May 2003 Archives

Never have I felt so tired, simply after reading a single book. Though not much longer than The Name of the Rose, it wasn't as compelling in a detective-story sense, and was more about memories, beliefs and the like. It was good, of course, but not amazing, and it's true; others have pointed out that the ending at first feels non-satisfying, but over time, and with bit of thought, it actually is sensical and appreciated. However, I'd still rather read a true historical thriller.

Almost finished with Foucault's Pendulum; next up is Wise Blood.

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Today was such a fun day.

I think I'll sing you all, my faithful readers, a Christian song I learned back in Sunday School, years ago:

The wise man built his house upon the rock,
The wise man built his house upon the rock,
The wise man built his house upon the rock,
And the rains came tumbling down!

The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
And the house on the rock stood firm.

The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
And the rains came tumbling down!

The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
And the house on the sand went SPLAT!

Now, please sing this with me again, but paying special attention to the last two stanzas!

Steadily, but alas not rapidly, I'm making progress with the aforementioned book. The 3 authors are now 'believing' in their constructed Plan, yet haven't seen it to fruition (yet). It should be gaining speed from here on, since at page 443 out of 641. Yes, that's right, a mere 200 pages remain.

Also, tonight my brother Greg and I began watching Nine Queens. We've only finished 1/2 of the movie, since both of us were petered out from riding our bikes earlier in the day, but we'll resume it tomorrow, I expect. It's an excellent movie, one with a fascinating plot and even seems to surpass (at this stage of viewing) the David Mamet-style which I'm so accustomed to.

Amazingly, Foucault's Pendulum doesn't even get into The Plan until around page 373 (chapter 65 of 120). Not that I'm starting to tire of the actual book, but it's still just so daunting, and it takes a great deal of energy and concentration to read with an acceptable level of comprehension.

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So, I'm suddenly horribly underwater with work, and it's Memorial Day weekend, so that means that I get additional time with which to compensate. That's normally, mind you. Since it is a festive weekend, we've got good friends over, and that makes it triply hard to get anything productive done. Here's hoping Sunday and Monday will produce some results for me.

Pav's vacationing in Vancouver, B.C.? Did he get tired of his vacation in Mountain View, CA?

Not too many people believe me how dangerous a city Gary, Indiana is.

Here's proof.

It's the _#4_ most dangerous city in the nation! And it's about 1 1/2 hours from me.

The opposite is also true; the 'county' I used to live in, Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, is the 5th safest in the nation.

Tonight I watched both Wild Strawberries and The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. I didn't find Wild Strawberries particularly amazing, though obviously it was reflective in nature, which is cool. Hand that Rocks the Cradle was entertaining, and plausible, so that was a bonus.

It would've been nice if we could've seen uname -a output in The Matrix: Reloaded.

I must say, being the semi-geek that I am, it was tres cool to see [root@xxx] and her ssh'ing _somewhere_.

If you're into the progressive house/trance scene at all, you must check out Troy Roberts. The kid is simply amazing! I would say he's at the forefront of the genre, along with Chris Fortier, Kasey Taylor, etc.

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A recent co-worker who I had the pleasure of working with pretty closely over the 2 year tenure at Netscape has resigned. You know who you are, and you will be sorely missed. I wish you all the best in life and it was an absolutely great experience to have known and worked with you. You truly are a professional.

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I think one of the reasons we (or perhaps more specifically, I) don't blog with more depth or frequency is the need to feel unique, coupled with a feeling of responsibility to link a lot of our content. I think I'll try a different approach, and keep this as more of an online diary (yes, it's somewhat of one now), but with the obvious private tidbits removed.

One of the things that's troubling me lately (and to be honest, for a while, really), is my constant need to be aware of events. Specifically, the need to be 'connected' at all times. Now, I don't have a cell phone, or a PDA, so perhaps I'm not as bad off as I suppose, but there's still a nagging annoyance of 'I need to be online'.

Having DSL doesn't help this situation much, either. For a while, when I lived in California, my apartment was delightfully internet-free, and I caught up on several good reads and movies. The problem isn't with the net itself; there are many wonderful ideas and sites floating about from which to gain insightful knowledge. The problem is when you're doing other things (like reading or bicycling) and you're wondering 'who's online and what's happening'. That's pretty sad, I've got to admit.

Yeah, so how would blogging faithfully every day help out this situation? I'm not sure, exactly. But the need to be informed and the need to communicate is stronger than my desires to faithfully exercise or read my favorite books, etc.

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Progress on reading Foucault's Pendulum is slowing down greatly, alas. It might pick up again once I've passed this weekend, since I'll be busy with visiting friends until probably Sunday. I'm at the point in the novel where the 3 editors are beginning to feed their ideas into Abulafia, and some interesting results have been generated. The problem is I'm impatient, and so far haven't reached that pivotal 'critical mass' section of the book, where all text from there on out is integral to the remainder of the work.

Umberto, you crafty author you. I'm really starting to dig Foucault's Pendulum...

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I must take it as my sworn duty to forewarn anyone who might be tempted to listen to great works of fiction (or, probably, for that matter, any work in general) that the book, when read has large portions omitted. Or, at least it did in my case, with Foucault's Pendulum. Now, I'm not entirely positive these omissions were plot-related, but one can never be sure, and I'm wishing they erred on the side of verbosity, instead of the brevity with which it's delivered. Anyhow, I'm making decent progress on the aforementioned work, and it's a great read so far. Eco never fails in his mind-numbing thoroughness, though one sometimes wishes he'd be less tangent-minded in his prose.

So I bought a copy and started reading the paperback. Just for my own sake of time, I'm up to page 118 out of 641, and I'm hopeful that I'll have time this weekend to finish it, so I can ponder the next work to devour. It probably won't be a work of his, because that would mean 3 straight works from a single author. With the exception of Paul Auster, no author I've yet come across deserves my attention thrice consecutively.

Saw a rash of unrelated films lately:

Chaos - which was by the same guy who did Ringu (both are highly recommended). It had an _excellent_ premise, one that, once the 'oh, yes' factor weighs in, you're thoroughly satisfied at the preceding 45 minutes or so of the film. The ending was so-so, but still didn't detract from the overall ambience of an otherwise excellent flick. Compare it to Memento, though not in the same sense of time distortion.
Undercover Brother - had some good moments, and overall a decent nod to its 70's counterparts like Shaft, etc.
City by the Sea - what can be said here? The story, while not particularly involving, but apparently fact-based, and it starred De Niro, so it wasn't viewed for naught.

In other news, my DSL provider, Verizon, lowered their rates recently. I wish instead that they would up the speed, because man, paying for 'up to 768kbps down/128 up' and getting '~350kbps down/150 up' really stinks. Do I need all the bandwidth? Perhaps not. But I'm not even given the option with them to obtain a higher rate, and Comcast isn't an option since AOL's remote access VPN software is blocked at the Comcast network level (VPN tunneling is banned).

Please recommend good works of fiction to:

This page is great. It shows celebrities' pics, with and without makeup. So hilarious!

Last Saturday, I picked up a really nice bike, the Raleigh M60. Now, before I see a million comments about how my bike isn't a Gary Fisher, a Trek, a GT, Cannondale, etc. let me clarify: I live in Indiana. There are _no_ mountains. I probably won't be moving back to California anytime soon. The bike does have front fork suspension provided by Rock Shox Judy TT, derailer, gear shifters by Shimano with Tektro brakes. I'm a tad disappointed in myself for settling with the Deore of the lower-class M40, though. Suffice it to say, it cost enough for a bike, and yet not too much. I'm also amused to find out that both GT and Schwinn have been owned by Pacific Bicycle for a few years now.

And oh yes. Work is _insanely_ busy right now, and probably will remain that way for the next few months. Which is why I'm terribly excited to go on the ADEC Ride-A-Bike this year (20 miles). My brother Greg and I have been riding about 6.6 miles a day since last Saturday, and we're getting bored with both the mileage and the route.

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If only I could actually remember why I was smiling in this picture.

Looks like I was flashing gang signs, too...

Ah, yes. What a wonderful book The Name of the Rose was indeed. Not wanting to give away any elements of the plot, I can reveal that I guessed correctly at whom the perpetrator was; however his motives and modus operandi took me by delightful surprise.

Now, on to Umberto's second novel, Foucault's Pendulum, which I anticipate greatly. While browsing through the related works section of, I stumbled across two books which caught my eye:

Dissolution and An Instance of the Fingerpost.

Watching Survivor, I've realized yet again how clueless the contestants are. Do they forget that they're there to win money, and that it's a game? I mean, come on, they're crying and getting mad over vote-offs. Jenna and Heidi, especially. I wouldn't expect anyone to be telling the truth in this game, and I'm annoyed that people are getting upset because they believe others would actually _always_ be telling the truth.

I _highly_ recommend Rabbit-Proof Fence for your viewing pleasure. Along the lines of Walkabout, but _far_ more powerful, and with a much better score, provided by Peter Gabriel (of whom I'm a fan). On the surface, it's a movie about 3 girls who've run away after being taken from their home and placed in a camp. At its very heart, though, it allows for the transparent display of racist attitudes towards aborigines. Can't say enough good about it, honestly.

I won't be able to blog further until this weekend; work is hectic.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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