So, where was I yesterday?

So, where was I yesterday? I went to the Baltimore Museum of Art with my wife, son, mother-in-law and mother. Other than taking the looooooooooooooooo-oooong way there through downtown DC (all to avoid congestion on the beltway. reminder to self: never trust mom with a map), it was a great trip. Max was an angel the whole time. We saw some great art.

If you haven’t been, and live in the area, I totally suggest it. It’s not as impressive as the old Getty or the LACMA, which are full of the paintings you see on postcards and calendars. It still has a very nice collection of Matisse, Picasso drawings (which I enjoyed more than the paintings), and some great abstracts by some of my favorite artists like Paul Klee and Kandinsky.

It really got me in the mood to paint again. There’s something wonderful about seeing real paint on canvas. The texture of paint is so gorgeous. It’s never carried over in prints or even in reproductions. And it’s funny, it’s those details that make a work great. Looking at some Matisse in books or postcards makes it look hurried and childish. On closer inspection, the care taken in the brush strokes to bring out the knee and calf of a dancer, or a painter in a grove of olive trees make the painting beautiful and complex. I loved it. I need more…

We also ate at the museum restaurant, which, in most cases is a baaa-aaad idea. But, this museum has Gertrude’s (which I hear is closing… so sad). The food was AMAZING and the place was packed. I had the salmon alla bella and almost died of seafood happiness. It was the best I’ve ever had – and I’m an expert on restaurant salmon. Everyone else got crab cakes, and they were a little too full of old bay spice for me, but they were still very good.

My mother-in-law is headed back to Tucson today. It makes me sad. Yeah, really. I dig my in-laws. They’re fun, funny and caring. They’ve accepted me and my family and are always great to be around. I really wish they were closer or could visit more often. It also makes me feel guilty for dragging their daughter and grandson across the country. When we’re independantly wealthy, we’ll make it up to you Connie, I promise.

Categorized as family

So, what am I doing?

So, what am I doing? I think next week, I’ll start posting a bunch of the cool AOLserver stuff I’ve done on my own, like the adp-tag db call, the calendar and my instructions on how to install AOLserver and Postgres in Linux. How does that sound? It’ll be nice to have some content up here other than my ramblings and Max’s pics (which are cool and need to be updated).

I’m also thinking of building a search engine into AOLserver. There used to be this cool text indexing stuff built right in back in 2.1 when Illustra was still the primary db (and which I still have running somewhere on my O2). I’d love to see it come back. Why, you ask? Because I’ve been doing Search stuff for two years and think I can do it. So there.

What has to go into a search engine? Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Indexing: There has to be a way to get content, and it has to be fast. Also, it has to be able to index parsed content from ADP’s, which means lots of http gets, or ns_adp_parses (which would be cool but cumbersome).
  • Searching: I have to find some way to search other than tacking SQL wildcards on either side of the query. It just doesn’t produce good results. That means cool meta searching stuff which I know nothing about.
  • Results: I’ve used lots of API’s, and I don’t really like any of them. This isn’t a knock against the people who wrote them, it’s just the way it is. They’re usually written by people who do all backend stuff and don’t take the pains of UI development into consideration. I do some of both, so hopefully I can do it the way I wanna do it.
    Ok, I think that’s it… Wow, what a geeky post.
Categorized as geekery

I wanted to write this

I wanted to write this before I lost the feeling. Six Feet Under is going to be a great show. Last night’s episode was so beautiful and painful. The last scene where Brenda takes David and Nate on the bus was the most cathartic thing I’ve ever seen on TV. The look on David’s face as he finally let go, finally opened the door and felt real grief was amazing. In a second he went from stuffy and cold to real and grieving. I couldn’t stop crying (yes, I can admit it, I cried). It was one of the only times television has made me do that, and I loved it.

In two hours of screen time, I love this show. I love the characters. I love the pacing of the show. Think about it. In TWO HOURS, I’ve become emotionally invested enough in the characters to CRY! Jen cried last week (sorry sweetie) and I came close. How amazing is that? It honestly doesn’t get better than this. I know people will disagree, but this show is better than the first two episodes of The Sopranos by far. I can’t wait to see where it goes…

Categorized as tv

What a great game!

What a great game! The Evil Lakers lost! Aaaahhh. As a long-time Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs fan, all I can say is FINALLY! Sheesh. If I had to see one more happy fake hug between Shaq and Kobe, I was going to puke. I’m tired of Phil Jackson and his constant cheap attempted manipulations (of players, media, officials, you name it). I’m tired of the make-nice story of Shaq and Kobe (you mean, if we kiss and make up we’ll win? Thanks, ZenMaster Phil!). I’m glad the Sixers won. I was no great fan of Allen Iverson, and I’m still not. But, wow, to watch him go into the paint against a guy who really is twice his size and MAKE the shot is just amazing.

Which brings me to my next point. This is one of those Karmic things about sports, any sport. When your team goes out, root for the underdog. Everyone was saying that the Lakers would sweep and then the D word would come up (dynasty for the uninitiated). But now, there’s actually a reason to watch! GO SIXERS!! And pay attention, because that’s probably the last time I’ll ever say that.

On a totally unrelated note, Elvis Costello is on Letterman tonight. Painted from Memory is one of my favorite songs ever. It’s heart-breakingly simple in its message and artful in execution. Just a painful song, and I love that in my music. Why do you think I like Morphine so much? (and if you like Elvis’s version of the song, check out Cassandra Wilson’s on The Sweetest Punch).

Ok, one more. Max is feeling better!! I got up with him this morning and we played and he laughed which hasn’t happened in WEEKS!! And just in time for Grandma Connie’s visit. YES!

Categorized as sports

So now I have a

So now I have a Linux box on (under) my desk. It’s nice to sit here and look at a lovely GNOME desktop while doing my work. Linux is fun. Linux is groovy if you want to run a website on it. Linux isn’t so hot when it comes to working in a company that’s 100% windows-centric. So, I’ve got Win2k in the middle, a Sun box to the right of me, my RedHat box to the left, and my Powerbook in a drawer. Does it get any better than that?

Categorized as linux

I saw the CNNdotCOM story

I saw the CNNdotCOM story about Blogs on Sunday and I was sorely disappointed. It was basically a collection of soundbite quotes from a bunch of bloggers (Meg and Ev were the only people I recognized by name and/or face). It was a fluff piece that lasted maybe two minutes. Maybe it’ll show up on Headline News or something in the near future and spur some interest. I’d love to see some more mainstream media attention paid to the whole blog-nomenon (how’s that for a new word?).

On a separate note, Six Feet Under on HBO last night was GREAT. I’m hoping it turns out as good as the Sopranos has. The first episode was great, dark, funny, touching and heart-wrenching. It was great to see Peter Krause again (he was in the best sitcom ever, Sports Night). Everything about the show was great. The opening credits were some of the most original and mood-setting I can remember. The fake commercials were hilariously morbid. The characters leave me wanting more from them.

This show reminds me of some of my favorite shows of all time. The characterisation and stark sets remind me of the first 6 seasons of Homicide. The comedy is very dark, unlike anything I’ve seen on TV (that I can remember at the moment). It also reminds me of Once and Again. Like Homicide, the characters drive the plot, not the other way around, unlike a show like ER where it’s all about the accidents. The best shows let the characters provide the drama in their reaction to the plot, no matter how mundane or ordinary. Once and Again has its pot-boiler moments, but it’s the characters that I come back for. I hope Six Feet Under turns out to be as satisfying. If the first week is any indication, it will be and it’ll be a great summer.

Categorized as tv

I’ve realized that I have

I’ve realized that I have a gigantic set of blinders on. I can ignore stuff that doesn’t work or look good as long as I think it’s cool, or even worse, if I built it. It happens at work all the time, I’ve just been oblivious to it. This fabulous intranet I built for our group is cool. I built it. Therefore, I’ve reserved my biggest blinders for criticism of it. Now, I realize that the criticism is valid, and the site is really geeky (look at who built it) and not terribly easy to navigate.

At least I’m being big about it and admitting it. I had to send mail asking for help, “I know it sucks, how can I fix it.” What fun! I should leave the design stuff to the experts and just stick to building stuff and then make it look like they want. But, will pride let me? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll just have to wait and see. Meanwhile, I’m wearing my humble little blinders and trying not to make much noise… let’s see how that works.

Categorized as Kevin

I have been naughty

I have been naughty, I know, but I’m still fighting this stupid sinus infection and hoping that my face doesn’t just pop. I keep seeing it in my head, my whole face exploding like a baloon in a Bill Plympton cartoon. It wouldn’t just, just be unfortunate and would probably just float back into place. I just wish it would get over with so it didn’t have to hurt anymore. It’s hard going through the day feeling like my eyes are some shape they’re not supposed to be and that maybe there’s another face underneath mine trying to get out. So, that explains it; I feel no guilt. ::sniffle::