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That's just great, muni.
Originally uploaded by midendian
Threw a system-wide red flag at exactly 5pm on a weekday!

Also, anybody else having major problems with TransLink lately? It's
been taking multiple attempts at the turnstiles lately, and takes 15
sec to authorize when it does work.
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Originally uploaded by midendian
We're in Reno! It's awesome! Or something.
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The last few months I've been joking that I'm confident staying with E*trade as my primary bank+brokerage because they're so experienced at teetering on the edge of collapse. They've been doing it for years! Lately their insistence of their non-failure has been taken up a notch though. Every other month is an email dedicated to discussing their solvency, and pretty much every email about anything else includes something like this:

Please be assured that this decision has nothing at all to do with the financial health of E*TRADE FINANCIAL, which has been, and continues to be, very well capitalized by every applicable regulatory standard.

They pretty much have to justify and/or apologize for their every action now, but I suppose most banks are doing that these days.

(This particular email was about how they're closing down their proprietary index funds, which had barely any humans involved and therefore have exceptionally low loads. Of course I own a decent amount of them, so this is kinda annoying...)

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Ok so the technical quality is uh not up to my usual elitist standards, but this is seriously my favourite video posted to flickr to date. (from xaosenkosmos like a month ago but I've watched it enough times that it seems worth sharing!)

Anyway, I don't make real posts anymore. How are you, internets?

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Originally uploaded by midendian
Really should wear contacts on cold rainy days when I'm craving udon.
If I have to take my glasses off to eat, I can't also read wikipedia
on my iPhone!
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Originally uploaded by midendian
Given the choice, this specimen preferred the bed of nails.
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Originally uploaded by midendian
Walked in my building this afternoon and found this sight. For a
second I thought the killer tomatos were back once again to exact
their revenge!

On an economic note, this is the second person this week moving out
because they can no longer afford this building. (Crumbling economy
and epic drought... 2009 is great!)
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NYC MTA MetroCards
Originally uploaded by midendian
Just noticed that MetroCards seem to come in both liberal and neocon
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Top de la roca
Originally uploaded by midendian
Hello internets. Did you know New York is cold this time of year?
It's the warmest day since I've been here and I still have snot
crystals in my beard.
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United 870.
Originally uploaded by midendian
Flying exit row business class on United p.s. Should I have a
"Coastal Breeze"?
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Overall, life and mind broadened, some major realizations made, significant goals met, and process of reconciling past has begun. Across the year, new extrema were set on both ends of the emotional continuum; happy to report that the standard deviation has kept unexpectedly low variance as the mean has significantly increased. Year over year trend is monotonic in the direction of unabated improvement. Of particular interest is the character of the first derivative, which also seems to be increasing on an annual basis. Attempting not to foil myself by creating artificial asymptotes in either function, let alone consider the natural ones. (Kvetching about my body falling apart can be left to another day.)
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I'm not much one for year-in-review posts (in fact I don't think I've ever done one!), but I had a good time trolling my flickr stream for 2008 anyway. It was really hard to just pick one thing/photo a month. (Also interesting to see my photo style evolve. A year is enough to actually see changes!)

January I spent a weekend in Los Angeles, planespotting and hanging out with nibot and breelupia. We went on a hike in the mountains and spent a moon-lit evening lounging around in a lovely natural hot spring. I got hit on by a naked redneck, we hiked back to the car in complete darkness, and we took a long drive in the mountains to take some stoned kid home. Good times.IMG_3788
February I went to Tokyo for the first time, to finish setting up a datacenter. It was pretty awesome.IMG_0015
March tony_m and I had spent the last half of 2007 trying to figure out where to go on a big hiking trip. Eventually we decided on the Grand Canyon, Tony planned the hike and got the permits, and somehow we wrangled terraplanner and Albert into joining us. Four days in the Grand Canyon. It was, predictably, amazing.IMG_0396 Storm clearing, Hermit Camp, Grand Canyon
April Took a pleasant flight down to San Louis with Paul. By all accounts, I also turned 26.IMG_8044 KSBP RWY 29.
May We threw terraplanner a big weekend-long 30th birthday party at a rental in Half Moon Bay. Turned out to be a great party!IMG_0596 James' 30th Cake.
June Took a trip up to BC to visit j0ni and Rachel and the kids for a week in Nanaimo. Nice, relaxing trip. (That month I also met (via flickr!) my neighbors Brian and Kelly, who have since turned out to be very good friends.)IMG_0622 BC Ferries ferry heading toward Tsawwassen
July Visited my family in Phoenix for a weekend, and enjoyed monsoon season (the most interesting weather Arizona has to offer).IMG_9501 Lightning Storm, Northwest Phoenix, Arizona.
August Took a long weekend in San Diego for cpratt and danlmarmot's wedding. Very fun, and got to spend a day with valdelane too. All people I don't see nearly often enough.IMG_0763 Chris and a Magnum
September Went to Paris for the first time! Also a few days planespotting in Frankfurt and Munich.IMG_2582 Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France.
October Another trip to Tokyo! This one was even better than the last. Explored a lot more, and went for a fantastic hike in the mountains.IMG_7440 Urban forest of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.
November Met someone special. We had some great times.IMG_7625 Rose.
December Took a long weekend in DC, one of my favourite cities. It was all wintery cold and decorated for Christmas and the Obamathon. I look forward to going back again very soon, as soon as the mess is over.IMG_8022 Christmas at Congress.
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Not that it really matters to anyone reading this, but I'm effectively out of the bay area until the 2nd!

2V 6618 (Bus)         Wed Dec 24 2008   dep SFC 1715   arr EMY 1745
2V 0718 (San Joaquin) Wed Dec 24 2008   dep EMY 1800   arr FNO 2151

2V 0717 (San Joaquin) Sun Dec 28 2008   dep FNO 1745   arr EMY 2143
2V 6617 (Bus)         Sun Dec 28 2008   dep EMY 2145   arr SFC 2210

Heading down to Fresno to spend the holiday and weekend with furrylilfucker. Get to meet his mom and a couple of his friends from there. Should be fun and interesting!

Also, never taken an Amtrak California train before. Stephen says I'll be surprised, both pleasantly and unpleasantly. I don't know what to make of that.

UAL0216 Mon Dec 29 2008   dep KSFO 0854   arr KSNA 1023
UAL0450 Mon Dec 29 2008   dep KSNA 1054   arr KDEN 1413
UAL1477 Mon Dec 29 2008   dep KDEN 1505   arr KPHX 1700

UAL1437 Fri Jan 02 2009   dep KPHX 1350   arr KSFO 1509

Heading to Phoenix to see family and mousetrout. Probably do a trip to Prescott one day, and hopefully some star photography if I'm not too busy in the evenings.

So, I really hate to do a mileage run, let alone at Christmas, but, goddamnit, with over 48000 miles flown this year, I can't not do the last thousand+ for Star Alliance Gold again. I would have been done already, except Stephen and I volunteered to get bumped on an overbooked flight back from DC two weeks ago. It didn't even occur to me that they might fly us home on AMERICAN instead. Alas, no miles for that. (Also no status -- American coach seats for five hours made my lower back ANGRY.)

Happy Festivus, y'all!

Current Mood: tired tired

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It's that time again for a "So, I just went to the doctor about this lump [in my throat]" entry.

It starts last month, when I just got back from Tokyo. Though I was feeling some sore throat and malaise upon arrival, I thought it was just the dateline-jetlag and some allergies -- alas, a few days later I was huddled in bed shivering with a fever. After quite some convincing by Stephen and google, I finally submitted to a doctor. Of course, a week into strep throat, it was completely obvious what was wrong with me -- the doctor didn't even bother with any tests past squeezing some lymph nodes a bit. A few days of mold spores and I was all better. (This was all extremely weird to me, 'cause I hadn't had strep throat since I was literally like twelve years old. What am I gonna get next, chicken pox?)

Fast forward to last Tuesday... Wait wait, no: rewind again to the very beginning of October, when I was out getting my, uh, regular tests and where they totally upsold me on more free health products! I'd had a 'quickie' hepatitis vaccination before I went to Patagonia in 2007, but I never followed up when I got back to complete the regimen (it takes three shots to have full 25-year immunity). So they gave me the first of three right there last month. I had no side-effects other than a sore arm for a few days.

Ok, now back to last Tuesday: I was two weeks overdue for shot #2 of the HAV/HBV combo vaccination, and I finally remembered to go take care of it. I was feeling fine when I went in, and fine when I left. The next day, however, I woke up with a ridiculously swollen lymph node on the left side of my neck, right below the mandibular joint. I mean really ridiculously: you could see that half my neck was swollen from several feet away. It was also super-tender. Oh dear, I thought, the strep throat is coming back.

Thursday, the swelling was gone, but: I had what I can only describe as the worst headache of my life. It lasted all of Thursday (Thanksgiving) and into Friday. Eventually this went away too -- which is good because at its strongest, it was completely fucking debilitating. I don't know how people with regular migraines manage to not commit suicide.

So after the headache phase, a new and mildly terrifying symptom started: my throat started feeling constricted! Not to the point of making it hard to breathe, but definitely troubling to eat. This has lasted all weekend and through today. If it'd been even slightly worse (or I was slightly less of a cheap bastard) I'd have been in the hospital in a second, but this felt from the start to be a fairly benign sort of throat swelling, if there is such a thing.

Anyway. So today I went to a doctor. Given the progression of symptoms/events, he was fairly well baffled. The best he could come up with was the same I came up with: the HAV/HBV shot somehow stirred up the pot of my immune system and caused my lymph nodes/tonsils to freak out and nothing has managed to set things right again. His rather uninspiring recommendation was to keep myself full of aspirin and if it doesn't get better come back in a week.

So there you have it. In the coming months don't be surprised if you see a post from me saying I have an inoperable lamprey sucking on my brain stem, or maybe even the primary amoebic meningoencephalitis I've always dreamed of having! (Though, realistically, I'll probably just end up with strep throat again.)

Sorry, I probably owe you a drink or maybe a Valium if you actually clicked on the lamprey link!
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evening at noisebridge.
Originally uploaded by midendian
eqe, very proud of his blimp!

Current Location: noisebridge, san francisco, ca

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UAL0872 Thu Dec 11 2008   dep KSFO 1120   arr KIAD 1926
UAL0629 Sun Dec 14 2008   dep KDCA 1840   arr KORD 1958
UAL0155 Sun Dec 14 2008   dep KORD 2034   arr KSFO 2323

Decided to make use of one of the two cheapest weekends of the year to fly, and spend a weekend in DC with Beth and Brock. Yay!

I've never been to DCA/National before. Unfortunately it's on the way out only, so no chance of the famous River Visual approach. Alas, still worth the extra cost just to avoid the looong (and expensive!) schlep from Dupont Circle to Dulles.

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Created a Google Groups group for discussing SFO activity and planning spotting events, if you're interested:


Upcoming happenings:
  • Emirates starts direct 777-200LR service to Dubai on 15 Dec.
  • Jet Airways final flight to SFO is 13 Jan 2009 (unclear if that's departure date or arrival date).
  • Kingfisher (!) is rumored to be replacing that service shortly thereafter.
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rainy day in tokyo.
Originally uploaded by midendian
This is the only datacenter I've been to that has an awesome view. Central Tokyo CTC, 22F.
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If I understand this infographic correctly, when you send the black Yamaha router on the left through some sort of bellows and/or waveform generator (perhaps with Heisenberg Compensation?), it travels through time (but linearly!) and turns into some other sort of central firewall device.

Tags: , ,
Current Location: akihabara, tokyo, japan

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Originally uploaded by midendian
Going to Japan, brb.
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