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  • Blog Post: Looj Review

    As many of you know, we have lived with a Roomba for a few years. He's been a faithful servent, though our cleaning people sometimes unplug the charger and don't plug it back in. A while back I got an email that said "Looj on Woot!". Woot !, as many of you know, is a website that specializes in selling...
  • Blog Post: Bavarian Sounwerks - Speakers for BMWs

    I've been unimpressed with the sound on my 328i since I got it. I have the Harmon-Kardon system, and like many factory "premium" systems, it really doesn't deliver. Which is really putting it mildly. The bass is muddy, and the tweeters don't. This weekend, I spend some time putting in a set of...
  • Blog Post: Review - Operation Mindcrime II (Queensryche)

    I own a fair number of Queensryche (yes, I'm missing the umlaut over the y (a sure sign of 1980s metal pretentiousness)) CDs, but the band has never been a favorite of mine, mostly because of the varying quality of their albums. Though they do get a few points for being from Bellevue... But Operation...
  • Blog Post: Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom

    I picked up this book a few weeks ago when I was at the 'brar. I've read a lot of stuff on evolution over the years. I think Dawkins has the position that I most agree with, but his writing is really hard to get through. I've been working on " The Ancestor's Tale " for a few weeks off and on, and...
  • Blog Post: Review: Waltham (Waltham)

    Last week, I spent some time listening to the Rock and Roll Geek Show Indie Cast . One of the featured bands was Waltham , a band named after their hometown in Massachusetts. Michael, if I recall correctly, played two songs - Cheryl (come and take a ride), and Hopeless, which led me to the band's website...
  • Blog Post: Review: Audiotrak OPTOPlay

    I talked about improving my computer sound volume a while ago. After thinking about it a bit, I decided that rather than just amplify the mediocre sound, I'd upgrade to something better. I came across a few USB sound cards, and after looking at the various offerings, settled on the OPTOPlay from AudioTrak...
  • Blog Post: TopoUSA 5.0 Western Edition

    I've been riding a lot of hills recently, getting ready for the 7 Hills of Kirkland on Memorial Day, and I'm getting more used to climbing and less scared of the steeper hills. But I've found that there is a dearth of information about the various hills that I ride on. The best source that I've found...
  • Blog Post: The Network: Money Money 2020

    A few weeks ago, I was reading the Seattle Times, and what should I find, but an article about the Japanese bank, Polysics . They were described as having a sound reminiscent of Devo . That piqued my interest, as I've always been a fan of Devo, though not as much as my friend Jon (WA license plate "Spudboy...
  • Blog Post: Book Review: Take Back Your Life!

    Last spring I had the opportunity to take a class single-day class named "Take Back Your Life - Using Microsoft Outlook to Get Organized and Stay Organized", taught by Sally McGhee. The class is no longer taught, but the bulk of the advice is now available to all in the book of the same name . I found...
  • Blog Post: Couches * 2 (thank you Levitz)

    This morning two new couches showed up at our residence this morning. We'd originally headed out furniture shopping - not one of my favorite pasttimes - because we had some couch needs. The basement / rec room couch was nearly 15 years old (that's 90 in human years), and not only did it not fit the space...
  • Blog Post: Review: American Idiot

    My CD of Green Day's new "American Idiot" showed up Monday, and after listening to it a few times, I think it's a pretty good effort. But it may not be the Green Day that you're used to hearing, and, while I'm not really sure where the boundaries of "punk" are, I don't think I'd use that label. "American...
  • Blog Post: Sojourner: An Insider's View of the Mars Pathfinder Mission

    I just finished reading Sojourner: An Insider's View of the Mars Pathfinder Mission It's written by Andrew Mishkin , a systems engineer at JPL , and gives an insider's view into how the Sojourner team managed to design, build, staff, and operate the rover for $25 million. It's a very engaging read, covering...
  • Blog Post: Book: Extreme Programming Adventures in C#

    I had the pleasure to meet Ron Jeffries last year when he was on campus, and I've been reading his column in XP magazine. Ron has released his “Adventures in C#” columns in book form . I haven't read it, but Ron has a great way of explaining thing, and I'm sure it's great. Eric
  • Blog Post: Garden d'lights 2003 - Bellevue Botanical Gardens

    Every year, the Bellevue Botanical Gardens bring out the lights. They do a wonderful job of creating plants out of lights. Recommended.
  • Blog Post: Review: Space - A Journey to our future

    Today, I took my 9 yo daughter and a friend of hers to the Pacific Science Center, to see the “ Space ” exhibit. The girls liked it, but I'll only give it a C grade. Highlights: A functioning IR camera with a display screen, but with no useful instructions with what to show. I had...
  • Blog Post: A Devil's Chaplain and courteous disagreement

    I just finished reading “ A Devil's Chaplain ” by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins is one of my absolute favorite science writers, both because of his perspective (it's easy to like authors you agree with) and his phenomenal writing style. Dawkins holds the Simonyi Professorship of Public Understanding...
  • Blog Post: Apollo 11: Men on the Moon

    On July 20th, 1969, a 5-year-old boy living in Caldwell, Idaho stayed up past his bedtime to watch a very grainy television transmission of Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, which cemented an interest in space that has lasted over the decades. Since that time, I've watched coverage of...
  • Blog Post: Review continued - Canon G3

    (review continued) These two contraints - what you want to do with the aperture or shutter speed, and what the camera needs to do to give you a good exposure - sometimes come into conflict. If you take a picture of moving water, you often want a slow shutter speed (1/30th to 1 second, depending...
  • Blog Post: Review - Canon Powershot lG3 Camera

    Our trip to Maui involved lots of camera issues. We're a Canon family, with a G1 for me, an A20 (the aforementioned waterlogged A20) for my wife, and a low-end Canon for my 9-year-old daughter (bought after she shot 15 rolls of APS film in Europe last year). My G1 has been a great camera. It...
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