What's New? 2008-08-01

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What's New? 2008-08-01

 10 August 2008
  Doing some Sunday-afternoon basement cleaning I uncovered the ol' SkyChair (seen here in my old Waller Street digs, back in the last 1990s). Then I found our rainbow hammock; never used. I hung 'em both up and not only did the kids love them, but wanted to sleep in them at night. And so here they are.

Lila & Isaac backyard camping
 9 August 2008
  Last week Isaac got a TGV model train, one he's been coveting. Here it is running on the GGMRC layout.

Isaac's TGV

Later in the evening I took a stroll with Ranger Lefty, to plan out our assault on Burning Man 2008. Here, above Café Flore in the Castro is a mini-Man. This one doesn't get burned :-)

Burning Man in the Castro
 8 August 2008
  My company-issued MacBook Pro is awesome, but it needed to be maxed out, so they gave me 4 GB RAM and a 320 GB hard drive. It took me about ten minutes to swap out the old and pop in the new.

MacBook Pro 17
 7 August 2008
  My co-worker, Anirudh, took James and me to a wonderful tapioca milk tea place in Oakland. He's not looking so haapy. I asked him, and he says it's because the drink hadn't yet arrived. Them's good drinkin'.

Oakland, Anirudh, tapioca drinks

It was the Conservatory of Flowers' Moth Night, and so we went (with headlamps and laser pointers) and saw butterflies hatching. Here's Isaac with a butterfly.

Conservatory of Flowers Moth Night
 6 August 2008
  Isaac, on MUNI, on our way to the GGMRC. There's a reason I call him "train man," with this love of trains and train trivia.

Isaac on MUNI
 6 August 2008
  Today what's on my mind is a bit of a tech note. With Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) Apple continued its tradition of tweaking the UNIX underpinnings of the OS. Today I'm noting the new canonical ways of getting at the system happenings with GeekTool.

In the old days, to get at the Time Machine events in the system.log file one used the command:

sed -n -e '/backupd/p' /var/log/system.log | sed 's,username/System/Library/CoreServices/backupd,,g' | tail -10

the new blessed way is

syslog -F '$Time $Message' -k Sender /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd -k Time ge -6h | tail -10

The tail command trims off all but the specified number of lines, to fit the GeekTool window (because it won't automatically scroll to the bottom, as one might expect). The length of time to search backwards in the log files, and many other options, may be configured to your heart's content.

 5 August 2008
  Isaac's "formula store", as he calls it. He plays bath-time pharmacist; Lila is his best customer.

Isaac's 'formula store'
 4 August 2008
  Ah, Monday morning in the working world. So much to do! I got switched from writing the technical architecture document for our product family to adding some features into a networking module. So I'm jumping through hoops trying to get everything working together (from a developer's point-of-view). No luck yet.
 3 August 2008
  Well, today finally is the start of my Burning Man packing season. A little of 2.5 weeks before I leave (I'm on the mid-week early-arrivals program this year) and there's just so much to do! Originally scheduled to begin ten days ago, it's been a busy mix of work, family, and work and family. You know, one of those lifetimes.

But today I was able to hit the basement with a vengence, toss lots of things that needed passing on, consolidated more than just a few boxes of gear, washed some things with coated with playa dust (which absorbs water and smells musty thereafter), and started with the "I ought to be bringing this box."

It was an excellent start, and I'm very satisfied with the family. The kids enjoyed playing with the FRS radios

 2 August 2008
  I'm writing this from the Herbst Natorium (pool) at St. Ignatius College Prep, out in the Sunset. Lila is participating in the Summer League swimming championships. I woke her at 06:00, she wanted breakfast at Orphan Andy's, and we were at the pool by 07:30. It's indoors, and very, very loud. My voice is hoarse by noon, and it'll "only" be going on until 15:00 or so. That's a lot of time.

Lila's swim meet, Herbst Natorium, St. Ignatius, San Francisco

Lila's been in four races, or "heats." She's finished 2nd twice; I'm not sure about her first race nor the team relay. Not bad for small six-year-old in an 8-and-under category. She's too competitive to adopt our "it's more important that you show up, do your best, and have fun" philosophy. (Here she's posing with the event / heat / lane tuples written on her arm. I don't know about the mood.)

Lila's swim meet, Herbst Natorium, St. Ignatius, San Francisco

They sure could tweak their race-day processes, by the way. Canonically, they post the races sorted by time, so each and every participant has to nervously pore over the entire 9-page schedule, trying to catch each and every race in which they've been registered. I suggest to a coach that sorting by name would make things much (1) faster, (2) accurate, (3) less nerve-wracking. The guy looks at me like he's not yet signed off on this new-fangled computin' boxes thang. Sigh.

 1 August 2008
  BM2K3 the movie Okay, okay, okay! Yes, I know I'm almost a half-month behind in my "daily" postings. There's a reason for it: it came to my attention that I never completed my Burning Man 2007 weblet, and while I was doing that I discovered that there were a bunch of photos queued up for my Burning Man 2006 weblet that had been waiting only 23 months, and then I realized that I never actually uploaded the home movie I made of Burning Man 2003 entitled BM2K3. (If you've ever wondered what the event is like, or why you would want to take your family there after hearing the mainstream media's boobs-and-drugs coverage, check out the video.)

(This is the first time I've bothered to upload anything specifically so that it can be embedded in a web page. I'm pretty excited to be branching out from prose and still pictures into video. There's more coming.)


Ratto's Deli, Oakland CA This is the scene at Ratto's Deli, in Old Oakland, about five blocks away from my office.

It's a great escape from the fast-food fare being served up for the office workers at the recently-rebuilt, sanitized Oakland City Center area.

It's such a joy to be served handmade sandwiches featuring fresh ingredients; the choices bring to mind time spent in Spanish or Italian sidewalk bistros.

The only downside is the scarcity of tables, which pretty much means that either you get there before or after the rush or you take the food elsewhere.

Good coffee is to be had next door, at the Café 817.

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