Auros Face from wedding

Propositions initial skim...

Thus far, I haven't found any reason to disagree with Pete Stahl, which means voting YES on the whole set of propositions this year, which is, I think, the first time that's happened.

Will append a comment later if further research changes my mind.

ETA: Complete ballot.

The Sequoia Health District race is interesting. Three of the five candidates -- one incumbent and two challengers -- want to dissolve the district. And their suggestion that it should merge with the Peninsula Health District is not crazy! But I don't think we should be shutting it down immediately; the county can plan a vote on the issue of a merger without nuking the administrative architecture that's in place. And the "scandals" of the district having funded (a) a clinic that is technically just over the border outside its funding territory (but has over 750 district residents registered as active patients), and (b) a nursing education program that has had half of its graduates go on to work outside the district (so, we should keep all of them chained to stations here? keeping half here seems like success to me), both seem completely non-scandalous.
  • Current Mood
    busy busy
Focal Profile

Shameless Commerce Department

If you're considering noise cancelling headphones for commuting on our ridiculously loud trains around here, I recommend the QuietPoint ATH-ANC70, from Audio-Technica.

I bought a used pair of these portable (battery powered) noise-cancelling headphones recently, to use on the BART, and I really liked them. They deliver performance comparable to the best Bose or Sony stuff, at a significantly lower price point (admittedly still not cheap, but, well, $200 is significantly less than the $300-350 I was seeing for the comparable Sony and Bose models; and I got the used pair for somewhat less than that). Unfortunately, after a couple months of frequent use, something in the electronics died, and they stopped working. I was really bummed because they were not under warranty (and even if they were, I would've needed the original receipt from the guy I got them from). But I got in touch with tech support, and shipped the 'phones in to their service center.

They sent me back a brand new pair, along with a note saying that they concluded there was a manufacturing flaw in the ones I sent in, and they were replacing them free of charge, even though they had survived past the warranty period. They even paid the return shipping.

I figure when a company exceeds my expectations by that much, they deserve some recognition.
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    surprised surprised
SF Opera

opera tickets: Madame Butterfly and La Traviata

Madame Butterfly Sunday 6/15/2014 2pm (CraigsList ad)

La Traviata Sunday 6/29/2014 2pm (CraigsList ad)

[ETA: Both sold.]

The seats are H20 and H22 in Orchestra Ring, on the outer aisle. The viewing angle is a bit steep, but the seats are far enough back not to be too bad on that count, while still being significantly closer than my old Dress Circle seats, and there's more legroom at a slightly lower price.

If you're interested in one of these, but the date doesn't work for you, I can arrange to exchange to a different date. Also, if you'd like to add more tickets, I can purchase additional individual tickets at the subscriber price, which is a 20-40% discount relative to what's listed on the website, depending on the specific date and seats you're looking at.

Each pair of tickets is $200 even. (Face value for each ticket is $98, or $196 for a pair, but there was also some tax and S&H.)
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    busy busy
Auros Face from wedding

I made a dreamwidth account.

And hopefully it should be fully cross-posted (entries and comments) with LJ? I guess we'll see.

I still want to get some kind of offline backup tool so I can keep a local copy of my journal.

BTW, I'd had Groups for both access and reading purposes on LJ. Apparently those are two separate data structures on DW, and the Import tool copied groups over as Access filters. Anybody know a way to copy an existing access filter to be a reading filter?
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
Abelian Grape

Journal backup?

I have been using ljmigrate to periodically backup my journal, for years. But it seems like at some point, LJ changed something about how you access comments, such that the tool stopped finding them. (And it's long since been abandoned by its creator.) I didn't realize until today, because it's not throwing errors, but the last entry in the archive that has comments on it is from 8/14/12. The next time I backed up, none of the new entries got their comments attached. :-/

Anybody know a tool for this that's up-to-date? Or know enough about LJ's architecture to easily write a patch for ljmigrate.py?
Abelian Grape

A link for friends who like puzzles, word-games, trivia, and Schadenfreude.

The Ask Me Another episode I was on (along with Farhad Manjoo, Danny Pudi, and Adam Savage) is live: Puzzlin' On The Dock Of The Bay. Hear me lose! :-)

I blame Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan for my loss. I had Cosmos top-of-mind, when I got the question that I messed up, because I'd re-watched the preview for the new series within a day or two before the taping, and I'd been searching for it on my TiVo to get the recording set up. I knew even as I was saying it that it wasn't the correct answer. (I almost said, "Cosmos-- no, Nova!" but my understanding of the rules, which they went over for us before the show, was that you don't get that kind of second chance. So I stifled the second answer, on the off chance that the rest of the competition wouldn't know it. I mean, I knew that wasn't going to happen, but, no need to just give the correct answer away... Anyways, I would've won if I hadn't shot myself in the foot; there was an item that's trimmed out of the recording that the rest of the contestants all didn't know.) Anyways, I loved the first ep of the new Cosmos enough that I've already forgiven Neil for everything. I've been looking forward to the series for a year or more, and thus far it hasn't disappointed me.

There are a couple of extras from the show in the AMA podcast feed. (The full show was about ~120 min, but only ~45 of that makes it to the radio. The extras are the best of what got cut.) You should subscribe. :-)

It was a lot of fun, and I got to talk to JoCo for a bit during the intermission. (We discussed catachthonian, experiences with acapella singing, TMBG, and the fact that "Ikea" was on the wedding playlist for plymouth and me.)

Also: You should watch the new Cosmos. And the old one, if you can get your hands on it. National Geographic Channel aired a marathon of it, leading into the new series, so I have the whole thing recorded, and plan to watch one episode of original before watching each ep of the new one. The first ep made me remember why I loved Carl Sagan so much. It's so sad that he left us when he was still relatively young.
Cooking

Another thing I have to give away...

I use Zyliss' classic rotary grater all the time for hard cheeses. It may be my single favorite kitchen gadget.

I got this larger rotary grater for the wider drum with holes sized for semi-hard cheeses like cheddar, gruyere, jarlsberg, etc. The thing is, the handle's a little flimsy. I broke my first within a few months. But then they sent me a replacement under warranty. Then I broke it again, after having been careful with it for several years (four or five, I guess?) and wrote to ask them if I could buy just a new drum... They sent me a whole new grater, for free. Which means I now have an extra body, and an extra fine-hole drum. So if anyone wants it, let me know... It's a bit flimsy, but hey, it's free, and if you're careful with it, it should last a while. :-)

ETA: Claimed.
Not Left-Handed

the measure of a life

I finally got around to listening to Rush's Clockwork Angels all the way through. I could really kick myself for not having found out about it until after the tour had passed through San Jose already.

The whole trio has clearly always been fascinated with the philosophical problems of Compatibilism -- how to make sense of free will, and notions of meaning and purpose, when our bodies are simply agglomerations of matter, subject to physical laws. You can hear it in "Free Will" (written by Neil Peart), and in "The Angel's Share" from Geddy Lee's solo album My Favourite Headache. Clockwork Angels is basically a rock-opera exposition of a steampunk society that believes in G*d as the Divine Watchmaker, with all events in life being predetermined and deserved. Except the protagonist gets subjected to a series of trials (much like Voltaire's Candide; there's even an "all is for the best" Leibnizian Optimism reference early in the album). Eventually he loses his faith, but finds something different, leading to the final track, "The Garden" (which is of course referencing Eden, but also drawing a contrast to the mechanized dystopia that's been left behind):

The arrow flies while you breathe,
The hours tick away,
The cells tick away,

The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve,
The hours tick away, they tick away

The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect,
So hard to earn so easily burned

In the fullness of time,
A garden to nurture and protect
It's a measure of a life

The treasure of a life is a measure of love and respect,
The way you live, the gifts that you give

In the fullness of time,
It's the only return that you expect

Yes, that. I could see this being adapted for an actual dramatized stage performance, though to work with the theme you might need some pretty expensive mechanical equipment. Possibly a movie / extended music video (with some good graphics for the airships, clockwork city, etc) would be easier... In any case, it kind of reminds me of the works artists in an earlier age created to honor religion -- Handel's Messiah, Bach's "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben", Mozart's Requiem, etc. It's a musical monument to faith -- in the sense of a grand work that commemorates something in the past, or someone who's died.