Monday, March 31, 2008

up front


It took me about 2 dozen shots to finally get this one, because in order to get a shot where the sign was readable, you had to catch it in the split second while it was lighting up.

I've never been the first one to be stopped by the bridge. To most people on most days at most times (myself included) this would be the worst bit of luck you could have, as inevitably it would be making you even more late going somewhere. Or at the very least just wasting a bunch of your time. But tonight was a different sort of night. I was... appreciative.

That I could leave my house in my comfy car whenever I wanted and likewise come back whenever I pleased.

That I could go to Starbucks on a whim and have a great cup of coffee in the middle of the night.

That I could order food for at virtually no cost... and eat it! Just like that!

I look at where I am now and where I was just a year ago, or two, or five, or compared to the lives of most of the people around me, and I realize how free I am. The only person I have to answer to is God; otherwise I'm basically free to do what I want when I want. Why isn't this more amazing to me on a regular basis? I think I need to live more thankfully. Yes, the events that made me single were and still are pretty devastating, but to not see all of the good and merciful things that have come from this is a tragedy.

The guys at the Bell got a little carried away with extra ingredients and, through careful discerned tasting, I was able to dissect the recipe for the Cheesy Bean and Rice Burrito! I sure hope Taco Bell does not sue me because I'm posting it right here! Starting with a standard Bean Burrito:
  • Tortilla
  • Beans
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Red Sauce (I cannot remember if this was present or not)
And then adding:
  • Rice
  • Nacho Cheese Sauce (secret ingredient!)

And here I was thinking they actually had a special cheese mixture for the burrito. Man, these guys are geniuses.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Vorbereiten des Bayern für Arbeit

There it is. The 1986 BMW 735i. The vehicle of late 80's nobility. It used to cost $80k. I bought it for $450.

Getting ready to go to Boyd Motorwerks for some final electrical work and a tune up before paint.

Wait a second, I don't think I left it like that...

At least it's a laughable incident. They might have gotten away with about $.50 and some Starbucks mints. In fact, whoever it was probably did me a favor by getting some fresh air into the car while it sat there.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I'm apparently, into self-abuse, in the form of staying up as late as I can possibly muster in attempts to create beautiful things, whatever those things are.

Shame on you, beautiful things, stupid
you are the bane of my existance forever

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

battle tested experience

OK, in virtually no way or shape am I inclined politically, but that's not going to keep me from sharing this bit of fun.

She was prettier 12 years ago.

Did I just say that?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Special exceptions for diversity.
--James Kerridge

Well put, my friend!

solaris express

Catching up on geek posts tonight while this dumb array reinitializes. Hope you don't mind!

I wiped out Gentoo and installed Sun Solaris Express developer edition yesterday on my secondary box at Earthlink. As of late we've had a mass exodus in the developer department and I'm needing to take on some of the Java app build responsibility, which would be easy to do under Linux except that one of our clever ex-contractor developers thought it'd be fun to deploy our ordering system as a proprietary Solaris package. Good times. And yeah we've got $60,000 SPARC boxes in the racks but it takes literally 7x longer to build the app on one of those, as opposed to my $900 Core 2 Optiplex. How that works, I have no clue, but I'm not even going there since I've griped about it already for 8 years now.

New Edge (a.k.a. the business side of Earthlink) has been a Sun shop on the production side since day 1, but I've never been fond of it at all because of how slow it always performed, how unfamiliar I was with it in general operation and how much harder it seemed to compile things on it.

While I can't vouch for compilation (yet), I can say that my experience so far has been great. I actually love it! The install process is an absolute breeze and only takes a few minutes on modern hardware. Upon reboot you're dropped into a full blown modern Gnome desktop with the best overall look and font rendering I've seen on any *nix OS (save MacOS, of course). It's fast! Lots of binary packages are readily available at It seems rock solid, and it even sets you up with ZFS by default.

While I seriously doubt that it will replace Gentoo as my server operating system of choice any time soon, it makes for a compelling option as a solid and well-accepted UNIX desktop OS for me.

Before I installed on SXDE I actually tried to install Nexenta OS with ZERO luck. The installer was a pile of garbage that I barely made it through. At the other end there was a command prompt with little to no help that I didn't have time to mess with. I can't exactly judge it but it doesn't feel mature at all. Unless you're a real hacker with genuine interest in screwy versions of Debian and a lot of time to waste, I'd steer clear for now.

sata compatibility mode

I started having big problems today while making a copy of a 7 GB directory structure on a software (Linux md) raid-1 mirror in one of my Linux boxes. It would slow to a crawl/halt and basically do nothing. Didn't seem like that complex of a task to me, but what do I know?

At first I blamed it on ReiserFS since it seemed to be the likely candidate and pulled another set of blank hard drives to move the partition over to a new set running ext3. However, when I ran mkfs.ext3 to format the new mirror, it got about 2/3 done and slowed to a halt again!

Then it occurred to me that for whatever reason the disks showed up as "hda", "hdb", when booting off the Gentoo install CD, akin to the old days of IDE disks. It turned out that the BIOS was stuck in "SATA Compatibility mode" and probably had been ever since I first turned the machine on. I switched it to "Enhanced" mode (i.e. Native SATA) and from then on things started behaving correctly. I'm not sure why board manufacturers (esp. SuperMicro!) would ship a board these days with this setting on by default. I imagine it has something to do with poor Windows support or the like.

If you're running any remotely modern version of the Linux kernel, make sure to turn off SATA compat and keep it that way. Unless someone is aware of something I'm not, it does way more harm than good.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

neues haar

neues haar

Ich liebe mein neues Haarkünstlerin. Sie ist ein kleines deutsches Mädchen... so süß... intelligent... verheiratet?! Crap. I have awful luck.

they're grrrrrrreat

Tony even looks more Asian on this t-shirt! Awesome.

Also discovered Fred Perry today at Urban Outfitters. Great bags and shoes for guys. Stupidly difficult to get in the United States.

Mmmm. Harajuku District. I suppose I could do some sightseeing there.

Mom asked me today if I was obsessed. I thought that was a rather silly question.

Fred Perry's site also had some pretty cool music on it. I discovered "The Duke Spirit" and ended up buying their latest album "Neptune" on iTunes for $7.99. It's a good listen and comes with an interesting music video for free.

In other news, my parents bought a Dyson and my mom's thinking about a New Beetle SE. Progress! Yay Yay!

Here's your homework assignment: try to figure out what this next item says. I'm totally ashamed by it. I'm ashamed. But I don't think that will stop me from buying one anyway.


Friday, March 14, 2008

what drives us

I think there are two distinct groups of people. There are those people who want beauty,

and then there are those who create it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


People say it's depressing on days like this. Depressing to live in Portland. I disagree; these days are just days of more realistic reflection, without the sun to provide some artificial boost in spirits. It's these days where I think we can all learn what really matters and how we can improve ourselves in a real way.

The air on a day like this is full of life; it's moist and rich, and it feels well to breathe it in. This is a major part of why I still live here.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


For 9:15 PM it was pretty crowded at Yuki. Not so much that I couldn't get a table, so I sat down and ordered a Sapporo and a beef teriyaki. It was more like a sliced Japanese steak. Pretty good stuff.

I'm sitting there eating and can't help but to overhear the fairly obnoxious girl in the corner talking to some new guy friend about how she used to be awful to guys on purpose. I'm sure a lot has changed, I think to myself. I'm pretty sure I want to be alone.

Another guy, older, comes in by himself and sits across the restaurant facing me. He's fine for a while but once he tries his entree, he flags down the waitress to tell her how bad it is, and that he eats better versions of the same thing all over town, and he doesn't want to pay for it. The whole restaurant can hear. All the Japanese girl does is bow politely and take the food from him. I'm pretty sure I don't want to be alone.

I get home, flipping through MySpace quickly to see if anyone has requested a DVD, and I find a picture of Sarah and the family and I burn, I miss her so badly.

I'm pretty sure I want to stay inside and not see or hear from another soul. Stay here until I can't feel a thing for real, until I can see her face and not care at all about her. Stay here until I'm dead if I have to.

baja 1000

I miss these days.

The Babes from Colin on Vimeo.

More Baja 1000 here

farmer in the

Why do I blog about food so much? Simple. Eating is the only non-work related event that occurs during weekdays, period. So I ENJOY it. Enough said.

I'm trying to branch out. So yesterday I ate a 7:00 PM breakfast at Del Taco. Del Taco is a California chain but they have a handful of locations in other states, including 3 in the Portland metro. Their value meals uniquely pair french fries with traditional Mexican items, leading to a confusing yet oddly satisfying combination.

It's a hard taco in a really cheap shell. Unremarkable. But it's nostalgic for me; it reminds me of the days as a youth leader hanging out with the kids and shooting dumb/awesome videos (more on this later). Some days these go for 3 on the dollar, which makes them considerably more appealing.

What do you expect? Cheap cheese in a big tortilla folded over. Just like you make at home for your boyfriend every night. That's right, I said it.

It's been a couple years (my visit last night was the first in a while), but if memory serves me correctly, they are heated-up Ore-Ida bag fries. And I just realized that the "Ore-" part is probably Oregon. Woo hoo, we are famous!

All that to say, I highly, highly recommend it.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

this is your life

Post-insane-week freakout; I'm in go, go, gopher mode. Making myself extremely uneasy. I refreshed my to-do list though and realized, it's really not that bad this weekend, so I can calm down a little bit.

I keep writing and deleting. What is this all for?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

welcome home

I landed without much fanfare and proceeded to Dollar rent-a-car. I always thought I hated Dollar, even before I ever dealt with them. Now I know that I hate them. Although to their credit, I was in and and out faster than any previous rental experience, they barely said anything to me before tossing me the keys to a Chrysler T&C mini-van that I didn't ask for. It looks approximately like poop and drives a lot worse than that.


They even had the nerve to ask me to bring it back the next morning so that they could take back the more expensive car and give me something cheaper. In nicer words I told them to get lost.

I was hungry. So I hopped onto the 805 and got off at Telegraph Canyon for none other than...


Closed?! What, it's only 11:30!

A quick iPhone search gave me directions to a second, also closed, Lolita's Taco Shop in Bonita. At least it was a nice drive.

It was clearly time for Plan B. I remembered something about Roberto's Taco Shop being a close substitute and punched that into the phone. Up popped a number of pins in downtown Chula Vista so off I went. Broadway and H - success!


But I could never prepare myself for what I was about to eat. Friends... this was the most rewarding meal I have ever eaten. I had high expectations, being the snobby ex-Southern-Californian I am, but I'll tell you, the taste was above and beyond any and all of that. Shockingly, shockingly wonderful.


I could even smell the white cheese (seemingly unfindable outside of San Diego!) reminding me of the early years eating tacos as the good pseudo-Mexican toddler that I was. It's such a disinctive smell. Really, I must recommend, if you are in San Diego please visit this place; you will be blown away.

Then on to Lestat's for a late night cup of coffee. Lestat's is a 24-hour coffee shop situated under the Normal Heights sign. With heavy heart I must admit that it thoroughly trounces anything we have in Portland; the people are great, the coffee is great, and it's actually open 24 hours a day. There was a time not long ago where the only reason I was able to finish part of a project was because this place was open and serving caffeine with a smile, so I owe them eternal gratitude of sorts.


in Normal Heights

As all great coffee shops are at any late hour, it was packed. I moved on quickly because there was nowhere to put my laptop and I had a lot of email to catch up on.

The more time I spend in San Diego the more I really, truly like it. For certain it's a place I could live. Maybe it's time to consider giving the Northwest a break and trying something old-new for a while.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


So first, I swiped my passport through the Alaska check-in machine and received an electric shock between the fingers. Then I thought it'd be really cool to try to get through the metal detector without removing anything from my person. Meanwhile the guy at the scanner thinks my iPhone + headphones wrapped around = bomb. And how many of those things does he see on an average day? Although one has to believe, they probably disregard so much in their checks on average that they probably would disregard a real bomb as an iPod. But actually, the TSA was actually remarkably nice to deal with this evening.

Thank goodness I got here two full hours early. It only took me 10 minutes to get through security, but now I've got an hour and fifty to drink my Drop Top. Neat! (Shame on me, it's my dinner. Nothing sounded good.)

If you are looking for luggage of any sort, JC Penney has everything 50% off right now.

Monday, March 3, 2008

cheesy gordita crunch

This one is for Kendall. If you love the Cheesy Gordita Crunch as much as she, you need to sign this petition.

Viva la Cheesy Gordita Crunch

No, they probably won't bring it back on account of 109 digital signatures from the web, but America wouldn't be so great if we didn't sign this on principal alone.

For the obsessed (myself not included), here is an article that might help you decide if you should give your support to this cause.

Associated Content review

One must not think of Taco Bell as Mexican, he or she must simply consider it Taco Bell.

The only unique problem with the Cheesy Gordita Crunch will be exposed if one does not like cheese.

CGC Ingestion Simulation video

Oh. Now I'm hungry.

undying words

For those of you who were complaining about not being able to write comments, I reconfigured so that you do not have to have a Google account. Enjoy. Let your words rain upon me.

It all gets me wondering... what of this blogging technology now? Are the stupid things we think aloud going to live eternally (well, in an earth sense) without our intervention? If I expire tomorrow, what will happen to the words I've posted into Blogger or LiveJournal? How long will they be available for public perusal?

Would I be happy with the written legacy I left behind?

Wait, wait...
would I be happy with the life legacy I left behind?

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Mom sends me this email tonight.

Remember these shorts? :-) Be nice to me.....I could use this picture some day. Love, Mom

At expense of your eyes, I'll just disarm her right now.