Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Obviously you're not a golfer.

On Friday a number of us tried to meet up at Shoal Creek Saloon for some much need shrimp po-boy Lent Friday goodness. I say tried because there was a UT basketball game on and the place was packed. Damn March Madness. So we went to West Lynn Cafe instead. Now West Lynn is good, my eggplant parmesan was as good as it could have been, its just hard to go from Louisiana seafood goodness to Austin hip vegetarian. Afterwards we decided to unwind by watching the Big Lebowski and drinking White Russians. Good times.

Melissa and I got dressed up Saturday night and treated ourselves to a dinner at Aquarelle. It had been a while since we had a nice dinner out, actually Zoot I guess and that was one of the first posts on the blog. Wow. Anyway, it's a French restaurant and one of the fancier ones in Austin, and those together meant we had no idea what we were in for. It turned out to be one of the better dining experiences I have had. All three courses I had were delicious including the foie gras which I just had to get. One of the nicer things about the place is its laid back atmosphere. Dinner took two and a half hours and the waiter almost seemed offended that I didn't want a second cup of coffee. I particularly enjoyed the palate cleansers they served after the courses, very nice touch. I recommend it to anyone looking for a nice dinner out. If anyone can actually order from the Prix Fixe menu and finish all five courses and the three glasses of wine, please let me know.

Ever since watching the little bit of the O.C. that I have watched, I laugh when I hear "Chino." Just thought I would share.

On Friday, the UPS lady dropped off my latest toy, the Canon PowerShot A70, and I played with it all weekend. Point and shoot mode works fine and Jerry helped me through the nuances of using a digital camera for the first time. The things I am messing with now are how to take pictures without using the flash and how to mess with the white balance so that shots taken inside without the flash don't look like old 60s photographs. Seems I need a photography lesson. I'll bet most of the time the camera will be in point and shoot mode but I want to know what I am doing if I want better. Be on the look out for ImageStation links.

Melissa thought it would be fun to go to a non-football sporting event so we went to a UT baseball game on Sunday. I came away with a few suggestions for UT baseball fans. 1. "Give 'em hell. Give 'em hell. Make 'em eat shit," is not appropriate to say when you are the only one saying it and you are surrounded by many children under the age of 10. Learn the "alternate" version. 2. Mini skirts are not sporting event attire. It doesn't matter that you have a burnt orange T-shirt on. 3. Heckling is funny, but only in moderation. Yes, even lines about Rod in right field. I don't care what he did.

One final note, there are no longer any cables running across the living room floor or through the hallway. Hooray!

Thursday, March 25, 2004

"Y'have it?" he asks me. "Sorry John, I don't remember."

This past Tuesday Melissa and I went to see The Strokes. I really had no idea what I was getting into since, as anyone who knows us knows, Melissa is the music person. Looking back on it now I can safely say it was the best concert I have ever been to ... and I never want to go to another one like that again. Everything about the event seemed to define the concept of a rock concert. There were people moshing and crowd surfing. There were girls screaming and climbing up on stage. The lead singer even came out into the crowd a couple of times. The problem was, I didn't like being a part of that crowd. I never had a good view, got knocked around, and couldn't really leave the spot to get a drink or go to the bathroom. 24 hours later my ears were still ringing. As we were leaving I almost wanted to imitate the bouncer and check my ID. There is no way I am 26. 62 seems more likely.

Yesterday, during my first poker game with the iRichard, Taylor said something that has been bothering me all day. "I just want buying high-speed Internet access to be like using a vending machine." At the time, and on other occasions where he has said similar things, I agreed with him. It does seem like in a free-market economy buying a good or a service should be a straight forward and simple process, even efficient. Any call to your cable company or Internet provider or telephone service provider will show you otherwise. But hold on a second. You can call any of those people and get what you want, you just usually feel like you are paying too much for what you are getting, or you think you are getting screwed in some other way. Isn't that what is actually going on when you use a vending machine? I mean those peanut M&Ms cost a whole lot less in the grocery store, and probably even less if you buy them in bulk, and yet we still buy them from the vending machine. Maybe the hassle of shopping around for the best deal and fighting with the people on the phone is similar to the hassle of driving to the grocery store.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

I wanna be an alpha geek

One of the biggest surprises I had working in a development job is how little we know about what our customers actually want. Maybe the marketing folks do or some higher ups, but we, the guys doing the coding, have no idea. Often times we just do what we think is cool or what some planner in the room decides the customer wants. Andy Kessler, in a piece for the Wall Street Journal, suggests companies open up their code and let industrious home users come up with new product features on their own. (Thank you Slashdot for the link.)

Woo woo, indeed

Elmer's has updated their image with a little help from our friends at Peter Mayer.

Friday, March 05, 2004


I'm so happy.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

charting a different course

The European Union is still deciding whether or not to allow software patents. This commentary argues why the EU should set up a different system then the one we have in the US. The author does an excellent job of describing the economic reasons for having patents and how those reasons are not valid for software patents.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

another good friend

Aamir's blog makes you wonder if he gets anything done at work.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Does your bulletproof vest have to match you belt and shoes?

Another key issue will be the USA Patriot Act. Security is a trade-off, but do we all know what we are gaining and what we are losing?

Free trade

A key issue for me in the next presidential election will likely be the issue of free trade and the related discussions of offshoring and protectionism. A recent commentary just reminded me of that.