tumblr is pretty cool. I've been playing around with it since rakka showed it to me. It's described as a sort of mini blog, but I think of it as a souped up del.icio.us.

So it's got different post types designed to make it really easy to get some bit of something off the web and in to a blog like format. It's designed almost to discourage commentary. It's just about the thing. Simple. Quick.

So that sounds like del.icio.us to me, at least the way I use it. But you can do images, quotes, video, and even conversations. And it's pretty good at taking what you throw at it and making it look right in the post.

I just don't know if it'll fit in with all the blogs, twitters, media sharing, yadda yadda yadda. It'll just end up being more cruft on the sidebar. *sigh*


Some of you may have noticed hints of a secret side project that I've been working on. That side project is Bookton, a site about books. And it's finally stable enough to show.

The easiest way to sum it up is to say it's like imdb, where the m stands for 'book'. I've written up a much more complete description over on the Bookton Blog.

You should know that it's so early in the game that I still have to create users by hand. But if you'd like one let me know; I'll probably hook you up. Use feedback at bookton dot com if you would.

common esculents

I accidentally started a food blog last night. Alright, maybe not accidentally, exactly. But I was surprised by the frequency I was wanting to write about restaurants. It doesn't seem to go with the random junk and geekery I write about here. So I'm splitting them out.

The new thing is called common esculents, which spell check doesn't even think is a word, but it pretty much is. Anyway, check it out.

oh, the things we do for science

(I'm filing this under food, but I'm not sure if it counts)

Rakka has just become the new retro food writer for swapatorium. It seemed like a great deal... until I realized that I'd be the primary tester for things like this month's mayo pie.

It was literally 1:1 mayo:potato. The thing was heavy with mayo. We could hardly find the potato bits for all the goo.

The post-game analysis was fun though.
A: how was the mayo pie? =)
me: oh, hey there's none left
A: is was that good?
not the result I would have expected for an old recipe meal =)
"old recipe" meaning the intentional attempt at making an unappetizing meal
me: Um, there's none left because we chucked it
A: oh, hahaha
And no, I don't feel bad about discarding a whole 6lbs of what was arguably food. It was for science.

smarty pants

J took us to Smarty Pants in Georgetown today. My veggie/hummus sammich was very tasty, though a little light on the promised avocado (I know, not in season). The tater salad was good except for the complete lack of salt. First time I had to add salt to something in weeks.

J seemed to like his grilled cheese, though he bemoaned the lack of fries to go with (no frier, see). Rakka's turkey sandwich was probably the best of the lot. She let me try it; fantastic.

Of course, that inflamed my vegetarian guilt. I'll make up for it by getting field roast on everything next time. I don't know how that will help really, but it's an option, which is cool.

Smarty Pants on Urbanspoon

My feedshake brings all the boys to the yard

I tried to make you a pipe. I mean a Yahoo Pipe. I was trying to make you a fancy rss feed of all my junk. I did actually make one. It's here.

Pipes is a pretty cool idea. If you haven't seen it yet (and if you haven't you must not have even thought the word 'lifehacker' in the last month; it's all they talk about) it's a mashup tool for news feeds (rss). It's all shiny and gui and web 2.0 and buzzword and other buzzword.

The thing is Pipes isn't smart enough yet to realize that pubDate and dc:date are the same thing. Since some of my feeds use one, and some use the other I can't actually sort by date. I love standards that aren't.

Feedshake, on the other hand is focused on exactly the task at hand: combining feeds. It's not nearly as shiny as pipes, but it seems to do what it does, and well. So, here's the feedshake feed. I think it will work better.

(Meanwhile, why can't I do this with my old standby, feedburner?)

Mikey's House

Mikey's House, originally uploaded by bella731.

I was looking around the map and found mikey's house! As a matter of fact, bella731 found a bunch of goonies locations. And they're all mapped. Awesome.

Now I know what I'm doing on my next vacation.

Hand drinks

Hand drinks, originally uploaded by leff.

Oops. I didn't mean for this to go all the way to the blog. The old phone was still set up for moblogging of ignite seattle.

But it's here, so I'll use it as an opportunity to continue singing the praises of Hotel Dusk.

Double Update! I just realized that the title was thwarted by my phone's predictive text! It's supposed to be Game Drinks. I was in a hurry because my cup had just hove into view.

Ignite seattle

Ignite seattle
Originally uploaded by leff.
Went to Ignite Deux at Chac. It was pretty fun. Very crowed though. We had to sit in the balcony, which was more or less tacked. As more and more people kept piling on I became convinced that it would collapse.

It didn't.

And there were a lot of good speakers. All in all a good show.

I particularly liked the talks by Scott Kveton on OpenID, Barry Brumitt on Google's MapReduce, Avi Geiger on “Power Consumption of Home Computers and Incandescent Lightbulbs”, Elisabeth Freeman on "how to write a technical book that doesn’t put your readers to sleep", Sarah Davies from Freedom For IP, and Marcelo Calbucci on AJAX error logging.

Most of the rest applied less directly to me, but was interesting non the less. Like Lars Liden from Teachtown who uses web tech to teach kids with Autism, and Deepak Singh on An Open Scientific Future.

The photos will go up on other sites, but that'll be later (after sleep). I wanted to put them in the photo pool, so they went up on flickr first and got stuck in this set.

ignite pano

i didn't go to china

My coworker Jeff did though.

Statue  Palace Garden by jeff on Treemo Transportation by jeff on Treemo
View of the lake and temple at the Summer Palace by jeff on Treemo Close up of the Temple of Heaven by jeff on Treemo

That's the second coworker in six months to go to China... jealous!

hotel dusk

I started playing Hotel Dusk a couple days ago. I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I found out about via penny-arcade. I don't know why that's embarrassing, it just sort of is.

Anyway, I wasn't sure of it at first, but I think that was just the flu. As I've started to get better I'm really getting in to it. The characters are really well developed. Tycho said
"It's basically a videogame for people who like books." which is as good a summation as I can come up with.

Kyle's not all smiles.

We're seeing more and more heavily narrative games these days, which I think is a good thing. All the games I've liked in the past few years have had very strong plot and character development, though they've been action driven. There have been many over the years that have attempted to be all plot and character driven, and for the most part I think they've failed.

Hotel Dusk, though, looks like a success. The big factors are the characters, who are surprisingly likable, and the lack of heavy handed plot devices. While the overarching plot is shaping up to be a hong kong style cop melodrama, it's no Indigo Prophesy "Welcome to the game, you've just killed a man for no reason, you have 30 seconds to act, too slow, game over" sort of thing.

But he's not an ass all the time

The puzzles are a bit silly sometimes. You can't pick up that paper clip until you need it; that sort of thing. Nothing infuriating so far, but it is early days yet. I'll let you know if it starts teh s ucking.

found another direct torchwood influence

Still getting over the worst cold ever, so I'm watching crappy junk on the sci-fi channel. Special Unit 2 might as well be torchwood chicago, except it came six years earlier. I mean, we know torchwood's not very original... Ok. not original at all... But this is the exact same concept. Just without all the forced relationship drama.

Moving torchwood down one more notch... *sigh*

my neighborhood smells delicious

Seriously. Just walking to the corner store I encountered an array of wonderful sents. Luckily, I'm on to the part of the cold where only one nostril is stopped up at a time, so I got to enjoy them.

There was caramelized onions. Oh man, somebody must have cooked up a bushel. I almost shouted out "hey you, with the onions, got any seats left!?"

Then I turned the corner to take the picture at the left (I love the lights on that building, I just noticed them a few days ago). It's right up the hill from the grain elevators. Which is maybe why it smelt like an amusement park log flume. It was like a little vacation.

And then there where the hamburgers. I don't even eat hamburgers. But I wanted to find them and ask the owners if they knew the onion guys.

Does Queen Anne always smell this good, or am I just overexcited by the first olfactory experience I've had in days (stupid cold).

the overuse of 'stupid'

Being sick makes one grumpy. Especially when one's over the counter meds don't work like they should because of stupid reactions by stupid lawmakers to the stupid actions of stupid meth-heads, and the stupid response by the stupid med companies. One wants one's "nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever, so you can rest medicine" to make one sleep through the night. That is what it's for.

One doesn't really care if one has to talk to the counter guy and sign a little form, as long as one gets more than four hours of sleep in a row.

In conclusion, I'll be back soon.

siff is popular

or how I missed the Sci-Fi film festival and went to Pan's Labyrinth instead.

Imagine a swarm of movie patrons. An orderly swarm that is.
It's pretty simple really. The Seattle International Film Festival has at least two words in the title that guarantees that it gets a lot interest in town. Those words are 'international' and 'festival'. Put those two words together with 'Seattle' and you've got something that's going to sell out, early.

I know this.

But I chose to forget. I was actually shocked for a minute when A and I got there half an hour before the show and the line wrapped around the block in two directions. Then I remembered: this is not baltimore or memphis, people do things, planning is required.

We got to a computer and checked, even the second showing was already sold out.

All was was well though, because El Laberinto del Fauno was pretty good. Though I must say it was much gorier than I expected. There were times when I thought I was watching a sam raimi film, or early peter jackson.

Still, totally worth seeing. If you don't mind being a bit depressed at the end. Oh, also, it's less about the dream world than the previews would lead you to believe. Quite a bit of 'grim reality' in there actually.

a short stack of minis

We shuffled some stuff around at work, and we ended up with an extra mini and an extra monitor. As you can see, I'm making good use of it.

The fun part is that with synergy it's almost like dual screen system. One keyboard and mouse, two computers. With these pre-intel mac minis you need two, especially if you need to do about 12 things at a time. Which I always do.

Synergy isn't 100% done on os x, but it's pretty nice so far. Copy and paste only works for text, but that's rarely an issue. The cursor seems to jump around as you mouse near the border, but I expect I'll get used to it.

Setting up auto-on is a pain in the ass though. If I can't get it working smoothly I will get all grumbly.

It's a bit odd having two of everything. Two docks, two slightly different configurations and two quicksilvers that have been trained differently. Keeping track of it uses extra mental resources. And you can ask anybody, I don't have a lot of those to spare.

Running a single, powerful workhorse with the power to run zend studio, two+ web browsers (one of which is the memory hungry firefox (what's your deal anyway, FF? why would a lightweight browser ever need 300MB of real memory?)), 17 terminal windows, and a media player (while driving two monitors) is the ideal.

But this is what I have. Being able to do all that stuff without having to wait for mouse clicks to do something is worth spending some extra brain cycles.