May 29, 2007

Where was I?

Friday nite at Slice in Glenwood Park with friends. Glenwood Park has a small neighborhood with walkable streets but only just a few restaurants so far (Slice, Vickery's, and Vino Libro). Friday was perfect for some patio food and wine.

Saturday was the Symphony with the Beethoven Pastoral Symphony and the world premiere of Michael Gandolfi's Garden of Cosmic Speculation based on Charles Jencks garden in Scotland. First time I'd heard the Pastoral live, and it was a very lively performance with the separate sections of the orchestra really standing out. The Gandolfi was, in places, phenomenal. He has MP3s of the work at his site, and I can only assume they are from the ASO's performances this past week. Movements I-V were outstanding with a mix of Messiaen, Reich, and a little Persichetti yet still original and at times very rock and roll. Good use of polyrhythms throughout. He lost the crowd with his Baroque pastiche in the sixth movement suite. Although well done, it didn't fit with the rest of the work. The remianing movements got back on track and the final movement, "The Nonsense," provided a spectacular ending. During the intermission, before his work was performed, we actually saw him mingling in the lobby. I had the chance to go say something, but what? After the performance I realized that an invitation to free drinks at The Vortex would have been appropriate. Maybe next time.

Afterwards was a late dinner at Trois. Nice atmosphere and great food. I had: Alaskan Halibut with pea fricassee, tender onions, and tomato confit. Lisa had: Braised Beef Oxtail with roasted scallops, butternut squash, thumbelina carrots, and pecorino. Both were outstanding. Chatted with an older couple having their last meal in Atlanta before their return home to Manhattan.

Sunday was, of course, poolside drinks and chatter up at Liz and Matt's. Many arguments were had; I got scraped in odd places while swimmin' around with the dogs; and I got schooled on various human rights issues by Matt's friend and his friend's g-friend (whose name I forget but who is in school for international studies).

Movies were: The Killing of Satan, which would be a good challenge for Joel and the robots; The Narrow Margin, an outstanding protect-a-mob-informant cop drama from 1952, smarter than most coming out today; the 1933 King Kong, which I can't believe I've never seen; and the first 3rd of Clash by Night with Barbara Stanwyck, Marilyn Monroe, and directed by noneotherthan Fritz Lang.

posted by sstrader at 7:26 PM in Cinema , Concerts , Where was I? | permalink

May 25, 2007

Goes around

I like how this is getting international play. If it were just looped on FOX, it'd be justifiably dismissed. But with the BBC echoing what every embarrassed Democratandliberal is feeling, there's no denying it. Pelosi really-really needs to fix this. I'm not holding my breath though.

posted by sstrader at 12:37 AM in Politics | permalink

May 24, 2007

Programmer's notebook, May

(new concept, tryin' it out...)

For RadioWave, I continued cleaning up my messy, messy code. Much of it was carried over from when I was learning JEE and so required a tear-down/rebuild. Along with some JSP refactoring, I began converting code over to the data framework I developed for EventNett. It cleanly abstracts objects into classes for HTTP forms, database ResultSets, and read/write POJOs. They make it easy to copy between the different domains and are far better than my first fumblings in Java (without forcing an more invasive, 3rd party framework on the code). All of this refactoring unfortunately means shakier code in the short term as bugs get worked out but a more stable site in the long term.

I added Classic FM, a station in Australian (recommended by a European listener) which has its own weird time zones, and the music and news feeds from KCRW. Along with this new content, I broke out the detailed listings from shows that list tracks they will be playing but that don't say when they'll be playing them. In RadioWave, these un-timed tracks show up with the same schedule range as their parent show, but with the schedule times light gray instead of white.

I also finally got the Arizona stations in the correct time zone. Although, we'll only know for sure when daylight savings (which they don't follow) hits again.

I moved hosting from my server to LunarPages last month. They have something called an add-on domain that is a very inexpensive way (free, +$2/mo. for JSP) to host a new domain using your existing space. They seem to be down for ~15 minutes every week, but the price is right for JSP hosting.

For EventNett I primarily focused on getting the time zone conversions right--converting the GMT database time to the users' times. That was a bitch and it shouldn't have been. Live and learn. The knowledge will eventually be useful for converting RadioWave's times from GMT.

The only other notable update was fixing the JSP/CSS for the embedded feed (you can see an example here). The CSS had kinda skewed from the main site. Most of the problems were with IE's handing of TABLEs that have their widths specified. If IE can't determine the width of a TABLE's parent DIV, it will use the page width. Nice. The solution--as I now know and will cherish--is to create a DIV between the TABLE and its parent and specify a width of 100% in its CSS (not in its width attribute).

Finally, work (isn't it always the least interesting?). I had been struggling with getting the data sent from an existing utility to be received properly by a servlet I had written. The utility had been in the field for years with no issues (AFAIK), but when it sent data to my servlet--via HTTPS PUT--every other message was garbled. Unencrypted data came across fine, but SSL failed. What to do?

After getting schooled in the use of Wireshark from a co-worker, we poked and prodded with the packets for a few days, trying to learn what SSL should look like. I first wrote a Java utility to make the same calls, but it didn't reproduce the mangled packets. Finally, I wrote a C++ utility, mimicking the Win32 calls that the actual application was using. Testing with that, I found that the problem occurred only if data was sent from a Win2000 machine. I did some googling and found that the Win32 calls weren't being passed the correct flags; still waiting on verification though. Man, I hope that fixes it, 'cause I'm all out of ideas.

posted by sstrader at 6:46 PM in Programming | permalink

What goes around

Olbermann points out that Democrats are pussies (although, to be fair, he continues to give greater vitriol to the President). ~8 minutes and, as always, worth it. Unfortunately, for the war crowd who still defends Bush with the bon mot that "he would be praised if only the war were going better," it will now all be about how the Democratic leadership fell apart. Which, to a point, is a tacit admission of corruption and feeble morality cutting both ways.

50 years from now, historians will dig up Olbermann's comments and pair them with those of the majority of present-day political analysts. Olbermann the rare man-on-the-street voicing dissent and hinting that citizens of our time are not the reckless and shallow idiots that we appear to be. Maybe.

posted by sstrader at 8:54 AM in Politics | permalink

May 23, 2007


As of yesterday, the dryer-vent birds have gone. Hopefully, they won't remember me as the guy who just had to dry his jeans when it was 90-degrees out, but instead as the guy who put two dryer-sheets in to help fluff up their feathers.

posted by sstrader at 8:46 AM in Personal | permalink

May 22, 2007

Intelligent chemistry

A not-so-subtle, yet succinct, assessment of evolution denialists.

posted by sstrader at 11:15 PM in Science & Technology | permalink

May 19, 2007


Our dryer-vent baby birds are starting to fly around. One was just perched on our window all fluffy and out of breath.

posted by sstrader at 4:04 PM in Personal | permalink

May 18, 2007

Scores! Get your fresh scores!

From Scott Spiegelberg, a wiki with public domain music scores in PDF. Lots of content. Scores are older and sometimes with penciled fingering and phrasing, but still an outstanding resource.

posted by sstrader at 12:12 PM in Music | permalink


How do you eulogize someone who (1) had power over others and (2) was morally offensive? Be careful how you answer.... Who's a parallel to Falwell on the left/center? The fascist hate of religious extremism, the likes of Falwell being the sine qua non, is possibly matched by socialist extremism--a single will versus a loss of will--but living deep in the heart of the heart of capitalist country, it's hard to say just who represents the boogeyman of malignant socialism. And in the shadow of a single, malignant will, it's hard to see how that would be so bad.

One thing I know: too few people voiced the evils of Jerry Falwell at his death. Leave politeness to hold its tongue for noble men.

posted by sstrader at 12:05 AM in Culture & Society | permalink

May 14, 2007

Where was I?

Saturday nite was 28 Weeks Later (70/82 on Rotten Tomatoes). When it's violent, it's much much much more gorey than the original. The opening chase is perfect and nerve-racking. There are several points where you question the logic (although you're grimacing at the same time). And the daughter in the film is distractingly gorgeous. Not as good as the first movie--simply based on originality--but still good and it had me creeped out for the rest of the evening.

Got caught up on Lost (4 episodes) and Heroes (3 episodes) this weekend. Lost finally got to the we're-actually-dead theme, which was probably the major theory out there. Heroes had their wonderfully tragic future episode, "5 Years Gone," where everyone dies and evil wins, hopefully setting us up with key information to defeat said evil.

Drinks Sunday night celebrating non-mother's day for Lisa.

posted by sstrader at 6:59 PM in Cinema , Where was I? | permalink

May 10, 2007

Work out

So, since I haven't been able to jog, I've had to find a new Vehicle for Physical Health. I heard some co-workers talking about jogging the other day and it got me really depressed. A little while back I dreamt of jogging, and it was nice like the iconic signature of Peter Krause's character in Six Feet Under with his periodic jogging routine.

So anyway, I had been doing the step machine in the workout room at the condos here, but then I recently started sit-ups (crunches etc.). I kinda like it. I miss the real outside aerobic stuff, but this is something I've been needing to do (I have no abdominal muscles). It's a change.

posted by sstrader at 9:09 PM in Personal | permalink

Bill Moyers, Jon Stewart

Good stuff from Jon Stewart:

You know, one of the things that I do think government counts on is that people are busy. And it's very difficult to mobilize a busy and relatively affluent country, unless it's over really crucial-- you know, foundational issues. ...

... It's sort of this odd and I've always had this problem with the rationality of it. That the President says, "We are in the fight for a way of life. This is the greatest battle of our generation, and of the generations to come. And, so what I'm going to do is you know, Iraq has to be won, or our way of life ends, and our children and our children's children all suffer. So, what I'm gonna do is send 10,000 more troops to Baghdad."

So, there's a disconnect there between — you're telling me this is fight of our generation, and you're going to increase troops by 10 percent. And that's gonna do it. I'm sure what he would like to do is send 400,000 more troops there, but he can't, because he doesn't have them. And the way to get that would be to institute a draft. And the minute you do that, suddenly the country's not so damn busy anymore. And then they really fight back, and then the whole thing falls apart. So, they have a really delicate balance to walk between keeping us relatively fearful, but not so fearful that we stop what we're doing and really examine how it is that they've been waging this.

(Emphasis mine.)

posted by sstrader at 5:57 PM in Politics | permalink


ELAINE: The balance beam?

JERRY: Could we stop?

ELAINE: (gasps in mock surprise) Not the pommel horse?

JERRY: All right. Let's just drop it.

Gymnasts. Pfft. Now, pole vaulters...

Continue reading "urr..."
posted by sstrader at 5:28 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

May 6, 2007

Bill Moyers, "Buying the War"

Watching the show, I felt at first that it indicted the media for its collective laziness (all except the true American heroes from Knight Ridder, Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay). Around halfway through, I realized that it was laziness yes, but laziness spurred on by a populace that boycotted, phone protested, and emailed death threats. In other words, what we're all afraid of: a belligerent and ignorant populace.

posted by sstrader at 9:20 PM in Politics | permalink

May 5, 2007


Our dryer-vent bird just had her babies. Awww.

posted by sstrader at 5:06 PM in Personal | permalink

I slipped a mickey in her MacGuffin

Behold! My new 3-volume, 15-disc set of film noir:

I went crazy one night and ordered all three on the cheap from Amazon. Some I've heard of (The Asphalt Jungle) most otherwise (Gun Crazy aka Deadly Is the Female). And the covers are outstanding.

posted by sstrader at 9:27 AM in Cinema | permalink

May 4, 2007


The IPCC is in and it's everything we expect. As the BBC reported, science has finally won out over politics. However, some will still ignore it, and there are those I've spoken to who still doubt it's even a serious concern. Astounding. One random thought I had was that such "kooks" as Ed Begley Jr. and his ubiquitous bicycle will soon be forgotten-yet-mimicked. It's also heartening to hear the emphasis that the cost of ignoring global warming is muchmuchmuch more costly than addressing it.

Sad that it looks as if Ségolène Royal may fall behind Sarkozy in the French elections this Sunday. Let's hope for the best (and not just because she looks better than most politicians in a bikini--but should still lose the baseball cap).


We discovered, sadly yet with not too much surprise, that most Republican candidates would revoke Roe v. Wade and plant us in Iraq for who-knows-how-long. Interestingly, Ron Paul made a good showing in a post-debate-poll on MSNBC (take that for what it's worth). Respondents felt he both answered the most and deceived the least.

Israel's PM acts more petulant and pouty than Bush (if that's possible) and defies a 12% approval rating and a populace that demands he resign. His response, simply: "it would be wrong to resign." Pair this--with no connection necessary--with a diplomat from the Sudan, who has recently had a powerful member of the government indicted by the ICC for war crimes, the diplomat insisting that the US has proved that abuse of the ICC does not result in expulsion from the world community. Nice model we're providing.

Oh, and the LAPD suck dick. Fuck you, assholes.

posted by sstrader at 10:06 PM in Culture & Society | permalink

May 3, 2007

A plea from another blogger

A Perfectly Cromulent Blog has sent out a plea to any Texas residents to speak out to their state legislature on their dubious and heartless amendment removing financial support for autistic children ages 3-5. His post is informative, eloquent, and unfortunately personal. Read it and pass it on to those you know who may be able to help. We do what we can.

posted by sstrader at 5:25 PM in Personal | permalink

Happy birthday (name TBD)!

I wished your younger brother a happy birthday almost two years ago, so it's only fair that you get equal billing. Born at 10:01 AM, you're now ... an hour and 34 minutes old. Woot!

posted by sstrader at 11:35 AM in Birthdays | permalink

Button button, again

A riddle (in the form of a cipher-cipher). And the sad story of Wikipedia banning the numbers.

posted by sstrader at 12:17 AM in Science & Technology | permalink

May 2, 2007

A contradiction?

So, I go along with the rest of the world in thinking that government diplomacy doesn't work by ignoring those you don't agree with. Talk with Cuba and North Korea and Iran shouldn't be deferred until they do-what-we-want-them-to. That kinda ignores the whole need for this thing called "diplomacy." Anyway, that seems somewhat obvious to me et al. but then I think about Google and their China thing. My position at the start was--and their position now is--that you shouldn't be complicit in the mechanations of human rights violators (to say the least). Is there a contradiction here?

posted by sstrader at 11:08 PM in Politics | permalink

Where was I?

Inman Park Festival on Saturday. Where I: (1) saw a great monkey clock for a mere 39-bucks, (2) saw some outstanding lithographs from an artist whose name I forget, and (3) slacked off and purchased neither. (2) is showing in a gallery somewhere around the Inman Park area, so there's hope in finding it again. (1) is probably lost forever. Also, throughout the day there was (1) an emotional meltdown, (2) an alcohol-related gustatorial meltdown, and (3) neither were me. Which is somehow surprising.

Sunday was a wine dinner with Tedra and Bill at Sugo. Good food and a couple of very good wines from the Antinori Winery. Get the Tormaresca Rosso and the Villa Antinori Toscana Rosso (which I learned is a super Tuscan).

posted by sstrader at 8:19 AM in Where was I? | tagged inman park festival | permalink

Button button

During the last few days there's been some exciting follow-up to net hero arnezami's discovery of the AACS processing key in February this year. Users of the world mass posted those pesky numbers in an attempt--looking to be successful--to DDoS the lawyer tools who've been sending out take-down notices. And our hats should be off to Digg users who first saw all of their posts w/ the numbers get killed until they pummeled Digg with messages so fast that the front page filled up. Kevin Rose and the gang eventually acquiesced. The best idea came from a /. user who suggested that popular search engine queries should be published, inadvertently releasing the numbers into the wild for good.

Oh, and for what it's worth: 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0.

posted by sstrader at 7:56 AM in Science & Technology | permalink

May 1, 2007


"A Brief History of Disbelief" is supposedly coming to PBS, but I haven't spotted it yet. And apparently some conservative Xtians are afraid that we're taking over, yo. Don't worry, that won't happen until we learn to decipher television listings.

posted by sstrader at 12:22 PM in Culture & Society | permalink