The Big Think

May 30, 2005


Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 4:03 pm

Big news this past week. Erin and I have been looking for an excuse to go back up to Colorado this summer to do some hiking and hang in the mountains, but didn’t know if we could take another vacation so soon after going to Cincinnati over Spring break. We also went to Winfield for a memorable backpacking trip about 10 months ago, so we’ve vacationed for 22 days in the last 10 months. Not too bad by non-European standards (the average European travels something like two months every year). But after looking at time and budgets, we were probably going to stay home this summer.


Last week I got a call from a friend of mine who is a filmmaker. He had to turn down a job because of family commitments and recommended me for the gig. What a guy!
After interviewing with the people involved, I got the job! It’s through the Dallas Young Life office (national HQ, I think). They have a family camp in Colorado called Trail West. Y.L. has raised some money to send soldiers just back from Iraq on vacation with their families. In some cases, both mom and dad have been gone and it’s the first time in a year that they’ve spent with their families. In a few instances, it’s the very first vacation that the family has ever taken. Y.L is sending 30 families to Trail West to hang out for a week and reconnect with each other. There will be horseback riding, hiking, rafting (at Noah’s where we worked a decade ago), family time, etc.

My job will be to follow four or five of the families around for the week, filming them as they have fun during the day and interviewing them in the off-time. Then edit together a 5-7 minute short to use as a sort of “thank-you” to the people who donated money to make it possible. Young Life also may use it as a tool to do some fundraising for the future. Here’s another huge thing: the folks involved have encouraged Erin to go along. They want to make it a good time for the filmmaker as well. 🙂 She has rescheduled her classes and shuffled some things around and she’s really looking forward to the trip.

I have tremendous respect for the military and am really excited about this project. It’s the kind of thing that I’d love to do because it’s for a good cause among good people, but the fact that they are willing to pay me to do it is icing on the cake. A big fat, thick, tasty and much appreciated hunk of icing. 🙂

Oh, and the blessing of having an out-of-the-blue trip to Colorado fall into my lap, in the exact area that we had wanted to go, at the exact time of year, hasn’t gone unrecognized. Funny how God works, no?

May 27, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 3:23 pm

Bill Whittle, one of the finest writers online today, posts another excellent essay. Sanctuary.

May 26, 2005

Sorry for the Server Outages

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 9:56 am

The “service” Time-Warner purports to deliver is really starting to tick me off. My traffic, which I had worked to increase to 1000 hits per month, has started to taper off again as the site has become less and less reachable.

It seems Time-Warner’s Road Runner service is only working about half the time at Giles’ place. Since he (graciously) hosts this blog on his server there, that means we can only access it when it decides to work. We haven’t been able to identify the problem, and Giles is considering a rather dramatic switch, but there’s no word on when yet as he’s pretty busy at work.

Until then, I just have to say I’m sorry to everyone who gets a busy signal. I tend to get them about 50% of the time, and it’s downright aggravating when I try and make a new post. Sometimes I have to make the attempt a half-dozen times before it goes through. Like now. Argh.

I don’t want to curtail my posting… I really don’t. But if I can’t post and you can’t read it, there’s not much reason for either of us to be here, no?

Sorry to vent, but I’m back to feeling helpless. Stupid Road Runner.

(oh great… when I tried to post this, MarsEdit showed that it posted, but it never showed up on the Blog. this is getting silly)

Intel Chief: Buy a Mac

Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 9:55 am

“Pressed about security by Mr. Mossberg, Mr. Otellini [New CEO of Intel] had a startling confession: He spends an hour a weekend removing spyware from his daughter’s computer. And when further pressed about whether a mainstream computer user in search of immediate safety from security woes ought to buy Apple Computer Inc.’s Macintosh instead of a Wintel PC, he said, ‘If you want to fix it tomorrow, maybe you should buy something else.'”

(and maybe you should consider something other than Road Runner too… this is my FOURTH ATTEMPT to post this. Dang)


Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 9:31 am

This is my first rant written on a Mac. Ever.
Maybe I should have done it a long time ago, but I never said I was smart; just obstinate.

Here’s the deal. “I’m Mad! And I’m not going to take it anymore.” Of course I am talking about the WinTel world. Before anyone in Redmond or Inteland freak out… well maybe you should. I have had it.

Things used to work.

And this is exactly why I am coming to subscribe to the view that indeed, the WinTel hegemony is a threat to the national economic security of any organization or nation-state that relies up it.

In the coming weeks I am going to keep a diary of an experiment that I began in my company at 6PM GMT-5, April 29, 2005.

An experiment predicated upon an hypothesis that the WinTel platform represents the greatest violation of the basic tenets of information security and has become, indeed, a national economic security risk.

Read the whole thing here.

May 25, 2005


Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 8:10 pm


Thanks to Tim P-R!

… and all of his friends may come back.

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 11:14 am

The American chestnut, prized for its timber and its crop of glossy dark nuts, once dominated Eastern forests from Maine to Georgia. The graceful trees were virtually wiped out by blight starting at the turn of the 20th century.

That loss, Case said, “was the greatest environmental disaster in the Western Hemisphere since the Ice Age.”

Now, after years of breeding, cloning and crossbreeding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is ready to reintroduce disease-resistant chestnuts to Eastern forests next year.

I’ve seen pictures from the era of the giant chestnut trees. Truly amazing, gigantic towers. It was a real loss to the country when they were destroyed. Imagine if the eagle, or better yet, the commonly seen hawk, suddenly vanished. I’m glad they’re reintroducing these arboreal monoliths. At least some generation 200 years from now will be able to enjoy them again.


Over the Top

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:18 am

Excellent… deodorant commercial?

May 24, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 11:23 am

Roomba getting lonely? iRobot now has the Scooba– the world’s first automatic robotic floor mopper/cleaner. Who knows? Get your Roomba and your Scooba together, and you may never have to mow your lawn again.
Speaking of the robomower, I’ve had it for, oh, about six months now, and the lawn season is officially on us. I’ve put it out a dozen or so times and it truly does what they claim. It mows the lawn for me. All I have to do every few days is carry (or drive) the thing from the garage to the backyard and hit a button. A few hours later, I park it back in the garage. My lawn gets mowed and I spend maybe five minutes moving the thing around. Amazing.
I’ve had to tweak the yard a few times in order to keep the mower from getting caught in the narrow ditch that is caused by rain runoff from our roof (we don’t have gutters). A couple bags of .98 cent dirt from Lowes and some water nicely leveled the trouble spots.
The robomower has become for us the epitome of revolutionary technology: something amazing that changes our lives in some small way that we and up taking for granted. Just the way it should be.

In the year 2000

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 11:04 am

Conan O’brien on the Future of Television.

…These stunning technological leaps will mean a demand for even more programming. Nostalgia shows like VH1’s “I Love the ’80s” and “I Love the ’90s” will be forced to multiply, resulting in the smash hit “I Love That Thing That Happened Five Minutes Ago”


Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 10:52 am

The Parade of Unfortunate Star Wars costumes. ha!

May 23, 2005


Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 10:03 pm

Wow, these folks turn out some professional looking costumes for a bunch of amateurs.

And while you’re at it, don’t miss shots of Red 5.


Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 10:37 am

A wicked Wiki Widget\ for Tiger.
(Server acting up again… 6 attempts to post this failed. Sorry!)


Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 10:37 am

Nonliteral (sorry, no permalink) reports that the Sci Fi Channel will air all 15 episodes (in order!) of the cult hit Firefly starting July 22.

May 22, 2005

The Picture of Everything

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 2:53 pm

Don’t miss Howard Hallis’ “The Picture of Everything“. Zoom in and scroll around. That’s really amazing.

May 21, 2005

Christmas Comes Early!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:30 am

Or at least the music does. Erin’s downstairs running through potential songs for students on the piano… Christmas songs. Kinda weird to hear holly-music this time of year, but unexpectedly nice.

May 20, 2005


Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:50 am

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Dominican man living in Puerto Rico rolled a 62-foot-long cigar earlier this year and now it’s been declared the world biggest.
Patricio Pena’s 20-pound stogie, rolled at a vegetable market in Puerto Rico’s capital, easily beat the previous world record of 45 feet.

read more here.
Up for a challenge Barry?

May 18, 2005


Filed under: Macintosh — jasony @ 1:43 pm

One of the great new features of Tiger is “Automator“, a way to automate repetitive tasks that’s more user-friendly than Applescript.

Here’s what I need to do:

once I select multiple .aif files on my desktop, Automator will

1. import them into iTunes
2. convert them to MP3 (I don’t mind setting the bitrate in iTunes manually)
3. move the converted files to the desktop
4. delete the original .aif files

Seems like a brain-dead simple task to do with Automator, since Apple shows it doing much more complicated tasks, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how. The iTunes library of tasks in Automator seems way to simple for this kind of things.

Sure, I could do it manually in iTunes, but this seems like it’s exactly the kind of job Apple created Automator for. I must be missing something.

I’ll poke around online to see if I can find anything.


Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 12:19 pm

New Strongbad Email is up. I regret no stnanks!

PS3 vs Xbox Redux

Filed under: Games — jasony @ 10:42 am

A good rundown of the comparisons between the new machines.

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