There was a dream that was Rome

Posted by Thomas Sun, 31 Dec 2006 03:01:48 +0000

If you would have told me any number of years ago that I would be in favor of impeachment of a president, I wouldn’t have believed you. I no longer hold that President Bush is a steward of these many states and their people. I am of firm belief that he has in his own mind perverted and twisted his purpose and authority as Commander in Chief and is in fact subverting and eroding those freedoms and liberties he himself believes he is protecting.

I have recently read some of the surrounding commentary given by the founding fathers on the subject of the second amendment, in regard to the right to bear arms.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

I ran across a web page listing a dearth of quotes to the effect (as I perceived it) that the right was not granted out of the need for self defense by individuals or whatever tripe gun toter spout as legal grounds for their ability keep their weapons. I believe this right was granted as a guarantee of liberty. It was further proof that government is not to be trusted. The framers had just been screwed by their previous government and when a long train of abuses and usurpations … evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. This is the meaning. This is the reason. We are the government; We, the People. I believe our right of arms stems from this, that as a final and last resort, that the people would be equipped to take back what is rightfully theirs.

Things like this. Arguments given without context infuriate me. And these arguments of government seem very similar to many arguments of religion in my mind. The Bible is the written word of God. It is a Book, I dare say merely a book. What it represents is much greater than the sum of its many words. No one passage or phrase sums up its meaning. Yet so many arguments by ecclesiastical zealots hang solely upon one passage, one verse of Scripture. All too often the letter of the law becomes more important than its spirit. The Bible isn’t God, just as the passages together are not God. Only God is God. The Book exists to convey the concept, the proof that was and is, the relationship, the reasons.

I do not know if Bush should be impeached or not. For all my words here, I am not a lawyer. Perhaps he has lied to further his foreign policy agenda. I wouldn’t doubt that other Presidents have done the same. And other Presidents have undoubtedly ordered terrible things against their own people over these many years, but I doubt that any has done so with the brazen and blatant abandonment of personal freedoms and liberties as this President. Maybe I am wrong, but I hope that the Presidents before buckled to treason with more introspect than I believe this President has.

Give me liberty or give me death.

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Post backlog

Posted by Thomas Thu, 28 Dec 2006 00:37:18 +0000

I guess that I have a post backlog. I have all of these disjointed thoughts that I feel warrant separate posts, but they’re all grouped together time-wise at the end of the Christmas holiday. So, if you’re reading this, be sure that you didn’t miss any new posts. :)

Oh, and I’ve been pondering going on the January Work Project. It looks like it starts Jan 6. It would be cool to take off for a week and jetset out, but thinking now, it’s a little short notice…

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Xen and AFS

Posted by Thomas Thu, 28 Dec 2006 00:37:00 +0000

I really hate it when you dig down into some cool possibility, only to realize it isn’t possible. I’ve been playing a lot with Xen as of late. It’s really nice to be able to have another machine in a virtual sandbox. A while back I was talking with some guys from work about the possibility of using Xen in conjunction with AFS to create a very highly available compute cluster. Xen has the ability to migrate entire virtual machines from on physical machine’s memory to another physical machine’s memory, while the virtual machine continues to run and process stuff. It does not account for the “disk” associated with the virtual machine, which is where AFS comes in. AFS has the concept of cells, and the ability to move data on the server transparently to the clients. So it would seem that you could transfuse these two technologies to create virtual machines that would migrate around on various physical machines all transparently and automatically. But, here’s the snag. You can migrate Xen instances on the fly, but I don’t think there is currently any way to automatically fail over a virtual instance if a physical machines dies. And the same with AFS. You can migrate a R/W cell, and you can automatically fail over a R/O cell, but you cannot fail over a R/W instance. So, basically you can avoid downtime through scheduled maintenances, but can’t gain high availability through these technologies currently… :(

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New Gallery Software

Posted by Thomas Thu, 28 Dec 2006 00:36:50 +0000

You can find for the time being all of my photos at Hopefully it doesn’t become a crutch and result in lest posting on the photoblog…

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Tech Support

Posted by Thomas Thu, 28 Dec 2006 00:36:27 +0000

I have more than a few artsy friends in the graphics/photography/video/animation field. Several have been in the real world for a few years, while others are just starting. It really makes me wish that we could all start a little consulting business. There are at the very least Amy, Tycen, Adan, Marc, and Nancy. They could all do the artsy thing, and I could do all the tech support/IT for them…

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I didn’t even get her name or her number

Posted by Thomas Tue, 26 Dec 2006 19:30:31 +0000

On the flight from Houston to Amarillo, I sat next to a lovely young blonde. We exchanged pleasantries a couple of times, such as how she was from Hereford and I from Canyon, her grandparents were picking her up, while my parents were picking me up, how she lives in not Miami, but Jacksonville, FL and I in Atlanta, that I worked for Google and that she worked for some mortgage/lending agency whose name I can’t recall. Small chit-chat like that, off and on. It was… encouraging, let us say. It was loud and I had some trouble hearing her (like the Miami/Jacksonville thing). I didn’t get her name or her number, but I guess that’s ok. It was a better conversation with some random girl on a plane than I’ve had, so, yeah…

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Did Santa Come?

Posted by Thomas Mon, 25 Dec 2006 22:26:23 +0000

Did he bring me a wife?

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Google Christmas Party

Posted by Thomas Fri, 15 Dec 2006 02:16:12 +0000

Wow, I’ve not had that much fun in months. I really wasn’t looking forward to it at all. I was in fact dreading it and had been for several days. I’ve been in the doldrums as of late, so I wasn’t in the mood to be social, but damn I had a good time. I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much fun at the expense of drunk people, and boy are they funny. At the beginning I was pretty stiff, still not really wanting to be there, but after a little while I started to loosen up, for whatever reason. It probably had to do with the fact that everybody was drunk and wasn’t going to remember this, ever. I also started not caring whether people cared if I was taking pictures of them, so I started to take a whole bunch of pictures. I ran down my battery, let it charge some, ran it down again, let it charge some, and then ran it down again. I’m beginning to think I need a pistol grip battery along with some new glass. Looking at the pictures now, it seems like my primary issues were focus, lighting, and framing. I became more and more aware of being too close to the people in the picture, so I would back away and let the flash travel a bit (if I had the space to take a step back). The place was pretty dark, so I was using a flash, and wasn’t really in the mood to try any manual aperture mode. I figured that the reason why the camera was intent on pre-flashing alot was due to the low light and not being able to autofocus, which I also imagine didn’t help the battery situation much. Since I was blinding a bunch of people and didn’t have much battery to spare, I didn’t really feel like making them sit through several takes. And finally since it was also dark, I had some trouble seeing what I was photographing through the viewfinder. So, to recap, I need to pay more attention to framing (I was just being lazy mostly when this happened), bring a better battery, take at least 2+ of everything (to aid in better odds of a good autofocus), while simultaneously getting better at paying attention to the focus before taking the picture and being more diligent about checking the proof. I guess that part of it was that sometimes it just didn’t want to take, so I would hold down the button so that it eventually would take (which could have been a bunch of them). By then I didn’t have too much control over what exactly was in focus and didn’t want people to have to pose any longer.

In other news, I am in serious want of a wife…

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Spam Poetry

Posted by Thomas Thu, 14 Dec 2006 12:53:24 +0000

I am a seeker in search of miracles.
For ceiling’s and wall’s.
The conditionally perceived illusionary surroundings require examination and overcoming.
His exaggerated approach to sci-fi and surrealist subjects are fresh and twisted, with commentaries, accomplishments, and future goals as well.

Posted in General | 1 Comment


Posted by Thomas Tue, 12 Dec 2006 00:12:01 +0000

I have only until recently gained a significant appreciation for Scrubs. I essentially watched the first two seasons this past weekend, and I now understand why Adan, et. al. liked it so much, and I now like it, too. :) I really need to procure and watch the rest, which I imagine I’ll get on it right quick-like.

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Verizon can’t do math :(

Posted by Thomas Sat, 09 Dec 2006 12:02:51 +0000

For everyone who understand the difference between a dollar and a penny and can do dimensional analysis, you MUST WATCH THIS ROTF LMAO LOLOLO!!1!!!1. If the math is too much for you to follow, just use Google Calculator.

Update: For those of you who would like to keep up with the saga, check in over at the blog this guy set up for this.

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Being Ignored

Posted by Thomas Tue, 05 Dec 2006 00:50:42 +0000

I really hate being ignored. The frequency with which I feel this is quite small, but potent when it does occur (hence this post). And indeed more often than not, I am quite content to be ignored. But there are those times, when someone asks something of you and asks that it be done in an expeditious manner and then promptly ignores you, like it’s not really all that important (of course I never do that myself…). Those are the times that irk me the most. I’d like to believe that I’m a pretty low maintenance guy and that my friends don’t have to dote over me nor pay me much attention. Hopefully they acknowledge my existence, which usually of itself is enough. So, please, if you ask something of me, and I follow up with some sort of quandary in response to your request, be quick to respond, lest I think you don’t care that much for what you asked. Man, I just hate it when I ask a simple and reasonable question and get no love… I really hope I don’t do that.

Posted in General | 1 Comment


Posted by Thomas Sun, 03 Dec 2006 02:28:28 +0000

I really could kill the developers over at Pixelpost. Hulk gets angry when he reads the forums. Hulk gets angry when he looks at the code. Hulk gets angry when things that should be in the upstream codebase aren’t. Hulk gets angry when he spends most of the day patching the new code (not that he minds that much, and not that it’s the worst way to spend a Saturday, but I really shouldn’t have to). hulk gets angry when he gets the impression that the developers just want everything to be made into an “addon” when “addons” won’t really get you very far for some feature requests. Things that Pixelpost really needs to focus on and put in their roadmap/milestones (if they have any which I would doubt):

exif data in rss/atom feeds
thumb/full/no image in rss/atom feed
consistency in rss/atom feed content
rss/atom comment feeds
individual photo comment feeds
code formating/styling/standardization
code reuse/breaking into functions
out of the box anti-spam and captcha
header/footer in templates
prettier urls: simple: /photo/1 and more complex slugs: /2006/12/01/kids
database independent
remove “no intrusion”, 404 crap
standardize checking of possible x= parameters

And probably many more. It’s really not that bad of a product. And of course I use it, and I used it for Marc’s and Ben’s photoblogs, because when it comes down to it, it does its job, and it does it in a pretty short amount of code (because then it’s easy for me to hack on), but it really could use some polishing. I could probably easily get a dozen patches in to the development team, but I hesitate because if I did a whole lot of work to break all of my code updates into patches and then submit them to the developers, only to have them thumb their noses at me, well, I don’t want that to happen…


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Casino Royale

Posted by Thomas Fri, 01 Dec 2006 01:30:04 +0000

I just saw the new Bond flick “Casino Royale” which was pretty good. I dunno if it was 8.0 IMDB good, but it was good. It was also really long, clocking in at 2.5 hours. Most movies nowadays last no longer than 1.5 hours, while most older movies will be 2 hours long. There were a great many things that were different in this one, straying a lot from many of the common devices in most of the preceding Bond films. Things such as Q, lots of gadgets, lots of sex with lots of Bond girls, not the normal martini, not the normal card game, not the normal bond girl, no Money Penny (but an allusion to), new Felix Leiter, et al. They also seemed to try to have a throwback to some nostalgia in the first few minutes. Both of the studio logos were in black and white, yet were the current logos. Then the first sequence of the film was in black and white, with what I considered to be way too much grain. I watched “Roman Holiday” for the first time recently and in one of the dvd features, they explained how they had painstakingly restored the film. This process was excellent whose end result was a film without grain. They also left their trippy psychedelic main titles, with a little less lsd. In addition to the black and white grain, the way in which the opening sequence was shot was very much modern as well, not really lending itself to continue this theme of an old film noir movie. Also, as I was watching this, I really wanted them to do the titles in an old style as well, but it was not to be. So, while I’ve heard a person or two mention that they don’t like the new Bond as a blond, I didn’t really mind it. This guy was so young and buff that it really reminded me of what must have been the films during Connery’s peak physical shape. Having the franchise break out of the mold was a great stroke, I thought. They tried to focus a little more on story (which is why I would guess that the film is so long), which has been quite lacking as of late. Also, it seemed to me that they finished up rather quickly and in not so interesting ways (verbally for a bunch of it). You would have thought that with 2.5 hours they could have done a little better with the pacing. They still had the blockbuster action sequences which I would also guess would be the bulk of its appeal to the general audiences. I just wish that there would have been better writing and better story telling. I would love to see another in this departure from the cookie cutter Bond film, hopefully with a better story with some real twists, and perhaps shot in a style more in sync with this older time period in Bond’s life. I would imagine that those two things would really revive this dormant dynasty. Join us next time when we’ll discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s timeless and flawless “Dial M for Murder”. :)

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