Thursday, March 20, 2008

Don't Buy Blu-Ray

Don’t buy Blu-Ray and (of course) HD-DVD players or discs. It took so long for the battle over these two formats to be settled, they are both practically outdated already. The next generation format will be able to store 1 terabyte of data, compared to the lowly 50 gigabytes of data available on Blu-Ray. This new format is called TeraDisc and will be available as early as 2010. That’s less than two years from now.

What good is buying a whole new selection of videos and movies only to have to replace it in as little as 24 months, especially at the prices the disc pushers charge for their wares? Besides that, the quality for any older movies will not substantially improve enough to benefit from any newer formats anyway (at least without the huge expense of remastering, which ultimately is a degradation of quality of the original masters in the long run as formats continue to improve, requiring even more remastering.)

I would even be leery the TeraDisc format. Eventually, storing anything on discs or tapes will be as archaic as the horse and buggy. Why buy a disc at all when data can just be downloaded from a central location, such as iTunes (which already has movies). How data is stored will be one’s choice once they downloaded the content. There will be a variety of methods, including holographic cubes. The technology for this sort of storage and access is obtainable within our lifetimes, maybe even within the next decade or two.

I’m not saying that people should avoid all intermediate data formats. I am saying people should be very choosy as to which formats they commit. As technology increases, any formats will likely obsolesce sooner. The formats that will stand longer are ones that will be major leaps over then current technology.

For me, I’m not going to jump on the Blu-Ray bandwagon. It won’t be that long until something far superior comes along. In my mind, Blu-Ray is not a replacement for DVD. It’s not enough of a leap to be considered as a replacement. It is just another alternative to it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Restaurant Reviews

I've been reviewing items online almost as long as I've been on the internet. I've started leaving reviews of restaurants in Silicon Valley now. Check them out here:

Currently, I have reviews for Straits, Pizza Antica and Thea. So far, my reviews are centered around Santana Row, but it will expand.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Home schooling does not mean Parent schooling

In recent news here in California, there is a case in the courts now that is reinforcing California state law which basically says "persons between the ages of six and eighteen" are to be in "public full-time day school," or a "private full-time day school" or "instructed by a tutor who holds a valid state teaching credential for the grade being taught".

This has been state law for a very very long time. Yet now, we have scofflaws that claim they have a right to teach their own children whatever they want. Homeschooling is legal in California, as long as it is conducted per state mandated curriculum and by a licensed instructor.

The excuse used by the scofflaws? "Parents should not have to attend a four-year college education program just to teach their own children." It's the old argument, "Oh may god, this is too hard to do right, so I'm just going to do it wrong and be happy!" Lazy, lazy, lazy. Oh and cheap too! You don't care enough about your child's education to pay for it yourself (since you don't want the state to do it)! Mr and Mrs Long, in my opinion, you are lazy, selfish, and cheap jerks who obviously don't do enough reading into anything to know what is the truth. You have no business trying to pass on your ignorance to anyone's children!

That said, it is important for parents to teach their children about their own experiences, beliefs, hertitage, etc. Parental schooling does not mean home schooling. It is not a replacement for a formal education. It is something that should be done in conjuction with a formal education. Home schooling is just a place to do it if the law is followed. Parental schooling is not the same thing. If you don't agree with something taught in the classroom, then discuss it with your children. It is as simple as that.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weeklong birthday

This has been a weeklong birthday of sorts. Monday, Allie took me out to Red Lobster. I had something with two lobster tales. It was fairly good, but at it made me miss Legal Seafood in New England. Yesterday, Ronie and Fern had a small a BBQ for me at their place. They got a super rich chocolate cake. We took home the remainder of the cake, but I'm not sure how I'm going to eat it all. Tonight, Allie and I invited her parents to join us for dinner at Cascal in downtown Mountain View. They ended up paying for it it with the excuse that it was still my birthday.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

First time in awhile

For the first time in awhile, I went out. I met up with Miriam and some of her friends a Old Pro in downtown Palo Alto. The evening wasn't too crazy. There was some new randoms from her work place. I had trouble making it there though because I wasn't able to leave work until like 7pm. It was fun getting out for the evening. Allie, oddly enough, had separate plans for her friends, also in downtown Palo Alto on the same evening, but those fell through and then she got sick. Otherwise, she would've come too.

Friday, February 29, 2008


Here's a show I am disappointed to see go. It might have been kept on for a full season had the writers strike on happened when it did. I know a lot of people had trouble getting into the show too. I personally enjoyed the show a lot.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Obviously Married

I looked at my ring finger today with no particular intentions. I started playing with my ring. That's when I saw it. It is official. My ring finger is now has an indelible ring of reddish coloration under my wedding ring. It's weird. It's like, I had the thought that,"Well, there really is no going back now." I can no longer take off my ring and expect no one to know I'm married. I never did this for that particular intention, of course. In fact, I was often concerned when I had to take my ring off out in public because there was no identification regarding my wedded status. Now though, the mark is unmistakable. The worry changed to, "What will people think if I have to take my ring off and they see this mark? Will they think I'm trying unsuccessfully to hide the fact I'm married?" It's funny how this stuff works; no middle ground.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pop goes Mensa

Every once in awhile, even the elite among us must venture into the realm of pop culture. MENSA, it turns out, is not exception, apparently. Their chairhuman just came up with his "Top ten smartest shows of all time (in no particular order)". Leave it to a MENSA member to list a top ten of anything in no particular order. Now, it must be made clear that MENSA in no way takes itself too seriously beyond the actual endeavor to find smart people. This is a group of people that freely laughs at themselves. So, in an effort to give closure to any readers of my article here, I ask forgiveness from both MENSA chairhuman Jim Werdell and Fancast for re-publishing their list, as follows (my commentary is in red):

1. M*A*S*H – It had smart repartee and was so much more than a comedy. Yeah, I'll watch its reruns when I'm bored and nothing else
is on.

2. Cosmos (with Carl Sagan) – Sagan was able to communicate something
extremely complicated to the layman and do it well, and that’s unusual for a
scientist at his level. It should be noted that Carl
Sagan became an outcast among his peers in the scientific community because of
his attempts to make science accessable to the everyone.

3. CSI -- The way they use science to solve their programs is intriguing to
viewers. Only if all the worlds problems could be
solved with a bit of science within an hour.

4. House – Again, it’s high level type of show; it’s the personality that
makes it a winner, plus it deals with science. I am
enjoying this show, but find I can't watch its reruns.

5. West Wing – you had to pay attention to stay up with it. The repartee was
fast and furious and you needed a fairly high level intelligence to keep up with
it. I did enjoy this show a lot. It would've
been nice if we really had a President like that. It's

6. Boston Legal – It’s primarily because of the characters. The story lines
are okay, but the characters are incredible and the writers give them great
dialogue. I can watch this sometimes.

7. All in the Family – The show dealt with social issues before its time and
was on the forefront of trying to show people’s feelings, beliefs and the
complexities of personality, in both a serious and comedic way. This was an important show in its day. It's ironic that a
show with its social content couldn't be aired today even though we all think
things are better now. I think its more that we are happy with how
effectively we are hiding the underlining issues now.

8. Frasier – The repartee was sensational; the main characters were very
good. Even though they portrayed people who were likely of high intelligence,
they also showed their weaknesses. This is a great
show that I can enjoy watching over and over.

9. Mad About You – It’s a personal favorite, I loved the characters and the
back and forth. It was very smart. This was a good
show that went deep into human relationships. Sometimes a little too

10. Jeopardy – It’s about the only game show that really tries to test
people’s intelligence. There’s very little luck involved, and there are few game
shows like that. I don’t watch it all that much honestly, but from what I’ve
seen it tests more than knowledge, it tests intelligence too. It's fun at times, but isn't really about smarts; instead about
who can memorize the most information.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nothing like San Diego

There's nothing like going to San Diego and then not being able to just relax and do nothing. I was there recently, and missed the great weather and the rainy weather too. Why? I was in doors all day at a convention for the engineering software I use called SolidWorks. I learned a lot, and was able to make a lot of contacts with others in my field. However, the only time I got to really get out and enjoy San Diego was after the sun was down. The block party that shut off several blocks of the Gaslamp Quarter that the convention organizers put on one evening was a lot of fun. Nothing beats the flow of free beer.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So far, so

My cuzin Les has been bugging to do sumfin with her for awhile now. We live in the same general metropolis for a few years, but haven't had a good chance to just hang out other than at family events and whatever. We made arrangements to meet up last Friday. Thoses plans fell through at the last minute. Instead, we met up this Friday. Even that got pushed out to later in the night. We ended up meeting up around 9pm, had a later dinner at Pizza Antica at Santana Row. The quality of food at Pizza Antica has been slowly been going downhill. I'll save that review for another day. It was nice to just chill and chat though.

Allie and I hadn't been out to a desent place for awhile, so I figured last night we'd hit up Straits, also at Santana Row. We were actually both impressed with the quality of food there. Its funny how much we end up talking about work, even over a nice dinner. We had also planned to goto the movies, maybe to see National Treasure. Nothing is out that is all that interesting right now, and National Treasure was more a compromise than an actual desired choice, so we changed our minds, hit up Blockbuster and watched Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The Quiet.

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Big Game

I didn't outright confidently say that the Giants would win the Super Bowl, but I did say that they had a good chance at it.  If I was a betting man, I would've put my money down for the Giants to win outright.  I am on record saying this, so :-P    Some people thought it was the Patriot's game to lose.  Not so.  The Giants won this game because they played better Football.   I stated earlier in the season that the Patriots are a paper tiger.  Once someone found their weakness and exploited it, they wouldn't be able to keep up at their pace.  The Giants figured it out during the season, but just fell short.  That wasn't going to happen this time.  Patriots are a great team.  They had a formula that worked well for several seasions.  However, this is their peak.  It's not a matter of filling up holes or elimenating weaknesses anymore.  They will maintain a great franchise for some time, but the glory is starting to fade.  As for the Giants, they seem to pop up about once a decade in the Super Bowl.  I'm sure we will see them there again.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Evening in San Diego

I'm in the Gaslight district in San Diego,
by chance the San Diego Chargers played
there play-off game against the New
England Patriots. Now that the game is
over,and the chargers have had there ugly
loss, the mood here is very subdued. Blue
and yellow balloons hang low along the
street outside of bars and rest'rants as
their helium deflates almost was quickly
as the Chargers. Fans are along walking
slowly in that sort of walk the commutes
'I don't really care...(but it's obvious I
really do.)'

Goodnight Chargers. BTW, what is a charger anyway?
___Sent with

Monday, January 14, 2008

California Ballot Jan 2008

Proposition 91, Transportation Funds: This bill puts limits the California state budget. It's yet another prop that is trying to put unnecessary controls on the state budget that causes much of the budgetary issues this state suffers from. I'm voting No.

Proposition 92, Community Colleges Funding: This bill attempts to force the state to fund our schools. It sets up a new bureaucracy as part of this effort. What the heck? The legislature needs to do this, not some new bureaucracy. I'm voting NO!

Proposition 93, Change of Term Limits: This reduces the total number of years Representatives and Senators can serve in the state legislature, but allows more freedom as to where those individuals can serve their time. I am against term limits. The people should be able to vote for whoever they want for as long as they wish. However, this is at least 1/2 a step in the right direction. I'm voting a very marginal yes.

Proposition 94, 95, 96, and 97, Indian Gaming Agreements: Allows four specific Indian tribes in Southern California to grow their casino operations. In exchange, they will share more of their revenues with the state and other Indian tribes. The problem is that these bills make these new rules without taking the other tribes in to consideration. The other tribes aren't too happy about that. I'm voting an ambivalent no.

Local measures A and B are here in Santa Clara county where a private developer wishes to take a publicly owned property for private one-time profit, instead of keeping the property public and developing it for the common good. Can anyone say "Land Grab"? I'm voting a big, fat NO! The local commercials have old people saying how nice it would be to have affordable housing. But the plan will actually stuff hundreds of senior citizens into small apartment complex, while the bulk of the property is turn into massive high end homes sold to the very wealthy. Total scam. The property could be developed to provide hundreds of real houses to senior citizens and still have plenty of property left over for public use. So, No and No!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Yeah, well, they shoulda ducked!"

The production is cheesy, of course, and Olivia Munn's comic delivery is amazingly (surprizingly) good.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hard to find a good air purifier

Allie and I have been looking around for a good quality air purifier for a little while. Based on a recent Consumer Reports article, the Whirlpool air purifiers rated highest. I set out to find a local retailer who carried the this product. I want to find a local retailer since I may need to get filters locally from time to time, or may need to bring it in somewhere for warranty if there is an issue. After checking the Whirlpool website, I found several companies that carried Whirlpool products (all of which I already knew carried Whirlpool products). I visited a couple last weekend. No luck. So I wouldn't have to drive all over town anymore, I called Whirlpool customer service to get a better idea of who carried their air purifier products. They couldn't tell me anything more than a guess. I visited a couple more places during the week. No luck.

Well, I found Kenmore and Hunter air purifiers very quickly. Their products rated almost as well as the Whirlpool, so it looks like I'll be getting one of theirs instead. Seems to me a company would want me to find their product. I guess Whirlpool doesn't care.