LA Auto Show 2009

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It was raining and people were unhappy in their cars. It took us two hours to travel 25 miles.
But all this time stuck in our car, surrounded by cars, eventually paid off and we got to look at more cars!

Note: Louise was our photographer today. Unfortunately her camera turned out to not be all that good.


Kiva Video

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For Christmas, my friend Tom gave me a gift certificate for Kiva, the micro-lending organization.

I just found this very nice video that explains how a loan makes it to the recipient and how it is repaid. All in natural colors :)



Alex’s Dorm Room

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Today, we went to Alex’s dorm to replace his microscopic bed with our old couch. Pics.

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Five days in Big Bear…

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Well, lots of people enjoy Big Bear during the winter season, and I can see why. But the lake is also very nice in summer.We just spent five days there with Mary and Louise and I am sunburnt and my legs hurt: we started with a 20-something miles bike ride around the lake. It may not sound like much but it’s all uphill-downhill-uphill-downhill-rinse and repeat.After that ordeal, I welcomed a simple tour of the lake in paddle boat.

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So, we live about 30 to 45 minutes away from Pasadena. So what? Still a great place to unwind without the kids!

A few pictures:


SF Books List

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About a year ago I posted a link to Roger Ebert’s 102 movies you must see. I had seen 61, which made me happy.

This year, I’m doing the same thing with the “Top 100 Sci-Fi Books”
Here is the list of those I’ve read:
To keep things simple I am going to post the ones I have *not* read yet. This way this post can double as my Amazon wish-list :)

13 12 Larry Niven Ringworld 1970
18 17 Robert A Heinlein The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 1966
20 19 Arthur C Clarke Childhood’s End 1954
21 21 Joe Haldeman The Forever War 1974
25 26 Niven & Pournelle The Mote in God’s Eye 1975
27 27 Ursula K Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness 1969
29 29 Isaac Asimov The Caves of Steel 1954
32 32 Frederik Pohl Gateway 1977
38 35 Isaac Asimov The Gods Themselves 1972
31 37 Madeleine L’Engle A Wrinkle In Time 1962
37 38 John Wyndham The Day of the Triffids 1951
40 40 Alfred Bester The Stars My Destination 1956
44 42 Kurt Vonnegut Cat’s Cradle 1963
49 48 Vernor Vinge A Fire Upon the Deep 1991
50 50 Kim Stanley Robinson Red Mars [S1] 1992
48 51 Walter M Miller A Canticle for Leibowitz 1959
52 55 Niven & Pournelle Lucifer’s Hammer 1977
54 56 Michael Crichton The Andromeda Strain 1969
58 57 Kurt Vonnegut The Sirens of Titan 1959
56 58 Ursula K Le Guin The Dispossessed 1974
60 59 Harry Harrison The Stainless Steel Rat [S1] 1961
57 60 Iain M Banks Player Of Games [S2] 1988
62 62 David Brin Startide Rising [S2] 1983
63 63 Gene Wolfe The Shadow of the Torturer [S1] 1980
61 64 Alfred Bester The Demolished Man 1953
66 65 Peter F Hamilton The Reality Dysfunction [S1] 1996
68 66 Philip Jose Farmer To Your Scattered Bodies Go 1971
64 67 Iain M Banks Use of Weapons [S3] 1990
76 73 David Brin The Uplift War [S3] 1987
75 74 Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale 1985
73 75 John Wyndham The Chrysalids 1955
72 76 Connie Willis Doomsday Book 1992
79 79 Ursula K Le Guin The Lathe of Heaven 1971
83 81 C S Lewis Out of the Silent Planet [S1] 1938
81 82 Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in KA’s Court 1889
89 87 Edgar Rice Burroughs A Princess of Mars [S1] 1912
99 88 Julian May The Many-Colored Land [S1] 1981
93 89 John Brunner Stand on Zanzibar 1969
95 90 E E ‘Doc’ Smith Grey Lensman [S4] 1951
85 91 David Brin The Postman 1985
94 95 Lois McMaster Bujold Barrayar [S3] 1991
96 97 Stanislaw Lem [C] The Cyberiad 1974
100 99 John Varley Titan 1979

OK, so if I’ve got my math right, this means that I’ve read 57 of the 100. Hurray I still have hours of enjoyment ahead of me!


Real-Life Trolls

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Surely, you must remember this thing called ‘real life’…
Real-Life Trolls! I just met one.

Last night, my wife and I went for a stroll, hoping to walk to that place where we have a wonderful view of the valleys and the stars.
But when we arrived there, turns out that they had started some construction work -more new houses! yay!- so the only way to access the end of the road is to go through the gate the fire department leaves there to prevent cars from blocking access.
Well, no biggie. Let’s open the gate…
That’s when my wife tells me that someone was approaching with their dog.
That dude yells quite abruptly: “You got any dog there?”. Well, no, we don’t, and that’s what I tell him.
He then opens the gate and walks his poodle through it, to the end of the road. Cool, let’s do that too since it’s the original plan.
The guys turns around and starts literally screaming at us: “What are you doing? Do NOT follow me in here!”
I guess I must have looked quite retarded, staring at him with a dumbfounded look on my face.
Since I’m that slow, the guy then feels the need to scream some more, that he wants to be alone with his dog, that’s why he walks her at night, we can wait for them to be gone and then we can steal whatever we want.
Of course, being the smart-witted fellow everyone around me has learnt to love and look up to, I retort: “Hey asswipe, I think you need to apologize now”.
The guy replies: “I’m sorry”.
Well, OK, I think; But Mary feels that it’s her turn to give him a piece of her mind. I push her away rather quickly, thinking that I’m happy that I didn’t get myself in some kind of situation where I end up having a long chat with a police officer.

Anyway, the similarities with a forum/irc troll are striking:
1. A troll shows up when you’ve been around for a while, which makes him a ‘newbie’
2. The troll opens his mouth right away, no need to analyze the current topic, which makes him a ‘n00b’
3. You bet your sweet bum that the troll is going to say something stupid, which makes him a troll
4. Not to mention throw accusations all around, which makes you want to kick him out
5. The troll is not in control of the situation at all -or his dog in this case.
6. And even your good members end up getting in a silly flame war with trolls -here: Mary.
7. If you play their game, you may end up being in trouble with the moderators yourself!



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So this picture makes me laugh uncontrollably…does that makes me ’special’?
Hmmm Patrick Stewart


Source: Joey Devilla

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Typography = Music

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