Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bikin' Thru Da Hood

Today Jennifer and I did a quick jaunt south along the SF Bay Trail.

South means we went on Shellmound to Mandela Parkway, then turned on 8th (big time in the Hood), and then Wood to 7th.

I think on of the busiest intersections in teh Bay Area is Martime and 7th. For one light cycle (no, not that kind of light cycle) there had to have been 40 trucks that went through. Then we continued on 7th into the Port of Oakland. It's really quite the experience.

We were pretty close to a lot of the big container loading cranes, but no one was working near where we were.

There's a little Park called the Middle Harbor Shoreline Park there, and it has a great lookout tower (with facilities), and then a further point where we watched some tugboats and some water birds.

We felt like we were as far west as Yerba Buena and Treasure Island, but I think that was just an illusion.

All told, about 13 miles, so a nice burst of exercise.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Today I was reading my Facebook news feed, and I came across a post for Mythbusters.

Tomorrow's episode features the build-team (Tory, Kari, and Grant) are testing a myth of Dynamite Axe.

If you read that too fast in your head, and happen to be a big Legion of Super-Heroes fan, do you know what you get?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Internet, I Haz It!

Well, after close to 8 weeks without Internet, we are now up and running.

After Comcast told us their unwillingness to work with us, the sales guy I was working with referred me to a guy working with ClearWire. ClearWire is a 4G wireless Internet network. They started in southern California, and have been spreading north.

The representative I spoke to is in San Jose, and is right near a tower getting great speeds. He said the average speeds are 10 Mbps, and once I have this announcement out, I'll be checking some speeds.

Plus, it's a WiFi enabled modem, so I've got the printer and the externals to setup on the new network. And then I can get the SlingBox from Dish network going, and the Blu-Ray on the network, and we can get back to streaming our shows too.

If you are needing better Internet coverage, and want to save some money too, send me an e-mail, and I'll hook you up with the ClearWire representative's number.

I want this thing to grow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Here is an amazing video of the growth and change of a sunspot cluster. It's taken over the course of two weeks which is one half of a full rotation of the sun. And it's all from convection in the solar material, and the moving and shifting of the sun's magnetic field.

I got the link from good ol' Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Internet Soon

So I found out yesterday that Comcast claims it will take $50,000 worth of work to bring a cable to our building. Because of that cost, they want our landlord to split the cost with them. Understandably, he has refused.

So I got a referral to another company that supplies Internet access over a 4G network. All it needs is a modem; no cable or phone line is required. The modem should arrive Thursday or Friday.

If it works out as well as advertised, then I will pass on the good news and contact information.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Today Jennifer and I took another long bike ride along the San Francisco Bay Trail.

yesterday we were at the Costco in Richmond and noticed the bike trail that we though had ended in El Cerrito, was continuing on. So on our drive back, we watched where it went, and then decided we would ride as far as Costco today.

We ended up going a little farther.

We ended up going as far as the Boiler House restaurant. Sticking to the trail\, we ended up going about 27.5 miles, round trip.

We were glad for the elevator when we got home, that's for sure.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Saying Good-Bye

Last night I finished I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett. It is his latest book in the Discworld and I get the feeling he is working to say goodbye to his characters as well as his readers.

Diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2010, Pratchett has curtailed a lot of his traveling and interviews. He has donated lots of money to Alzheimer's research as well the protection of orangutans (as one of his recurring characters is a man who was transformed into one).

In this fourth book in the Tiffany Aching arc, Tiffany travels to the city of Ankh-Morpork for part of the book, and meets a few other recurring characters from the Discworld. And one other character she meets has only appeared once before, and it's one that I as well as many other readers have always wondered about. What happened to her?

Now we know.

And with other things mentioned, I feel Pratchett is doing his best to wrap up loose ends, move bits of continuity along, and prepare to close the door on his universe. And I for one hope that he gets the opportunity to finish his work.

There are many authors out there who have died and left their works unfinished or open to interpretation.

The first posthumous speculation I ever read was Fuzzy Bones by William Tuning which continued the story about Fuzzies introduced by H. Beam Piper. Then I found the true lost sequel written by Piper that was found after his suicide.

I've read the Dune sequels and prequels and will read the "inter-quels" as they come out. Written based on notes and manuscripts by Frank Herbert, these books are written by Herbert's son Brian and Kevin J. Anderson. Now while I enjoy the books and knowing the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey used to say), they don't have the same gripping story as Frank Herbert would have written them.

Another person carrying on from a passed writer based on notes left behind is Brandon Sanderson working to complete Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I've enjoyed Sanderson's stories, mostly because he is closing the story and moving the plot along. Jordan had found a cash cow and said a few years before he dies that he intended to write until he died and for someone else to complete his story for him.

Then there is the sixth book in Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers' series ... And Another Thing by Eion Colfer. I read this one, and it was severely lacking in the Adams' touch.

And finally there are the Amber prequels written by John Gregory Betancourt. I can't even bring myself to read them. The Amber Chronicles by Roger Zelazny are some of my favorite stories, and I don't want anyone's speculations to mess with the memories I have of them.

So I thank Pratchett for his wonderful world, and wish him continued strength in his life, but hope that he has time to finish his works.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Job Hunt

Yesterday, I wrote to one of the companies I had interviewed with. The one that I had gone back to for a writing test/example. They had said they should get back to me by the end of the week. In response, I was told that I was overqualified for the staff position (I knew that), but was told that the hiring decision for the senior project position was on hold for another 2 to 3 weeks.


No news otherwise. I've applied for 3 jobs today. One I had applied to in January, and again in February. I can tell by the company's job number. Maybe if I keep applying to them they'll at least give a "no". In going on 10 weeks of applying for work, I have received to rejections after applying. The only rejections have been after the interviews. And one from a headhunter.

Apparently, companies are being so cowardly that they don't want to hurt peoples' feelings so they are just not responding negatively to applicants, feeling that no response is "kinder" than a rejection.

Once again I wish had saved all of the rejection postcards and letters I collected in '94 and '95 and then again in '98. At least then I knew for sure that people were at least reading the resumes. Or possibly just seeing that they existed. I feel like a sub-atomic particle. I don't exist unless some HR person acknowledges me.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

An Explanation

So yesterday's post title needs explanation.

Normally I only breathe through one nostril. It's strange but true. I've been given suggestions to overcome it, but the tricks don't work. However when I'm working out or exerting myself like on a bike, the other one opens up. The first time I noticed it, I was pretty amazed. It's probably one of the things that keeps me going back to the gym.

Friday, April 01, 2011

My Life is One Nostril at a Time

Well, here it is 4:30 and I still don't know about my future Internet connection. Jennifer and I took a long bike ride today, and I hoped that at some time I would get a call from Comcast. I called them today when we got home at 4:00, and the guy said that he had to talk to somebody. I just sat in silence, and he said,, "I can talk to him now if you'd like." I said yes, and he said he'd get back to me. I guess I'm the bad guy for wanting this guy to actually do his job. But as for the bike ride, Jennifer and I had a great time. We went to Subway on our way out and got sandwiches for lunch. We rode to the Berkeley Aquatic Park, and took the Pedestrian Overpass at University Avenue. Then we rode along the San Francisco Bay Trail all the way to the Albany Waterfront, and enjoyed our sandwiches. Then we rode back past University Avenue, and went down to the Powell Street peninsula, and looped around it, and then stopped at Chevy's for chips and salsa, margaritas, and spicy wings. Then we rode back along the trail to the pedestrian overpass, and rode home. All told (if I'm getting the Google maps bike route correct with adjusted waypoints) we did about 21 miles. Also still no word from either Ninyo & Moore or Stellar Environmental. I'll give them calls on Monday if I don't receive letters in the mail on Saturday.

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