Category Archives: Miscellaneous

New Year, New Interests and moving on from old projects

So it’s the second month of the new year and a lot has happened. I notice that my last post is over a year old and is a great indicator to where my mind has been. Over the last two years I have been focusing more on my life and extracurricular activities than my blog and technical projects. It’s been an exciting ride and continues.

First off, I think it is high time that I officially announce that I will no longer be maintaining my mozilla extensions. This will come as no surprise as I haven’t been doing anything with them in the last few years. My arm has been twisted into this reality as the hosting company of my extensions seemed to loose my website and everything on it. The code for them is still publicly available on my SVN server (which will be moved to github at sometime in the future).

On to the new interests. Two years ago I decided to get back into shape and through diet and a dedicated workout routine I lost ~30lbs in about 3 months. I have continued my routine and in August became part of CrossFit Mountain View. A big part of this transition was learning how to cook food that is delicious, healthy, and now paleo. So many of my friends have asked me for my recipes and tips that I finally decided to start posting it all online!

So, without further ado, I present my new fitness blog: *drum roll* The Tough Banana!

It’s brand new and I’m still working on the content, design and templates. Check it out and feel free to provide suggestions.

Not to worry, I’m not killing this blog, I’m just checking in and letting you all know what I’m doing. I’ll update this one as it’s relevant.

Off to India to do Taining

In a few hours (5.5 to be exact) I’m jumping on a plane to travel from San Francisco to Chennai, India. PayPal is sending me to do the JavaScript training for the Web Development team there.

My plane leaves tonight at 12:05a and lands in Singapore for an 8 hour layover. I expect to leave the airport of a few hours of sight seeing and sampling the local food. Then I jump back on the plain to hop over to India.

I’ll be in India for 2 weeks and doing the “Intro to JavaScript and DOM Scripting” class for half the team each week. Over the weekend my boss, Kimberly Blessing, and I will be traveling up to Agra to see the amazing Taj Mahal. I’ll be taking lots of pictures and posting them on Flickr along the way. I love how every time I tell someone I’m going to India their eyes light up and they instantly have stories and advice for places to go and things to do — it’s fantastic! (and yes I’ve had my shots, pills and will avoid the water)

OK, off to finish packing now. Wish me luck!

Lost: The Answers? – I’m Still Lost

I’ve been in a love/hate relationship with the television show “Lost” since it started. I do enjoy some of the plot twists and the character flashback that, over time, show how all the characters relate. The whole story is an interesting concept, and Ben is the perfect villain. But, since the beginning I’ve hated the countless plot twists without any answers (do the producers even know where it’s going), the number filler episodes that draw out 5 minutes of content over an entire hour — for example: Boone dieing, Lock’s obsession with the hatch and Paulo and what’s-her-name dying (they weren’t even part of the show).

Lost has been loosing much of it’s audience for exactly these reasons. Instead of the producers fixing the problem, they instead narrate a review episode, called “The Answers” where they explain all that we have learned throughout the series. The episode felt like they were trying to convince all of us that there have been answers — really — we must not have seen them. The problem is that the answers so far are either not directly part of the main plot line or open other questions.

The types of answers that don’t matter are things like how Locks’ Dad is the same person that conned Sawer’s parents. Or that Jack’s father is also Claire’s dad. Oh and Kate killed her father. Do the producers have “daddy” problems? How about how the girl Sawer conned helped Kate later on — that was really important, right? These things are interesting, but don’t give a whole lot to the story. They really aren’t answers.

Most of the other “answers” really didn’t answer anything but opened up more. For example, we thought that the others were part of the Dharma Initiative. Well, the show answered that question by…spoiler alert…telling us the “others” were rebels who murdered everyone in the Dharma Initiative with the help of Ben. Ok, then where did the rebels come from? Why are they at war the plane crash survivors? And who the f***k is Jacob?!?

This is why the audience feels like there haven’t been any answers, because the answers aren’t leading anywhere. They don’t really contribute, and I’m starting to get really pissed off. I’m considering tuning out until the last season. Because I’m reasonably sure not much will happen until then and the last few episodes will be a huge explosion of revelation.

If the producers want to keep their audience, they need to answer some big questions first: Why are the others at war with the survivors? Who is Jacob, why is he there and where did he come from? What’s with the black entity on the island? Give us real answers, then feel free to open a few more questions. We want to feel progress.

GE Evolution™ Series Locomotive

GE Ecomagination

I’m not the type of guy that gets excited about new locomotives, but this is something cool that I caught while browsing through

The folks at General Electric have recently put together a series of informative, compelling, and visually stunning videos as part of their Ecomagination “commitment.” Here’s a video about their Evolution Series Locomotive, a lean mean high-performing machine which truly “defies the perception that greater efficiency means less power,” using 189,000 fewer gallons of fuel in its lifetime than its predecessors….


The coolest thing was the numbers on the GE site (located from the video page at ‘Behind the Story’ > Facts):

  • If every locomotive in North America were as clean as GE’s Evolution…[it] would be like removing 48 million cars from the road each year.
  • If the largest railroad in North America switch half its locomotive fleet to the GE Evolution, annual carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by an amount equal to planting more than 31,000 acres of trees.
  • Compared to locomotives built in 2004, a single Evolution locomotive will consume 315,000 fewer gallons of fuel in its lifetime…

I always love seeing innovations like these. We wont stop, or reverse, global warming with a single solution but many smaller steps until we reach the tipping point.

New Site Design — Built with Web 2.0 ;)

Last weekend I had some spare time, a picture and a bit of inspiration and decided to redesign my website. The reason it has taken me so long to create my own design is that, simply put, I’m not a designer. I usually don’t know where to begin and how to get the design to flow correctly. I mean, I know good design and can even sometimes spit out things that are viewable, but I’m no designer.

So where did I start? <Leans back in chair> It all started a couple weeks ago when my Dad and I decided to go hiking up at Sanborn Park. Originally we were going to go Jeeping, but it had just rained the night before and his Jeep doesn’t have a winch yet, so we went hiking instead. The conditions were perfect and I was able to snap a few pretty good pictures. Out of the set, I was really drawn to the misty trail image. I liked it so much I decided to play with it in GIMP and afterwards decided to design my entire site around it. Once I had the picture, the rest of the site practically designed itself.

So browse around and let me know how you like it. I’ve also added some cool new Web 2.0 features:

  • All links have a new animated fading rollover effect pulled in from the CSS and animated with YUI.
    • This is part of an API I’m building in order to keep presentatin separate from the JavaScript.  More on this soon!
  • The tagline text fades into view when the page loads. I plan to add more random statements over time — any suggestions?
  • Comment submission is now done with XHR. I plan to make this more robust in the future.
  • And of course, shiny title bars.

The fading effects and XHR comments were all built with the YUI libraries.

Misty Trail - Sanborn Park

Extension Upgrades for Firefox 2.0

I’ve been getting loads of emails everyday from people requesting, or demanding in some cases, that I upgrade my extensions to be compatible for Firefox 2.0.  Be assured that I am working on this.  Right now I’m trying to get my server back up to 100% after it had been hacked twice.  I expect to be releasing updates next week — I appreciate your patients.

My second ‘Firefox’ at the Songbirder+Mozilla Party

Flaming Firefox

Last night I went to the Songbird+Mozilla party in SF and it was awesome. There were lots of people from various startup companies, good music, great food, drinks and the Flaming Firefox (pictured above) was most excellent. It almost felt like we were back in the ol’ “dot com” boom; oh sweet nostalgia.

I really like what they have going there. It’s the first real use of the XULRunner application that I’ve seen and has a lot of potential and a great executive team. I just hope that someday when they make millions they’ll remember I came to their party. ;o)

GO SONGBIRD! (versions for Apple and *NIX are coming soon. Hooray!)