Yeninko of the Umlaut

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"Oi, Dancing Boy! "

I was watching Billy Elliot a couple days back and about 20 minutes into it I starting getting pissed off because I could only understand every other freaking word due to the thick-ass Northern England accent. I turned to my roommate Corey of The Notebook fame, and said, "I have to turn this off, I really can’t understand what the hell is going on." Her reply? "Turn on the subtitles", which I did and thusly I watched the entire movie. A touching tale that warmed me cockles.

Speaking of cockles I just have to mention Billy Elliot’s friend, Michael Caffrey played by Stewart Wells. You know, that kid wearing that dress with the lipstick? I seriouslynever expected to find a pre-pubescent boy dressed in drag attractive but, damn that kid was hot. Which is wrong on so many levels I don't even want to think about it.

Oh, totally off topic but Andrea Polizzi’s middle name is Evil.

And if a Hamster Wasn't Enough

A guy losing his shit on the air.

I've updated the link, sorry about the pop-ups

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hamster Charger

Sister is pissed about Hamster spinning in his wheel all night long. What is a kid to do? Hook the wheel up to a cell phone to charge it (the phone, not the wheel...or the hamster, freaks). I'm not sure how that was supposed to solve the problem of the wheel spinning in the night but it's pretty cool, he even got a C for turning it in as his science project.

Monday Is For Music

Update II:It seems that someone has taken the entire discussion on Plastic and tallied everybodys selections, ranked them and then linked them to Amazon, iTunes, some russion MP3 Site, and Google.

It's pretty awesome, I suggest checking it out.


Update I: I thought this would make a good topic for discussion on Plastic so I submitted it and they posted it today. It created a wee bit of a...dialogue. Lots of interesting stuff if you are looking for new (or old) music.


I have been going through my music lately trying to determine what, of the music I've downloaded, is good and what is crap. Whilst I was doing that I, of course, decided to download more music, thus continuing the cycle of music consumption. This time however I was at a loss of what to download. and then as if struck my the wiffle ball bat of God I thought, "Greatest Hits". Which greatest hits you ask? I dunno. I just threw that into the search string of my handy P2P client started downloading anything that came up, and then went to see Kung Fo Hustle, as you should. Searching for music is something like trawling for fish, you cast a wide net and see what comes in.

After the movie me and Pacey sat down and started discussing perfect albums. Albums that we felt contained all great songs, as in every track was very, very good and none were mediocre. Since I tend not to listen to entire albums (I tend to grab songs I like and, throwing them together, play all of them on random) this was a wee bit hard for me. Nonetheless, here is a brief list that Pacey and I came up with.

Sinead O'Connor - Lion and the Cobra
Streets - Original Pirate Material
Metrics - Old World Underground
Arcade f\Fire - Funeral
Sleater-Kinney - One Beat

Okay Umlaut-ians, your turn. What are your Perfect albums

Monday, August 29, 2005


After years of talk and thought and little action I made it out to play some pain paintball. Come back in a couple of days and I’ll update this posting with pictures, for now some text.

The games were all walk on games, which just means if you want to play you just walk out to the field when they call out a new game. The rounds last about fifteen minutes and take place every 25 minutes or so. Since there were a lot of people out (about sixty or so) we weren't playing anything fancy with objectives like capture the flag, etc. The team with someone left at fifteen minutes won.

I was surprised by a few things. First, how for the most part, it didn't really hurt. It's sort of like getting slapped on the ass, it hurts for a second but by the time you really think about it you're just feeling randy and have forgotten about the sting. I was surprised how many times we all got hit and didn't notice it. There was some mild bruising for sure but nothing to cry about.

It was also cool to see how into it some people were. I mean for the most part the technology consist of a pipe attached to a small tank (think 20 oz soda bottle) of compressed air and another bottle that drops paintballs into the barrel. Basically something you could build out of crap at a hardware store. Very lo-tek. But then you got guys out there with long barrel guns with scopes. I swear I thought I saw one dude that I thought had a thermal sight. And then all sorts or variation within that range. Which is cool. The more people out in Vallejo shooting at each other with paintballs the less people holed up in Ruby Ridge or Waco.

I’d also like to note that all my extensive training in first person shooters was total crap. It was a complete free for all. I can see how, in small trained units, you might be able to pull off some tactics, but 30 on 30 with about half of your team made up of wannabe militia and the other half being 14-year-old boys hyped up on hormones there wasn't much room for that. Good thing they had a bunch 25-30 year olds from San Francisco to show them how it's done.

The Play of the Day award goes to Dan who after sprinting across open terrain to take cover behind a large plastic barrier knocked it over and fell on top of it resulting in pretty much everyone on the opposing team hitting him. You could hear the hum of paintballs in the air.

Lastly I'd like to thank the crew who were kind enough to join me on this little bit of adventure. In no particular order Dan Sankey, Katrina Clark, Tara Regan, David Richard, Shawn Gurczak, Paula, Adam Anderson, Jackie Klem

As a postscript I'd like to add that everyone out there was very friendly and helpful, from the staff to the players except for the scary old dude in the fatigues, he could have been cool but no one was bothering to find out. The paintball field we went to was very accomidating and the staff answered all our questions and explained how the show is run very patiently. Dave even had some guy on the field throw him a refill of paintballs when he ran out (solidarity brother!) which is like a $5 value. Also, while I’m pretty much a noob, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. So get out there kids, you need the exercise!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

White People Problems

I’m unsure of who coined the phrase ‘White People Problems’ (WPP) but as of late I’ve been thinking about it a lot. By way of definition let me give a few examples.

Gas prices are really making a dent in you wallet.
You feel fat.
You can’t afford to buy a home.
The show is sold out.
You hate you job.

I’m fairly confident that I know a couple of people that would stab me for my job, probably several times. And I’m guessing there might be millions if not billions of people who would seriously consider it, and really, my job ain’t that great. Actually, that may be a pretty good description of WPP, if someone is willing to stab you for your problems, then your problems are probably White People Problems.

In the spirit of inclusion I’d like to add that many, many non-white people suffer from WPP’s. For example, almost all non-white people in the US, Canada and Western Europe.

Everyone else’s problems may include:

Economic collapse
Forced genital mutilation.
Ecological destruction.
Lack of medical services.
Extreme poverty.

I’ve found myself bitching about my life lately and after some thought I think I’m back in perspective. I mean, I can’t think of ever, even once, having to wait six hours for food. I can count on one hand the number of times I actually thought I was going to die, and most of those were on roller coasters and not, for example, at the hands of armed militia.

And now I will eat a day old Saigon Sandwich, which is no kind of problem at all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Ethnic Food Gone Wild!

I would like to thank Alex Dorfman, the Tuesday night dinner guild, the Vietnamese people and their one time colonist, the French, for the ingenious invention, and now my discovery of, the Saigon Sandwich also known in its native tongue as Bahn Mi. It consists of a cilantro, either little or accidental amounts of lettuce, tomatoes, cucmuber, some sort of mild Jalapeño looking pepper (it’s green but not as spicy), and your choice of several types of meat or tofu on a toasted French roll (hence the allocades to the French).

First let me just say they are delicious. Second they are usually under $3 which, for eating out in SF, is just a total shock. They are so cheap and good I’ve taken to ordering them two at a time which has also led to the discovery that, for the most part, they are delicious even when a day old. It helps that Pho Hoa at 239 Clement is mere blocks from my house, serves them (Pho Hoa is also across the street from a bubble tea shop).

For all you non-SF kids, there have been rumor of shops selling them in Boston. I suspect that LA and NY would have them as well. Definitely check it out.

It's been five days since my discovery and I'm six sandwiches in.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A New (Old) Bike!

As I mentioned previously, I have really become interested in cycling (no spandex yet kids...yet) and the old bike which lacked rear breaks, a front derailleur and was sized for someone about a foot shorter than me wasn't cutting it. So with tons of help from Alex Dorfman, Dave Richard and Dan formerly of Treasure Island (what is his last name?) I have a new bike.

Oddly, it looks very similar to my old bike just bigger. I picked it up off this guy on craigslist for $200. Everything seems to be in order, except the breaks need some adjustment and I'm going to get one of those new seats with the space for your, um, undercock? Whatever that thing is that hurts us boys when we sit to long.

It's a Trek Elance 330 from the early nineties with something like a 60cm or 62cm frame. That should mean something to people who know things, though not I. If not for the abovementioned folks I might have ended up with a Huffy.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

It's Friday, Don't Die

I thought I'd provide a nice little end of the week link for your infotainment.

Have a nice day.

Elevator Hack

Apparently some dude figured out that holding the 'Door Close' Button and the button for the floor you'd like to go to (eg 6 or what ev's) will take you express to that floor on most elevators, no key required.

I plan on checking it out. Let me know how your experiments go.

Let the Nerding Begin

Starship Dimensions is a site, complete with draggable air and space craft from reality and from fiction, movies and games compared side by side so you can see their relative dimensions. Prepare for vigorous debate.

Geek A: "The Zentreadi Quitra Queleual from Robotech is so bigger than Trade Federation battleship!"

Nerd B: "I will take your slander no more! Defend yourself!"

*Slap fight ensues*

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Laptop Lifestyle

So I’m chillin in my living room trying to figure out what happened to a package I sent Via USPS to France with Corey who is studying for a final, when in walks Pacey. She plops down on the couch and announces that she is going to create a spreadsheet of her wardrobe because all the disorganization in her closet is starting to bother her. Which I find both odd and fascinating. Technology being used to organize ones closet? What an odd world we live in. Back to hunting down the package.


Then I realize that I’m dealing with the mail, on a laptop, Corey is studying to be an attorney, on a laptop and Pacey is organizing her clothes, on a laptop. My world is so very different from my parents that I think it might be unrecognizable to them.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oragami Snowballs, etc.

Based off of the work of Tom Hull (Link money shot-> "I finished my Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Rhode Island in 1997. My dissertation was on list coloring bipartite graphs, but now I mostly study the mathematics of origami (paper folding)) I present to you the Paper CD Case Utility.

As always this begs the question of when did the mathematics of origami come into existance and why do I not have more free time.