The Big Think

March 31, 2011

Anniversary

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 11:31 pm

Ten years ago today (April 1st, 2001) Erin and I packed all of our stuff into a U-haul, bid goodbye to our college town, and moved ourselves to Austin. I vividly remember driving that giant truck out of town and thinking this is it, this is everything we own. We could go anywhere right now. What a feeling! Over the next day with the help of several good friends and family we would move into our new apartment, unpack our things, and start the process of putting down roots in a new place. I can clearly remember lying in bed that night surrounded by boxes thinking was this the right thing to do? Can we make it work? What if it’s a huge mistake? There were moments of fear, and to be honest, a few tears of uncertainty, but we had made a definite decision and the only way out was forward.

Over the next seven months we got used to Austin, figured out how to make our job situation work, bought our first house and watched it be built, then moved in the night before Halloween 2001. We had the scary experience of qualifying for our first mortgage loan in the confusion just after 9/11 when nobody knew what was going to happen to the economy, and I had the job of reforming my Sing duties to take into account a 90 mile commute. Since then we’ve repainted the house, bought cars, watched the oak trees mature and the grass grow (and die, and grow, and be replanted, and die again), traveled thousands of miles on I-35 to our respective jobs, made new friends, said goodbye to them as they left on their own adventures, and put down our own roots in what we have come to think of as our hometown.

I’ll always remember what it was like to stretch out from our old place and deliberately break those cords. How there was nothing pulling us- no new job or obvious opportunity- and how there was nothing pushing us- no job loss or uncertainty. We had just decided that it was time to go. And so we went. Not far, certainly, but far enough to feel like we were two young married people making our decision for ourselves. It may seem small but it remains one of the scariest and proudest things I’ve ever done. And I’ve jumped out of airplanes.

Austin is home now, and I couldn’t imagine a better place to live (well, okay, if it had mountains and was actually cold for more than two weeks of the year, but life ain’t perfect. Also snow.). But we love this city and feel like we belong here. We’ve trod the road not taken in a lot of ways and we’re unrepentantly happy with the lives we have.

Here’s to another wonderful decade adventuring through life with my best friend. May the next ten find us as blessed and happy as the last.

World Backup Day

Filed under: Apple,Mac OS X Problems,Macintosh,Technology — jasony @ 11:12 pm

Today is World Backup Day. How ironic that the hard drive in Erin’s iMac just died! Good thing we’ve got Time Machine on it. Now we get to see how well it works.

We’re probably going to spring for professional installation of the new hard drive. I’ve looked up the directions to replacing the HD in her model of iMac and, wow, yeah… not going there. Better to pay somebody else the money to do it professionally. I trust my mad screwdriver skillz, but one slip up and we’re buying a whole new machine. No thanks.

Have you backed up your data lately? I just got a second 2TB hard drive to go with my first one and everything is backed up six ways from Sunday, so I think I’m covered. Still… wouldn’t hurt to burn the Quicken data to CD again, would it?

Atomic Trucker

Filed under: Hobbies,Science — jasony @ 10:39 pm

Atomic Trucker: How a Truck Driver rebuilt the Atomic Bomb. “”

Twenty Minutes

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 2:54 pm

If you have twenty minutes, I’d like to make your day. Go shut the door, put on headphones, close your eyes, and listen to this. Don’t read what it’s about or any of the comments- just listen.

March 28, 2011

Entitled

Filed under: Education — jasony @ 3:32 pm

Increasingly, students seem not to realize what a college degree, especially a graduate degree, tells the world about one’s abilities and competence. They have no clue what is expected of them at the higher levels of academic discourse and what will be expected of them in the workplace. Having passed through a deeply flawed education system in which no one is paying attention to critical thinking and writing skills, they just want to know what they have to do to make their teachers tick the box that says “pass.” After all, that’s what all their other teachers have done. (Let the next guy worry about it.)

More here about the sad state of higher education.

March 26, 2011

Old People

Filed under: Education — jasony @ 9:20 pm

Go Baylor!

Baylor University geology researchers, along with scientists from Texas A&M University and around the country, have found the oldest archaeological evidence of human occupation in the Americas at a Central Texas archaeological site located about 40 miles northwest of Austin.

Full story.

March 25, 2011

iPad!

Filed under: Apple — jasony @ 1:59 pm

Well, we did it. Finally got an iPad. We both really wanted the iPad 2, but Verizon was blowing out gen 1 iPads for almost half price, so with that incentive we went out and got the last 32gb model available in central Texas. It’s sitting here on the desk updating and downloading. Preeeetttyyy…

We’d have loved the camera, but basically saved $300+ just by opting for the 1st generation. It was a really great deal and let us take advantage of a box of goodies that was just sent by a very cool (but shall remain anonymous) friend. Thanks, friend!

Can’t wait to download the Logic controller app for this thing. That way I can justify its purchase as a business expense. Right? Right? 🙂

March 24, 2011

Fish House

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:19 pm

Fish fan Jack Heathcote turns cellar into Britain’s biggest home aquarium “”

Winners

Filed under: Audio,Movies — jasony @ 3:39 pm

Congratulations to Paradise Recovered and Storme Wood for clinching the 2011 Best Film and Best Director award!

March 21, 2011

Concealed Carry

Filed under: Education,Politics — jasony @ 2:09 pm

Campus concealed carry bill no laughing matter – San Antonio Express-News: “Today, one Texan out of every 55 is licensed to ‘pack heat’ in such seemingly taboo locations as churches, movie theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, banks and even the Texas Capitol. Yet, a Texan is 20 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed by a concealed handgun license holder.

The 71 U.S. college campuses that currently allow licensed concealed carry have yet to see a single resulting incident of gun violence (including threats and suicides), a single resulting gun accident or a single resulting gun theft.”

Texas is currently deciding whether or not to allow college students of legal age to carry concealed (with proper permitting) in certain campus spaces. While I understand and sympathize with both sides of the issue, I didn’t know the above statistics. They certainly shed some light on the issue. Still not sure how I feel about it (I have a lot of friends who are teachers at Baylor U), but it’s nice to know that history has shown that concealed permitting isn’t going to turn campuses into shooting ranges.

The spheres of the music – Roger Ebert’s Journal

Filed under: Movies,Music — jasony @ 1:19 pm

The spheres of the music – Roger Ebert’s Journal: “I wrote a blog not long ago about drawing, and how when you begin to sketch you fall into the ‘zone’ and lose track of time. I have never been a musician, but I suspect they’re familiar with the Zone. To become such a superb musician that you can play for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra means you have a oneness with your instrument. You desire, it responds. Technique is not thought about consciously. The music flows from the mind of the composer through you to minds of the listeners. The conductor is the means of gathering this process and offering it. To be part of a symphony orchestra must provide a mighty emotion, a great elevation. I imagine musicians must certainly lose track of time.

A symphony orchestra is a pinnacle of civilization. Mankind has brought forth music, found ways to notate it, devised instruments to give it sound, and found notes to express the voices of those instruments. The existence of an orchestra gives composers a meta-instrument on which their imaginations can play. Musicians at the level of the CSO must prepare themselves for a lifetime, again every day. They must have a vision of the Ideal, of the union of music, composition, instruments and listeners. They must sometimes be very happy.

This is not true only of the members of a symphony orchestra. I have known many musicians pretty well. Folk singers. Guitarists. Vocalists. Pianists. Jazz musicians. The good ones seem happy. Stories of tormented musicians are part of our folklore, but I have never to my knowledge seen a musician who was unhappy during the act of performance, and I have a pretty good eye for such things. They say we only use a small percentage of our human minds. I believe music has its best existence in those parts we do not otherwise employ. “

(Via .)

March 20, 2011

Use the Force, Luke

Filed under: Travel — jasony @ 7:29 pm

Yesterday Erin, Katie, and I went on a 90 minute flight to the glaciers north of Anchorage with a family friend. At one point John (the pilot) took us into a long swooping dive toward a mountain (it’s okay, mom and dad, he’s a professional pilot for Fedex). We dropped down into a trench next to the glacier and proceeded to reenact the Death Star trench run from Star Wars at 160mph. We were probably 100 feet off the ground and a hundred or so from the walls of the glacier. Stunning (as you can see from Erin’s face here). I’ll post more pics and videos later, but I had to share this one.

Hangar Home

Filed under: Maker — jasony @ 6:13 pm

Ultimate Hangar Home

Hulk Out

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 8:44 am

Radiation dose chart.

March 17, 2011

LCD’s

Filed under: Education,Technology — jasony @ 1:34 pm

My View

Filed under: Travel — jasony @ 11:54 am

The view out the back window right now.

Photo on 2011-03-17 at 09.52.jpg

March 14, 2011

How D&D Changed My Life

Filed under: Disclosure,Games,Hobbies — jasony @ 7:27 pm

Great article about the too-seldom discussed benefits of D&D. I love living in a world where the nerds and geeks ultimately won. Excelsior!

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 12:38 pm

“There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will”.
Hamlet

Mary Maker

Filed under: Hobbies,Maker — jasony @ 1:48 am

March 13, 2011

TekShop San Francisco

Filed under: Maker — jasony @ 1:23 pm

Very, very cool. I’m going to name my shop “The Possibility Engine”.
One coming to Austin? Seems that way by the comments.

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