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.


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 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 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.

Monday, April 28, 2008

GenPets, what are they?

Someone just sent me a link for this new product that is due on the shelves very soon! It's call Genpets.

Genpets ...Bioengineered buddies!

So, I wonder if they are editable? If so, you can donate them to a local food bank after they die and get a tax write-off for their amortized value.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Works of Art (Part 2 of 2)

To continue on from my previous discussion, I had two other surviving shoe polish on card stock paper works from my time spent bored working in a mall shoe store when I was a kid. Girl catching upThis one can have a multitude of meanings. The title Faeryland Coitus only reflects one interpretation. I believe I did this one as contrast to my shear boredom. I created excitement from nothingness. There are many objects in the painting (or should I call it a polishing?). In some views, it could be seen as a lot of different fairies doing naughty things. From another perspective, it could be a hands smashing something between them as they clap together. It could also be two figures engaged in acts of carnal lust with tornado like movement. It ultimately represents my desire to be freed from my imprisonment.

The long evenings would wear on. So much so, it felt like I could turn to dust and melt away into the wind.Girl catching upThis is what my last surviving work depicts. This is why this work is titled Blown. Here I am a disappearing face that is dissolving, even as I grin outwardly. The image could also been seen as my acceptance of futility, like the rock battered by ocean tides. The colors show my despair and anguish. Are there other figures in the background mocking me? Is that my blood polluting a body of water?

Of course, I've not touched this medium since that time. It represents a very specific period in my life in a form of expressed that was based directly on the experience itself. It would be like a gardener making works of art out of garden tools instead of the flower arraignments or garden features. I couldn't make works out of the shoes themselves, so I used the next best medium available. For me, this is how art is. Something that represents a moment in time, but not only that, it is also derived directly from that moment, created to record the moment from the very material that makes the moment what it is. These moments are somewhat spaced out in my life. It's just when something strikes me a certain way; that's when this part of my nature materializes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Works of Art (1 of 2)

I once worked at a shoe store in some mall. It was a small store. Most of the time, I was the only person. This was around the time when I was about 17 or so, and likely sometime during the period following the start of the Persian Gulf War. The day the war started, the malls where empty. Attendance at the mall never really recovered while I worked there, even after the war's end. I had many long hours to do nothing. I was supposed to look busy to make it seem as though there was always activity within the little store, but there was no one in the mall for which I could look busy.

Being 17 and being stuck, I began to explore my limited surroundings. For whatever reason, I started playing with the shoe polish. I don't know how or why I got started with this. In secret, I started making miniature paintings with the shoe polish. I still have three of those works. Girl catching upI don't consider them half bad for what they are: shoe polish on card stock paper. I may be the only person in history to explore this medium. Here is one those surviving works.

This one is Girl catching up. It depicts one girl running after another that is impatiently waiting. The color represents the angst between the two and perhaps a bit more. In modern terms, one might call them frienemies. The inspiration may have been some of the girls that frequented the mall.

I may display the other surviving works soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Identification of years

How many people actually know that there is no year zero on the common Western (Gregorian) calendar. This creates logical problems that are hard to deal with in the lay population. Most people assume an understanding and use of zero. I would even catch myself thinking in terms of having a year zero had I not known a little more about our calendar than the average bear. Bottom line, on our calendar, the year 1 BC is followed by 1 AD.

Just as there is no year zero, there is not zero century. Our 21st Century is 2001 to 2100. The last year of the 21st Century is 2100, not the first year. That's fairly counter-intuitive. This does force me to think when I talk about periods in the 16th through 19th Centuries. It is very easy to think that 18th Century is the same as the 1800's.

So, there is no year zero, no matter how confusing that ends up being. Until we choose another calendar system, this will be a contentious issue.

Another point to discuss is how to identify years. The most common method for years counting backward is B.C., and A.D. for our current era (years that count forward). These two abbreviations refer a previously accepted date for the birth of Jesus Christ. It is now commonly agreed that if Jesus Christ did exist, his birth was more likely between the period of 8 and 4B.C. This means the start year of our calendar is pretty arbitrary, as it is not associated with any particular event. Yet, we still use terms that directly reference Jesus' birth. Alternative terms that have been proposed are BCE (Before our Common Era) and CE (our Common Era). This turns the arbitrary date away from being Christian centric, but in a way, it still attempts to enforce that old world calendar on others. I see BCE/CE used more frequently these days, but I do not believe it will ever become the norm.

To accept the arbitrary nature of our calendar and to establish some Information Age standard, those Europeans have come up with a supposed standard ISO-8601. This document is meant to be an international standard, but isn't really in common use. The problem with ISO-8601 is that is renumbers the years that count backwards. 1BC becomes 0000 and 2BC becomes -0001. Unless every history book ever written is updated to this new attempt to renumber the years, I doubt ISO-8601 will ever be in common use by anyone other than software programmers.

Month of buzyness

It's kinda funny that "business" cannot be used to describe busy-ness anymore, and that's where the word comes from. Oh, any way does that U sound like a long E?

Anyway, yes, I've had a moth of busy-ness. In-laws were visiting town from out of the country (Hong Kong/Austrilia). Not to mention, it is tax season. Also, I've been busy with work, and my technical blog over here. Also, fitting time in for friends when I can.