Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How to Sleeveface

Carrying on from an earlier post of mine, here's a clever video teaching us how to sleeveface. For those of you who want more, there's a Facebook group, a dedicated blog and also a Flickr group photo pool.

Smoke on the Water, Japanese Style

"From the 250th anniversary celebration of the Great Fire of Edo (Edo is
the traditional name of Tokyo) … one of many, but the most
destructive, held along with the Great Eruption of Fuji-san 300th
Anniversary. This is the Kabuki-za orchestra and readers along with
part of the Suntory Hall Orchestra, which occasionally features the
Crown Prince on viola (but not in this one)."

From Japan Probe via Tim Bray on Twitter.

Sony BRAVIA Commercials

The Sony BRAVIA commercials simply put, rock. What's more amazing is that they are real - there's no 3D animation. They're beautiful and they are fun. Their latest one, "Play-Doh" is no exception.

My daughters absolutely love these commercials. I'll be working in the office and they will run in and jump in my lap and demand "Balls" and "Paint." I pull them up and play them full screen (I highly recommend heading to the Sony BRAVIA site and downloading the hi-res versions) on the 24 inch monitor and turn up the volume. We'll sit here and watch them over and over and over again. I'm guessing "Play-Doh" will now be added to that rotation. And you know what, I really don't mind. Because I love them as well.

I just found another commercial titled "Pyramid." This one isn't linked from the main site so I'm not sure if it's official or not. Still it's pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Memory: Gaming on the Commodore 64

Growing up as kids, we usually had the latest gaming gadget. Like the Atari 2600. Then the computers started to come out. Our first computer was the Timex Sinclair 1000. It was pretty limited, and it was slow. My dad tried playing chess on the advanced level and each move took hours. It really didn't have much in the way of games.

But then my dad brought home the Commodore 64. Oh my! The graphics were amazing. And the games ... oh the games were wonderful. Then Archon was released and distributed by a small company named Electronic Arts. I remembered being dazzled by the artwork (I even used it for an art project at school) and the packaging. Basically it was battle chess, and it was leaps and bounds better than anything else we had played. It raised the level of our expectations for any future games. My friend had a 64 as well, and he had a modem. I remember logging into a BBS and playing a dungeon game. We played for hours.

I still fondly remember Archon as my first great gaming experience. Too bad I no longer have that art project.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Fought the Internet, and the Internet Won

I have been defeated by the Internet. That and my stupidity and not paying attention to details. I am teh n00b :(

So I decided to change my password today. That went well. I copied down the new password in my handy dandy secure app. Cool. I get home, and I can't login. I try again. Nope. I try again and again. Nope and No. Hmmmm ... Fine I must have made a typo. Twice. So I hit I Forgot My Password link and wait. The email doesn't show up where I expected it to. Ruh roh waggy. I try Reset Password. No Email. Waggy, we have a problem. A Big Problem.

It turns out that my secondary email was my old work email. You know the place I got laid off from over a year ago. Yeah ... Waggy, no Scooby Snacks joy for me!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dinner: Seared Ahi Tuna

Seared Ahi Tuna
Originally uploaded by tony:oeb:frosty

After reading Thin Guy's post, I decided to give it a whirl. My wife had her doubts, telling me that Ahi Tuna was hard to cook and was usually too dry. I shrugged and said "we'll see."

For the marinade, I skipped the Wasabi and the Shichimi Togarashi since I didn't have any. Instead I added sea salt, fresh pepper and sesame oil. The tuna marinated overnight in a Tupperware container.

To cook, I pulled out my All-Clad and put it on high heat, adding olive oil to the pan. When the oil started to ripple, I placed the tuna in the pan. Commence searing - a couple of minutes is fine. The marinade will burn (turn your fan on!) but that's not a big deal. Flip over with some tongs and finish the other side. Remove the tuna and deglaze the pan with wine - I always have a cheap red or white on hand for this. A quick wipe and onto the second piece. Repeat. Deglaze again and make sure to get all the burnt marinade off. This will save you a lot of time and effort when cleaning the pan later.

For the dipping sauce I quickly whisked together some shoyu, honey, sesame oil and Aji Mirin. I then added some scallions.

I spend a few minutes plating the dishes and set the table. Plating goes a long way in setting the mood, and making the food visually appetizing. It's really not that much effort, but it goes a long way.

I pour my wife and I a nice Chardonnay, and await the judgment. I'm sweaty from the cooking and a little tense. She approves! She actually likes it. Yeah! Mission accomplished.

Thanks again to Thin Guy for the inspiration.

Note: Today I got from from the grocery store about 5:00pm. I was able to get dinner on the table by 5:45pm. Dinner included roasted asparagus and a nice salad (heirloom tomatoes, avocado, sweet peppers) So this really is a quick and delicious recipe.

A Memory: Meeting Thomas Dolby

Thomas Dolby by thanasim25 on flickrI had just started working at JavaSoft. I had a meeting and arrived at the conference room a little early to find the previous meeting just letting out. I wandered in and noticed a man packing up a Mac by himself. The executives weren't paying any attention to him and left. Something seemed familiar about this man. Then it hit me. It was Thomas Dolby. I looked around and found that we were the only two people in the room. So I wandered over and opened with a tentative "Mr. Dolby?" He looked up at me, "Yes?" "Um hi ... Dude I love your music!" I blurted out. He smiled and seemed pleased that someone recognized him. "What are you doing here?" I asked. It turns out he was working on a musical plugin for Mozilla, and was seeing if there was any synergy with Java. I believe this was the beginning of Beatnik, Inc. We pleasantly chatted for a bit, and I found out he was living in the Bay Area. That's why he had swung by Cupertino to arrange the meeting. Finally he apologized, and told me that he had to run off to another meeting meeting, else he would love to keep talking.

A few years before, I was at E3 in Los Angeles. I was wandering around the floor with a friend of mine checking out the booths and the sights. E3 was still pretty crazy back then. We came across a booth that people waiting in a long line. It was the Rocket Science booth, and they were giving away tshirts. I asked a random fellow "what are you waiting in line for?" and he replied "some dude is signing shirts." Puzzled I walked to the front to see who it was. It was Thomas Dolby, but no one seemed to realize this. I turned to my friend and said "get in line." "Do you who know who that is?" I excitedly asked my friend. He shook his head. "Dude! Come on! It's Thomas Dolby!" Blank look. I sighed "You know, 'Blinded Me with Science'?" "Oh!"

So we waited in line and finally it was our turn. My friend wanted to drop to his knees and start the whole "We Are Not Worthy!" routine, but I threatened to kill him if he did. He rolled his eyes and mumbled "whatever." Dolby seemed pretty bored, and no one was talking to him. So I strolled up and asked "So, how come 'My Brain Is Like a Sieve' is not on your 'Best Of' album. He blinked and looked at me, then said "You know, that is an excellent question." He then introduced me to his manager who was standing next to him. And then he started chatting to me. My friend told Dolby of his "Not Worthy" plan and he smiled "that would have been funny!" My friend shot me a dirty look. It all seemed a bit surreal at the time ...

So there. I've met Thomas Dolby. Twice. I'm sure he doesn't remember, but they are great memories for me.

Song of the Day

"Not an Addict" by K's Choice is a painful, tortured song about well, yes, addiction. It's full of emotion and longing. It offers us a glimpse into why drugs are so appealing, and also their treacherous downfall. I love the contradictions in this song, and Sarah Betten's voice is perfect for making us feel the ache and conflict.

"Breathe it in and breathe it out
And pass it on, it's almost out
We're so creative, so much more
We're high above but on the floor

It's not a habit, it's cool, I feel alive
If you don't have it you're on the other side

The deeper you stick it in your vein
The deeper the thoughts, there's no more pain
I'm in heaven, I'm a god
I'm everywhere, I feel so hot

It's not a habit, it's cool, I feel alive
If you don't have it you're on the other side
I'm not an addict (maybe that's a lie)

It's over now, I'm cold, alone
I'm just a person on my own
Nothing means a thing to me
(Nothing means a thing to me)

It's not a habit, it's cool, I feel alive
If you don't have it you're on the other side
I'm not an addict (maybe that's a lie)

Free me, leave me
Watch me as I'm going down
Free me, see me
Look at me, I'm falling and I'm falling."

Additional Info:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


It's amazing what you can do with a couple of iPhones and a Nintendo DS. Like this jam session. I'm looking forward to their future work.

One Red Paperclip

one red paperclipequal signone house in Kipling, Saskatchewan
Kyle MacDonald traded one red paperclip for a house. He started with one red paperclip on July 12 2005 and 14 trades later, on July 12, 2006 traded with the Town of Kipling Saskatchewan for a house. Not bad, not bad at all.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Image of the Day: Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly 3
Originally uploaded by tony:oeb:frosty

The weather turned warm, and most of the Monarch butterflies had left or died. This one landed nearby after most of the walking tour had left, and I was alone.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ah, L'Amour

For those of you not having such a wonderful Valentine's Day. By the wonderful and wacky Don Hertzfeldt.

Song of the Day

Today's song is Level 42's "Something About You", which was released in 1985. A great song for Valentines. It's about a human sort of love, powerful and messy and tending to dip itself into tragedy from time to time, but managing to persevere.

However if it doesn't work out, and it all falls apart, you can play their song "Leaving Me Now" which happens to be on the same album. Such convenience!

How can it be
That a love
Carved out of caring
Fashioned by fate
Could suffer so hard
From the games
Played once too often
But making mistakes
Is a part
Of lifes imperfections
Born of the years
Is it so wrong
To be human after all

Drawn into the stream
Of undefined illusion
Those diamond dreams
They cant disguise the truth
That there is something about you
Baby so right
I wouldnt be without you
Baby tonight

If ever our love
Was concealed
No one can say that
We didnt feel
A million things
And a perfect dream of life
Fragile but free
We remain
Tender together
If not so in love
And its not so wrong
Were only human after all

These changing years
They add to your confusion
Oh and you need to hear
The time that told the truth"

Additional Info:

i carry your heart with me

"i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)"

A Webcomic for Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Image of the Day: A Crow Conversation

A Crow Conversation
Originally uploaded by tony:oeb:frosty

A pair of crows, seemingly lost in conversation. Taken along the Carmel Coast.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Phil Mickelson Does Good

I hadn't seen or heard about this until now. Basically, a father and son went to the FBR Open to get Phil Mickelson's autograph. Unfortunately it turns out Phil doesn't give out autographs when playing. Instead he gave the father and son tickets to the Superbowl. Not bad at all. Well done Phil.

I Have Come Here to Chew Bubblegum ...

"... and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum."

One of the greatest movie quotes ever. This line, from the movie "They Live", was supposedly ad-libbed by Roddy Piper.

Monday, February 11, 2008


David Bowie Low
Originally uploaded by See Gee
"Back in the 70s, Bowie often used to come round to watch Scooby-Doo with us... his folks didn't have a colour TV at the time. He didn't even bother to take off his coat - he didn't want to miss a single second."

Check out this brilliant collection of photos [flickr slideshow] with people integrating album covers into various poses. And the descriptions (like the one above) are hilarious!

Via Tim Caynes.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year, and welcome to the Year of the Rat. I wish you all good luck and good fortune. Now let's all head to China and get our gold plated Mplayer.

On another note, I love this quote from Wikipedia's Chinese New Year entry:

Back in the 1970s, children in Hong Kong used the saying: (Cantonese), roughly translated as, "Happy New Year, now give me a red envelope, fifty cents is too little, don't want a dollar either." It basically meant that they disliked small change - coins which were called "hard substance." Instead, they wanted "soft substance", which was either a ten dollar or a twenty dollar bill.

Smart kids! And finally, can anyone explain to me why there are so many different "Happy New Year" pinyin translations? It makes it quite rough on this gweilo.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sapporo Snow Festival

It seems mandatory that I blog about Japan's Snowman Competition. To be exact, it's the 59th Sapporo Snow Festival. It's a pretty serious festival, judging from the site maps (Odori site and Satoland site). They have slides, a snowball fight demonstration, build your own snowman, snow rafting and even a labyrinth. And there's an ice festival as well.

You can check out pictures and explanations [festival site] of the major sculptures from the Odori site. In addition, this search on flickr will give some great image results. The overhead shot from Keith Yeung is very impressive and gives you a wonderful sense of the festival's scale.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go and train my army of snowmen.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Blowing Brains

WARNING: This is pretty gross.

I encountered the phrase "blowing brains" while reading the NY Times article "A Medical Mystery Unfolds in Minnesota." Here's the excerpt:

"On Nov. 28, Dr. DeVries’s boss, Dr. Ruth Lynfield, the state epidemiologist, toured the plant. She and the owner, Kelly Wadding, paid special attention to the head table. Dr. Lynfield became transfixed by one procedure in particular, called “blowing brains.”

As each head reached the end of the table, a worker would insert a metal hose into the foramen magnum, the opening that the spinal cord passes through. High-pressure blasts of compressed air then turned the brain into a slurry that squirted out through the same hole in the skull, often spraying brain tissue around and splattering the hose operator in the process.

The brains were pooled, poured into 10-pound containers and shipped to be sold as food — mostly in China and Korea, where cooks stir-fry them, but also in some parts of the American South, where people like them scrambled up with eggs."

They have a theory that having pig's brains splattered and aerosolized all over you is a bad thing, especially when you are not wearing a mask and face shield. The body just doesn't seem to dig this.

For some reason I'm no longer that interested in my breakfast. Then my thought is, wow, someone actually does this for a living. M'kay. I'm guessing that the kids don't bring them to show and tell at school. (Sudden image of kids running and screaming from their classroom.) The next thought is that well, I really don't need to experience this culinary delight. No my friends, I will leave that to the capable palate of Anthony Bourdain.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Influence of Little Einsteins

Thanks to the Little Einsteins, my daughters now know what Adagio and Allegro mean. And my youngest walks around the house constantly humming Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." No complaints from me.

I'm pretty sure I didn't learn anything like that from Tom and Jerry.

Here Comes Another Bubble!

My friend Wegis sent this along. Awesome video poking fun at the Web 2.0 craziness. I like the mention of the Bay Area's housing prices, which is all too true. It's based on Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" song. (Ha! Billy Joel has got a YouTube channel! Righteous.)

Song of the Day

In a few of my recent visits to Jamba Juice, I heard a song playing that I rather liked. I asked the staff what the song was, and they shrugged and replied "no idea." They added it was from a CD that was sent around to the stores and they just played it. I heard the song at another location and was told the same thing. I managed to catch some of the lyrics, and armed with that I turned to my old trusty friend Google. And that is how I discovered "Someone Great" by LCD Soundsystem. It's from their Sound of Silver album.It's a mellow but groovy song, a nice beat surrounded by a mish mash of electronic sounds and keyboards.

While researching the album, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was named one of Amazon's Best of 2007. If you visit the band's website, you can check out the video and song for free.

"I wish that we could talk about it,
But there, that's the problem.
With someone new I could have started,
Too late, for beginnings.
The little things that made me harassed,
Are gone, in a moment.
I miss the way we used to argue,
Locked, in your basement.

I wake up and the phone is ringing,
Surprised, as it's early.
And that should be the perfect warning,
That something's, a problem.
To tell the truth I saw it coming,
The way, you were breathing.
But nothing can prepare you for it,
The voice, on the other, end.

The worst is all the lovely weather,
I'm sad, it's not raining.
The coffee isn't even bitter,
Because, what's the difference?
There's all the work that needs to be done,
It's late, for revision.
There's all the time and all the planning,
And songs, to be finished.

And it keeps coming,
And it keeps coming,
And it keeps coming,
Till the day it stops

I wish that we could talk about it,
But there, that's the problem.
With someone new I could have started,
Too late, for beginnings.
You're smaller than my wife imagined,
Surprised, you were human.
There shouldn't be this ring of silence,
But what, are the options?

When someone great is gone.

We're safe, for the moment.
For the moment"

Additional Info:

Friday, February 01, 2008

Justin Timberlake Pepsi Commercial

Yes I know its Justin, but him smacking the mailbox post several times is just way too funny! At least he has a good sense of humor.