fox@fury
Batch life update
Friday, Sep 26, 2003
Okay, a whole lot of small things:
  • Ammy's put a bid on a house last night. They have until 8pm today to accept or decline. It's a big underbid, so who knows, but she's really excited.
  • I picked up a couple of original TiVos for $50 apiece (employee discount on outdated inventory), and I'm looking to use them for some cool projects, but I'm not sure what yet. One I want to work on is a TiVo for radio. Further details will follow.
  • Rachel and her mom arrived in town on Wednesday after a 3500 mile road trip from Rochester. Rachel's staying with me until she finds work and an apartment, probably around the end of the year-ish. Ellie's going back home on Tuesday, and she and Rachel will be doing sightseeing before then.
  • I'm new car shopping. I've had the new car bug since June, when I realized that Mutant is over six years old. Several years ago I promised myself that I wouldn't get a new car until I had a place to put it, since her life on the streets has caused Mutant to age faster than I'd like. Now my townhouse has a real bona-fide garage with a garage door opener and everything, so I guess it's time! I've been researching cars for the past three months, originally focusing on an Accord or Passat, then gravitating towards something more utilitarian like a Honda CR-V, but then refocused on a Subaru Forrester and, after looking at them, changed to the Subaru Outback. I've been keeping tabs on the new Prius though, and the more I see, the better it sounds. I'll have to adjust to the equivalent of a 104hp engine, but other than that the Prius looks really good. Most of my hybrid concerns have been addressed in this model, and I'll be very keen to take a look at them when they arrive in showrooms on October 17th. 60mph City, 51mpg Highway is nothing to sneeze at, and the optional Bluetooth integration with my new cellphone (I got the Ericsson T616 by the way, but more on that later) is also pretty sweet.
  • Karen's car got broken into a few days ago. They took her stereo and (nonsensically) the controls for her air conditioning. Basically the whole center panel.
  • I need a name for my place. I was thinking about 'Rendezvous' because I have a fully equipped guest bedroom and wanted to play up the 'I know it's a long drive from the East Bay, but come on down 'cause there's crash space' angle, infused with a little bit of the Three's Company theme song. Now I'm over it, but I'm still looking for a good name that's not based on a trendy fantasy or sci-fi book or movie.
  • I really, really love my job.
  • Kisa's still at Emily's place. I thought it made sense that, since Emily's living by herself while Chris is down in Los Angeles until who-knows-when, we shouldn't switch Kisa to my place until I was living alone. It didn't seem fair to take Kisa when I already have a roommate keeping me company.
  • Rachel's cat Nym is being fostered by Ammy and Rick, who live about a mile away from me. If you're wondering about the seeming contradiction, it's that Kisa was carefully chosen as one of the few breeds of cat I'm not allergic to. Nym, unfortunately, is not, so while Rachel's staying with me, Nym would drive me (literally, though not figuratively) to tears after a day or so. Nym's having some adjustment issues at Ammy's, mostly because she doesn't yet know what a great cat-lover Ammy is, and how happy Amy is to have Nym around after Tigger passed away less than a year ago.
  • I'm reading Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom." It's a very interesting story, and not what i expected. Cory's probably known just as much or more for editing the fabulous site BoingBoing!
  • Listening to Aphex Twin alone at work in the morning creates a really interesting mood.
  • Last week I added Google AdSense ads to Fury. They make me about $1.50 a day, or nearly enough to pay for Fury's hosting! If you're thinking, 'Where are the ads? I don't see them!' it's because I love you, the regular reader.
  • Gah. I really should link up a lot of things in this post, but if I'm too lazy to have seperated this post into the five it warrants, then I'm too lazy to go look up hyperlinks all over the web.

So, that's it in a nutshell! Any questions?

Ambient Environment at Home
Friday, Sep 26, 2003
Along with the idea of a Radio TiVo, I'm also looking at outfitting my new home with custom ambient displays. I'm planting a few auxiliary speakers around the place, to be driven by my Lombard G3 laptop, and I'm looking at easily modifiable picture displays.

Though they' won't be on the market for another quarter at least, I'll be keen to take a look at Nokia's new photo pendants.

Tales of Customer Service
Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003
[from the 'it-never-hurts-to-ask' department]

For two months HP has been selling 17" flat panel displays for $199, a little over half off their usual price.

Now they want them back.

It's one thing to not honor an order when they catch it before shipping, another when they've already charged your credit card, but when the item's already shipped and paid for, and the customer's been using it for a month, I'd say it's too late for the company to cry foul. Nevertheless, the voicemail is a nice example of killing with kindness.

Kevland
Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003
What's up with Kevin? Well, all my stuff is now in the new place, and I have boxes everywhere. I've been steadily unpacking, putting books willy-nilly into bookcase cubbies. Sorting by genre, author, and the rest can come after everything's out from the boxes.

Rachel, her mom, Ellie, and her cat, Nym, are in Yellowstone today, and should be getting to the Bay Area tomorrow evening. I'm trying to unpack as much as possible so they'll be able to relax when they get here. Nym's going to be fostered at Ammy and Rick's place until Rachel has a place of her own. Ammy's all excited about being a mom again, after Tigger passed away last year.

Meanwhile Google is a dream come true.

Oh, and somewhere in the move I lost a bracing strut for my bed, so I can't put it together yet. I'm going to IKEA today after work to see if I can get just the part, or what my other options are. 'Till then I think I'll be on the mattress when Rachel and Ellie arrive, so Ellie can have my guest bed, that I've been using up 'till now.

Let's see... What else? I'm treating Rachel to Waltz and Swing lessons by the incomparable Richard Powers. We're starting on Thursday, and they run every Thursday for 5 weeks.

Okay, that's my quick life update. More to come as it happens!

Google in Your Area
Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003
Yesterday Google Labs released Google Search By Location, which lets you specify search terms and a city/state/zip for location-specific results.It's gotten so much attention in the last 12 hours that it appears to be slashdotted, or at least sluggish. Anyhow, give it a try. It's pretty nifty. Unlike Yahoo Yellow Pages, it's gathering all its global contextual awareness from the web, not telephone book feeds.

It makes for a fuzzier experience, but one that can lead to discoveries a yellow pages search would never yield.

Business Card Cubes
Tuesday, Sep 23, 2003
(From the category of 'turning stuff into other stuff')

Unpacking, I've come across a lot of stuff of questionable necessity. I like having business cards from my jobs at Dantz, USWeb/CKS, Yahoo, and my personal businesses, but how many do I really need? On one hand, a business card from a failed dotcom might be the best evidence of actual employment and job title, so I want to keep a handful, but do I really need 500?

Still, throwing them out seems wrong too...

Then the CardCube page comes across my desk. Following the instructions might not help me get rid of my cards, but at least I can have some fun with them. :-)

Postponing the recall a bad idea?
Saturday, Sep 20, 2003
Here's a random thought: If the circuit court upholds their decision to postpone the recall election because the punch-card ballots that would otherwise have to be used in several counties disenfranchise many voters, what does that say about current elected officials?

If holding an election next month with this machinery is so disenfranchising as to be illegal, then doesn't that throw the legality of every democratic election performed using these machines into doubt? How could it be important enough to psotpone the recall election for 6 months, but not be important enough to force a revote for every current elected position?

Must.. leave... can of worms.. alone! Lets just get the election over with, so the media can refocus on internationa policy and the presidential race.

Official Release: Firefly on DVD on December 9th
Friday, Sep 19, 2003
It's official! As of this morning, Amazon is taking confirmed preorders on the full series of Joss Whedon's Firefly on DVD.

Release date is December 9th. I'm making an evite now for a Firefly party the following weekend.

Woot!

Sniffer
Monday, Sep 15, 2003
A coworker in an office near my cube has a small dog at work who usually keeps to himself. However once every few days he comes in to my cube, sniffing every floor surface, under the desks, around the chairs, methodically. While performing his task, the ordinarily playful dog will ignore any and all calls for attention, pats on the head, or scratches behind the ears, and soon his exploration has led him into the next office, not to be seen here again until his next exploration later in the week.

I have, as of five minutes ago, decided to call him "Googlebot".

Gadgets gadgets gadgets!
Monday, Sep 15, 2003
I ought to spend more time at ThinkGeek. I went there today to buy a C.H.I.M.P. for my cube, but got floored by seeing that they sell a watch based on the same idea as a clock I designed for a ubiquitous interface project three years ago at Cal.

At $450 it's more than I want to spend on something that bangs around on my wrist, but I'm satisfying my geek urges by buying this nifty Pocket WiFi Finder. Now if it could only tell the difference between closed and open networks...

  
aboutme

Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at Fury.com since 1998.
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I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

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