Marathon Training!!

August 9th was the official starting day for Tulay and I in marathon training! We have been at it quite aggressively for over four weeks now and have already seen substantial gains. We are working out six days a week, waking up every morning at 6:45AM to go run 4-5 miles. I've modified the workout quite a bit as we learned more about running. It's hard work. Every day flirts with tendonitis in a new place. This weekend we held our first speedwork session and the most sore place on my body was my abs! Strange, but true. Very weird things are happening.

While I'm holding a steady weight at 190 lbs, the tale of the tape is changing quite a bit. My body fat is down to 16% and dropping. How do I know this? Yes, I bought a caliper...the scale isn't as informative any more. In just one month of steady training, both Tulay and my resting heart rates are hovering at 60 bpm. At this rate we'll be well into the lower 50's, if not lower, by race day. I can't believe how quickly these changes have occured by just running alone. We have eight more weeks of training before the big day and if we are able to stay in good health the entire training period, we'll be more than ready for this task!

Rus! Stop antagonizing the locals! =)

  Hong Kong #1

Just got into Hong Kong and posted to the site, sorry for the delays. We're going to be pretty active today and tomorrow as our flight out is at 12:30AM tomorrow night so we pack for good tonight.

  Shanghai Day #5

This morning was a special day for Tulay as she got her hair shortened quite a bit. The jury is still out on whether it will stay this way or not. More shopping and then to a tiny hutong area we discovered to get overcharged yet again. This time threw me over the edge a bit and I lost my temper for some time, but our Huangpu Jiang boat tour calmed me down some.

I guess I'm a bit sick of being constantly overcharged when the locals pay nothing for the same items. Every single purchase wastes a little bit more time and it really begins to add up. Further, once you are complete, you know you've paid too much money anyway.

  Shanghai Day #4

Yuyuan Park and shopping. Spent a lot of time relaxing today.

  Shanghai Day #3

Bought our tickets to Hong Kong on Thursday morning. We shopped a lot today before heading to the acrobatic show at the Shanghai Center.

  Shanghai Day #2

Today we had breakfast in the hotel. I think we're starting to break on eating some other cuisine (or at least I am), we're actively seeking coffee places and went into Starbucks yesterday. Maybe it's just the comforting familiarity. Since they have a tower, the Oriental Pearl Tower, I had to go up in it. We took the Bund Tourist Tunnel and it was exactly that. Wow, I haven't seen something so cheesy in a long time. It was supposed to be some psychodelic experience...it was really just a slow, crowded train with a bunch of neon lights and a laser or two. If you want to see far better, just pick a random nightclub here.

The tower was okay, we only had an hour so didn't go all the way to the top. But we did get to see the setup of a rally race about to start from where we were. It was a curved track weaving all throughout the inside of the Bund curve. After an hour we stood in line to get down and that is, of course when we got behind schedule and had to race down the tower, back through the painfully slow Tourist Tunnel (ugh) out to find a cab and pray that they stopped for us (we still can't figure out why they don't stop) and made it to the Yifu Theatre 5 minutes before it started.

The opera was much better quality and was quite understandable before the intermission. After the intermission, there were long sequences without much movement so we really got lost on the story and couldn't quite appreciate what we were seeing. One thing that we definitely noticed was that people clapped during the strangest voice ululations. A little bit of arm waving and the crowd would go wild. I didn't understand the skill at all, so I suspect it must have been symbolic.

After the show we met up with the people who showed us our hotel and went out for a hotpot. Hotpot is quickly becoming our favorite food, we've had it three times since we've been here and will likely have it once more before we go. The theme is a bowl of boiling water sunk into the table. One half is a good soup base and the other half is sichuan spicy. You select your food (an adventure when you don't know the language) and cook the food slowly and pick it out and dip it in a peanut sauce. It's fantastic!

We bid farewell to our friends and Tulay and I stumbled immediately upon Nanjiang Lu and walked up and down this famous street and later went out looking for a club and found d.n.a. I was suspicious at first, but when they opened the door and there were chinese rappers on stage freestyling we had to go in! They were good! They'd shout "C'mon ya'll, everybody get your hands up!" and Tulay and I would be the only ones with our hands in the air. It was a blast!

  Shanghai Day #1

Took the expensive taxi to the airport, I'm not sure why. I think it's the constant upselling and I got sold. I refuse to fall for this again. The flight was cushy and we met other English speakers who were also confused. One set was charged some random tax for the weight of their luggage and there wasn't any real explanation why. While Tulay and I smiled our way through the counter with our huge junk laden backpacks, the other backpackers seemed envious. The flight was good and we had a great meal.

We landed and asked some fellow Americans where they were staying and we joined them in a cab to The Bund at the Pujiang Hotel (now Astor Hotel) and booked a night. The Astor House Hotel cannot be recommended highly enough. Yeah, expect to negotiate like I did, but the room we have is fantastic! We ventured out after a quick after-flight shower and found our way into Frenchtown for some shopping. We booked Acrobatic tickets for Monday night and Opera tickets for tomorrow afternoon.

Shanghai appears to be an amazing city. Several times we've enjoyed walking on a sidewalk that borders the river. Much to our surprise it was *very* crowded tonight with neon lit kites flying above and the city buildings alive with color. We checked ferry schedules for tomorrow (the schedule is "when it's full") and went to the hotel for a few drinks before calling it a night.

  Xi'an Day #2

I woke up this morning dreaming of work and quickly looked around the room for my alarm clock to check the time. No clock...strange room.

We completely failed hunting breakfast this morning and left a restaurant with an excuse that we had to catch a train in order to not offend the proprietor with our quarter eaten meal. While hiring a car to take us to the terracotta soldier museum is cheap enough we opted to take the bus to get even more of the China Experience. What could have been a 30 minute cab ride took well over an hour as the minibus constantly tried to get more people at every stop. Tulay and I were a bit wary on this ride as it was such a strange experience and people were looking at us constantly. We lived and in retrospect we were overly cautious, but in comparing stories with others that went there it appears that everyone was worried through all the different ways to get to the soldiers.

The museum was one of the best kept that I've seen. Although it appeared to be an active dig, there was nobody working so I didn't get any great pictures of them. The terracotta soldiers were created 2,200 years ago and entombed for some garbled reason that I'll have to follow up on with in depth reading. What was shocking was the level of sophistication of the people back then. They even had iron weaponry. Yes, most of it was bronze, but what they were creating was truly advanced. I left the museum with far more questions than when I had entered.

We went back to the Muslim Quarter of townn and visited an ancient mosque in Xi'an. What I regret missing is a picture of the old men coming to the call to prayer dressing in a traditional chinese garb with a topi, but we have many pictures of the mix of chinese architecture mixed with Islamic writings. It was quite surreal.

Just as a quick rant, don't buy anything other than food in this town. We were buying several courses of food for about 20 Yuan and eating well...very well. Meanwhile, I needed an umbrella and some lady was trying to sell me one for 150 yuan when I knew the going price was 10. On and on, I heard about how it was a silk umbrella and high quality, etc. Not one, not two, but three umbrellas in a row I pointed out that they were broken. She asked me what I would pay and I said 10 yuan and she said okay. It's just a huge waste of travel time to even talk to them.

  Xi'an Day #1

We woke to a drizzly day and got off the train to a huge number of aggressive touts trying to convince us to go to their hotels. We went to the tourist office and received directions to our hotel and the worst 5 Yuan map I've ever seen (more on that) and were off. After quick arrangements and a necessary shower we went out for food and found yet another fantastic meal where yet again we ate too much and paid only 20 yuan ($2.50).

Some shopping and then winding through the back alleys of Xi'an. Somehow we passed an official with a nod and found our way into a museum with stone carvings. Fascinated we continued our way through and even purchased caligraphy duplicates of the tablets and continued on to the entrance where we discovered that we'd actually snuck into the Stone Templates Museum. From there we rushed to the Buddhist Big Goose Pagoda where we learned that we should know more about Buddhism before we go to Buddhist temples. There were monks, a lot of carvings of Buddha and a lot of chinese descriptions. The only signs we could understand were "Entrance" and "Way out". So we made up our own interpretations and continued our way up the 8 stories to the anticlimatic top. The most interesting thing we found (probably because we can't read Mandarin) was an elderly monk striking a small gong when people put money into the box.

Now, before I close, I have to comment on that map. It's poor because it is completely in English. This is a wondrous thing if you are using it to show your friends where you went, but for getting anywhere in Xi'an, it really sucked. The best way to get anywhere in a chinese cab is to point at some chinese characters in a notebook or ideally a map. This map doesn't even have the chinese way of saying the street names! Now this may not seem so bad except cab drivers here can't read a map if it doesn't have chinese characters on it. They look everywhere on the map, flip to the other side and read the ads, but simply can't understand the road structure on the map. It's quite frustrating. It's useless to point where you are and draw slow lines on the roads to take, we haven't been successful at this method yet...and believe me, we have tried.

  Beijing Day #6

Summer Palace today. Ting had booked a night train for us and we met her before we left and she drove us to the train station. I was expecting something of the description of an Indian train...hot, crowded, noisy and dirty. But I got brand new, clean and quiet. There was even an individual television for us to watch cheezy kung fu flicks...and they have redefined the term cheesy.

  Beijing Day #5

We waited for the rain to stop and now we've had two days of grueling sunshine. Great for pictures, not so great for my alabaster skin. It was a very slow start this morning as I wrote in my journal and Tulay ventured out solo to get coffee. A few more travel maintenance issues were solved and we left for the Forbidden City.

  Beijing Day #4

Today was the day for the wall. Off we took to where our hotel concierge directed us and after a 30 minute cab ride to the bus station we learned that buses only run there on weekends. We tried several people since we are never really sure what they are saying and we were directed to a car driver and negotiated our 110km round trip for 400 yuan and we were off. I was practically begging for a seat belt in the back seat, but alas, there were none. He wasn't so crazy that he passed cars on blind turns, but he tried. He gave us two hours to run up the wall and back (we were late back) and that was plenty. I had managed to find the most difficult part of the wall called Simatai. It was painful, but we took some great pictures.

An interesting new tourist technique has developed here in that you will pick up an individual mosquito in the form of an older chinese lady who will try to sell you postcards, books and T-shirts. I had read about them, but was really impressed with their tenacity. I mean, we were going up a very steep wall very fast and these ladies were wheezing but kept coming. They followed us about 2km up the wall and I had to tell them to stop in not very nice terms. But like the guidebook says, I kept smiling the whole time. They said they'd wait for us...and they did and chased us all the way down. I suspect they were the wives of the workers there who were rebuilding the wall since they wore passes into the park.

  Beijing Day #3

The rain continues today so we cancelled our plans to go to the Wall and decided to shop all day. We're starting to crave coffee so we went to KFC since we knew they'd have some and started our morning there. We started at Wangfujing and then quickly went to Oriental Plaza. These are nice shopping areas but a a bit more commercial than what we were looking for so after investigating as much as we could we grabbed a three wheeled motorcycle cab, crammed into the back and headed for Dashilar. Dashilar is a hutong bargaining area. I've gotta admit, since coming here my bargaining skills have improved dramatically. Tulay and I work as a team in many situations if we think we can drop the price. Even though we bargaining over four yuan ($0.50), we press hard to get it.

We bought a lot today. I even bought those cheesy looking black kung fu shoes, but they are totally different from what we have in the US. Many layers of cloth are used to create a high quality shoe and they had a team of people in the front of the store hand sewing them all. They had a single pair in the whole place that fit me.

Peking Opera was a must so of course we took it in. Also expected, we were runnning late so paid top dollar but we sat in the best seats in Huguang Guild House with the rest of the expats. Opera in Chinese is strange, but I like it. I think I'd like to take in a few more at places where there are a few less foreigners and they don't speak to the audience in English, but I believe we got a decent sample.

  Beijing Day #2

Anybody who complains there is nothing on television has never channel surfed in a Beijing hotel room during a torrential rainstorm. I've flipped from Chinese "pop" singing to soap operas. I have over 70 channels of this. It may sound interesting, but the luster wears off after about 10 minutes and you notice that all the words sound the same...two consonants of "sh" and "ng" and a multitude of drug-inspired vowels. Our plans of going to a teahouse to wait out the rain have been stymied due to the incredible lack of any sort of public drainage system more sophisticated than evaporation. I have pictures of crowd's of people bicycling through over a foot of water like a normal days work. I'm certain our cab had to have been floating through some portions of our ride home, but I couldn't open the fogged up window much to verify this without getting drenched.

The morning began with my not very well thought out decision to walk to Tian An Men Square. There was a dense haze all over the city all day, so my pictures are pretty poor. The walk was long, I'd estimate 4 miles but much more with our backtracking. On the way we accidentally discovered hutong. These are the old town of tiny winding streets where you can really get the pulse of the city. We found our breakfast on the street with a man and his daughter making these thin, large pancakes with an egg cracked and smeared over the top and then some mystery sauces added (jianbing?). Before each layer, she asked in what I assume was perfect Mandarin whether we wanted each one and we nodded like we understood. When it came time to pay, this time we discovered that there was a difference between the bills clearly marked 5. Having no idea what she wanted I had to spread out my money and let her carefully pluck out the other bill with a 5 on it and she seemed happy and gave me change. First, the food was excellent! Whatever it was. Tulay and I were quite satisfied. Second, here's the situation with the different 5's. There are two sets of paper money, one in denominations of Yuan, the local currency, and the second is Jian. 10 Jian make up one Yuan. So my mistake is that I was offering her 1/2 Yuan instead of 5 Yuan like I meant. Now, I also have some coins and they have a 1 and a 2 on them. Of course, I wasn't paying attention when I got them and now I'm not exactly sure how to use them since they don't have Jian or Yuan clearly inscribed on the back. More on this tomorrow.

The last thing I'm going to note is the strange habit of people here to take pictures of Tulay and I. At Tian An Men Square, people would want us to pose with them while they make what looks like a peace sign with their hands. Although, last night, talking with two migrant Irish ladies, we've learned that this may not be what it appears. Sometimes the shy ones wouldn't ask but would instead take sneaky pictures of us as we walked by. Regardless, we tolerated these photo moments in the square as we only had like four or five, but later that night at our hotel we hit a limit of about seven in a row as people rushed out of a party room to take pictures with us. We politely shi-shi'ed our way out and escaped for tea downstairs, despite invites into the party.

I'll end today's long update with a picture Tulay took of me arguing with a pedicab driver about the fee. Negotiations with him began at 20 Yuon to which I countered "Fifteen" and he said yes. He drove us 5 or 6 blocks to our restaurant and demanded "Fifty"...thus the twenty minute standoff ensued. This is a picture of him blocking my way into the restaurant to the concern and interest of many onlookers.

  Beijing Day #1

Today was a travel day. We said goodbye to our excellent hosts and will see them on the 24th when we fly back through Seoul. Thank you very much for showing us a fantastic time in Seoul!

The flight to Beijing was easy, only two hours and going past customs was even easier. We were met by Ting, a sister of Tulay's colleague. I'm still stunned by her hospitality. She booked a hotel for us (two actually, just in case), took time off work to come pick up some strangers and drove us to the hotel. She then helped us get yuan and then she bought us lunch. Tulay and I must have been tired because after we got back we slept for 3 hours and woke up to meet Ting and her husband and his nephew. They took us to a traditional Beijing dinner for Mongolian hotpot where we talked and quaffed the local brew until the restaurant was closing.

On our walk home from lunch, our first realization that this may be more difficult than our usual sojourn is when we negotiated for peaches from a street vendor. We bought them and really wanted to pay the man but couldn't understand how much money he wanted. We even asked him to write it down and he wrote chinese characters. To emphasize and make it perfectly clear how much we owed him, he would hold up both index fingers and make a plus sign (+), to which we would stare at him blankly. After several rounds of this, through sheer dumb luck, I grabbed a 10 yuan bill out of my pocket and he accepted this and we moved on with our prize. Later, I frantically flipped through the guidebook in the hotel room and found that they don't count on their hands in a remotely familiar way and that by making the plus sign he was telling us that we owed him 10 yuan. I've since memorized the hand signs....

  Day #5 Korea

This morning was a start at about 10AM. Our bodies rebelled a bit from being pushed further than normal New York walking. If you like stairs, Seoul is the place for you. They have stairs for every purpose and a distinct dearth of elevators. One of the favorite things I've seen is to use stairs to cross under a street instead of walking over it. The subways are also quite deep and escalators are scarce. Although we did find a strange elevated moving ramp in grocery store that allowed you to take your shopping cart up several levels.

Regardless, we started toward the Korean Village Museum and picked up a few more pictures, but not much is noteworthy there. From there we trekked over to Doeksu Palace for another quick look at old Korean high life. We got a few pics of our hero King Sejong who invented the Korean alphabet and moved on to Dongdaemun for some more shopping where I got this picture of Tulay getting a stamp made with her name in Korean.

  Day #4 Korea

Well, today we found out why they call it the rainy season. Our indoors activities included racing from shop to shop and walking under the huge tented markets. You know, I'm amazed at the amount of stuff that is here for sale. Just stuff. They have it all...and cheap! This is a huge consumer economy.

We also had to take advantage of an excellent tailor at Mode!

  Day #3 Korea

Our policy of disciplined jetlag containment has paid off and today we are fully adjusted. We went to the travel agent to schedule a flight to Beijing and did a little shopping in Insadong. Later we went to the famous Korean War Memorial...quite impressive. I never knew the US had such a huge commitment in the 50's. Of course I knew about the war, but that over five million americans went through duty for the war is astounding. After this we had two hours before we met with Rus and Julie and took off to the Jong-se Ya, the Korean Buddhist headquarters. I should have gotten a few more pictures of the people all dressing in entire outfits of gray. Many of the shops near the temple(?) had long lines of gray shoes. It was very strange, I wish someone would have understood my questions.

After a long day exploring, we settled down for a dish of buuldak that even the Koreans consider spicy. Literally, the namee means "fire chicken". And to round out the night, we had the ultimate Korean experience at a noraebong.

  Day #2 Korea

We were moving at 8:30 this morning and out the door at 9 with very little planning. But we went for the high point at Gyeongbok Palace "The Palace of Shining Happiness", the Museum of Korean Culture and then out to Insadong for shopping. We were still a bit jet-lagged and managed to meander down a random alley to find a hidden teahouse where we relaxed and had the greatest tea experience we've ever had.

  Day #1 Korea

*blink-blink* I'm soooo tired. So damn tired. Awake for 26 hours tired. We flew into Korea about 4 hours ago to be greeted by Rus and Julie. We dropped our bags off at their place and promptly headed out to have authentic Korean food. "You want it hot?", we were asked. Twenty minutes later we were eating with steel chopsticks some of the most unapologetically spicy hot food I've had in a long, long time. It was fantastic!

I've gotta admit, I couldn't find the place again given months of searching. The buildings all look alike...and if I were in a European city, I would have been positive that I was in the naughty part of town with all the neon flashing and touts trying a variety of languages on us.

Tomorrow will be a full day of tourism and sleep will come easily tonight.

 » Go Big City Sellouts!

Happy Friday the 13th! I was asked today if I "actually believe in the 13th and all that" and was stunned into silent reflection pondering exactly what this meant. What sort of myths are about the 13th? Isn't it just a movie? With a followup bad movie of Saturday the 14th?? Then a piece of paper fell of a desk and I forgot all about it.

My last post was an effluent drone so I promised myself weeks ago that I was going to update more rapidly and knock it down the list. As you can see that momentary inspiration was acted upon with industrious procrastination. Regardless, on with the Jayson's life update!

The last six weeks of sporting activities have been targetted at volleyball. Of course, this change from running almost every day occurred once I received this email:

Congratulations Jayson Pifer! You are eligible for guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon 2004, the 35th anniversary running of the race. Simply follow the instructions below and register by May 1, 2004, in order to enter the marathon without applying for the lottery. The marathon will take place on November 7, 2004.
This came after suffering through my nine qualifying races last year and losing out in the lottery attempt to get into to the 2003 marathon. My backup plan of actually earning an entry into the race actually came through!

 » Losing Weight Sucks

Back before I was officially outed from the NYC marathon this year and when I was aggressively training to be in shape for the aforementioned, I decided that it was time to lose that "extra 10 pounds." The training was tough, I was waking up at 6:45am and working out 6 days a week, I definitely didn't need the added weight to lift with every footstep. I mean just looking at those scrawny please-give-me-a-biscuit winners of the races made me think that running alone was going to do the trick...but it wasn't so. Thus, at 220 pounds, I started a regimen of drinking 4 liters of water every day and eating 5 times per day. The theory behind this was that the body won't starve and won't need to store fat if you are eating constantly. Consistency was key here so I stuck with it for about a month. I did learn that I didn't tire during the day from the constant influx of energy and enjoyed that fact, but the scale didn't budge. Another trip to the bookstore and I bought several books and as I read more and "learned" that I was missing supplements from my diet so I started taking fish oil tablets, green tea extract, a multivitamin and glucasomins chondroitin for good measure. Another month passed and still no results.

It's amazing to me how I can follow a regimen of heavy exercise, proper diet, timed eating, proper drinking and, just in case my body missed something, proper supplements and my body vetoes any attempt at the goal. It just seems to entrench itself deeper into the battle because I know that if I go back to my old habits, by say reducing exercise, it will not maintain status quo and will, in fact, gain again! Realizing this, I cracked down. It was time to show the body that the mind was in control. So I did the last thing that anybody wants to do and decided to Eat Less.

It works.

But I guess I always knew that, it just sucks to have to eat less to get to where I want to be. So in one month of determination I lost 15 pounds. One more month and I lost 5 more then gained back 4 in the ensuing month. It has been a trial. One thing I did notice when I weighed 200 pounds is that I really had no idea how much weight I needed to lose to get to where I wanted to be. My goal of lose that 10 pounds kept growing the more weight I lost. So after I was sure I'd stabilized my weight, I set another goal of 185 pounds. I still don't know if this will be the right weight, but once I get there I'll tell you. I declared success at the Eat Less diet and congratulated myself thoroughly. For the next round to 185 I decided to try something new and Dr. Atkins had the answer. I bought and read the book and the diet, while a reaction to the current low-fat craze diets, makes a lot of sense. I've been on it since 9/01/03 and have lost my 9 pounds to get down to 195 and am still dropping. Obviously, it appears that I'll reach my goal weight in another month, but this is doubtful as it seems to be getting harder to lose weight with every pound as I get closer to my goal. I am currently at the lightest I've been in about 10 years and love the thinner waist. Atkins does decrease my energy (due to way lower blood sugar), but I'm back to the gym in full force and even got in another qualifying race last Saturday. I have one more race to go and I'm guaranteed to make it into the 2004 marathon!

I would say that I staunchly recommend Atkins, but I can't say this honestly. I enjoy the challenge of finding something to eat that will match the Atkins plan as it's my form of intellectual exercise in the daily food hunt. Rather than following smells, I am forced to consciously add components to make a meal that will work. By the way, it's also the most expensive diet that I know of. While dining with your friends, you can't eat the $12 pasta, but instead must opt for the $24 steak. This sounds great at first, but after a while the budget adds up. Those things aside, I wouldn't say that Atkins or the Eat Less diet are what's needed for people to lose weight. I would say that the common denominator is simply sheer force of will. Whatever the diet du jour is will work as long as the brain is there to filter what goes into the mouth. This pattern is easy for a week or two. But it becomes onerous when I discovered I had to make plans to starve for months. The last month has proven that I'm pretty well adapted to this type of discipline. It gets easier over time, but those first few weeks are diet breakers.

I just thought I'd write about this daily struggle, and it is daily. I am consistently aware of what and how much I eat. Even just last night I had a "nightmare" about eating carbs, but it was way too stupid to relay here. And I thought this whole marathon thing was just going to be a cakewalk.

 » An update!

Spamassassin continues to do its good work on my mailbox. Recently, my o' most excellent host upgraded my service to include the latest version of Spamassassin and now I get even less spam than before! I'm getting so little email that I was beginning to think that my email box wasn't working and engaged in rigorous testing to be positive that yes, I do have that few real emails coming to me.

Today is the first day that my mind started drifting listlessly and began the hazy focusing on that nearby future that some call vacation. Yes, it's that time again to take a paid leave of absence using my incredibly generous american two week vacation and shove seven weeks worth of activities into that time slot. To be different this year, rather than ruthlessly haggling with travel agents and hotel reservations by going in off-tourist season, Tulay and I have decided to help support the trampled and downtrodden airlines by paying their backbreaking on-tourist season prices. I've read countless times how the person sitting next to you could have paid 50% or even 30% of the price you paid when you are a bargain hunter. Now, if you see me, you can be comforted in the knowledge that I am helping subsidize your trip...relax the drinks are on me.

Technical evangelists (like moi) need to stay on the bleeding edge of technology, being a first-adopter to waste countless hours learning technology that will likely be deprecated next week. In that spirit I've jumped on the bandwagon to test out a technology coming from the 1930's and am eagerly testing the Dvorak keyboard. Already, I can confidently inform you that it will make you about 1/100th as efficient at typing as you are today. If you have to look at your keys to type, then you will like the proverbial monkey typing Shakespeare since I doubt you will actually buy the keyboard and will still be looking at your QWERTY setup trying to decipher your newly randomized key pattern. Reasons for adopting the Dvorak keyboard include:

  • Annoying coworkers who want to "borrow your computer for a sec".
  • Reliving that collegiate frustration of learning to type all over again.
  • Qwerty/Dvorak debates crop up frequently at cocktail parties and you'll be in-the-know!
  • Eliminating your past spelling errors to misspell a whole new group of words.
  • Ensuring that you so carefully and painstakingly think about every word in your two sentence instant message that you never send it.
With this sort of ringing endorsement, I am sure that I will compel others to adopt the Dvorak keyboard and end the oppression of Qwerty forever!!

 » Tired of spam?

Finally, I have gotten so sick of spam that I did something about it. I snapped out of my usual email daze of automatically glazing over and deleting the oh-so-tantilizing email offers of russian women, penis enlargement, viagra offers and low mortgage rates and thought "There has to be a better way." Hell, I'm a linux geek and I know somebody out there has some spam prevention tool to use to slow this down. A few googles later and I was led to SpamAssassin. Not exactly the easiest setup in the world, but I painstakingly went through each and every step for hours, getting every little detail working. Then, as an afterthought, checked my mail server since the service I use has linux. Yep, they had it already. After seething for some time, I simply turned on their service and started testing. SpamAssassin does many things for you. For the layman, you need to know one thing: it marks your email with a header titled "*****SPAM*****". This means you can set up a folder in your email client and set a rule to route all email with that in the header to the SPAM folder (or in your trash) and you never have to see it again. I've been using it for some weeks now and am *quite* happy. I only had one false positive and it was an email from a friend who had forwarded some advertisement to me...I wasn't heartbroken. Today, I downloaded 35 emails. 28 were sent to the trash bin and I had 5 false negatives. Yeah, it's 5 emails that I still have to delete, but it's a heck of a lot better than deleting all 33.

 » Vacation in Orlando!

I snuck away for a 3 day weekend down in Orlando this past thursday night. Pictures to follow as soon as Tülay moves the pictures to the nearest computer. The trip revolved around some tickets I bought for Discovery Cove and everything else was planned around it. Actually, no planning was involved other than get some tickets and see what there was to do in Orlando...just the type of trip I like.

I must say the start was exciting enough! We made it to the checkin of the airport an hour before the scheduled departure. And raced to the the security standpoint expecting that to be the longest delay. I went through without a problem and turned to see Tülay discussing something with the security people. It seems that one of the ladies working in security was having a bad day I guess and was pestering Tülay about what she had in her hand. That was her first mistake. She then took the item from Tülay's hand without further question and started unwrapping it. That was her 2nd mistake. Once the security woman had the item fully unwrapped she looked up with utter disgust at Tülay, then Tülay explained a little more loudly..."I threw up!". It seems the cab ride to the airport was less than friendly to Miss Tülay's equilibrium. It's truly amazing how quickly one can get shuttled through a security checkpoint when the security personnel are holding another's bodily fluids...

After laughing until tears came out, we had a pleasant flight down to the Sunshine state. It was cloudy the entire time we were there, but I was happy. Nothing against the sun, I like the sun...it just doesn't like me. I must say I was very happy with the Holiday Inn on Continental Drive. The price was great and the room was fantastic. The location was even better, located about a mile north of Disneyworld (if you're into that) and 1/2 mile South of Universal Studios theme Park and 1/2 mile North of Discovery Cove. We checked in at about midnight and left for a very late dinner. I'd like to pause a moment and rant about Dollar Rent-a-car. Yes, I ended up with a family van, which I sort of enjoyed since it handled so well and was an upgrade. But the reservation I made with a set price had absolutely no meaning to these people. They didn't even think to honor it or even care that I was attempting to argue. Yeah, I haggled them down $50, but I was way too tired to go the full 10 yards with them.

It seems the only place open to eat at midnight was Denny's, so we directed the minivan there where we enjoyed Moons Over My Hammy and a chicken fried steak. We slept soundly in a our human cavern until about 10am and strolled over to the hotel's ticket booth to decide how to spend our Friday. We happened upon Islands of Adventure a Universal Studios theme park (evidently they own several there). I would definitely recommend this one as fun for the family! We tested the Dr. Seuss's Cat in The Hat ride to ease us into the riding mood. I must say the best ride I think I've ever been on is the Spiderman ride there! The virtual reality mixed with real blasts of flame and heat on your face rips the screams out of your throat! ...Wow! One month passed while this part sat in my editor....if anybody tells you writing a blog is easy, you know they've never tried...

 » Web site design 101
Well, Mr. Kiser seems to be a bit more on the ball than I anticipated. For those of you who didn't onHover the link, he went through a little work to get his site moved over to therus.net. Looks like he found some decent rates at $100/year, I guess since mine is $9.95 a month that means he's paying ..um...9.95 .. times 12...is 2 times 5 and carry the one ...is 8 and ... well, it doesn't really matter he's paying more than me and that's what counts.

Now in answer to Mr. Kiser's comments, yes, I am a Perl wiz, at least that's what the recruiters tell me after they've raked over my site with their custom search engines to find my resume tell me. For a simple web site like mine, I would say that it's just planning. It's a pain to maintain the journal so it should be easy, set up the structure so you just have to go in, add an entry, upload it and be done. I've done this by not using Perl, but by using Style Sheets (CSS) and Server-Side Includes (SSI). The style sheets manage the looks of the fonts and tables and the SSI takes care of the head and tail of my pages. So all I do is go in, pick my template and start typing and I'm done. For the record, here is my template:


<!--#include file="header.ssi" -->

<!-- Body -->

      <TABLE border=1 borderColor="#084e84" cellPadding=0 cellSpacing=0 width=600>
      	<TR><TD bgColor=#f7f7f7 class=nobordercell colSpan=2> » <!--title--> 
	  <TD class=nobordercell height=14 width=80>
	  <TD class=nobordercell height=14 width=520>
	  <TD class=nobordercell WIDTH=5><IMG height=1 width=5 
	<TR><TD class=nobordercell colSpan=2><IMG height=5 width=5 

<!-- ydoB -->


<!-- Footer -->

    <TD height=38><IMG height=40 src="images/bottom.png" width=650></td>

<!-- retooF -->

And then I just go in and fill out the form. I like simple. Simple doesn't break. So I would say, pick a design first, then get some idea of a nav layout and run with it. The more work you put into the site the more effort it becomes to maintain it and therefore you will avoid it. I already noticed the bevelled edges of the graphics went away on the latest set. It's a pain to maintain.

 » Moi
My song repertoire is growing. In the list is Auld Lang Syne, Kumbaya, Little Brown Jug, Swing Low/Sweet Chariot, and other favorites. ;-) The latest is is Aura Lee, more popularly known as Love Me Tender and I'm currently going through Blue Suede Shoes. The guitar is now becoming a bit more relaxing as I can play for a long period of time (~1 1/2 hours) without my fingers becoming sore to the touch.

I updated my about page with a few more pictures, you are welcome to go take a peek. I can't help mentioning my observation that Rus' bold claim to update his site more often that mine appears to being barely holding true. Let's keep an eye on his site and harass him if that's the case.

 » News
How many "New Phases" to this terrorist war are there?! Every time I see a new headline it's about another phase, as if this is completely going towards some big plan. At least government officials have slowed down saying quotes like "We're closing in!" and "It's only a matter of weeks!" as if Bin Laden would get captured on queue. It sounded stupid months ago and it continues to sound stupid. Not that I don't think he's going to be captured, but because of the uncertainty of the situation and we are listening to certain statements from Bush et al.

On the same note, I'm starting to get concerned about the lack of hard evidence against Bin Laden. I think he is a psycho that needed to get pugilized, but we've heard since day one that there was evidence against him, hence the attack. Sure, we're getting after the fact information like the videotape and the crucial interview with the wife, but what was the smoking gun? I think I'd like to see it before we start in on Saddam.

 » Random shtuff
The Olympics are on! Actually, I have a question. Who is watching them? I mean, I know that Drudge is reporting "Gusher ratings" for NBC, but I sure haven't contributed to that. Every time I flip them on hoping for something cool I get figure skating. I could swear that they were still showing figure skating after the gold medal was awarded! Sure, I caught a great game of hockey between the US and Belarus. (ooh, didn't the US crush them in the last period?!) But later after I got home and I was very certain that the last of figure skating was finally over because hockey was on...NBC announced ice dancing!!! ARGH!!

Now don't get me wrong. It's not that I dislike these events...they are very pretty. But that's not the problem. The problem is that they aren't sports. They are art. And as arts, they belong in some other group than the Olympics. I'm sure the ancient Greeks never envisioned figure skating on ice alongside the javelin throw. (Actually, come to think of it, they probably couldn't even imagine ice.) So why am I bothering pointing this out? Because it needs to be decided what belongs in the Olympics. If something such as Ice Dancing is there then why not ballet? How about Salsa Dancing? Karate's kata? All of these qualify just as easily as Ice Dancing. What determines what belongs in the Olympics? How would I define a sport?

I think a good place to start would be any activity that requires you to smile to win the gold is not a sport. Look at all the trouble that's being caused by figure skating...the ambiguities of vote trading, weak and impressionable judges, and on and on. Compare the incredible rulebook of deciding who wins in figure skating with that of a shotput toss or a footrace. Hell, I'll include racing on ice...I even enjoy watching that. Who can argue when they see the shotput land? The person who threw it the furthest wins. Simple, huh? Everybody watching knows who won. No ambiguity. On the other hand, figure skating needs a team of experts from many different countries judging scoring and deducting based on opinions, complex rules that the audience can barely understand. Clearly, political influences are a factor, one would assume that the judges could be impacted by illness or be having a bad day. They could be prejudice or trading votes for other golds as evidenced by today's headlines. What a headache! I say out with the art!!

 » Even more about Me!
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope all is well and you are enjoying the day. I am. Actually it's almost over, but I feel like I accomplished a lot. The last couple of days things just came together at work and I made huge progress on my project. I just ordered 5 more books and Perl and they are still sitting in the box. Actually, I'm pretty psyched to tear it open and start reading...especially the one about biotech and Perl. Actually the term is "bioinformatics". Terms like this always remind me of a comedian I saw who made fun of scientists because they named things like Ursus Americanus when they could just say black bear...then they can claim that they know more about a bear because they created a complex name for it. Amusing, but many times it's true, especially in marketing. Remember the word our favorite company Transmeta created to get funding? Codemorphing! I have to respect that they actually used it and got cold, hard cash.

I've gotta submit in my friend's site who took off on the adventure of a lifetime to Seoul, Korea. He told me that "Alaska looked great!" when he flew over it. I have to admit, I was very skeptical about what you could see from 35,000 ft...and what was there could be great. But check out his pics! I must admit that I'm incredibly jealous of anyone who ups and leaves to live in another culture. I think the chance to really see the inside of another culture by immersing oneself for some time...not just a week in the capital city. Good luck, Rus! And keep the pictures coming! Maybe you could even fill out the journal some. =)

 » Me again!
Work is being done on the site! You can check out the growing *nix page or run to see my shiny new Chicago trip page.

 » Me
Guitar practice is reaching new levels. My fingers are calloused and rough like they've never been before...and my playing ability still stinks! I'm amazed at what others must have to go through in order to perfect their finger position. How somebody can play a recognizable song without string rattles or missed notes is beyond my comprehension. I can't even cheat yet and disguise the sound. I'm beginning to suspect true mastery may take more than a month....

 » News
Ugh...nothing worse than getting sick over the weekend to greet a Monday. =( At least I just have a bad cold so far so am living life through a haze. I'm following my voodoo doctor's instruction of plenty of fluids, vitamins, and rest. I tend to believe this doctor since he doesn't just blindly issue a prescription for the latest antibiotic and send me on my way. Maybe because being a GP isn't his goal and he's trying to become a specialist. His usual methodology is to pound into my head this same regiment of fluids, rest, and vitamins and then send me on my way. =)

I think I've crossed over into a new threshold of geekdom. I say this because even my computer geek friends don't care about the things that I'm doing with my computer. Lately I've completely modularized my kernel -- running just the bare minimums and dynamically loading the modules as they are needed. Actually, every piece of software on my machine is custom built now, not just the kernel. Ever since I took the leap and descended into the bowels of open source computing, the need to customize my machine has grown steadily. To the point that I'm fantasizing about finding a more difficult system to master. The base system that I started with was Red Hat 7.1, but it's far from recognizable as this anymore. Nothing wrong with Red Hat...well...yes there is or I wouldn't have "fixed" everything. Now I have a system that is extremely stable and conducive to all kinds of activities up to, and including gaming.

Enough with the confessions, for the quasi-geek I have a draft of RDBMS up on my site for your review. It's an attempt to explain Databases in general so I think the graphics are going to have to change to match the ideology.

 » News
Looks like the war on genetic modification isn't going to be won in the womb. I had thought originally that modifying and improving human genetics would follow the trend of parents modifying children to be better. Sure...maybe it sounds bad at first..but people won't just be buying genetic modifications from a menu next year. It would likely start by fixing some critical illnesses..then lesser illness...etc. It would soon graduate to creating a child that was at least average in all respects. Of course this would change the meaning of "average" and would require more modification. Otherwise you could risk your child growing up being consistently below average in speed/strength/height/intellect/endurance and whatever other genes could be tracked.

However - the introduction of athletes into the picture has changed my prediction. The past has proven that athletes are quite willing to modify their bodies to do whatever it takes to win. From weight-training to cross-training to steroids to creatine...now it's genetic modification. It will occur. How can it be stopped? Some athletes are already genetic mutants naturally. Are the family trees going to be analyzed to check for consistency?! No...this is a battle the IOC has already lost.

We can already add genetic modifications into fruits to alter the body. The steps to evolving these performance enhancements into other consumables should be minimal with a little economic incentive. This cannot be policed and if attempted will only guarantee that those people who do not play by the rules will win.

 » News
It's one of those not so infrequent times that I get to pat myself on the back. (It is my own forum...I can do that) Transmeta is in its death throes. Who would have guessed? Not the investors who ran the ill-fated company stock up to $50 a share for a $22 billion market cap. Not the analysts at Deutsche Banc, Morgan Stanley, Solomon, or Banc of America who all vehemently told us to buy a stock that has tanked miserably. Not their venture capitalists who were pummelled with the rest of us investors in the trenches. I guess that just leaves me.

 » News
A month into our new war and where are we? I don't even want to mention the A word. The media is talking about it constantly. Useless information...all they needed to do was tell us that anthrax was going through the mail and how to prevent it. Of course, that's the CDC's job but they've been almost as quiet as the UN was after 911. Now we're stuck in this mindless information circle where the media reports on anthrax and then reports that they are reporting on anthrax too much. Grr...

CNN has now taken a new tact, they are enjoying sneaking in reporters to show us how terrible the Taliban are. In depth reports about how the women are treated, how disgusting their public executions are, how unjust the politics and pervasive the religion. I think they are forgetting what the goal is here and are confusing many about what we are fighting for. Justice is the goal and "bringing justice to our enemies" is the means to achieving this goal. This is manifesting itself in a campaign against Afghanistan's ruling regime. The goal is not to sharpen the cultural divide by displaying these differences and pontificating about how terrible they are. Our goal should never be to impose our own cultural values on other nations. We should not even waste thought on what they do to their own people. Sure, I'm for freedom. I don't like how they treat their women. I don't like the violence. But that's no reason for the US to go in and tell them what's right. They can tie their women to trees if that's their culture and our only course of action should be to try to suggest to them a "better" way of life or perhaps a more creative, noninvasive solution.

Is this an important point? It is. This is an ongoing conflict. It is nothing short of harmful for the media to portray the entire culture as evil. It blurs the issue. Bringing Bin Laden to justice, whatever justice is in this case, is the goal. Judging other cultures can be left to other ignorant nations.

Now, that said, Bin Laden is actually a smaller goal of eliminating terrorism. Of course, this has exactly the same chances of succeeding as eliminating crime in a nation, however I think it is proper to set this goal to establish a world community. With this higher goal in mind, it introduces a larger problem of actively policing the world for these terrorists. Nations like Afghanistan are fantastic breeding grounds for terrorists. An illiterate, poor population who can be easily manipulated by religion to further the goals of the government. What should the new global alliance against terrorism to do against states that prime themselves to become weapons? It seems Afghanistan's dire situation has directly led to its being duped into becoming a pawn for other states to spread terror. A laundry for terrorism.

 » News
One of the most appalling quotes I've found:
U.S. Rep. John Cooksey, R-Monroe, told a network of Louisiana radio stations Monday that someone "wearing a diaper on his head" should expect to be interrogated in the investigation of terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and New York City.
This is wrong on many different levels. Firstly, he's referring to turbans which are indicative of the Sikh religion. Secondly, he calls it a diaper to characterize the act as filthy or silly -- belittling another religion in a country where politics is supposedly seperated from religion. Thirdly, he is a representative of the state of Louisiana and of the US making irrational, incorrect statements to the world on an already volatile situation.

 » News
What is the US uncovering? Arrests in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, a 10-year-old boy was shot in India and a supportive Taliban note left behind. We have a situation where the criminals really are all over the world instead of located in a few countries.

It's interesting how many people tend to want the US to find the "source" or the cause of these terrorist attacks instead of going after the terrorists themselves. The idea being that we have treat the disease, not just the symptoms of the disease. In a similar, but smaller scale environment, NYC's Mayor Giuliani was also advised of this course of action in handling the rampant crime in the city. He swept aside this advice and took the tough course of action of arresting all people who broke the law. The result has been a substantial reduction in crime in the New York area. It is very safe. I think this same ideology can be applied to this situation as well. Another even more direct example is Turkey's capture of the leader of the PKK who was responsible for numerous terrorist attacks in the eastern part of their country. Turkey still has Abdullah Ocalan under arrest and the warned reprisal attacks never occurred.

Can the US succeed against Afghanistan after the notorious failure and withdrawal of Russia in 1989? That was also a Holy War--of course, all wars are Holy Wars when the government and the religion are one in the same. Russia failed because our very own CIA was funneling huge amounts of money and weapons to Afghanistan in support. Since Russia's withdrawal, Afghanistan has had much internal strife as witnessed by the uprising of the Taliban government. Without another superpower supporting them, they cannot rally much of of a force to withstand the US. However, the US's goal needs to be clearly defined here. Ending the state, as Bush has mentioned seems a lofty goal. Destroying Asama Bin Laden's bases seems more focused, and I'm sure this time the General Powell will not make the mistake of leaving the leader in power free. Problematically, Bin Laden has bases (Al Qaeda) in many arab countries (26 known) and a suspected one in China. How do we contain these cells?

What is the market going to do on Monday? It's a tough call. Typically one would think that war will help the economy and the US is going to be motivated to succeed financially against this tragedy. I wish that during a presidential address Bush would call to the US citizens to put in 150% on each workday next week to show what Americans can do when motivated, I think it would help. The airlines are giving us a glance at the new future. A future where US citizens do not travel around the world as freely and save and spend their money at home. This will happen for a while, certainly longer in arab countries where americans would be foolish to tread. Given that the airlines are experiencing a brutal drop in overseas travel we are almost certainly going to see international trade plummet as a result. Tourism will fall dramatically in foreign nations and this will undoubtedly hurt countries reliant upon this income. Falling economies abroad affects the US adversely. This will be reflected in Monday's markets when they open. Is the US destined to repeat this

 » News
As I'm sure most of you know I live in Manhattan and have been out of the city due to the events there. I live about 3/4 mile from the wreckage and I and everyone I know is completely safe. To all those who found me on ICQ and wished me well, I thank you tremendously for your well wishing and will get back to you all individually. It is truly heartwarming to see so many nations send messages to a stranger online.

I won't bore you with a play-by-play of my experiences of the terrorist attack as they were minimal. Suffice it to say that I was displaced from my apartment for several days as my apartment was isolated with no transportation in the area as the rescue workers organized. I went back several times to pick up necessities, but the smoke, dust, constant sirens, and roars of F-16s was too unpleasant to bear for long. The fear of further attacks of other types is an additional reason to stay away for the time being. I'm on about every list to be a volunteer but don't have much hope as there are so many others doing the same thing. So, with all this free time and energy, I've become a news junkie like many others on Wall Street locked from their jobs.

War. Are we in one? Can we declare war on a religion? Specifically, a "radical" muslim sect? It seems strange that ever since the evolution of the nation-state war has been the owners of one piece of land (the state) and its people (the nation) versus the owners of another piece of land and its people. It is hard to imagine this changing but it has. We have been thrown back to before that time to when nations attacked nations and the actual space of land didn't matter. Even more accurately, we have a time where a nation has committed an act of war versus a nation-state. This can be war...but a strange one it is. One side has declared a holy war on a nation-state composed of many religions including its own. It has acted with impunity killing people from many different areas in the world including its own. They've killed 0.18% of themselves voluntarily so far with their suicides, which is a start...I think the rest of the world will help soon.

 » News
Labor Day weekend is over! Mine started with an excellent day skydiving! I highly recommend it. I'm certain I've never been so terrified in my life.

Imagine every drop of adrenaline getting ripped out of your gland and pumped into your bloodstream. That happened during my first five seconds of freefall...I had 50 more seconds to go. It boggles the mind that one minute you can be toodling up in your rental car, the next in a camp of 60's throwbacks being shuttled into a bus where you really do sign your life away to become a test parachutist. You are then whisked away to a plywood shanty masquerading as a plane fuselage to get minimal instructions from a man who I am certain was thoroughly stoned. Pose for pictures as your friends laugh at you while you arch like a seal balancing a ball on its nose.

Next they rush you off to get suited up in a harness that is strapped dangerously close to your private personal parts. You barely have time to wonder about the unimaginable pain you could experience when the chute catches before you are scrambling on board a plane commando style and packed mercilessly into the cozy quarters. Here is your one chance to "rest". In fact, most of the instructors (literally chained onto all the trainees backs) actually slept. This does nothing to soothe you. Neither does the earth falling away or the altimeter on your left hand increasing itself to the value to where you know they are going come awake. 13,500 feet later, the door opens and freezing air blasts you. The entire amount of foreplay I recieved from my instructor was "Nice view, huh?" "...yeah" "Let's go" and I jumped.

The rest of the experience was burned into my mind forever. One item of the list of Things To Do Before You Die can be crossed off forever...what's next?

 » News

12:23 AM
Now all the links have pages and I've made the site modular enough to be even less maintenance. I know I keep optimizing and optimizing, but I can't help it. Ideally, I'd like to have the site so I can think about an update and it will update itself.

I'm quite happy to have moved the site from NetFirms to a new provider based on my friend Jesse's recommendation. I'm now hosted at Hurricane Electric for $9.95 a month. They seem to have a full range of self service and don't mind if you grow your own hacks on their site as long as you leave the source code for their review. I quickly tested out access via FTP and telnet...then moved straight to SSH out of habit. For some reason they don't have it running so I guess I'll have to install it. Very bizarre since everyone knows that FTP and telnet use clear text passwords. I guess they have confidence that nobody is on their network....or that they don't mind losing my data. We'll see. I also checked out their MySQL database they set up for me. It's all part of the service, I'm not using it yet, just being nosy and testing out my new bannerless site. All that I've taken advantage of so far are the SSI's because I was tired of looking at the huge JavaScript headers I'm using. Now I'm just editing and uploading a bunch of files that contain the body. Clean. =)

I'm planning on fleshing out the navbar for my technical things and notes that I gather. Several pages are already complete and I'm changing the navbar some to reflect a more general list.

 » News

1:06 PM
Hey folks! New site! How do you like it? Pretty clean and painless, just don't click on any of the links since they still have the old site and some don't even have pages. ;-) But it's all about the home page, right?? At least I have a good front page, it's kind of like the buildings here in Manhattan where they replace the front brick and leave the sides ancient and crumbling.

New technologies, you ask? Well, there are a few since the last one was created a few years ago. Now my standard is an independent style sheet since most browsers support them instead of embedded in the page itself and I'm using PNG's which are compressing my graphics 5 times smaller than the GIF's I was using. Essentially, my test is anything that works in Mozilla makes me happy and will certainly work on IE.

 » News

9:21 AM
Well, it looks like the recording industry has been thwarted again by the music community. Finally, the RIAA and the judges in the cases are figuring out what a monumental effort they are up against. It's surprising that they can't even stop Napster, the music community already has hundreds of alternatives lined up in case Napster falls...many of them better than Napster itself. (we could all write a better Napster) So...

I would like to be the first to warmly welcome the RIAA to the software industry. Welcome to a new business model of assuming expected losses through piracy of your product. Welcome to a new next-to-free distribution model. Welcome to high-speed innovation. Welcome to commoditization and immediate duplication and distribution. Thousands of software companies survive with these business models, many of them making more than the entire RIAA combined income of a paltry $14 billion. Sure, it's gonna cost to train staff and reposition yourselves to take advantage of this new model, but what's it gonna cost? Napster is being sued for $20 billion, I think the effort spent on the lawsuits is better spent preparing for the future.

 » News
10:49 AM
One quick update, more will be coming. Amazingly, people actually check my site for updates, I've really gotta make this easier to modify. Right now, I drug the page down and am editing it in vi. Not a bad thingtm, I suppose, but it's easy to get carried away with a nice GUI editor like DreamWeaver.

New photos are being scanned for the site! Check in later and see if I've been slacking at work to create a few nice pics of my recent trip to Turkey and Greece and the excellent people I met along the way.

That's my quick update, back to work, you can see how the progress is coming at zeo and if you're really special you'll have a password to check out the beta site!