Looks like I may be going to help with the rescue efforts in Louisiana. The details are a bit sketchy from the email I just recieved from the team commander:
I don't have a bike, although I used to mountain bike all the time and I would love to have a nice new mountain bike, but not as much as I want a street bike! Anyway there is a cool downtown 14.5 ride to benefit the American Heart Association on Sunday September 18th. If you're in Downtown LA and have a bike (eric) you should totally go check this out! You can register here by clicking on the button that says "I will be participating in the Bike ride to the Walk."
During my adult life, I have alternated between getting way too little sleep (<4 hours) and way too much sleep (>8 hours). Call me strange but I have noticed that if I get sleep in 2 hour blocks, like 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours I feel well rested and refreshed, but if I sleep an odd number of hours I feel like I'm being robbed of sleep. I'm not sure if this is a mental thing or if it is my body's biological clock telling me to feel rested. Anyway, I've decided that 6 hours of sleep is the perfect amount for me to feel well rested and also to allow me to get more done in the day. I have been trying it out and it really does make me feel good and I don't even need to set my alarm as I tend to just wake up after sleeping 6 hours. Another nice benefit is that at night I actually feel tired when it is time to go to bed.
I just got in to GTD last week, my book hasn't even arrived yet via Amazon but I have read dozens of web pages about the process and I have my @action lists / projects / goals etc and it works great... put a whole bunch of tasks in to my dead and done file so far in the last few days.
My next step is to create a nice php/mysql interface that will sync with the text lists on my home/work desktops and my blackberry (which is on its way). So far I am using a combination of tar, openssl and scp to keep my lists synced, archived and encrypted. Fun stuff!
When I moved back to LA after living in OC for a year I hit up two of the local LA group blogs and asked if they needed or wanted any writers. Sean from blogging.la was the first to get back to me and let me know that the site was currently maxed out as far as writers went and to get back to him later to see if anything opened up. A few weeks later Jason Toney emailed me and let me know that there was room on LAist for writers and so I wrote a handful of articles for them. A few weeks ago I checked back with Sean and he informed me that a couple of spots had opened up on b.la, and as that was the group blog I had originally wanted to write for I retired from LAist and moved on over to b.la. So after finally getting my bio together I am now writing for blogging.la. My first post about the Chinese Food Festival is here.
Today after going for a run in Griffith Park and visiting out favorite baby sifaka at the LA Zoo, Penelope and I met up with Jim and Shannon at Union Station and then walked over to New Chinatown to partake in some serious Chinese food sampling, with some soul food and Seoul food thrown in for good measure. Jim took some photos of the festival which can be found in his flickr pool. I am uploading the photos I took now, but it is going a bit slow as I am just borrowing my neighbors internet connection, thanks neighbor! My photos for the most part can be found here.
Today Penelope and I walked a few blocks to the Civic Center to hit the YMCA and meet with our trainers to get set up on the FitLinxx system. Fitlinxx keeps track of your workout routine and lets you track your progress online. All the weight machines and most of the cardio machines are linked up to the network. It is pretty high tech and is included with the membership fee. I am going to be working out at least 3 days a week and doing 30 minutes of cardio and my sets of resistance training. Fun stuff!
Looks like some woman named Amanda doesn't quite understand the whole humor thing and was totally offended by Sean's minpin page where he talks about how minpins eat cars and people. Then to top it all off she posted this on an unrelated post on his blog: "what a total moron!!! I'm glad you had a good laugh you also gave all my friends one with your stupidity!!! Have fun pissing people off!!!!" classic!
So I read this article over on Robert Daeley's blog about making your desktop more sensible, toned down and work oriented. I am taking some of his advice about hiding notifications / the dock and toning down the color scheme on my desktop as well as trying out quicksilver [quicksilver totally rocks!]. I don't really like the idea of one huge text file for a number of reasons and as I am currently converting my CMS system slacker to be object oriented I am going to expand the features I already have to be my PIM, task manager, goal watcher, notes, etc all trackable with RSS feeds and editable with XML-RPC. It will include a backup dumping utility that will create encrypted text files that I can put in various places. I have written most all of the code for this in the last few years and I am looking forward to objectifying it! I am even considering upgrading to PHP5 to make use of the expanded object functionality.
I have been using a 1Ghz titanium powerbook (2nd or 3rd gen) for the past couple of years for my "desktop" at home and about 6 months ago the screen went on the fritz. The system is still covered by an Apple Care warranty so I am sending it in for repair. While I am without my laptop I have a loaner system... Dual G4 866Mhz. It is pretty cool except for the fact that I can't use my Verizon EVDO card with it, although I did by a PCI to PCMCIA adapter that doesn't work. Right now I am borrowing one of the many open wireless signals in my building. At first I was just browsing normally and it was quite slow, thinking it was my ssh tunnel and proxy server I checked my settings and low and behold I wasn't using my proxy/ tunnel... oops! I turned it on and it is actually much faster now. Go figure.
I am currently buying old books on ebay that (mostly) are in the public domain. These books are about Los Angeles. Thisshould be interesting. They come with maps... the mashup possibilities get ever cooler!
Penelope and I joined the best gym in Downtown LA today, the YMCA. The place is really amazing, with a pool, a full wood floored basketball court, tons of cardio machines, tons of weight machines, free classes, racquetball courts, a padded track, sauna and steam rooms, and a great view. It is only 3 blocks away from out loft and compared to the other gyms in downtown it is very affordable and has better hours. We worked out for a short 30 minutes today, starting on the elliptical machines, then moving on to the stair machines with the actual moving staircase and then spent 15 minutes running around the padded track and then sprinting the last lap. Next time (tomorrow) we will do strength training after our 30 minutes of cardio.
After the workout we headed over to the Downtown Farmers market on 5th street between Flower and Olive (I think). The market was packed with people from both the neighborhood and the local businesses. The stands sold everything from clothing to the usual staples of organic veggies and fresh baked goods. We ran in to Gary Leonard, the Downtown LA News photographer, who I had previously met at the Is California Governable talk. The market is really quite expansive and puts the Silverlake Farmers Market to shame.
On our way back we stopped for lunch at Saisai, the sushi bar located in the Biltmore Hotel and we each tried one of the lunch specials which had hearty portions, delicious fresh fish and beautifully presentations. I look forward to going back for dinner some time in the future. Penelope and I are considering having our wedding and reception there
LA Times (via KTLA) has an interesting History of the Skid Row in Downtown LA that goes all the way back to the late 1800s.
Looks like Dan Garzila has a different take on Central City East is really all about. I'm not surprised that LAT got their facts wrong.
I just logged on to the google talk jabber server:
- login: firstname.lastname@example.org
- password: yourpassword
My friend set up jabber and his iChat crashed and then killed all his preferences. It seems to keep crashing on him. It is sort of working. Eventually we got both text and Audio chat working in iChat even though the chart on google says voice chat doesn't work.
Well Sean seems to have gotten it working too, but when I tried to reply to his message he disappeared and now I am seeing "Jabber Error" popups when I try and talk to him... can you say buggy!
This Sunday is the Chinese Food Festival in Chinatown. I have never been to this particular festival, but both Penelope and I love food and we're going to jump on the train this Sunday and go check it out. The festival is normally $10, but if you take public transportation you get $2 off of the admission price. We're meeting up with jim and sha who are also planning on heading down.
I will no longer be writing for the LAist group blog. It has been fun and I have enjoyed writing the articles I have written for the site. I want to thank Jason Toney for giving me the chance to write for the site and wish him and the rest of the folks on LAist the best of luck in their adventures. Here is a link to the articles I wrote.
LABlogs has been changing their site up in the last few weeks and it looks like they are going to add the ability for people from the community to post.
Blogs can be a very personal insight into people lives as is evidenced by these two posts about a man (William Campbell) reunited with his estranged daughter after not seeing her for 5 years. Sean Bonner said yesterday if you only read one blog today read this and I will echo that again for the second part of the posting.
I just posted up the 5th part of the LA From an Auto series over on LA Voice. You can check out the new google map with many more locations here. Here are the first four parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.
Last night Penelope and I were awakened by the sounds of the first gun shots we've heard in our neighborhood (we shoot my guns all the time just not outside of a shooting range in the city). Right down on the street in front of our house where the dealers and users hang out all day and night, we heard about 10 shots in rapid succession. It didn't sound fast enough to have been an automatic weapon, more likely it was a semiautomatic pistol somewhere around 9mm. A few seconds later we heard it again a few blocks down the street so it was probably fired from a car. I didn't even bother to get out of bed and look but Penelope said she saw a bunch of people huddled around somebody on the ground and a few minutes later the police showed up along with an ambulance. We're on the top floor of the 7 story building so it would take some horrifically bad aim to hit our loft accidentally, but I'm curious to see if any of the rounds hit the lower floors.
I just used the trusty 311 service to talk to my local police department (central) and they informed me that the two incidents are under investigation and the person who was shot was not killed and is doing ok.
Today Penelope and I walked up the hill a few blocks to check out the Basquiat exhibit at MOCA. The collection is vast and supposedly the largest ever in one place. We very much enjoyed the vivid and tumultuous paintings of the young deceased artist, our favorites of the bunch being Grillo, Now's the Time (a Charlie Parker record) and the various Gray's anatomy inspired paintings, which were obviously inspired by the thick anatomy tome (even though that bit of information was unknown to us).
This continues after the fold...
I was just wondering if the live focus feature in the Canon 20Da is a hardware change like the different IR filter is or if is purely software... you would think it would be software. You can download the 20Da firmware but it appears to be in Japanese.
It won't work because the mirror on the 20Da is semitransparent, allowing simultaneous viewing through the eyepiece and the LCD.
So far I have taken over 10,000 photos with my Canon EOS 20D. I really love the camera and the photos I have taken with it. Of those 10,000 photos I have thrown about 9,500 or so... having a great camera has inspired me to take many shots but only keep what is good. I think my photography has come a long way, but there is always room to improve!
Photos and words coming soon.
So believe it or not I have been slammed at work since I got back from the con and I really haven't had any time to sort my photos and write about my experiences at DEFCON, or at the parties I attended. I just got back from the walking tour of Downtown LA focusing on the Art Deco buildings in the area. I took some photos and I'm going to both sort those and the DEFCON pics and upload tonight.... oh and another thing... if I have time tomorrow I will be releasing a few more pages of LA from an Auto.
Oh my it must be a chilly day in hell as Penelope posted two entries on her site!!! One is a review of defcon... good job sweetie!