Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes

Allie and I ended up having an enjoyable weekend. On Saturday, we got out into the fresh air and did a little cycling. I've been threatening to do it for a long time. The goal was to go down the path I would take if I rode my bike to work. I thought I could use my street bicycle because one leg of the trail is paved. Unfortunately, I discovered that a significant portion of the path is very gravelly, covered with rocks that are far too big to be safe for my street bicycle. So, in order to ride to work, I'm going to have to brave some rather dangerous city streets, or change the tires on my bike to handle rough terrain. I guess I can borrow Allie's bike (which is a "man's" type too), though it will need some adjustments. Anyway, I'm not cycling to work any time soon.

Instead of continuing down that path, we opted to head down to the local shopping center for a relaxing after-lunch smoothie break.

On Sunday, we meet up with my mother-in-law for some Dim Sum (and 'den some) at her favorite rest'rant. I can never comfortably eat Dim Sum on an empty stomach, so I ate some cereal before going. I don't know how good of an idea that was since I ended up eating too much Dim Sum.

Allie and I planned to head over to the Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes. We invited my mother-in-law to join us. A co-worker's son was at one of the booths that I was interested in (WinePod), so we planned to at least meet up there with them.

The day was warm and sunny. Maybe a little too warm. After going around the faire twice, I finally found the booth. My co-worker had just arrived as well. My wife used to work with us, so there was some catching up him and his wife.

Afterwards, Allie and I took her mother to a rest'rant that we hadn't tried yet, called Steamers Grillhouse. We had a rather expensive, yet tasty lunch. Of course, at this point, I had not yet fully processed the Dim Sum earlier in the day, so I ended up getting somewhat uncomfortably stuffed.

After we headed out and dropped my mother-in-law off, we went home to watch a rental, There Will Be Blood. In case you haven't seen the movie yet, here's a spoiler: Someone bleeds at the end. The rest of the 2.5 hours of the movie don't really lead up to that moment very well. It was about as organized in thought as my blog taken on the whole. The movie needed some serious editing.

Sometime around when we started watching the movie, Allie asked if I wanted dinner. My emphatic "No!" surprized her a little bit. The moment pasted quickly. In fact, I still feel kinda stuffed just thinking about how stuffed I was Sunday evening.

She didn't really watch most of the movie because a friend of hers called up to do some catching up. She talked to her about an hour or so. When she came back, she asked what happened. I was like, "It's too much to go into, and yet, it doesn't seem like anything at all." I didn't feel like going into detail since it didn't really interest me all that much. She asked again, and I relented, telling her about some of the uninteresting events that lead to nowhere. It almost didn't matter since there was such a big jump in time during the last scenes, it was like watching a whole other film; perhaps an independent short film that itself wasn't edited enough. Did I mention that There Will Be Blood of boring?

Well, I'm glad the bulk of my weekend was enjoyable, regardless the movie.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I'm am a Search Assist search item

It appears that I am now a Search Assist item on Yahoo! I was a little surprized at this discovery. The search item is "fcsuper rebel". This is completely unexpected. I wonder how often a term has to be searched before it is added as a search item. More amazing is that "fcsuper rebel" is a Search Assist item, yet "fcsuper" is not. It might seem more likely that just "fcsuper" is searched more often rather than "fcsuper rebel". Weird.

The term still gets a "do you mean" statement at the top of the page with a suggestion for "fc super". I still own the top spot of that search too. It's a little lonely at the top, as the gaming product "FC Super" now dominates the search of that item. I have to wonder if someone at that company named it after me. :) What are the chances of something as unique as FC Super showing up twice in the our world in my lifetime? I got a feeling that I should be glad to get the website http://www.fcsuper.com when I did. At least I own my name sake's web address.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mastication

Last night was a night of serious discussions about the importance of mastication. It all started with four of us in a SUV on the way to a sex toy shop, after dinner. Miriam was offering gum for the purpose of mastication. She's all, "Ya'no, that [masticate] is latin for `to chew'". Secretly, I knew it is actually English based on the latin word and I now know that it was derived from Greek, but I digress.

At that point, it was the word of the evening. Almost every other sentence made reference to mastication. We discussed the woes of over-mastication, including the threat of blindness. Also, the dangers of deprivation from under-mastication were brought up. Someone mentioned that mastication should be done in private, while another extolled the virtues of doing it openly in public.

Later in the evening, we relaxed at this other restaurant at an outdoors table. I'm masticating my second piece of gum for the night. I ordered Coke, and immediately realized I needed to demasticate it. The napkins where the fancy reusable ones, so I couldn't expel my gum there. Cor suggested that I demasticate it under the table, then he preceded to look under to see if others had already thought of this (and they had...yuk). In the end, the waiter brought out some restroom paper towels. I demasticated rapidly, to the amusement of both Cor and Miriam.

I can say that it was an evening filled with a healthy and open discussion regarding mastication. Someone should did a public service announcement on TV about masticating. Oh wait, they have!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Testing the Publishing Waters

Here's my start at writing and publishing on Amazon for the Kindle and Mobipocket for Palms and such:

Amazon: My Start as a publisher

Mobipocket: My books so far for Palm

Written times

Writing isn't coming easy to me right now. It's not for any particular reason, just that I've been doing a lot of it. Not on this blog obviously, but in other venues. So, even now there's nothing really on my mind. I mean, I had another pretty good weekend and all, but reading though my past entries, I find that I talk a lot about weekends. I don't think I will stop. Just not in the mode today for that. Other topics that interest me are being covered in other areas, such as my SolidWorks Legion website. It's been taking of much of my writing energy. Even now, I'm have a couple of article projects that are waiting to be penned on that site.

At this point, I'm mostly rambling, but then again, that's what a journal is for sometimes. As I write in this blog over time, I've discovered things about myself, and my writing style. I talk about myself a lot, but that's a given since this is about me. Also, I tend to write in contrasts. I'll make a statement, then mitigate or offset it with a "but". I wonder how many "buts" I've writing, not just on this blog, but in all my works, and even in my daily speech. As someone famous once said, "But, there be no buts." Not true here.

That's really all the thoughts I have today, other than to say this is likely one of the few truly personal thoughts diary-like posting I've ever made on this blog. Well the inner thoughts be surfacing here? Hmm...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Wife is a funny one

So, Allie gets a week paid vacation for the whole week of the 4th of July. I've had this in mind for quite some time. Few months ago, I asked her, "Do you want to get away or do anything the week you have off in summer?" Her response was, "I don't know." A couple of months ago, I ask "What would you like to do during your time off this summer? I can take the week off with you." Her response was, "I don't know." A couple of weeks ago, I inquire yet again, and yet again, "I don't know."

I wake up this morning and snuggle a little bit with Allie. She turns to me an asks, "Do you want to take some time off next week to spend together?" Arg!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Miriam's BD and such

Welp, there was some fun last week. Allie and I met up with Miriam and some of her girlfriends at PF Changs for a diner for her BD. Save for her older neighbor that joined us with this wife, I was the only guy...something that Allie made sure to point out.

Afterwards, we all headed up to SF to a club to meet up with some more people of various varieties that one might expect to meet in SF. Thangs where fun. We were at this one roof top club with a fairly ok view of the city and a large number of drunk people, and some not so drunk people too.

Allie and I headed out home around Midnight, as did several others. Miriam and several of her girls partied on and didn't get home til about 6am.

On the recent movie front, Allie and I have seen The Happening. Funny how nothing happens in a movie with that title. It was OK. Save for rental.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Patent exhaustion rule upheld

Yet another blow for customers' rights last week via the Supreme Court which just handed down a ruling that upholds Patent Exhaustion regardless of a patent holder's notices or attempts to put limitions on the purchaser. I recommend this more detailed article found at Electronic Frontier Foundation. It provides many links on the topic along with a detailed description.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Infection: Bigotry

As a Californian, I am oddly in the minority on the particular issue of acceptance of "gay marriage". It seems odd to me that so may people are so dead set against marriage between gay partners, particularly when their is no finiancial gain from such a ban. In fact, allowing gay marriage would help the ecomony by providing more jobs for people who are in the wedding industry. It is silly for people to look to the government to tell other people who they can and cannot marry. The Court here recently did its job. Life long conservative and liberial judges alike determined that their is clear discrimation. In fact, even though the vote was 5 to 4 by the judges, the minor opinion wasn't that gay marriage was wrong, but that it is ok, though a matter for the people to decide. I respectivefully disagree with that logic, of course. The rights of the minority must be protected regardless the opinion of the majority. When discrimination is institutionized, the majority will always side with it originally. We look to the courts to correct wrongs in our lawmaking. At one time, the majority felt slavery was acceptable. At one time, it was felt that banning interracial marriage was acceptable. Those laws not only banned blacks from marrying whites, but at one time also banned Asians from marrying anyone at all (even other Asians).

Even if you don't agree with the idea of allowing marriage between same-sex partners, there's no point in preventing them from having the same privileges and status as you. No one is harmed. It is a matter between each couple, and not for society to dictate with bigoted laws. Finally, it will help boost the Californian economy. Being the only state that allows gay marriage and that also allows anyone to marry from any other part of the country will create a new industry of Wedding Tourism. New money will flow into the state as a result of this Court ruling.

It's time to just let this happen. Just let people live their lives without asking the government to interfere just because we have personal beliefs. Imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. Imagine if gays where the majority and we the minority. Wouldn't we be running to the courts to protect our rights to marry if laws where passed to prevent breeders from joining in marriage? Every right we take hold back from a minority is ultimately a right taken away from everyone, including ourselves.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Current Cell Phone Cancellation Fees Legislation

I wrote this to my Representitive in the U.S. House of Representitives. I recommend everyone send something similar to their Rep This is in response to a recent article reported by AP.

Rep *** *****,

I voice my opposition to the current cell phone cancellation fee legislation going through Congress right now. The bills in their current configurations represent a free pass to the cell phone companies to get out of taking responsibility for their egregious actions in charging hellaceous amounts for cancellation of their service.

I agree with the following statements.

"If this plan goes through, the nation's largest cell phone carriers get a get-out-of-court-free card," said Chris Murray, senior counsel for Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. "We have long opposed limiting consumers' rights to sue, and that seems to be what we're doing here."

"The consumer protections are an inadequate fig leaf to justify federal pre-emption," said Patrick Pearlman, a lawyer with the consumer advocate division of West Virginia's Public Service Commission. "The FCC is not an adequate policeman."

"It's Christmas in May for the companies," said Pamela Gilbert, an attorney with Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, a Washington-based law firm working on one of the class-action lawsuits against the industry. She said if the FCC agreed to the proposal, it would save cell phone companies hundreds of millions of dollars. The people left holding the bag are the millions of people who paid illegal ETFs (early termination fees) and now will never get their money back," she said.

We do not need to punish these cell phone companies for taking advantage of American consumers, per se. However, we just need to prevent them from continuing to do so, with reasonable reconciliation to those consumers who have already been ripped off or forced to maintain plans by the industry.

Do not give the cell phone carriers a get-out-of-jail card. Hold them accountable for their actions and prevent them from abusing fellow Americans.

Any new bill about this topic should maintain State authority to decide how to regulate billing for services. It should also establish a national prohibition against any cancellation fees what-so-ever.

Sincerely,

Matthew Lorono

Monday, May 19, 2008

Politics 2008 (Part 1?)

I'm going to cover a couple of topics here.

Just some quick opinions about Props 98 and 99 for the June 2008 ballot here in California. Prop 98 is a load crap from special interest groups trying to sneak in their agendas guised as something beneficial. It is supposedly about emanate domain, but it's more about reduction of a city population's rights to affordable housing. Prop 99, supported by Democrats, is an over reaction to use of emanate domain. Emanate domain, of course, is the power of government to force the sale of a property for the benefit of the general population. It is useful for building large scale projects, to improve city structure and for urban renewal. Both 98 and 99 will make it very difficult for cities to conduct this sort of activity. 98 is especially bad because it has a bunch of special interest riders attached to it. I'm voting NO on both. I will wait for a better emanate domain prop to come along that addresses the issue of urban renewal.

Also, California Supreme court has just overturned two bigotted laws regarding those who can marry. It's about time. The idea that the government still has the right to dictate who can marry is still possessed by many. I just hope more people understand the issue now than before, so that our state constitution doesn't get raped by bigotry in an attempt to make gay marriage illegal.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Something in the Air

I recently wrote an article about the platypus species being the most primitive of all mammals. Funny that only a couple months later there is now a news story about this vary same thing. The news story is originally from Livescience.com here. There is new interesting information about the fact that although the platypus has the X and Y chromosomes, these are not the sex chromosomes for the platypus. Instead, the platypus has about 10 other chromosomes for that purpose. Strange animal, this platypus

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's Starting Again

Something is stirring in Silicon Valley again. I drive around and still see a lot of empty commercial lots in the industrial area where I work. Even still, larger new buildings are being built around me. Even weirder, the lunch crowd is becoming larger. I've been noticing this slow change over the past 6 months or so. Where lines at the local Togos and Subway used to be easy to get through, they are now extending well out the shop door. More people are starting to work in the area. The job market looks like it's starting to pick up.

The old days of semi-conductor giants springing up over night are gone. The new industries of the valley are Biotech and Solar. Solar is starting to take off so fast that a new nickname for the valley might end up being Solar Valley. Biotech is growing rapidly too. It's contribution is a little more dispersed thoughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Either way, you cannot throw a rock without hitting someone that is currently working in either of those fields.

Another thing I've noticed is that the Ward Cleavers are back. These are the slightly older guys that wear slacks and shirts that make them look like they just stepped out of a Leave It To Beaver episode. I guess they think they are dressing up. Or maybe their wives are picking out their clothes thinking that the old rules from the 50's still apply. Either way, they are filling the lunch lines with their open discussions of confidential information about their new jobs.

Late last year, I overhead this one group of younger guys. They were not the Ward Cleavers, but they were dressed up a bit in the way that younger guys dress up (all name brand clothes, but not well coordinated). Anyway, they were going into very exact detail about the technology of their start-up Biotech company. Let's just say I understood what they were talking about. I heard so much that the only piece of information I needed to make the information useful would've been their company name. I tried and failed to catch a glimpse of their door badges. I think they figured out I was eavesdropping at that point, so they smartened up. They really shouldn't have been talking about the proprietary matters in line at a sandwich shop in the first place.

The lull in the crowds and traffic was nice while it lasted. It looks like we have another boom cycle getting ready to take off and soon as the economy turns more favorable.

Friday, May 02, 2008

It's about me

It is easy to think one’s life has not measured up to the expectations one’s own heart and mind. Accomplishments made diminished are held low. Even the proud braggart is ultimately over compensating for feelings of inadequacy. Yet each person must face the truth that we are here for a reason. Accomplishment is not measured by comparison to others, but on the merit of the deeds and thoughts of the inner person. Each person must admit to themselves that they are worthy; worthy of love, joy, and peace; worthy of that which we earn. In this, life is a calm excitement. It is the excitation of living in which having a calm spirit brings success.

We are blessed with our time here on Earth. This blessing is a chance to us. But extension, our responsibility here is for our self. We earn more than each of us can possible know in one life. Many lives must be experienced to gain the full value of our being. We reside beyond existence, yet held in stasis within this world, within this Universe. It is more than what we can see, but much less than our lifespark. The universe cannot be held equal to the value of my life, or the lives of any other. Yet, somehow we are all contained within its ether.

It’s about me. Each of use can say this for our self. It is about me. This world is not so random. It is intertwined, full of incidents, but never accidents. The world revolves around me. At the same time it revolves around each of us equally. Our paths lead one place; that which is beyond the infinite. In this, the minor day to day living, the rut, and the daily grind are nothing less than us inching towards our ultimate destination.

Even though each of us is on our own journey, we are collectively moving together. Each of us a cell in the greater organism; a piece of the whole that so much greater than what we can possibly see. It’s not our need to know full extent of things. Knowing would hinder and distract too much. We must focus upon the task laid before us. Life; its purpose is to live. Me; this is my purpose, to live my life. Is it really so simple? The answer to that is up to me.

Thank you to the Cosmic Consciousness for the time and worlds in which to speak. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nice Weekend, Nice, Three Days a week

I know I talk about my weekends more often than any other day. I may have mentioned before that to me there's like three days a week. Monday through Thursday is just one blur that counts as a single day. Friday is Friday. And the Weekend, which consists of Saturday and Sunday.

This weekend, Allie and I had a nice relaxing afternoon. We like to head up to Burlingame's downtown area on nice weekend days, though this weekend I think we actually ...you know what, I can't even remember now. Man oh man. I believe we did go to Burlingame last weekend, which is why I think my memory is confused. Oh well.

On Friday, we had dinner with her folks. Her mom cooked yet another tasty Chinese dinner. We had to leave around nine to catch an independent film called The Visitor. I enjoyed the movie and was rather impressed with the quality. Sunday night we watched Lars and the Real Girl, which blows the lid on the Real Doll website that both revolts and entices, often OCT. It was another good movie, though it didn't surprize me. The one similarity between the films is they both had a lack of closure to varying degrees, while still having good endings.

It was a relaxing weekend. In fact, it was another weekend we didn't do nearly all we should have around the house. ::sigh:: There's always a plan, but when the weather turns nice, Spring Fever onsets.