Gray Flannel Dwarf


In the past few weeks,

In the past few weeks, I have, with a little help, taught myself how to use CSS, cron, and have written several perl scripts.

The fruits of my labour? The beginnings of a document repository that looks promising. Sometimes, at work, when you have a vision (in my case, a cross platform, easily-accessible resource repository), you have to bite the bullet and do it yourself, create a quality mock-up, and show them what really needs to be done.

The day is almost over. She’s heading to the airport now, takes off around 5.00, and will be here around 6.30. Monday, we head to Beijing. Can’t wait for the weekend, and the weeks ahead.

Catch y’all on the flip side.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 2:47 pm


Sir Paul

Last night’s Paul McCartney concert was damn good. I’d had hesitations, partially because I just knew that I have a lot to do before heading out of the country for two weeks, both at home and at work.

The show started off weird, with some theatric, circus-like drama unfolding before the music commenced. I thought, at the time, that it seemed a lot like Cirque du Soleil; The author of the Washington Post column (below) said the same thing. I thought it was all kinda over-the-top, but it was over soon enough.

McCartney came on and started with “Hello, Goodbye”. Now, maybe it was just me — but it seemed the voice mics were turned a bit low for the first four or five songs. This was resolved, though, shortly thereafter.

He played a lot of old Beatles stuff — maybe only five or so songs from his more recent catalogue. Now, a lot of people think “McCartney” these days, and just think adult contemporary, acoustic schlock. Let me be the first to tell you otherwise… they completely rocked out, up there on stage, notably on “Live and Let Die”.

There was something of a tribute portion of the show, where McCartney played a song that he’d written after Lennon died. The name escapes me; I’d never heard it before. Then, he played one or two songs for George, including a ukelele (“George gave this to me”) version of “Something”.

He was very audience-oriented, as compared to Dylan, who just kinda played his music. McCartney talked to the audience a bit, including a funny story about “Yesterday”, before breaking into song on the funny psychedelic piano.

Two encores! Ended with “Sgt. Pepper” and “The End” — the latter of which was a near-replica of its recorded, Abbey Road counterpart.

I was a bit chilly, as we were sitting right under an air vent, but that didn’t bother me after a while. We were sitting near the other end of the venue, way up high, but there were some overhead displays, so I watched them at times. In fact, I think there were about 48 display screens that I counted, not including the large ones, that had an array of visuals for the different music, ranging from simple light effects to old Beatles footage, to other types of varied media clips. For example, one saw lots of old Soviet posters, etc., during “Back in the U.S.S.R.”, and pictures of many beautiful and/or strong women during “Lady Madonna”.

All in all, it was an amazing show. I’m sure there are some diehard fans who might say it was scripted; It might have been, I don’t know… but he played a great set, regardless. I was pleasantly surprised.

I haven’t found a set list for last night’s show, yet. I’ll post it when I find it.

Washington Post article:

On the way back, I told M that I didn’t want to get any (driving) tickets this time. I said this because last time we met up at his office, on St. Patrick’s day, I got nailed, thanks in part to his antics on the road. His response:

“Don’t worry, it’s not St. Patrick’s Day.” He pauses for a second. “It’s St. Paul’s Day.”

Set List:
1. Hello Goodbye
2. Jet
3. All my Loving
4. Getting Better
5. Coming Up
6. Let Me Roll It
7. Lonely Road
8. Driving Rain
9. Loving Flame
10. Blackbird
11. Every Night
12. We Can Work It Out
13. Mother Nature’s Son
14. Vanilla Sky
15. You Never Give Me/Weight
16. Fool on the Hill
17. Here Today
18. Something
19. Eleanor Rigby
20. Here There and Eveywhere
21. Band On The Run
22. Back In The USSR
23. Maybe I’m Amazed
24. C Moon
25. My Love
26. Can’t Buy Me Love
27. Freedom
28. Live and Let Die
29. Let it Be
30. Hey Jude
31. Winding Road
32. Lady Madonna

Encore 1

33. Standing there
34. Yesterday

Encore 2

35. Sgt. Pepper/The End

cswiii @ 9:29 am


So anyway, my weekend was

So anyway, my weekend was pretty good. Aformentioned friend of mine came into town, and had gone down to Williamsburg earlier in the day, unaware of the nasty traffic on 95 that stretches from Richmond to DC, and thus got into town about 2 hours later than he’d expected. He came out to my place, so we got dinner and caught up. He was seriously apologetic for not being able to hang out longer, and promised to come down in July when I organise a canoeing expedition.

Saturday, what did I do? I, uh, don’t remember… Oh yeah, it was a rainy-ass day. Blech. M came over in the evening; We ordered pizzas from the new place near my house and rented Office Space. It wasn’t bad, but I felt kinda let down by it. Now, I never expected it to be some ultra-introspective film that defines a genre, or anything — but it simply just fell apart. Yes, there were some funny, funny parts. But it has to be one of the thinnest story lines I’ve ever seen in a film.

Sunday was a day of running errands, buying house-y sorta things. Bedsheets, picture frames, flashlights, lightbulbs, etc. Yeah, real thrilling.

Woke up this morning to Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” on the radio. Made me think of its video, which in turn made me think of the real Happy Days series. I suddenly felt very old, realizing that I was around during Happy Days‘ primetime run, and could remember it fairly well. I’ve always liked the Fonz.

Went back to the gym for the first time in a few weeks today. I always feel great, post-workout, and today was no exception. I dunno why I can’t keep motivated to go.

So much to get done this week. A week from today, I’ll We’ll be on my our way to Beijing!

Tags: — cswiii @ 10:13 pm

oh dear….

I’ll apologize in advance to anyone this might offend.


This may very well be a prestigious award.
This may very well be a serious moment.
But this picture gets more and more dirty, the longer you look at it.

cswiii @ 1:30 pm


Ha.‘s review of George Harrison’s 1970 album, All Things Must Pass, concludes with the following line:

A very moving work, with a very significant flaw: the jams that comprise the final third of the album are entirely dispensable, and have probably only been played once or twice by most of the listeners that own this record.

What a farce! These tracks ROCK.

To Allmusic’s credit, a different reviewer said the following, of the same tracks, on the 30th Anniversary Release:

The so-called “Apple Jam” tracks that comprised disc three of the original LP have also been remastered, to their considerable advantage — the nuances of the playing on those sessions, which essentially marked the birth of Derek & the Dominos, are brought out in crisp detail and they are worth hearing, now more than ever, and that goes double for the hard-rocking, Chuck Berry-esque jam “Thanks for the Pepperoni.

cswiii @ 4:01 pm


Happy Holidays, everyone.

To celebrate, a song:

Burn One Down
(Ben Harper)

Let us burn one
from end to end
and pass it over
to me my friend
burn it long, we’ll burn it slow
to light me up before I go

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

my choice is what I choose to do
and if I’m causing no harm
it shouldn’t bother you
your choice is who you choose to be
and if you’re causin’ no harm
then you’re alright with me

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

herb the gift from the earth
and what’s from the earth
is of the greatest worth
so before you knock it try it first
you’ll see it’s a blessing
and not a curse

if you don’t like my fire
then don’t come around
cause I’m gonna burn one down
yes I’m gonna burn one down

cswiii @ 12:35 pm


I’ll add to the excitement.

My friend and sysadmin Chris has started the Covers Project, which is a collaborative effort to track songs and the artists who have covered them. The site has been listed on Daypop which, in turn, scours weblogs and lists the 40 most linked stories/websites in its search.

Also, the site is currently listed on USA Today’s Hot Sites page. Neato.

So there’s one more link, Chris. However, I think I blocked robots on my journal :/

cswiii @ 3:02 pm

Alwine says, “you know

Alwine says, “you know what would be ironic and sad…if ringo is the last Beatle to die.”
You say, “yeah however, you know, I’ve only heard him complain about one physical annoyance”
Alwine says, “can you just imagine people saying …Ringo Starr, the last surviving Beatle, told reporters today that he was the driving force behind the Abbey Road album…”
You say, “ew”
Alwine says, “yeah. no telling what he’d spout.”

You say, “Starr, the long-time drummer for the beatles, said on the record that, “Despite the lingering public doubts, the band was pretty much in agreement that ‘Octopus’s Garden’ was the linchpin of the album.””

cswiii @ 11:18 am


A long time ago, when

A long time ago, when I was a mere skinny, confused little Freshman in college, I got to know a guy who transferred to the school as a Junior. He was something of a liberal. Well, more accurately, he was a socialist. Anyway, he quickly grew weary of this little school, one that was referenced in Rolling Stone as a “bastion of the religious right”. For obvious reasons, he didn’t stick around more than the one year.

He was a really cool guy, though, an avid hockey fan, historian and archaeologist, who did work on Mohican ruins near where he lived, in upstate New York, and who knew his history inside-out. We got along well, and with the exception of one squabble, I can’t think of any really bad times we had. I introduced him to Civilization, a game which had us both terribly hooked.

In any case, after his stint at my alma mater, he basically fell off the face of the earth. One friend of mine who lives in Singapore was the last to hear from the guy; After taking up a keen interest in hockey, the guy apparently shipped him a box full of hockey jerseys and gear. Rumour was that he’d gone to Oxford.

But other than that, nothing.

Fast forward a few years. I used to have this habit in the past, looking up the names of people I used to know, or even just names I remember from another time, on Altavista. I found a whole lot of people… but continual searches for this guy’s name never showed up anywhere.

Then, about a year ago, I gave it one more shot. To my astonishment, Altavista returned one reference. It was an article regarding a revolutionary war re-enactment group, based in England. One of the participants listed had this guy’s (not-very-common) name.

I immediately emailed the author of the document, mentioning that I thought I knew that guy, and asking him to forward a brief message, in the off-chance that it was the same guy.

He wrote back the next day, obliging. However, a few months passed, and I never heard anything else. I was a little down. I thought about that squabble, trying to remember if it was near the end of the year, if it maybe it left the guy with a bad impression. I didn’t dwell on it, but I was just a bit disillusioned.

One day, I checked my e-mail to find the following message:

Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001 17:23:56 -0400
Subject: Small world indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
X-Mailer: Juno 4.0.11
X-Juno-Line-Breaks: 0-1,5-6,11-14
X-Juno-Att: 0
X-Juno-RefParts: 0
From: MAZ


Quick note to say hello! You somehow contacted my regiment in England. I
was doing my master’s last year and I reenact the 9th Foot here for the
Revolution and was participating there for the Napoleonic. You happened
to hit their website.


I was thrilled. We’ve since been back in touch, and have talked on the phone a few times. The first time this occurred, we chatted a bit, and within five minutes, it was like no time had passed.

Q. So why all this silly reminiscing?

A. I just got a phone call from him, telling me he’d be in town tomorrow.

I haven’t seen this guy in about seven years. Needless to say, I’m a bit thrilled at that, too.

Geez, those seven years have flown by.

cswiii @ 3:51 pm

====== teedz gets out the

====== teedz gets out the thermometer ======
Weather Underground: Sterling, Virginia Forecast
Updated: 10:51 AM EDT on April 17, 2002
Temperature 79 degrees F

It’s not as hot as I’d expected, yet. I’m sure it’s coming, though — it’s already 90 in Boston.

However, this seems like perfect weather to walk down the street and finally try the BBQ that some guy has been hawking in a vacant lot, for the past several months.

cswiii @ 11:23 am


I wonder if there’s gonna

I wonder if there’s gonna be a baby boomlet in mid-June. That’s just about six months after Sept. 11th. You know, “hold me tight baby, I’m so scared,” etc., etc.

cswiii @ 3:38 pm

Thought for the day.

This is the Chinese character for “heart” (xin): .
This is the (simplified) Chinese character for “love” (ai): .

A while back, I was reading the LJ zhongwen community, where a Taiwanese LJer mentioned that she didn’t like simplified Chinese much, and the above is representative of one reason why: In the simplified form, there is no “heart” in the character that symbolizes love.

Made me wonder. Is “heart” a cross-cultural symbol for love? Has it always been? It certainly seems so. If this is the case, I wonder how this phenomenon occurred. I mean, 心 is an ideogram for the biological “heart”. Someone who is not at all familiar with Chinese can see that, once you tell them. And yet, it seems that even the traditional character for “love” also contains the heart radical.

Now, I’m not saying the concept of a “heart” representing “love” is a western sorta thing. Far from that, I’m quite in awe that it seems like a relatively global thing.

cswiii @ 11:21 am



It strikes me as just… dumb that there is 1 community and 182 users who have the (misspelled) term “psycology” listed as an interest.

cswiii @ 1:16 pm


Sir Paul

Bought tickets to go see Sir Paul McCartney at the MCI Center, on the 24th. Hopefully I’ll be able to get enough work done to go, otherwise I’m gonna give the ticket to my sister, or something. I dig Paul enough, although I like the Beatles better than any of his solo work, and he’s not my favourite Beatle to begin with.

Went walking around Clarendon today, walked up and down two of the major streets through town, whatever they are, I can’t remember. Stopped in Morpheus Music (?), a used music store. An absolute vault of vinyl… almost makes me want to go get my old record player from my mom’s place and try to jerry-rig it to my current system. In any case, didn’t buy anything. the guy who owns/manages/works at the place was giving everyone, including us, the evil eye.

Stopped down at the Barnes and Noble there. Bought a book of poetry by W.S. Merwin. It is actually a collection of four books, the last of which (Writings to an Unfinished Accompaniment) I used to own… I haven’t seen it in years though, so it is presumed dead. Merwin’s a brilliant poet; jazzyjupiter and miyeon1121: If you haven’t read this guy before, do try and check him out. A touch abstract at times, he’s amazingly vivid.

The first poem contained in Writings…:

Early One Summer
Years from now
someone will come upon a layer of birds
and not know what he is listening for

these are days
when the beetles hurry through dry glass
hiding pieces of light they have stolen.

(More Merwin, including an audio bit)

Ate at a Greek restaurant in Clarendon, Aegean Taverna. Food was pretty good, but the service was downright miserable. We were seated at a table, but it was a good five minutes before anyone came and took our order. We ordered, food took forever — which I took with a grain of salt, since it was a Saturday night, after all. Our waiter, however, seemed to lose track of us all night. I think he stopped by once during the meal to see if everything was okay — and then, we didn’t see him for a long time, long after I’d finished my meal — 15 minutes, I’m guessing. Finally, when I ended up getting my check, it was another 10 minutes before he came back and collected it. Grr.

Came back, watched Killing Zoe. Wasn’t as good as I’d hoped — it’s one of M’s favourite films.

After M left, I called up xiao Q and talked with her on the phone for a good while. She’s just so wonderful :). Don’t get me wrong, I have a helluva good time with M, but I really wish I could spend more time with wo de ai. I can’t wait to go to Beijing.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 1:47 am


Wow. Maybe the US political

Wow. Maybe the US political system isn’t as silly as I thought it was.

Or, at least not as silly as that of the Germans.

From the article:

“Karl-Josef Laumann, a member of parliament for the Christian Democrats has said “a chancellor who dyes his hair will also dress up statistics.” “

cswiii @ 6:39 pm


Haha, way to go, kid — cover your tracks.

Right now Slashdot is “covering” a story (if you can call it that) on those insipid “WORK FROM HOME” signs, and how they can be traced back to a company publically traded on NASDAQ.

It was an interesting story, but what I found more amusing was the thread where a kid admitted his mom did this sorta thing, admitted it was a pyramid scheme, defended her, and yet refused to give away her website address (“because you idiots might screw with her”).

People figured out who she was pretty quickly.

cswiii @ 3:59 pm


Feeling a lot better, in

Feeling a lot better, in the past 2 hours or so. Of course, when I walk around, this changes a bit, as my energy and balance both tend to degrade somewhat.

I am seriously thinking about going back into work today, though. Partially because I’ll feel guilty if I feel good later on, good enough to go enjoy this great weather, w/o having gone into work.

However, the quality (or lack thereof) of daytime television is just repulsive. Anyone who knows me pretty well also knows that I almost never watch much tv, except for maybe the news, a football game, or on rare occasion, a sitcom. Probably less than 6 hours a week or so. However, turning the tv on while I ate my soup this afternoon… I dunno. It never ceases to amaze me, the utter lameness of daytime TV. I forget what was on channel 4, but Fox had Texas Justice. 7 and 9 had soap operas.


Give me work, anytime, over this!

cswiii @ 1:29 pm

Some thoughts

I have come down with some sorta head cold or something, and gotta crash, but I want to write some of these things down.

1. Yesterday, was behind some vehicle. It had a frame around the tag, “Final Score: 1 – Girls 2 – Boys”. I couldn’t figure it out. And then I saw a little hand reach up from the back seat, for a water bottle that was handed back to them from a much larger mom or dad hand in the driver seat. It then all made perfect sense.

2. Today I was planning to go to some web properties development conference at work. I get down there, and it had, unbeknownst to many of us, been put off to another day. Why? It seems there was an upper management conference going on there, instead. It was strange, they were all dressed in khakis and collared shirts. Now, there’s no dress code at work, really. But to see that… it was kind surreal. Yet another reason not to go into management — down with khakis!

3. Yesterday, I spent $ on a memory upgrade for the iBook. Then, today,I spent $ on an Airport card for the iBook. And now, it appears the cdrom drive is fried… which, to repair, would come at a cost of $$$. Anyone want to buy an (otherwise perfectly functioning) iBook for like, $300? You can keep the Airport card.

After the conference snafu, and the cdrom woes and the onset of illness, I had to drive home in nasty, spitting rain. I must have picked up some bad karma along the way.

cswiii @ 1:05 am


Gulf Fiction II

(Not to be confused with my first fit of creativity)

Says George W. Bush, “I meant what I said to the prime minister of Israel. I expect there to be a withdrawal without delay.”

So George W. is really reiterating that Israel back the hell off of Arafat and friends. I dunno, I just keep imagining the scene from Pulp Fiction, when Butch and Marcellus end up in the Mason-Dixie pawnshop, except this time, it’s Israel who has the Palestinians pinned to the floor, beating the crap out of ‘em.

Israel: So you like terrorizing people, huh? Well guess what, big man, you’ve terrorized me –United States: [Wielding a pump-action shotgun, aimed at them]

– hold it right there, godammit!

Israel: Look mister, this ain’t any of your business –

United States: — I’m makin’ it my business! Now toss that gun!

Israel: You don’t understand, man –

United States: No, you don’t understand, drop the gun and let the Arab go!

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 4:28 pm

Today was the first time

Today was the first time this spring, where I walked out the door and smelled fresh cut grass.

And suddenly, the fact that the grounds crew is invariably out there on weekends, waking me up at 8.00 on a Saturday with the mowing, didn’t bother me so much today.

cswiii @ 9:33 am
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