomorrow is a destiny written by our own choice and commitment.
We all start with more or less capability in different arenas. That can’t be argued. But where we wind up depends on nothing so much as how well and long we work. It absolutely has nothing to do with talent. Go ask the people who have made it, the Oh-So-Talented Ones, the Golden People, and again and again you’ll find that they just can’t apply that word to themselves with a straight face. They know how they got there: they worked. Behind the flawless Mozart reciteal you’ll find ten thousand hours of practice. Behind the brilliant Academy Award-winning performance you’ll find weeks of prep, months of shooting, a ton of collaborative assistance, and hundreds of flubs and foul-ups and agonizning not-quite-rights that hit the cutting room floor.
So it is willingness to surrender to the struggle, not talent, that defines an artist. Talent is a concept invented by lazy people to spare themselves the good hard work of growing, co-opted by critics to spare themselves the good hard work of understanding, and seized on by virtually everyone as fodder for their own private insecurities.

Connor Freff Cochran, Keyboard, April 1996 P 140

Reading List

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:45 am

The time has come. J.R.R Tolkien’s Return of the King. Except I’ve got the 1981 edition with the bright red cover. My copy is held together with a liberal amount of, literally, duct tape.
No cheesy Viggo picture for me. Nyah.

November 29, 2003

Birthday Money!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 9:35 pm

I finally got a chance to spend my birthday money this past week. Erin’s mom and my parents gave me some $ this past September. I thought about it for a long time and decided to get one big thing instead of a bunch of little things and I finally decided on this. Gotta love Woodcraft. Very cool tools and knowledgeable people. This is one of those tools that, if you didn’t know what it did, you wouldn’t be able to figure it out just by looking at it. It’s a tenoning jig. It cuts tenons. (laugh). Okay, okay, it does this (hope that pic makes it clearer). It’s one of those tools that makes certain aspects of woodworking MUCH easier, but it’s in the “I really don’t HAVE to have that because I can do the same thing in only 10x the time with a lot more effort and less accuracy” camp. I probably would have stumbled on without it, but thanks to the birthday money, it’s sitting on the table saw right now! Only took me about 2 hours to remove the cosmoline (a nasty gummy protective paste that manufacturers apply to every square inch to keep cast iron from rusting). My hands smell like a machine shop now, and I haven’t tuned and aligned the jig yet (still busy working). But the price was right and I’m really happy I got it. Thanks to mom, dad, and Yvonne!

November 28, 2003


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:53 pm

Erin and I rented and watched Nicholas Cage in Adaptation tonight. What a wild move. You can see a slightly longer review over at moviehead.

November 27, 2003


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:46 am

With a nod to Dave Winer today, I’d like to take a moment to list some of the things I ‘m thankful for:

1. My wonderful wife Erin. I couldn’t ask for a better life partner.
2. Health. We’re both young and healthy. Somehow you never really think about your health until you don’t have it any more. I rarely get sick, but when I do, look out. I try and appreciate it the other 99.9% of the time when I feel good.
3. My job. Sucky parts aside (and even the best job in the world will have them), it’s still the second greatest job I’ve ever had. I get to be creative, work in small teams, compete in a healthy and stimulating way, and be a big part of a 50+ year tradition. And the emotional rewards are enormous. Even though I could make a lot more doing something else, it’s worth it. Money isn’t everything, and the fact that I can set my own hours and work at home is SUCH a blessing. These last 13 years have really spoiled me.
4. Our house. We’ve been here for just over two years. Moved in October 30, 2001. So I guess it’s appropriate that we have Thanksgiving every year just after our move-in anniversary. We get frustrated sometimes because we have yet to put the tile up in the kitchen or paint the bedroom or put up ceiling fans or build that console table or, or, or…. shut up Jason, you have a house already. Thanks.
5. My studio and workshop. I’m very lucky that I have two areas where I can go and be creative; my “recording studio” and my workshop. It’s nice to have these outlets.
6. Parental health. Mom had skin cancer a few years ago and is in remission. Thank God for remission.
7. Our friends: Giles and Jenn, Jan and Kate, Mark and Allison, Danny and Catherine (even though we don’t see them as much as we would like), Patrick and Lydia (ditto), Robert and Amy, Barry and Catherine, Mike and Laura, Scott and Bess, Anne Madison, Mark and Monica, Supper Club folks, the list goes on and on… our lives are richer because of you.
8. Education. I’m grateful we were able to go to a good school and get a good education (I think gooder after college). As great as school was, though, I’m glad it’s behind me. It’s gotten even more expensive! Yikes!
9. Freedom. Thank you to the men and women of the armed forces.
10. Some random things: the Palomar and Hubble telescope, science books, my signed astronaut-on-the-moon pics (Alan Bean, Gene Cernan, Charlie Duke), our library, meteor showers. Faith.

I could go on and on and on. Wow, this was a great exercise. Even if you don’t make it public for everyone to see, consider doing this yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

gobble gobble.

Space Station

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:03 am

The crew aboard the international space station reported hearing a brief metallic crunching noise, but ground-based experts found no evidence of damage. (via cnn)

Cool Words

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:02 am

A cool page of some interesting word facts.

Up YØurs

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:11 am

An open letter to Umlaut.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:05 am

What would be your reaction if I told you there was a bill pending before Congress that would give a certain industry a permanent exemption from anti-trust lawsuits? That protected companies in the industry named in the bill could not, in the future, ever be sued as an illegal trust? Would you be angry that our system is being twisted in such a way as to make it an article of law that lawbreakers could not be sued by those they have wronged? That a law is being introduced that would effectively make it illegal to sue a certain monopolistic cartel, and that the congressperson introducing the bill is receiving campaign contributions from this very cartel? Don’t think this is possible? Think again. What’s wrong with this picture?!?!

November 26, 2003


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 3:17 pm

I treated myself to a little trip Outside this afternoon. Went to the grocery store with Erin (we try and go together, but when I’m busy with Sing and she has time, she sometimes goes herself). It’s the first time I’ve been out of the house since Sunday morning. I’m going to try and make a hole to leave tonight and go hang out at Barnes and Noble or something. We left to get fixings for Thanksgiving tomorrow (turkey, stuffing, mashed taters, etc). We’re not traveling this year, thankfully. Though with my schedule I haven’t had a “real” holiday season bereft of work since college. Ah well, the price I pay for self-employment. I’ll certainly not turn the work away.
My little caffeine experiment is coming along nicely, too. I haven’t had any caffeine since November 8th (almost three weeks ago). The shakes, cravings, and headaches have finally abated. I noticed about two days ago that I hadn’t had any bad cravings for a while. On those mornings when I have to get up early it would be nice to have some Earl Grey (never been a big coffee drinker), but so far those mornings are fairly rare. I’ll probably go back to drinking it in moderation at some point – in fact, I do have a private goal – but for now it’s nice to think that I’m not putting that junk in my body any more. We’re also trying to cut out unhealthy food. I mean, just look at the ingredients on most preprocessed foods! Yikes! And I read an article about how bad partially hydrogenated ingredients (soybean oil, vegetable oils, etc) are for the body. I’ll bet that scientists find they’re a significant source of cancer in our diets in a few years.
Like I said, we’re experimenting.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:07 am

A guidance counselor who has made a fetish of security, or who has unwittingly surrendered his thinking to economic determinism, may steer a youth away from his dream of becoming a poet, an artist, a musician or any other of thousands of things, because it offers no security, it does not pay well, there are no vacancies, it has no “future.
— Henry M. Wriston , President Emeritus, Brown University

Aviation Tomorrow

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:11 am

groan, that sounds like a bad CNN show title. But this article is cool. Thanks to my bro Ross.

Phone Home

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:51 am

After over a year in hiatus, the Seti@home software is running again at the Young household! I had forgotten that I ran Seti and happened across it tonight. Here are my account stats. Now that the 1.25Ghz G4 is up and running, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of turnaround time I get per work unit. I usually leave the thing running 24/7 anyway. Might as well get some work out of those electrons I’m torturing.
Hey, even after a year gone, I’m still in the 95th percentile!
*UPDATE* Cool! I was poking around on the Seti homepage and discovered this. I was an early participant in the project so I got the plain name “Jason” as my account name (not JasonY or JasonD or anything), so I’m sure this is me. According to this, my humble effort has been responsible for two of their candidate signals. They’ll probably toss mine out as they’ve discovered several billion possibles, but it’s still neat to consider….

The Last Days of Tivo?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:33 am

Wherein Erick Schonfeld and the Business 2.0 team discuss possible business suitors for the “beleaguered” company. (Among them another oft-reported beleaguered company). Watch Patrick’s head explode if this happens.

November 25, 2003

Moving Mars

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 6:17 pm

Just finished Greg Bear’s moving novel “Moving Mars”. It’s everything a good novel should be: distracting (haven’t gotten as much done as I should have), inventive, thought-provoking, emotional, and immensely fun. What a good time.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:44 pm

Ode to a Great Library

This is a forest ever green,
A wood no killing frost can ever bare;
These leaves may fade, but in between
The life is there.

This is a graveyard, but instead
Of death, it’s life, to seeing eyes;
When hands unclose these tombs, the dead
In glory rise.

This is a journey; from this door
Lead many roads with many inns;
Each yields, in measure, joy before
The next begins.

This is a battleground, and grand;
The mighty strive to win the Field;
And much depends on who shall stand
And who shall yield.

This is a city that will last
Until the time when time is gone;
No bodies die until they’ve passed
Their own seed on.

This is a light, a gift of Love
Who bids us learn, that we may see,
Until there dawns the clear light of

The Microsoft Compatible Tablesaw

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 12:28 pm

Mixing two of my interests, woodworking and computers.

Black Hole

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:58 am

Scientists have concluded some recent study on the black hole in the center of our galaxy. Called “Sagitarrius A”, this monster is approx 26,000 light years away and about 2.6 million times as massive as our sun. The event horizon is approx 10x smaller than the diameter of Earth’s orbit. The object itself, of course, is infinitely small (there’s a paradox for ya: 2.6 million times as massive, but infinitely small!!).
On a related note, Erin is reading Richard Preston’s “First Light” (recently re-issued!), a fantastic, fascinating look into Astronomy and the scientists who have devoted their lives to it. I’m really glad Erin is reading this book. It’s spawning some very long and entertaining conversations.
If you’re even remotely interested in science or astronomy, this is the book to read. Close second: Michael Lemonick’s “The Light at the Edge of the Universe”.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:45 am

The British Concorde arrived today by boat in New York Harbor.


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:38 am

Anyone want a McCurry?

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