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Archive for February, 2008

Yao Out, still the hottest team in the NBA

I was traveling yesterday, didn’t get the news until I turned on the Rockets vs. Wizards during the 3rd quarter when I got home.

Statistics usually don’t lie (people make them lie, but that is another story). If you look at the statistical leaders in the Rocket’s games before the All-Star game (when the stress fracture apparently happened, or got worse), Yao led the team in points and rebounds (Cleveland, Atlanta, Portland, Sacramento). In the four games after, he led in rebounds twice and did not lead in points.

McGrady led in points in three of those four games after the break (i.e., there is always hope however slim it may be). (more…)

converting LPs to MP3s

I have almost every album Rush has put out…on LP, including a pristine 1975 Fly By Night. I have signed copies of several albums now considered “Classic Rock”, including a Black Sabbath Album signed by Ronnie James Dio (the singer who took Ozzy’s place, and led Rainbow…remember them, kids?), plus copies of albums that are hard to find on CD or iTunes (remember Riot’s album Narita?).

As of last night, I have my old Fly By Night album on my new iPod.

And I am slowly but surely getting many of my LPs moved to MP3 and onto my iPod, through a USB Turntable and software called Audacity, one of the coolest geek gifts my wife has gotten for me. The turntable is from ION; setup and use is a breeze; this type of technology has been around for a while, but because of how simple this configuration is, I highly recommend it. (more…)

USS William M Wood

the other “me” was on the USS William M Wood

I have a very unique name. I thought I was the only one in the world. But I found out I USS William M Woodassumed incorrectly in a very interesting way.

About two years ago, I started getting the newsletters from the USS William M Wood Association. The Association is very active, just had a great reunion in Branson…I wasn’t there.

The Wood was named after William Maxwell Wood, MD, the 1st Surgeon General of the US Navy, a hero of the War with Mexico, credited with “Saving California” for the US; also serving during the Seminole War, the second Opium War, and the Civil War. (more…)

A Fire Upon the Deep

bookrev: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

Winner of the 1993 HugoA Fire Upon the Deep

Vernor Vinge is in the list of SF/Fantasy novelists with the most Hugo/Nebula awards. Yet I had not yet read any of his works. This is my first; it is excellent and imaginative space opera, with at least three alien species that are well thought through and intertwines micro and macro plot elements.

The macro element involves a Transcendent being called “The Blight” which begins absorbing worlds (apparently through their technologies) after being accidentally released by a human expedition. The Blight annihilates the human expedition and their home world, except for one freighter which escapes to crash land on a planet. Transcendence is only explained in adequate vagueness, but my assumption is that it refers to an AI gaining self-awareness and self-control. (more…)


Rockets best record in 2008 but still out of the playoffs

The Rockets have gone 17-3 since January 3, the best record from that date to theRockets current All Star break. But with 30 games left in the regular season, in spite of that run they are still in 9th place in the Western Conference and out of the playoff picture. The Rockets are 4.5 games behind the Conference leading Phoenix Suns and New Orleans Hornets.

This is an indication of both how poorly the Rockets played before Jan. 3 (15-17) and how competitive the Western Conference is. Plus, of the 20 games in the 17-3 record, six were against Western Conference foes ahead of them in the schedule (wins vs. SA, Golden State and Portland twice, losses to New Orleans and Utah); there was no Dallas, Lakers or Suns in that mix. The Rockets are playing well, but the opponents have not been the cream of the crop. (more…)


geek job #11: Computer Jock for the LHC

The teams I’ve worked on have managed some incredibly large data centers. But I haveCERN LHC some serious geek envy for the dudes running the computing and network infrastructure for CERN’s Large Haldron Collider.

In case you’ve been sleeping in a scientific vacuum, you know that that the Large Haldron Collider (LHC) is where big bucks meets particle physics. To says that it is “big” is using small words for, well, big things:

  • it is the most expensive science experiment, with a budget of close to $6 billion; the cost is so massive that it is almost an all or nothing bet – many countries have put such a large percentage of their science budget into the LHC that there may not be funds for other experiments until past 2010; (more…)
My wife's new shirt

My wife’s new shirt

My Wife’s New Shirt

She always finds the good stuff!!!

Super Bowl XLI

Last Year we were at the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLIContrary to popular belief, there are people who win contests, not just some made-for-TVcheering and screaming rubes. My wife is one of those people; last year she won the Burger King Bobble Head Bowl sweepstakes (yes, there is such a beast). It was on a Saturday a couple of weeks before the big game when the FedEx package arrived. Normally Saturday FedEx packages are contracts for me to review, but this one had my wife’s name on it. And it was full of contracts. My wife does enter tons of contests, but for her to open an envelope with several pages worth of T’s&C’s was a little intimidating. I said “Looks like you won something,” in the understatement of the year. (more…)

Re-reading MSandT

Re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

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Dusk Before the Dawn

Dusk Before the Dawn

Software By the Kilo

Software by the Kilo


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