Recent Travels

Posted in General at 11 pm

From Oregon Geographic Names (McArthur, 1974):

“Rooster Rock, Multnomah Country. This is probably the rock mentioned by Lewis and Clark as their camping place on the night of Saturday, November 2, 1805. Wilkes, in US Exploring Expedition, volume XXIII, Hydrography, refers to it as the Obelisk, a name that has not persisted. The modern name is of phallic significance. A post office called Rooster Rock was established in May, 1876, with John Gilstrap first postmaster. The name was changed to Latourell Falls in August, 1887. There is nothing in the records to show that the office was always in the same place. In 1938 the OSHD acquired the immediate area as part of the right of way for the water level highway, and after World War II developed the beach and adjoining low ground. Rooster Rock State Park is now one of the popular bathing and boating spots near Portland.”

(Emphasis mine. Talk about burying the lede! It used to be called “Cock Rock” if you didn’t catch that.)


Timing is everything

Posted in General at 11 pm

In 2 and a half years, we expanded the use of Collage, our content management system (CMS) at work. And not just by a little bit, but by a whole lot. We had 9 separate sites that are all supported through this tool, and it was great. Then came the Web Server Crash of March 2008. In stark relief it became apparent that all of the sites that were in Collage were in the perfect position to be deployed to a new server within literally minutes.

BUT the few remaining straggler sites were not so lucky. We had to go through a painful re-construction of the sites that were either haphazardly structured, or used a “devageduction” platform (Development/Staging/Production as one server! Bad bad bad!) These sites are supposed to be EOL and the resources consolidated in a whole new project, but since that hasn’t yet materialized, we’re still supporting these sites without a safety net.

Well, worry no more. As of yesterday at about 3 pm, all of our sites were migrated into Collage. We now have the versioning, check-in/check-out functions, deployment tools all set up for every one of our web sites that we can support in this manner.

And at about 4pm that same day, I read this: The Scoop on Serena Collage. The CMS is to be sold or put down. It’s been backed up with some other more official announcements as well, but those are buried or hidden behind secure sites.

Serena’s already committed to supporting the software for another 18 months or so and even after that point, the software will continue to work, but it’s the timing that really gets to me. “Interesting times”, indeed.


And the winner is…

Posted in General at 12 pm

I love the idea that the death of HD-DVD means that BluRay gets to be the one killed by downloads. It’s really time that we gave up this whole spinning platter thing and just went solid-state for anything that needs to be stored ‘off-line’ or transfered across non-networked machines.


Edward Tufte video work

Posted in General at 1 pm

Take a look at the time lapse for the Rocket Science installation. Pretty dramatic clouds at the end… Ask E.T.: ET video work on YouTube


Fast Food Restaurants & Nutrition Facts Compared

Posted in General at 6 pm

“To show this, I’ve compared the nutrition facts of the most popular foods from over 20 popular fast food restaurants to see how each restaurant’s version of the same food stacks up against the others. If this isn’t enough to convince you to eat less (or none) of this stuff, it will at least give you the information you need to make the better choice and avoid making the worst one. Enjoy…”

Fast Food Restaurants & Nutrition Facts Compared

Rocco's Pizza is Back!

Posted in General at 12 pm

Yeah, I know that Rocco’s Pizza has always been there since 1993 (before that it was another pizza joint which was really cool.) but there was a dark period where Rocco’s tried to open 4 additional locations in the space of 18 months, convert into an ‘Internet Cafe and Pizza’-style dot-com play, and totally changed their pizza to something akin to a platter of tomato sauce and a pinch of cheese with ‘essence’ of toppings.

I’m sure that they’ve been better for a while now, but it was only last week when I had lunch downtown that I took a chance on seeing what the ‘zza was like now. Holy Cow!

It’s delicious! It’s so much better, in fact I think it’s right back to the original style that I knew and loved when I worked downtown at Creative Multimedia in the mid 90’s. Amy and I got a large pizza last night (too large!) and it was sooooooo good! i’m looking forward to digging into the cheese and meat and the beautiful crust for the next few days.


Spanish productivity guru Balthasar Gracian

Posted in General at 11 pm

“There is more required nowadays to make a single wise man than formerly to make Seven Sages, and more is needed nowadays to deal with a single person than was required with a whole people in former times.” – Everything I needed to know, I learned in the 1600s


HIV in Bodily Fluids

Posted in General at 11 am

After a certain point, this just seems cruel:

Integrating modes of learning with the HIV prevention message (Abstract)

PROJECT: The three main styles of learning are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/tactile. Reading the written words on the board allows the visual learner to process the information. Hearing the song allows the auditory learner to absorb the information. Singing a song provides an opportunity for the kinesthetic/tactile learner to get the body involved receive the information. The goal is to have students remember the four body fluids that transmit HIV from one person to another. To the tune of “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat”, use the following lyrics: THERE ARE FOUR FLUIDS THAT PASS THE AIDS VIRUS, BLOOD IS ONE, SEMEN IS TWO, MOTHER’S MILK AND VAGINAL FLUIDS. Repeat five times or until the whole group is familiar with the song. Then split the large group into smaller groups and perform it in rounds.

RESULTS: Student often come back to class the next day complaining that they cannot get the song out of their heads. Goal achieved: Vital information retained.


Status Report

Posted in Apple, General, Life, Tech at 9 pm

Been working hard: day job, teaching and diagnosing a faulty USB port on the Tivo. That’s what I get for cleaning up the entertainment center’s wiring.

But, I’m happy to report that the Tivo is now happily gathering broadband content and the Mac Mini and the Tivo are now sharing a cozy little hub. I guess I can get the PlayStation 2 connected to that too, but I rarely fire the old PS2 nowadays. Perhaps a Wii might make a nice addition.

Speaking of nice additions, the iPhone is looking more and more like a a modern jackalope. Everyone wants one, but it’s going to tough to get a hold of. I’ve got my eye on a couple of prime spots that may carry it. I’m guessing that only two types of stores will have it: Apple Stores and Cingular/AT&T stores. It’s the latter that will be the best bet, I’m sure. I’m hoping that perhaps some of the third party reseller cellphone stores might have it, but on reflection, that seems unlikely.

Recent purchases at Powell’s Books include the latest issues of Home Power magazine and 2600. Both of these are the equivalent to to purchasing Architectural Digest or the Robb Report: Discussion of things that are out of reach entirely or just fun to think about.

Other items put on the Done section of the To Do list? Haircut, flexible medical account reimbursement form and scanned receipts, updated registration for the Ghia, Oil change and check up for the 170,000k Prius, some trash and boxes expelled from the my desk, repaired the toilet handle (Note: just buy the metal version. The plastic handle barely lasted a year.) Now to reformat the Mini’s new external hard drive and I’m off to bed.

Boy a vacation sure sounds good…


Idea of the moment: self-cooling soda

Posted in General, Tech at 7 am

Since a gas, when it’s put under pressure heats up, it logically follows that a gas that is released from high pressure cools off.

How about putting *more* carbonation into sodas and other drinks, providing a bleed-off release, and thereby let the soda be delivered in a self-cooling package? Image the amount of electricity that could be saved: these drinks would no longer have to be kept refrigerated!

Of course, the extra pressue might cause the cans to become modified pipe-bombs, but I’m sure there are ways around that…