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Archive for March, 2007

Vienna Teng Green Caravan Tour, Day 4

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(Cross-country drive with Vienna Teng) Departure from North Platte, Nebraska: 9:20AM Arrival in Naperville, Illinois: 9:45PM

I had my first Cracker Barrel experience. I ate trout. Vienna is now called “Stormbringer” because every time she sits down in the driver’s seat, the clouds roll in.

Video follows… (read more »)

Naperville, IL | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Mar 31, 2007 01:05:13

Vote Caroline for Turbotax queen!

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Caroline has submitted a short video to a TurboTax/Vanilla Ice rap contest (uh… whut?). You should vote for her because she is awesome and has NO inhibitions. :) She writes:

Watch my 2-minute video where I make a total fool out of myself. Yes, it’s a rap video. Where I had to make my own music, my own lyrics, and video. About TurboTax software. Who has hired Vanilla Ice as their spokesman for the contest. Not sure how much more bizarre it could be, but here it is! http://www.youtube.com/contest/TheTaxRap?goto=287
Naperville, IL | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Mar 31, 2007 01:02:44

Vienna Teng Green Caravan Tour, Day 3

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(Cross-country drive with Vienna Teng) It’s 2:35AM, and Vienna is sitting behind the wheel driving the final hour to North Platte, Nebraska. With Thelonious on my lap (he makes a great heat shield — this computer gets hot!), I am attempting to upload day 3′s movie (30MB) while we cruise at 70MPH.

Because most of the highways in Wyoming were closed due to a snow storm, we were forced to take a southern detour and ended up in Denver for a late dinner with Eric Miller and Alex King. We ate at a wanna-be fancy restaurant called Rioja, where they scoffed at Eric’s request for a glass of house red and gave Vienna and me attitude for trying to help the water guy by moving our glasses. Our server came by and asked, “is everything wonderful?” We didn’t answer (everything was not wonderful). Later on in the evening, she asked, “is everything still wonderful?” I had to try really hard not to burst out laughing. What a stupid question!

The company was certainly the highlight of the evening; we reluctantly parted ways a couple hours later and resumed our drive to Nebraska.

Departure from Logan, Utah: 10:00AM Arrival in Denver, Colorado: 9:45PM Arrival in North Platte, Nebraska: 4:10AM

Day 3′s video: (read more »)

70 MPH in Nebraska | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Mar 30, 2007 02:02:44

Wyoming is closed!

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We seem to be about half a day behind a huge storm. Wyoming is closed, so we are going to have to make a big detour south into Colorado.

Somewhere in Utah | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Mar 29, 2007 10:25:40

Vienna Teng Green Caravan Tour, Day 2

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(Cross-country drive with Vienna Teng) After arriving in Reno at around 3am last night, we slept in and got off to a late start to Logan, Utah. Nothing much happened today; we made it to Logan without much incident and spent the evening hanging out with Lorien and her roommate, Kirsten. We’re supposed to be up and out the door in just 5 hours. Wish us luck. :)

As promised, here’s the movie for day 2. (read more »)

Logan, Utah | link | trackb | 11 comments » | Mar 29, 2007 01:15:55

Vienna Teng Green Caravan Tour, Day 1

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Here’s a video I made documenting day 1 of a trip across the country with Vienna Teng. I’ll try to crank one of these out every day, if possible. (read more »)

Reno, NV | link | trackb | 10 comments » | Mar 28, 2007 11:18:40

Driving across America with Vienna Teng

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The Green Caravan Tour Cross-Country Drive 2007: I’m in a moving van (a van that is moving, that is) on I-80 E with Vienna Teng. We’re starting a drive across the country from San Francisco to New York City, and I plan to make a short video each day to document our 6-day journey.

Mary Lynn Price has graciously lent me her EV-DO express card, so we’ll be wired during times when we are not on roads between places. Having internet access in a car is so novel!

Continue reading for a link to all videos… (read more »)

I-80 near Vacaville | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Mar 27, 2007 23:34:45

“You’re a hard guy to get ahold of”

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Yeah, it’s true. So you e-mailed me once a few months ago, and I never wrote back. But was it important? Are you sure I received your e-mail? Did you emphasize in the text that it was time-sensitive? Did you write again to follow up? Did you try using THE PHONE? Do I even know you?

Here’s how it usually happens:

  1. someone writes me an e-mail
  2. 2 months pass. there are no more attempts to contact me.
  3. i write back, as i try to clear out my inbox
  4. they write back: “you’re hard to get ahold of”

Clearly, I am hard to get ahold of.

I also like to bitch about stuff. :)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Mar 27, 2007 17:11:54

Close encounter with a great hammerhead shark

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During my first shark expedition back in June of 2002, I watched from underwater as a 10′ great hammerhead shark dropped its pectoral fins and charged a diver only moments after she slipped nto the water. It turned away long before it reached her, but it was still a pretty scary moment (she never saw the shark, despite our regulator screams). (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Mar 27, 2007 16:43:26

Wendy interviews Nina Revoyr

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Wendy‘s interview with Nina Revoyr, the author of The Necessary Hunger (1997) and Southland (2003), has been posted on the Loggernaut Reading Series website.

Clearly, my sister’s brain operates at a much higher level than mine does.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Mar 27, 2007 16:19:48

The Missing Sync for Blackberry, Mac OS X

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The Missing Sync for Blackberry finally hit version 1.0 today, and I immediately purchased it to replace PocketMac for Blackberry (quite possibly the worst sync product on the planet).

I backed up my Address Book and Calendar, and then fired up Missing Sync. In general, the Missing Sync for Blackberry syncs quickly and works much better than PocketSync for Mac.

I never was able to get PocketSync to do bi-directional sync properly and only ever used it to push information from my Mac to the Blackberry. Trust is a big part of sync, and you have to know that kicking off a sync won’t destroy data. PocketSync destroyed my data. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Mar 27, 2007 14:45:07

General slobbery

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Is it possible for love handles to be sore!?

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Mar 27, 2007 03:03:28

GPS Software for Mac OS X

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Hey, does anyone have any suggestions for a good GPS mapping application for Mac OS X? I’m not interested in street maps for driving use. Rather, I would just like a simple app that can connect to a Bluetooth GPS receiver and log waypoints and routes in GPX format. It also needs to connect using NMEA and not Garmin or Magellan.

GPS Connect is an outdated app that doesn’t work with my Holux GPS Slim 240 bluetooth receiver. Terrabrowser seems to connect through a Bluetooth-to-Serial interface, but I haven’t done much testing with it to see if it will meet my needs.

I’ve love to use Google Earth Plus, but whereas NMEA bridges exist in Windows land, I can’t seem to find any for Mac OS X.

I also just found RouteBuddy for Mac OS X, which seems to work pretty well, except that it won’t have export to GPX until the 2007 version of the product. It’s costly, too, at $100.

MacGPS Pro looks like the best solution so far. It doesn’t look nor feel like a Mac app, but it works.

Blackberry Coolness:

My Blackberry connects to the Holux receiver. I’m going to try to use Spot for this functionality. Spot seems to save waypoints, but not tracks. It will dump a GPX file in the Blackberry filesystem.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Mar 26, 2007 13:44:38

BBC’s Planet Earth, U.S. version

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BBC’s Planet Earth is finally being broadcast in High Definition on the Discovery Channel here in the United States. While hanging out at Joe and Rachel’s place tonight, I happened to catch the end of one of the episodes and saw cameraman Paul Stewart being interviewed for his piece on birds of paradise. I saw and befriended Paul out in the field in PNG a couple of years ago, and it was cool to see his work featured so prominently in the show.

Unfortunately, the U.S. broadcast version of Planet Earth has been re-dubbed with narration by Sigourney Weaver, which I found to be… rather uninspired. I much preferred the U.K. version, which featured David Attenborough; he clearly has passion about wildlife, which he manages to convey convincingly in his narration of Planet Earth’s episodes. Weaver’s narration almost put me to sleep.

Anyway. Check out the show. It’s worth watching… [dvd @ amazon] [blu-ray] [hd dvd]

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Mar 25, 2007 23:26:11

Friend screening process

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Roughly paraphrased from a conversation a few weeks ago:

Livia, my friend, to friend of Cute Stanford girl: Hey, remember Eric? He was sort of interested in your friend… Friend of Cute Stanford Girl: Oh really? She sort of liked him as well. Livia: Wait, doesn’t she have a boyfriend? FoCSG: Yeah, but… um. Is [Eric] rich? Livia (surprised): On second thought, I don’t think Eric would like [your friend].

I’m glad my friends screen for me. In quite a contrasting style, Dave Patchen just sent me a text message:

We may bring K’s friend. [She] just moved from NYC, and is a nymphomaniac with a fetish for diving, cello-playing photographers.

Much better, even though he really only sent the message to me to crack himself up. :)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Mar 25, 2007 10:33:37

Ugliest MySpace page ever

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Wanna see what makes me laugh? During one of the episodes of the show with zefrank, he challenges users to create the ugliest MySpace page ever. This page was the winner.

I clicked through to it and started laughing out loud. Yep. I live alone and was sitting at my computer… laughing out loud because of a MySpace page. At least the site is good for something.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 5 comments » | Mar 25, 2007 01:23:29

Mac anti-aliasing problem, a.k.a I am not crazy

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For a long time now, I’ve been confused about the way Firefox on Mac OS X anti-aliases text on my journal page. While I was in Denver last week, Alex convinced me (half-heartedly — I don’t think he cared :) that it was probably just a pixel-density issue, but I have just proven that I am NOT crazy. (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Mar 22, 2007 19:23:53

Justification comparison

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I am growing increasingly in disfavor of fully justified text. All of the journal text on echeng.com is justified. This is a test to see whether left-aligned text looks better. Help me decide by leaving a comment with your opinion! (read more »)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Mar 22, 2007 18:54:23

I ate a cockroach last weekend

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a close-up of me eating a cockroach (photo: douglas seifert)

It was teriyaki-glazed, and wasn’t all that bad..

OK, so I lied. I really did not enjoy eating the cockroach AT ALL, and it was certainly not teriyaki-flavored. I’m not sure what kind of cockroach it was, but it looked like a Madagascar hissing cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa). More nasty/interesting food photos from the Explorer’s Club Annual Dinner: [post] [photos only]

Stanford, CA | link | trackb | 9 comments » | Mar 21, 2007 21:07:59

Image Appendix 1: New York 2007

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me, with ella. i’m getting used to holding other people’s babies.

Here are the non-ECAD photos from the last New York trip: [flickr gallery]

I spent most of my time with Douglas, Peter and Karine, their baby, and Beverly. Victor came downstairs from his office to have a quick bite to eat with me before the car to the airport arrived.

Stanford, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Mar 21, 2007 21:00:08
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