Saturday, July 31, 2004

Texas Weekend

this is an audio post - click to play

Brandy and I flew to Texas to attend her high-school friend Jennifer's wedding in Galveston. We all had a great time, great food, plenty to drink. Jennifer was absolutely dashing. After the reception we hung out at an Irish Bar with more of Brandy's high-school friends, most of which I had previously met at her 10-year reunion, they're all incredibly fun to be around, we must have chatted for hours as we left after 2am. I even got to take Brandy for a couple of spins as the band kept playing jazzy tunes we simply couldn't resist.

Yeah. It's hot and humid in Texas right now. HEH.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Mad Props to Lance Armstrong

Okay, I think France needs another Bernard Hinault.
Faut pas charrier non-plus. C'est quoi c'te bordel?

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Reporting from AVP bleachers

this is an audio post - click to play

Kiraly-Lambert lost the first two final games to Fonoi-Wong, 22-20, 21-19. The commenter mentioned Kiraly had been having trouble with his shoulder, despite the impressive athletic display he put forth. Kiraly and Lambert's "I-formation" was quite fun to watch. The crowd was wild, the weather was beautiful, a very exciting game to watch.

I missed the Women's Tournament on Saturday but did manage to line-up just in time to get into the bleachers 30 minutes before the Men's final games started! I sat right in front, with a great view and recorded good chunks of the action on the DV Camcorder before running out of battery. Brandy and I exchanged text messages as she couldn't make it in time, but seized the opportunity to catch-up on a much-needed nap.

Mad greets to my good friend Evy who introduced me to beach volleyball when I was still fairly fresh off my french boat 7 years ago.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Stalking Dolphins

this is an audio post - click to play

While boogie-boarding I saw a few of'em playing not too far from me, so i got closer ... than I ever thought possible. A-frickin-mazing..

I'm'a get me a sandwich at Ashley's and check out the AVP tourney.

Friday, July 23, 2004

david webb - groove - flat - fire

this is an audio post - click to play

Bourne Supremacy was really really cool. I think I need to see it again. The movie started playing on the dot at 7:30 PM as i was still scrambling to get food for Brandy and ... and a bottle of water for Trina. She had phoned her request to Mojo. But Mojo was just done buying a mountain of snacks. So he relayed her request to me:

- Hey Chris! - Whuh? - Trina wants water! - Whah? - Water! can you get her a bottle of water? - *GRMBL* ... Make that 2 bottles please.
As i got back inside the "sekrit screening room", i walked up a few stairs and yelled "TRINA???". She waved as I honed in on her position ... at the end of the frickin' row. I gave the bottle to the first person in front of me and whispered them to pass the bottle along to the silly blonde waving her arms.

The first time I saw a car on fire was like ... 6 months ago, right in the middle of the curvy and narrow portion of the 110 freeway close to Pasadena, right around a bend. It was also a Thursday and I was headed back home from Lindy Groove. That thing was burning. it sucked. One car before me made a run for it. There were maybe 5 feet between them and the fire when they passed it. I stayed over to the side, still too close to it for comfort, but everyone kinda just stopped behind me, as 2 fire trucks arrived within minutes and blocked the road for good. They placed their trucks right between us and the car. They had the thing out within seconds.

Fred 62 is a 24 hour diner in North Hollywood Los Feliz (:P), right by The Derby (immortalized in this classic movie, which propelled this fine band to fame). Fred 62 is a great place for good food and and a laid-back atmosphere.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

GeekStuff: New Syndication Goodies

if you look to the right column, i've added a couple of syndication goodies. Feel free to share your thoughts if you use any.

I'm thinking someone should make an HTML-ized version of the RSS DTD: Uses only DIVs and/or other very basic HTML constructs, with relevant CSS classes. Site authors can then generate .js files that document.write those HTML snippets. As those .js files are referenced by other web sites, CSS can be applied to customize look and feel.

*Looks at Gregg*. web browsing client <--> syndicated feed : direct access. no need for middle-man if syndicated site author generates updated JS file.

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rsshtml+js" title="RSS" href="" />

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

GeekStuff: Fully Leveraging Security Built-In OS X

In a related development on this blog entry about various layers of operating system security, it would appear saved me the extra work of outlining ways to further secure a Mac running OS X. I'm glad 'cuz they obviously know their stuff, and I don't. heh.

I would invite Windows users of all flavors to post similar pointers to their favorite geek forums, or as replies to this post.

One thing the PDF doesn't appear to mention is Mac OS X's very interesting user access restrictions: Apple Menu --> System Preferences --> Accounts . From there you can either create an account to play around with, or select an existing account you're not logged into. Select Account --> Limitations Tab --> Check "This user can only use these applications:" box. We're talking here about defining a list of applications the user may launch. Combine that with making the user a non-administrator user who can only write to their home directory, and you have yourself a very powerful way to further limit the amount of damage that can be inflicted upon your Mac. If I was in charge of a School Computer Lab, or, say Corporate IT in an industry where computer usage is very-much restricted to a set of a few basic apps, I so would leverage the crap out of this feature. It is truly cool.

I'm all about use cases, so I created "user DZ", set those restrictions and set myself to do what an average luser would do: download and install LimeWire. Here's a screenshot of what happened 8). update: fixed the screenshot link

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Barclaycard: Priceless ... NOT

In this day and age there is no valid reason for a mission-critical web application such as online banking to not support all modern browsers.

For the record, I've been using Bank of America Online Banking since, oh, 1996, on Macs and PCs. Mostly Mac since 2001.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Cafe Boogaloo

Yesterday we invaded our soon-to-be-wed friends Tom and Laura's Pool. They bought this house a couple of months ago and are finally settled-in and enjoying their very nice pool. I had planned to stop by Target to get them more toys. Profusion of toys is a Good Thing™. But time was running out as I was gathering a bathing suit and some towels for Brandy and Eva. When I got there, Tom and our other friend Rachel were smacking one-another with fries as Laura was desperately trying to relax by the side of the pool. Her camera wasn't far though, as she obviously was ready to immortalize the impending stupidity. Always ready to indulge a Lady's whim, I quickly got out of my clothes, ran across the lawn, and treated the hapless battling saps to the mother of all canon balls. Imagine that climactic moment in Deep Impact. As I emerged from under what little was left of the water, I saw a drenched Rachel glaring at me with an evil smirk when ... *BONK* ... "what the?" *BONK!* ... "wha?" *SMACK!*. All I've gotta say regarding the epic battle that ensued is ... TOM STARTED IT!.

Amidst fries and water thrown at my face, I caught several glimpses of Laura taking pictures. They'll never reach the 'Net. Same goes for that Dance-Dance-Revolution video footage. Brandy and Eva joined the fun an hour later, but by that time, we were pretty-much all battled-out, much to their satisfaction.

Friends with pools rule. Even when they live in the Valley :o

After a delectable dinner with Laura, Tom and Rachel at Señor Fred, Eva, Brandy and I headed back to my place. We walked over to the local Temple of Blues, Cafe Boogaloo™. I failed to catch the name of the band, but we all had a great time. Brandy and I got to do some of the Swing Thang on a couple of the more upbeat tunes. Eva got introduced to a couple of White Russians.

A most productive Saturday.

Right now, it's lunch time and we must focus on feeding ourselves. Oh the agony.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Monday, July 12, 2004

home alone!

Brandy and her good friend from Holland, Eva, started traveling up the California coast on Friday. They're having a great time. They've done the 19-mile drive past Monterey, and today they completed the 47-mile drive throughout San Francisco, they'll soon be headed up to the Wine Valley to smear hapless grapes with toe fungus, amidst blissful pampering at most luxurious resort. Of course, Brandy took the whole week off.

Good thing Daryll and Linda have been nice enough to keep me busy ... otherwise I'd be running flopping around like a frog with its legs cut-off.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Independence Day Fun

Sunday, my friend Monica and Her Man, Walt, came to visit me at the beach. Prior to their arrival I had gone to Ashley's Deli around the corner to get numerous samplings of their fine fresh salads, which proved to be quite delectable and a success to my guests!

We checked-out The Strand and found ourselves to be in the middle of what felt like an MTV music video. A few Strand houses were hosts to hard rock bands, amidst plenty of bare skin, red cups, wobbling, ad-hoc volleyball tournaments. I've lived in this house for 4 years and only now discovered Independence Orgy Day in HB. I usually attend more family-oriented events with friends in Burbank or the Valley.

Sunday night, Brandy, her friend Eva from Holland, Daryll, Linda and I had a wild evening of rockin' bowling. First I sucked bad. really bad. Expectedly so, I never play. Then I kinda figured out how to play and came out first with a whopping score of 110, that included 2 strikes, a spare and a bunch of 9's. Bowling is easy. I don't understand why people even compete in tournaments.

We all went back to Daryll's home to play that silly PS2 game where you jump on a floor mat with arrows to the tune of music playing thru the game, following on-screen arrows that tell you where to jump. I can't remember the name of that game. Daryll filmed me making a fool of myself. I spent the rest of the evening playing with Daryll's laser pointer and his cats chasing it. Forget sharks with laser beams. Cats'n'Laser Pointers are where it's at. Daryll and I also mused about open 802.11x wireless networks. Something big is afoot. really big.

Monday, Eva, Brandy and I roasted on the beach. I thought my skin would survive the "after-3PM-sun" without sunscreen, but Mother Nature hit me real hard with a fat clue-by-four as She reminded me of the cruel reality: I'm white. Fortunately, Auntie Aloe Vera is always there to bail me out.

Today is my last day off. Tomorrow, back to work! woohooo!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

The Godfather, Part II

My Godfather and his family finally made it yesterday evening! From looking at their map, it didn't seem that long of a drive, unfortunately, I had forgotten to warn them about driving from Hollywood down to the South Bay right in the midst of Friday-night rush-hour. They were on a tight schedule anyway, as they'd spent the entire day exploring Universal Studios, which they really liked. On their way to see me, one could argue they experienced the oh-so-thrilling "LA-Traffic-Ride!!", featuring exhaust-ridden breath-(literally)-taking speeds of two miles per hour! They're total boy-scouts and all about maps, I gave'em zero direction beside my cross-streets, and they found me without a snag.

They did arrive a bit late, but just in time for the dinner reservation I had for 8:30PM at this nearby restaurant that opened a few months ago: Mediterraneo. I'd been meaning to try it out, so I seized the opportunity, and I must say it was succulent. I had the "Filetto", medium rare of course, tender, very tasty. They had the Salmon and the Yellow-Tail Fish of the day, one of the kids had a gnocchi/meat meal with "pink sauce", and the other kid had a Tapas orgy! I'll be taking Brandy there soon.

This morning we headed over to Martha's for breakfast. Amidst a delectable breakfast, we discovered that what the French call "Pain Perdu", is what Americans call "French Toast". Whodathunk!.

They've been very impressed with the quality of dining at most restaurants, this should help dispel some myths back home! They were apparently told to expect to not eat for two weeks, which I found a bit silly, really. There's crap food in every country, good food is no-longer hard to find here in the U.S., or at least in California.

Friday, July 02, 2004

The Godfather

Despite being "off work" since Tuesday night, I've been quite the Mr. Useful around the house. I finally got done cleaning, rearranging, reorganizing some time late yesterday afternoon. And for all that, I wanna take a couple of seconds to pat myself on the back:

*pat* ... *pat* ... *PAT*!
Tonight I'm finally seeing my Godfather, his wife and 2 kids! I managed to make them slightly change their plans and spend the night at my place instead of the Motel 6 near Universal Studios, and I'm very excited about that, as they'll get to enjoy the fruits of all this hard work!

First Contact!

In a belated climactic evolution of this journal entry, as my Dad and little sister Annabel called me yesterday afternoon (was like 1am for them!) to wish me a happy birthday, I finally convinced them to actually make use of iChat. I initiated a one-way video chat and they were very happy to see me. I couldn't hear them because Dad hadn't plugged the microphone to his G5, but he did mention he had a Sony DV Handycam with a firewire cable! So I made him plug it in, get on stand-by mode. But for some reason neither iChat or iMovie seemed to "pick-up" the camera. Dad's camera is a Sony DCR HC30E. One thing I had to do my Panasonic PV-GS120 was to explicitly tell it to always send DV stream thru the DV port. It didn't seem to do that by default. I'm wondering if it's the same situation for the Sony. I had them scour the menus but it was being too painful so they'll try to RTFM (Read The F**king Manual). Argh! we were so close.

I had Dad set this blog as his Safari start-up page, so now I gotta be careful about what I write huhuhu.

update: After some googling I got my hands on the PDF version of the manual for the Sony DCR HC30E. There are a few things to try out:

  1. Find the "Easy" button to toggle-OFF the "easy" mode.
  2. Remove the tape from the camera
  3. "Slide the POWER switch until the CAMERA-TAPE lamp lights up, and your camcorder is set to the standby mode" (Page 26 of the manual)