Thursday, November 02, 2006

Check me at Vox

In my relentless pursuit of novelty, I've created a new blog at Vox, which is where my new posts seem to be going.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What be your pirate name matey?

In honor of international talk like a pirate day, you can learn to talk like a pirate here, and learn your pirate name by filling out a short questionnaire.

My pirate name is:

Captain Roger Rackham

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Week in Review

Well, not a bad week after all.

Ainsley had her 4 week doctor's appointment. She's doing great, and now weighs 7 pounds, 14 ounces. Which means she put on 1 pound, 11 ounces in 2 weeks.

Bob, Rod, Milan (my Sox auditor) and myself got together for beer and appetizers at the Fault Line. Milan had to leave early (something about his wife being hungry) but a good time was had by all. I tried the Cask Conditioned, the Best Bitters, and the Stout and quite enjoyed them all. The tempura Ahi Tuna Rolls are most excellent, and the Calamari (something I don't usually go in for) was actually quite nice.
With all the trash talking, objectification of women, and general bad behaviour, I'm afraid it was a bit like a 3 hour Man Show (Milan excepted.)

My Sox audit went as well as can be expected, and although I have quite a to-do list, Milan was (as always) entirely reasonable, pragmatic, and not one bit pedantic.

Despite no longer working with Bob, I think I had lunch with him 3 times since the layoff. I expect this will drop off once he quits his lollygagging and obtains gainful employment once again.

The Girl with Error Message Eyes

Saw this on Boing Boing

Intriguing example of accidental art / social commentary.
Apparently due to systems problems on Second Life, the textures for this models eyes are missing, and have been substituted with error messages.

It does seem that Second Life (and to a lesser extent the entire MMORG trend) are really beginning to resemble the virtual worlds written about by authors such as William Gibson.

I'm going to have to check out second life. Seems like a virtual Burning Man meets the Sims.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Wake me when it's all over

What a tiring weekend.
I'm writing this from the CalTrain, and struggling to stay awake.

Saturday we had a very nice 4th birthday party for Shealyn, my second child. She asked for a party at the park with her friends and to have a rainbow cake. She had both, although my wife and I were up until midnight frosting a rainbow on her cake. Anyway, a nice time was had by all and the party lasted almost 4 hours.

Sunday we were out and about with the visiting in-laws. They took Shea shopping at Toys R' Us for her birthday presents, and there was 1.5 hours of her exclaiming "Oh! Look at that!" in her sweet little voice. Several barbies and pegasus stuffed animals later and she was completely overwhelmed.

We finished off the evening with a nice dinner (and margaritas) at Left at Albuquerque.

Today is my birthday, and as a birthday present I have a Sox (Sarbanes Oxley for the blissfully unaware) Auditor in this whole week. Our auditor is a really nice guy, but when you are as behind as I am on compliance, it's a bit painful to see it all documented for managements review.

So, I think I'll just go to sleep on the train. Will someone please wake me when the week is over?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bye Bye Bob.

Well, my close friend Bob (link) was laid off yesterday at our company.
He wasn't alone, as his boss and some European staff went as well.

I'm in the IT department, and had the unpleasant responsibility of shutting down his accounts and network access. I know I'm just doing my job, but it's tough.

Bob and I have been working together for 13 years, and it's certainly going to be strange not having him there to discuss movies, music, social issues, systems design, business process, symantics, and generally fixing all the problems of the world.

Also, without Bob's regular correction, I'm afraid my grammer is going to steadily devolve <g>.

Good luck Bob!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Frickin' Radiator!

While driving into work this morning, my dashboard suddenly lit up like a Christmas tree. Seemed odd, but the car was running just fine.
I figured I had developed an electrical short, that is, until I hit a red light and saw that the cars thermostat was similarly in the red.

I managed to nurse the car into work, where upon popping the hood I could see water dripping from the top tank and could hear the radiator boiling away like a percolator.

I don't think I really want to try to get the car the 32 miles back to Morgan Hill to have my local shop look at it.

I guess I need to find a Sunnyvale shop.

Monday, August 28, 2006

PicasaWeb Test

I'm also trying out Google's PicasaWeb. There is no question that Picasa is one of the best local photo managers, but the 250MB limit on PicasaWeb seems a bit stingy (especially considering the 2G Gmail limit.)

Check out PicasaWeb and Flickr and let me know which you like best.

Here is the Glass Beach album.

Glass Beach
Sep 10, 2005 - 34 Photos

Amazon S3

Spent time over the weekend reading up on Amazon's new(ish) S3 (Simple Storage Service.)
Basically it's web based storage priced at $.15 / Gigabyte Month and $.20 / Gigabyte bandwidth. It's only accessible via their APIs (SOAP and REST) but a number of front ends have been created (including the S3Organizer Firefox extension.)

I think this as potential as storage and processing for the PACT project at work. I was able to create a proof of concept script that uploads files via http using the curl utility. I think this could replace the Autosubmit via ftp logic.

S3 combines very nicely with the new Amazon EC2 (Elastic Computing Cloud) service that just went into beta. It basically allows you to have on-demand computing (ala Sun Grid) for Linux systems. Storage is provided via S3 and computing is prices at $.10 / hour.

EC2 might be a solution for our data processing and analysis needs. We currently run some fairly heavy hitting (especially in memory use) R scripts to analyze the data and generate html based reports. The EC2 hosted systems could do the analysis and web serving.

Happy Birthday Honey

Had an early celebration of Camille's birthday with the in-laws (brother, father, mother, sister) yesterday at PF Changs Oakridge.

The food was good, and the children (all 5) were on pretty good behaviour.

Cindy brought a delicious cake from the Buttery. I can highly recommend them.

Bella and and especially Shea were dissapointed that the carousel was closed for repairs.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Finally decided to do something with the Flickr account I created months ago.
I've uploaded pictures from Disneyland (last year) and Mendecino.
Follow the "Flickr photos" link in the right side-bar to see them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Inaugural Posting

First blog posting...

I'm happy to announce the birth of my new baby girl Ainsley Rane Williams on August 20 at 11:37 AM.

She was 3 weeks early (but still full-term, I can't really figure out all this pre/full term stuff) and was 5 lbs 15 oz and 19 inches long at birth.

She and mom are doing fine. She was born naturally but her mom was up and around two hours after the birth. She's an amazing woman.

Ainsley had a touch of jaundice and she had to go through 3 blood tests (poor thing) to check her bilirubin levels, but all is improving now.