July 2003

June 2003 -- 2003 -- August 2003

July 2, 2003

And I'm back! Just doing a quick update to let all my faithful readers (who are probably asking themselves "He left?") know I didn't get eaten by a bear or attacked by rampaging murderous deer (Bambi just *looks* innocent). The trip was a lot of fun, and I got some great pictures, which will hopefully *crosses fingers* be up semi-soon. Here's the trip by the numbers:
Days: 7
States Visited: 4 (Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee; never been to any of them before)
Miles Traveled: 1,700.4
Pictures Taken: 880
Pictures Kept: 632
Time's woken up because of my dad snoring: 5
Email's Upon Returning Home: 302
Number that were spam: 212
Number of times eaten by a bear: 0
....er well sorta

Gatlinburg was definitely VERY touristy, mainly lots of shops and tourist traps. The Smoky Mountains were stunning, and Dollywood didn't have many rides, but they did have one of the best roller coasters I've ever gotten to ride, and an outdoor DDR machine. Never did make it to the Biltmore Estate though, thanks to good ol' Tropical Storm Bill. And we stopped by Gainesville on the way home. It made me all homesick for college again. At least summer is over half over.

I'll have more stuff tomorrow, and eventually an entire trip report (more for me so I can remember what the heck I did, but I may as well put it on the web, like I did for my cruise and COMDEX). Only this time with copious amounts of pictures. But if you want a sample, here's the view from the highest point in Tennessee, Clingman's Dome

Oh, and just random side story here, but the word "copious" always sticks out in my mind for some reason because my English teacher said it at the beginning of senior year of high school, and I had to ask what it meant, and for some reason it's just stuck with me, and I like using it a lot. Ok, I'll stop typing now. I'm just rambling on, but it's late, so I have an excuse.

July 3, 2003

Well I got productive today and put up a photo gallery of about 70 of the pictures I took. And I even got to use the various techniques I've been reading about lately, so it's made with PHP and the comments are stored in an MySQL database so that I only had to create one page instead of 70. So cool. I'll have the trip the report sometime soon, but you can get the basic gist just from following the order of the pictures.

The 4th of July is tomorrow, and that means hotdog eating contests. If you want to do well, some experts have tips and suggestions on how to eat 50.5 hot dogs in 12 minutes. There's even a whole circuit for this type of thing, pretty incredible. I've only been in one food eating contest, and I never wanted to eat pumpkin pie again afterwards. I only got through about 3/4 of one pie before I couldn't take it anymore.

If you think gas is expensive, try a gallon of printer ink for $2,701.52. Cool chart

And finally a piece of news that was all over the place while I was on vacation, the Supreme Court striking down Texas's anti-sodomy law. I remember when I first heard this was going to the Supreme Court I was shocked that it was even illegal to begin with. It's really sad that homosexuals are still discrimated against these days and can't legally marry (though Canada gets it right), but I think it'll eventually change. I figure it'll be like the civil rights movement back in the 50's and 60's, and we'll look back on this in 50 years and yell "Duh!" and wonder how we could ever be so stupid. Then again, I was reading an article in the paper a few weeks ago, and it said that 67% of people in the South, and 80% of the nation as a whole, still don't approve of interracial marriages. I can only hope that those who don't are old and just don't know any better. Once again my faith in humanity is lowered a little bit, but hopefully with my generation and beyond we can get past these petty things and if two people love each other then they'll let them be.

July 4, 2003

Happy 4th of July!!

To celebrate, how about reading the very first internet distributed copy of the Declaration of Independence? Back in 1971 Project Gutenberg started by Micheal Hart typing in that famous document and sending it around the "internet" back then. Nice to see how well the internet has become a beacon for freedom of information.

If fireworks are your thing, space has it's own display for you. Pictures by the Hubble telescope show supernova remnant LMC N 49 which looks just like a big fireworks display. Pretty cool.

And finally if you're interested, the history of the 4th of July.

July 6, 2003

Several of my friends have commented on my Reverse Engineer shirt and so here's a website that lays out just what exactly reverse engineering is and how to do it. Looks very interesting and I'll be giving it a good read through in the coming days. Remember, it's because of reverse engineering that we all use IBM-compatible PC's, because some engineers reversed engineered IBM's original chips to make cheaper clones, thus making IBM-compatible PC's the standard.

Remember that "How Much is a Gallon?" site? Well there's more!. From how many pumpkin pie's can be made from a 166 pound pumpkin to how many potatoes it takes to make an order of frie's at Burger King, it has it all. This is why I love the internet.

In yet another example of mass media spin, here's one of a slew of stories about falling ticket sales this summer at the movies. What they fail to mention is that last year was a record smashing year and that this year is still the number two summer of all time. But that's not the gist you get from reading these type's of stories, probably the 8th one I've read in the last two weeks. Once again, just be careful what you read.

July 11, 2003

Yeah, it's been a while, but I'm still alive and kicking.

My mom found a Black Racer snake yesterday in our driveway. Unfortunatly they move way too quickly to get a picture of, so it was gone by the time I got out there. She said it was about 5 feet long, which is about average. Luckly they're not poisonous, but apparently they do like to bite.

I also saw Pirates of the Caribbean last night, and it was REALLY good. Probably the best movie I've seen this summer, well except for maybe Matrix Reloaded, but I have a feeling this will generally be much more well liked generally. In movies not to see, I got a chance to see a sneak preview for Mandy Moore's latest film, How To Deal, and while it wasn't "bad" per se, there wasn't really anything good about it either. Plus it features my number one movie pet peeve: Girls who fall for the bad guy. Go see PotC instead.

I don't think I've mentioned it yet, but Mozilla 1.4 was released while I was on vacation. If you haven't tried this browser yet, you're really missing out. If automatic pop-up blocking (I forget how much there is whenever I use IE), tabbed browsing, and theming aren't enough, then knowing you're helping keep the web from becoming completely overrun with IE and supporting one of the premier open source projects makes it all worth while.

And speaking of great software, it was a little over 4 years ago that I started running SETI@Home, which uses your spare CPU cycles to analyze data from space for signs of intelligent life. Sure it sounds hokey, but just imagine the ramifications if we find intelligent life somewhere else. Check it out and download it, humanity might thank you someday.

July 15, 2003

The Iraq story and the White House just get crazier and crazier. I mean "We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in." - G. W. Bush
Well at least there's only a little over a year until the next election. In the meantime, when you search Google for "weapons of mass destruction" the first webpage that it lists is pretty cool

The Nintendo Entertainment System turned 20 today. I still remember getting it for Christmas back in 1989 and thinking it was the coolest thing ever! Actually it still is the coolest thing ever :)

If you haven't caught the cam page lately, today it's a picture of a snake I almost stepped on when I was walking around outside. I think it's a baby version of the Black Racer my mom saw the other day. The previous picture is also very interesting if I do say so myself. And yep, it's the same two friends from the other one. What can I say :)

July 18, 2003

Well I am off to Chicago for the weekend to visit some friends. It should be a really fun trip, and I'll get to see the sights of Chicago and visit Six Flags and such. Unfortunatly it'll be a very short trip, but you gotta live life as it comes up, and I know I'd regret it if I didn't take this oppurtunity. Expect another large picture update when I get back, and enjoy your weekend!

July 23, 2003

Chicago was awesome! I had a lot of fun and I'd love to do it again. We toured the city on Saturday and it was just neat to walk around a huge downtown like that. And then Sunday we went to Six Flags where I got to ride my very first flying coaster. It's a type of roller coaster where you sit down, and then it tilts your seat forward so that you're looking at the ground the entire time and are essentially laying headfirst on your stomach as you fly through the dips and loops. It was REALLY cool and well worth the wait. I also got to ride a roller coaster backwards, where they just turn the train 180 degrees so you face backwards instead of forwards. And they have the only kind of thrill ride that still actually scares me, where you climb to probably 150 feet in the air and then it just drops you in a complete free fall for about a 100 feet.

The flying was pretty uneventful, though the security was a lot more stringent than the last time I flew (which was to Las Vegas about a year and a half ago). I got some cool shots from the plane though. The picture gallery can be seen here.

And because I have so many pictures now, I'll be creating a way to better organize it all on this site. So expect some more site changes in the next few days. Plus I still need to get the archives all updated. And I'm still doing some stuff in MySQL and Perl that I've been reading about, and I still want to get some stuff done in GTK before school starts in less than a month. This summer has gone by so incredibly fast, but that just means I'll be back up at UF before I know it.

July 26, 2003

Went to Warped Tour yesterday in St. Pete, which was a lot of fun. Saw All-American Rejects, The Used, Rancid, The Ataris, Mest, Simple Plan, and snipets of other bands. I would have to say The Ataris were my favorite mainly because they played one of my favorite songs, San Dimas High School Football Rules. The All-American Rejects and Rancid were both really good though too. Didn't much like The Used, but their lead singer did jump off a 12 foot high speaker into the crowd which was really cool. I also got kicked in the head by a crowd surfer causing my glasses to get bent. The result of that being that it looked like the ground rose a foot right above me, giving the effect of walking uphill even though it was completely flat. I eventually bent them back into shape, but it was really weird for a while.

A bunch of clouds also made it a much more enjoyable concert than it would have been otherwise, as for the two hours that we had sun it was really miserable. We saw one girl rushed out of the crowd because of heat exhaustion, but she was wearing all black with tight black jeans and lots of makeup, so ya know.... what else would you expect. Which is part of the fun of these things, there are some very interestingly dressed people. I would have brought my camera but I was afraid it'd get smooshed, so I guess you'll just have to go yourself to see.

In sadder news, one of the funniest and best shows on television has been cancelled. Futurama will no longer be shown on Fox, but at least the reruns will still be on Cartoon Network. And hopefully the rest of the DVD's will be released eventually, as season 2 comes out next month.

Fun for the whole family! The elements song.

July 29, 2003

Went back to work for a day to move office furniture and such. Nothing terribly exciting, but I can attest that a filing cabinent full of paper is very heavy.

I also picked up a CD by Mest, which is one of the bands I saw at Warped. Downloaded a bunch of their songs last night, liked them, and when I was in Best Buy today saw that their CD was only $10. And they say downloading music hurts the music industry.... out of the last 20 CD's I've bought over the years, probably 15 have been because I liked the stuff I downloaded. And if CD's were actually reasonably priced, I would buy a lot more. I mean if they were $6 or $8 or something like the price of a movie ticket, then I think they'd sell a lot more. It's no big deal for a movie to sell a couple of million tickets in a weekend, so why not CD's? But when you can buy full featured DVD's with 5+ hours of movie and commentary and features, for less than a CD, something is wrong.

Here's a flower for you.

June 2003 -- 2003 -- August 2003