Sunday, November 30, 2008

New York

The grand New York post!

We left Saturday at the leisurely hour of 10:30am for our 1:30pm flight. It was nice not having to scramble to get everything together, but it was a shame to lose a whole day to travel. Thu and I took the and although they took pretty good care of us, Sunnyvale was the first stop so we had to spend a lot more time getting there than anyone else. The flight took less than the expected five and a half hours, but with time change that meant we didn't land until about 10:30pm. We arrived and figured out the AirTrain and LIRR to get into Manhattan, where we met Tabitha and Kyra at the Penn station. We had soup and hot chocolate before traveling up East Harlem where Tab lives.

On Sunday we went with my sisters and the roommates to morning brunch at Isabella's at 77th. The place was very nice, if crowded, and you get a drink included with breakfast (starting at noon). New York is cold in November, but that's not so inconvenient as the extreme HEAT indoors. Seriously you guys, the thermostat is not binary. After brunch we went to a craft market to stock up on cold weather gear and I got some fingerless gloves that transformed into mittens. They were quite practical but Christian said they were girly. I had seen someone with a British accent wearing some on the train the night before, so I decided not to let it bother me.

In the afternoon, my sisters had plans to see a play starring Harry Potter so we went to the Nintendo Store and to the Empire State building. We got to the top just as the sun was slipping behind the horizon, so it was very neat. We went shoe shopping briefly because Thu's feet were starting to hurt and we saw the Times Square new years eve ball inside Macy's! Then we headed up to 107th for a restaurant called Thai Market which was very good. To finish the night, we went back to Tab's place to start making an Apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday we had breakfast at Tab's house and then went walking around the north part of Central Park. We tried to go to the New York museum, but it was closed on Mondays. We did see the conservatory garden which was quite different now in the cold than it was in June when I was here.

At 1:30, my parents landed at JFK so we headed back uptown to meet them as they came off the bus. Knowing they would be hungry when they arrived, we went to Reggio's coffee shop in the Village where the first cappuccino machine was brought over to America. Then we all went to the Pod hotel to check out the rooms and to get Thu and I checked in. We went back to Tab's for dinner prepared by Chrystelle and some games and then Thu and I had to take all our stuff to the hotel at about 11:30.

On Tuesday I had gotten tickets for the family to see the Rockettes, which my friend Michelle was an assistant choreographer for. We met for bagels in the morning, but the rain made it hard to eat around the cart so we found shelter in a public building. The show was very impressive, and a good time was had by all. Thu and Christian came with the family. We found the same Brazilian restaurant our family ate at last time we were in NY, but I was not as impressed this time. In the afternoon we went to St. John's cathedral and Columbia university. Then we wanted to try to get somebody tickets for Wicked through the lottery so we all entered our names. I won! Thu and I grabbed some Pizza while the family went to China Town for Dim Sum and to meet our friend Becca at the bus station coming from Boston. The show was fantastic, and the seats were superb.

Wednesday morning we decided to go to the Moma museum and Dave's friend was able to hook us up with free tickets. Most of us stayed for a while to keep out of Tab's way while she prepared turkey dinner but Mom went back early to help. By about 5pm we were all back at here place helping and getting her small, but not so small, apartment ready for eating Turkey. Dinner went well and we had plenty of food. We had planned on seeing the parade balloons being blown up this night, but we were too tired from eating.

Thursday morning we got up early so we could get to 66th street 2.5 hours early. Crowds grew and grew until there was standing room only and everyone kept warm by proximity. Finally the parade started and we saw classics as well as new acts. I saw Rick Astly and yelled out "Rick Roll!" He looked directly in my direction and looked horrified/dismayed, as if I had ruined a magic trick. Turns out he later disappeared into the cartoon's float he rode on and rick rolled the entire nation in front of Macy's.

After the parade we enjoyed mob-rule to get onto the subway (Someone had opened the emergency gates and everyone flowed in, despite the illegality of it but who was going to stop thousands of people trying to get on the train?) We rode up to 90th for Starbucks and Carmines for our second Turkey. This time we had the Balches and Rebecca, so an 18lb turkey was all that would suffice. Since we got there early and had Christian with us, we had excellent service and plenty of company.

At this point, some went home to nap but Mom, Dad, Thu and I went down to Belvedere castle and WTC. Then we met up with the girls for ice skating but were too tired to join, and just watched. Somehow, my parents had enough energy to join the girls for a movie but we decided to go home and finally sleep off the turkey.

On Friday morning, Thu and I packed up and went up to Tab's apartment at 120th and had breakfast with Mom, Dad, and Kyra as they prepared to fly home. Then we went with Tab to do some Black Friday dress shopping, and some excellent pizza at Patsies in the village. We got some cupcakes and then went to karaoke for drinks and songs with Dave, Chrystelle and Christian and of course Tabitha. Then we stumbled over to Mojitos for more drinks and guac, before finally heading home. We tried to watch Wall-E but only got through the Presto short and Up teaser trailer.

On Saturday, we went to the central park and Columbus circle to try and see the indoor snow. It never did snow before we went back to Tab's to make turkey sandwiches and prepare for our flight home. Although the seats in Delta flights are really hard and we were surrounded by Russians who didn't follow the airline educate, we got home without too much problem. The plane got home 45 minutes early, but we circled the airport for at least that long before getting back home.

Our vacation didn't end there, because Sunday was our scheduled Couple's massage at Watercourse Way in Palo Alto. What a great way to end a high-impact vacation! I have never felt so rich-- not wealthy like I had lots of money but upper-class like I was some great thinker or beloved figurehead. The steam room, dry brushing, massage, hot stones and hot oil really took out the knots from cold, stressful walking and sleeping of the week before.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


The election is over but I still want to keep campaigning. I nominate this as the best quote from Barack's speech.

"This victory alone is not the change we seek--it is only the chance for us to make that change.",0,524762.story

McCain also had a very nice speech. But it was absolutely ruined by his supporters, booing whenever Barack was mentioned. You stay classy, Arizona.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Winner 2008: YouTube!

There have been some fantastic videos this year. On election night (since I already voted!) I will be kicking back, watching the election coverage and re-visiting some of my favorite videos this year. You know what? Forget that. It's election-eve, I'm gonna do it now.

I'm not going to embed these since you loose the full-screen button.

- Palin vs. McCain debate
- Synchronized Debates
- Wassup beer commercial parody I didn't like the original and I didn't think I'd like the parody, but this really packs a lot of current events into one package.
- McCain's QVC infomercial
- Yes we can The video that got me interested in Obama.
- Palin rock You may have to sign in to enjoy this one :)
- 3 anti-Prop 8 ads in that endearing Mac style
- The vet who did not vet
- Just neat Obama video
- Will Ferrell as President Bush
- The hilarious presidential roast
- Colin Powell endorses Obama
- Another cool video
- Explaining the economic crisis
- A message from Sarah Palin
- Lil O'Reilly
- Money as debt
- The great schlep
- Disney presents: Sarah Palin movie
- Backwards candidate

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting into the election now

I have never been so informed about an election until this year. In fact, with exception of Apple products I've probably never been so informed about a single issue in all my life. That's not to say I'm a political expert, just interested.

So when my friend asked me where to go for information on the election, I was taken aback because all my information was gleaned over months of daily news reports, speech videos, friends and relatives. How do you get involved this late in the election without all that previous knowledge? Not only knowledge of lipstick and celebrity status, but how anger, experience, the Clintons, age, race, and elitism factor into this race.

I told her how I felt, and planned to gather some resources to help her determine her own view. Here's what I would have sent her, but I found a better site down below for this sort of one shot election decision below. - Barack's plan - McCain's plan - good for daily news and a snapshot of how the election is going. - Choose what topic you want to know about and get random quotes from candidates on the subject., - Reports on the truthfulness of various ads. I take issue with their method of "unbias". They give equal time to each candidate but not all lies deserve the same weight. videos are the worst, with the formula being 1 McCain, 1 Obama and one 3rd party ad checked even when there are 3 gregarious lies by McCain and the Obama lie is only a lie in certain contexts. - My own blog pointing to videos about money and the financial crisis.

But then I found this site First, it lets you rank issues as important or not. Don't worry if you think it seems like you are supporting an issue you care about, because on the next page it takes only the issues you care about and asks you whether you support or oppose it, and how strongly you feel this way. Finally, it compares your answers with various candidates and shows you which one you are most like. Most importantly, it lets you "find out why" the candidate is aligned with you or not with links to their votes and quotes. is a very good site.

If you are interested, I matched 71% with Barack Obama and 58% with John McCain.

So that's my advice for being informed when you go vote. Next challenge: Amendments and Propositions.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Money is debt

Do you know where money comes from? This video is entirely fascinating and relevant, despite being released two years ago.

It's 45 minutes, so get comfortable. Despite that, I've watched it 3 times in the last 2 weeks and learned something new each time. I'm not sure the solutions are viable, but the problems are real, frightening, and immediate. The proof is in the news.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain gambles

McCain is gambling with his political campaign, and so far it's working. Three notable gambles: 1) Sarah Palin 2) Canceling the RNC for the hurricane 3) Pausing the campaign to return to Washington for the economic crisis.

Time magazine profiles each candidate's gambling habits: Candidates' Vices" Craps and Poker

I'm trying to write shorter blog posts, but let me say a quick thing about each of McCain's gambles. Sarah Palin has turned into a pinup girl. The press is allowed to take pictures but no video or audio, and no questions. The RNC hurricane (a better name Might be Gustav but who will remember that?) ended up being a non issue, and McCain played the right bet here. The campaign pause is a total publicity stunt. He has not stopped TV commercials and has made appearances on 5 (five) television networks since he announced he would stop campaigning. If people called "STUNT!" on any of these things, they would realize they cannot vote for John McCain.

Here by accident, is a nice video wrapup of this blog post

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"Americans in general want a clean, prosperous environment, with lots to do, good paying jobs, nice homes, good transportation, healthy food. But what are we willing to do to get there?" asked a friend. She mentioned that one way she is adjusting to the changes that the US is facing is by a 12$/month unlimited bus pass. I'm jealous! Here's the rest of my reply:

First and foremost, I think that as Americans we need to pay more attention to the total costs associated with our actions. Your bus pass is partially paid by taxes, probably on some people who don't use public transportation very much, if at all. But even though their tax money isn't getting them from point A to point B, they receiving lighter traffic because you seek out alternative means of transportation. They are ensuring that somebody drives less and saves the environment. And they are keeping the bus driver employed, off the streets and earning money to be taxed by the local government. All in all, that sounds like a good cost!

The federal government also has programs that need to be paid for by taxes, but Bush recklessly offered tax cuts (favoring the rich) without cutting the programs those taxes paid for. This irresponsibility caused the budget deficit to rise higher than ever before. Just take a look at this graph, where the national debt (as percent of GDP) is clearly rising over the periods of Regan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr.

But both McCain and Obama know that raising taxes on people who are just scraping by will not help the economy. The difference is that Barack recognizes that there are some people who can afford to continue paying for the programs their representatives voted into place. He has not proposed raising taxes on the rich. Taxes for people making $250k will return to what they were when Bush took office, because Barack is just going to let the tax cuts expire as they are scheduled to do. The republicans have done a good job painting this as a tax increase, but in fact this is just the post-Thanksgiving sale at Bloomingdale's expiring on Friday night.

What are the costs of the Iraq war? Ten billion US dollars a month, Four thousand US casualties and Twenty thousand Iraqi people dead. What are the costs of the Paulson bailout plan? Seven hundred billion dollars per year, non-reviewable, and non-recoupable by us, the tax payers.

You are right that we are going to have to make adjustments no matter who gets elected in November. But to me, the adjustments are in how we pay for these mistakes. We can't just put it on our Chinese Express credit card and hope the problem goes away.

So the image I would like to see the United States follow is one of more intelligence. You know I was called "elitist" for saying that? (by my own mother!) Where else in the world can you elect a candidate because he's not too smart, not too rich, and not too handsome? I think we should be selecting the best president we can, and right now that is Barack Obama.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Golden Parachute

John McCain admits that the economy is not one of his strong suits, so one of McCain's personal economic advisors is Carly Fiorina. She successfully ran the IPO of Lucent in 1996 and she was named by Fortune magazine as the most powerful woman in business in 1998. But she does not think John McCain or Sarah Palin would be qualified to run a business.

How hard could it be? Well, Fiorina, who successfully ran the IPO of Lucent then went on to smash HP into the ground. On her watch, HP's market value was cut in half and the board of directors asked her to leave.

Now here's what really gets me angry: failures are rewarded. Fiorina was awarded a $21 million dollar cash severance along with the ~$21 stock valuation she held (a valuation that would have been higher had she not wrecked the company). Is this what she thinks happens to people who loose their job? No wonder McCain thinks the economy is doing alright, the unemployment rate is higher than ever so clearly all those people have a nice severance hidden away.

The HP fiasco is personal too. My Dad's aunt was an employee for HP for many years and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She was within months of retirement when Fiorina led the merger with Compaq, and she was made redundant. Months away from a big party, cake, pension and health care, she was laid off.

Ultimately, a "Golden Parachute" is up to the company's board to dole out but it's encouraging to hear Barack put workers first in this situation:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Recipe for entertainment

When I want to be entertained, there's a couple things I look for:

- I want to suspend belief. Don't give me every day stories and especially don't give me reality TV. I want to escape my life.
- Create a world for me to believe. While I want to visit a fantastical world, it must have rules that my nerd mind can understand and extrapolate from.
- Give me some mystery. Maybe some of the world's laws aren't fully explained to me at the beginning, or maybe some of the characters have unknown pasts. I need to be engaged in finding out more.
- Romance and sexual tension between the principal characters should be the continuing theme in the show. That means that 99% of the episodes cannot have mushy happy endings, because there needs to be a reason to continue watching.

So here are some of my favorite shows:
- Buffy the Vampire slayer: A world where vampires rule the night, but they can be killed by fire, beheading, and of course, a stake through the heart. Buffy loves Angel, but the real story is Zander and Buffy, two childhood friends who could never be together.
- Alias: A story of agents in the CIA. Physics and Laws are consistent with our own, but the lives of agents are seriously unbelievable. I believe the story was strongest when Will Tippen was around, but there's still a certain "forbidden" aspect of the romance between Sidney and Vaugn.
- Highlander: Immortals live among us and kill eachother with swords. The love interest here is not Duncan, but instead Richie and Tessa. The rules are very strong but we don't know why: Immortals can sense eachother when close, they cannot kill on holy ground and in the end, there can be only one.
- X-Files: This one has less rules and more suspension of belief. Scully and Mulder can never get together, but there will always be the romance.
- Firefly: Captain Mal and Anora are classic examples of the strained romance. If you can believe the post-apocalyptic world they live in, then the cowboy, space theme is not hard to believe.
- Heroes: definitely suspends belief, but the story changes so often it hasn't been able to capture my attention past the first season. Hopefully this will change with the new season.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Great Speakers

I'm a big fan of speeches. I remember in High School when I discovered Patrick Henry and his speech on freedom.

Today, I've watched 3 great speeches. First, I watched Martin Luther King Jr. on a low resolution, black and white youtube video talking about his children playing with white children. Then, I watched Obama's speech from 2004 on a low resolution, color youtube video, when he talked about there not being a Red America and a Blue America but a United States of America. And finally tonight, I listened to Barack accept the nomination for presidency in front of 75,000 people in my mile high home state on a glorious full resolution, color youtube video with great sound. That's progress!

By choice, I haven't watched any analysis of the speech, and that's the great thing about YouTube. But here are the things that stood out to me:

"We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past."

"Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them."

"America, now is not the time for small plans."

"And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need."

"Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise."

"John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives."

"We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe."

"So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. "

"I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."

"This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores. Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Listen up

Listen up because this is important. How can I support Barack Obama when I believe myself to be conservative? Former representative and Republican, Jim Leach spoke at the Democratic National Convention last night:

...the way today’s Republican Party has broken with its conservative heritage.

The party that once emphasized individual rights has gravitated in recent years toward regulating values. The party of military responsibility has taken us to war with a country that did not attack us. The party that formerly led the world in arms control has moved to undercut treaties crucial to the defense of the earth. The party that prides itself on conservation has abdicated its responsibilities in the face of global warming. And the party historically anchored in fiscal restraint has nearly doubled the national debt, squandering our precious resources in an undisciplined and unprecedented effort to finance a war with tax cuts.

How can anyone call themselves a conservative and support military operations overseas? How can anyone call themselves a conservative if they let the government choose what a woman can do with her body? How can a conservative government have so much power that they may ask telecommunications companies for records which incriminate American citizens, and they would comply? Would a party aligned with conservation spend more than it takes in?

Sure, there are some policies I'm not in favor of because I think they will be costly. But in my voting decision, I'm going for total cost conservatism not just line item.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Joe Biden

I'm really getting into the election this year. it would be easy to be disenfranchised with this circus, but I'm so sick of the current administration, that I look forward to something new. Like I said last time I wrote about politics, nothing political is worth discussing unless you have nothing to talk about, and I neatly tied up my entire summer in my last post.

I like Obama. There, I said it. And today, he announced he is running with Joe Biden. Horray! More characters in this drama! :) Congratulations Joe and Barrack, good luck to you both!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Well it happened again, I haven't kept up with blogging. I feel stuck because I can't create a new post until the old ones are out of my system and the old ones are old. I currently have drafts for 3 posts in my box, and no desire to complete them. But Jen called me out on it this weekend, so I'll quickly sum up and then be done with it. Maybe I'll even be better about blogging :D

1. WWDC happened. It was a lot of work, and I once again presented to a room of over 300 ravenous Quartz Composer developers. I did much better this year too, which is awesome. I also spent some good quality time with Ryan and Jay getting sloshed at the edge of a Hobson's Choice punch bowl.

2. immediately following the daily commute to San Francisco for WWDC, I flew out to NY for some well earned vacation and a visit to my sister, Tabitha. I wasn't sure if I could handle another week of city life, I was kinda sick of San Francisco and last time I visited NY it was oppressive feeling. But I walked, A LOT, and really felt free this time. It was great not to have to drive or even ride in a car for a whole week.

3. I took another vacation to Colorado this past weekend, the 14th of August. My wonderful friends Lily and Andrew were tying the knot (quite literally) and it was a big reunion of some pretty awesome people who have scattered to the wind.

That's the update. Thank goodness that's over now, so I can try updating more often.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

SubEthaEdit as a Journal

I really like SubEthaEdit, a text editor for Mac. It's mostly geared towards programming, but I find that it's a really good editor for anything text-only. For example, my journal is plaintext to avoid file format changes.

I created a script for use within SubEthaEdit's AppleScript menu. It's silly stupid, and doesn't scratch the surface of what SEE's scripts can do but it fits my needs (laziness). Basically, I wanted the same template for all my entries so if I ever want to process them, I have labeled metadata to work with. I also wanted to automatically save them into my Journal directory with a timestamp for sorting.

I know there are other journals, heck I could even use Blogger. But I don't trust online security and other Journal apps either lock you into a file format or are bloated (or both). 

So here's my script. I hope it's useful to someone.
on seescriptsettings()
return {keyboardShortcut:"^~@n", displayName:"TKJournal", inContextMenu:"no"}
end seescriptsettings

-- You should type and select the title before invoking this script
tell application "SubEthaEdit"
set mySelection to contents of selection of front document as text
set myHeader to "title: " & mySelection & return
set myHeader to myHeader & "Date: " & (current date) & return
set myHeader to myHeader & "Category: " & "Personal" & return
set myHeader to myHeader & "Tags: " & "journal" & return & return

set contents of selection of front document to myHeader

set myFilePath to POSIX path of (path to home folder)
set myFilePath to myFilePath & "Documents/TKJournal/"
set {year:y, month:m, day:d} to (current date)
set myDateString to y * 1 & "-" & m * 1 & "-" & d * 1
set myFilePath to myFilePath & myDateString & "-" & mySelection & ".txt"
save front document in POSIX file myFilePath
end try
end tell

Friday, April 04, 2008


I have been in California for 2 years and this is the second time I've had Chinese food in that time. Don't get me wrong, I've had Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Mongolian, Philippino, and other Asian cuisine's which would all be lumped together under one roof and called "Chinese" in Colorado. Chef Chu's in Palo Alto was delicious, but like the other place I went to, they didn't even have what I would call Chinese food staples such as Sesame Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, etc. The menu was slanted towards seafood, even the hot & sour soup had shrimp in it. I'm sure there's something to be said for authenticity, but sometimes you crave what you're used to.

On the other hand, I am much more sensitive to regional food now. When someone asks if I want to eat Indian, I usually ask whether the restaurant is North or South Indian (I prefer the vegetarian South Indian food). If someone wants to go to a Brittish Pub, I look forward to curry because it's going to be the best thing on the menu (besides the beer).

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I remember when I first realized I wanted to be an engineer, I was working at Target and I was constantly thinking of ways I could replace myself with a machine. I was fascinated with the "LRT" scanners and thought of so many ways to make the process better. "Efficiency is intelligent laziness" has been my motto ever since.

This is in stark contrast to the first time I actually tried programming, my eventual major and career. It was so hard, and took so long to do anything that I hated it. I think it was one summer during middle school when I went across the street to learn wood working with my neighbor's father and my neighbor came over to learn programming with my Dad. I think it's pretty cool that we carried the tradition of apprenticeship and I hope my own son will have a similar experience. But I digress. This experience of programming was to write "Hello World" to the screen using c++. It required so many files, a header and an implementation, not to mention the CodeWarrior project file and I was a hunt and peck typist at the time so it took over 2 hours to copy the program from a paper print-out. If it was so hard to write two words to the screen, how would I possibly write a game with graphics?!

One way or another, I stuck through it and now I am a software engineer and I have found ways to apply my motto to school and work. I still hate all the setup of programming though, especially for scripting languages. I wrote these programs to a.) learn them and b.) have a mkscript script that I can use to create a template for new programs. I think it's pretty cleaver that the template comes from the program itself!

Okay so I know perl, that will be obvious by how much better the perl program looks (or maybe perl is better??). But I thought it was lame to claim this is a good method for learning and not put it into practice, so I did Python and Ruby too.


use strict;

foreach my $file (@ARGV) {
if(not -e $file) {
open (FILE, ">$file");
open (READ, "$0");
while(my $string = <READ>) {
chomp $string;
print FILE "$string\n";
system("chmod u+x $file");

import sys
import os.path

def main(argv):
for i in range (1, len(sys.argv)):
if False == os.path.exists(sys.argv[i]):
writeFile = open(sys.argv[i], 'w')
readFile = open(sys.argv[0], 'r')
for line in readFile:
os.system("chmod u+x " + sys.argv[i])

if __name__ == "__main__":


for file in (ARGV) do
puts file
if not File.exist?(file)
writeFile =, "w")
readFile =$0)
while (line = readFile.gets)
system "chmod u+x #{file}"

If it means anything, I knew perl so that one was easy. I knew Python in College, hated it then and hated it now as I wrote this script. Ruby, I have never used and I must say, I'm impressed. I learned and wrote that script faster than I wrote the Python script, which I should still remember. I still like Perl best, but I'd give Ruby a shot if I needed to.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How I get things done

When I was in High School, I figured out how to take the shortest shower possible. The secret is one of those things that is really simple when you say it, really simple when you apply it, but really hard to accomplish day after day. Letting my mind wander while hot water pours over my body is the only reason I can get out of bed quickly, and since there's no such motivation (except the clock or water heater running out) to get out of the shower I usually hang out for a while.

So what's the secret? Two things: 1.) Use both hands to clean at all times and 2.) Get out when you're done. People will have other tricks like top to bottom washing or soaping dry but really, if you can keep moving you will be clean in under 5 minutes. If you're clean, why are you staying in the shower? (Except girls who shave in the shower, I'm not going to complain :)

This turns out to be the basis of my strategy for getting things done in the new year. 1.) I need to always use all the tools at my disposal. 2.) I need to stop when I am finished.

So far I've blown through a bunch of things that otherwise would have been forgotten, or done at the last possible minute. I got my car registration done which required an oil change, emissions, check writing, getting stamps and mailing. I cleaned out my closet and will take 3 bags of stuff to good will once I also go through my dresser. I researched and got a new credit card. I'm more productive at work also.

In addition to getting a lot done, I've noticed that this is exhausting and I go to bed tired every night. But it is one of those good fatigues that makes you sleep hard and wake up refreshed. I'm making such good progress that I can soon start on something I really want to do verses these things that I needed to do.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

2008 Goals

As 2007 was the first year I created goals, I think it went pretty well. This year I'm going to focus on doing more awesome stuff. Not only adventures, but also completing projects and generally living my life more efficiently.

To help with that, I'm going to try out the GTD craze that everyone has been talking about. I may have missed the fad, but I think it could still help me stay focused and Get Things Done.

Maybe later I'll talk about the actual things I want to get done, and that will be my real set of "goals" this year but if I am going to do more, I need shorter deadlines.