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Druid Squirrel

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They'll Never Catch 'Em All [May. 2nd, 2007|05:06 pm]
Druid Squirrel
After watching the hilarity at Slashdot and Digg in recent days, I have to wonder what it is exactly that the MAFIAA is trying to accomplish. Do they really think they're going to un-ring the bell and get that key off the net? There are just too many places for it to hide.

On an unrelated note, consider the first 256 Pokemon. Each has a canonical number in the Pokedex. There isn't a number 0, but if Pokemon #256 (Combusken) uses its special "modular arithmetic" power, it becomes trivial to encode two hex digits in the name of a Pokemon. Thus, if someone wrote a simple story about 16 Pokemon, it would have the same information content as 32 hex digits. It would therefore be hypothetically possible to encode a decryption key within a story about how Blastoise, Lugia, Pidgeotto, and Ivysaur met Typhlosia, Horsea, Skarmory, and Cloyster in the enchanted forest and then traveled to Cerulean City with Teddiursa, Alakazam, Seel, and Umbreon, where Kingler, Seel, Moltres, and Sunflora had a tea party.
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How terribly strange to be 40 [Mar. 27th, 2007|11:57 pm]
Druid Squirrel
Or, as I like to call it, 0x28, since that doesn't sound quite as milestone-ish.

Celebrated by taking the day off of work, playing soccer (we lost 2-1, but I scored our goal), eating sushi, and having a "Stargate Atlantis" marathon.

I still don't feel like a grown-up.
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Funniest. Post. Ever. [Mar. 13th, 2007|11:50 pm]
Druid Squirrel
Ann Coulter's latest column for Human Events was particularly insane, even by her formidable standards -- example: "There are more reputable scientists defending astrology than defending 'global warming'" -- and when Sadly, No got hold of it, hilarity, predictably, ensued. See the carnage here: Teh Shark Jumps Coulter.
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Music [Feb. 22nd, 2007|11:57 pm]
Druid Squirrel
After letting our music collection -- many, many, many CDs -- molder in boxes for the last decade or so, my co-Druid and I finally decided enough was enough. We used one of those CD ripping services that will rip and encode your entire collection and send you a hard drive full of MP3s. It cost on the order of $1.00 per CD, which turns out to be kind of steep, considering the fact that (as I turns out) we had precisely 1472 CDs.

Despite the painful expense, this is one of the best purchases I ever made. Previously, I had maybe 100 random CDs ripped, and I could listen to those at any time, but the other 1372 might as well have been buried in a concrete bunker -- the chances of me digging through all the boxes to pick out a physical CD and stick it into a CD player were virtually nil.

But now, woo hoo! It's like I got 1372 new albums in one day! I'm discovering all this great music that I had completely forgotten about. An Indigo Girls cover of "Tangled Up In Blue" where they don't change the pronouns! An Adrian Belew song about a rhinoceros who muses "I know the zoos / protect my species / they bring me food / collect my feces"! 26 hours of Tangerine Dream that makes perfect background music for reading! Jade Warrior! Happy the Man! Galadriel! Ozric Tentacles! Approximately two full months of music without having to hear anything twice!
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From the Sentences-I'm-Glad-I-Read Department [Feb. 8th, 2007|12:29 am]
Druid Squirrel
"Wind blew the dust, the fence danced and sang, and Mae stepped out, into the desert, followed by a talking dog."
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Temeraire [Feb. 6th, 2007|10:39 pm]
Druid Squirrel
I tore through the Temeraire trilogy last week like a Regal Copper tearing through sheep. Okay, I actually only read one book per day for three consecutive days, and I had to stay up until 4am to do it. (Must remember Badger's Law: The book will still be there in the morning.)

Liked the first book quite a bit. The second and third got to be a little tedious after a while: do we really need to know every spice used in every meal on a slooow trip to China and back? (Answer: no, we do not.) But, overall, they did keep me awake reading all night, so I've got to give the series a positive review.

My favorite aspect of the trilogy is the way dragons are treated differently in different societies. There are obvious parallels with slavery and the rights of women, as the prevailing societal attitudes about both of the latter also vary from place to place.

Is it too late to call dibs on the first Australian dragon? After spending my childhood on Pern, trying to decide whether I'd rather fight thread like Lessa (with Ramoth!), or be a harper like Menolly (with Beauty, Rocky, Diver, Brownie, Mimic, Lazybones, Uncle, Auntie One and Auntie Two -- hah, I still know them all from memory!), I've now decided my dragon will be a marsupial. I will ride in her pouch as she soars high over the battlefield, and I will drop sternly-worded leaflets on our enemies.
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Sunny California [Jan. 14th, 2007|12:35 pm]
Druid Squirrel
It was 24 degrees in Palo Alto today, and I have proof:

Soccer was insane this morning. First of all, whose idea was it to start a soccer game at 8am? Friday, I slept until noon and wandered into work at about 1pm. Saturday, I was not such an early bird and slept until 1:30pm. But Sunday, I had to set my alarm for 7:00?!? Oh, the pain. And I was almost late to the game because I didn't count on the five minutes it took me to scrape the ice off my windshield so I could drive.

Then, once the game started I promptly fell down -- turns out that with the ice on the field I needed grass cleats (instead of turf shoes) even though we were playing on turf. I don't think my wrist is actually broken, but (1) it's swollen, (2) my range of motion is severely limited, and (3) it hurts.

On the bright side, it's not even noon yet, so I should be able to get back to sleep.
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Why my house is a mess [Jan. 7th, 2007|08:24 pm]
Druid Squirrel
Weekday: "I have to go to the office today. I'll put off cleaning until the weekend."

Weekend: "Woo hoo, it's the weekend! Time to sit back and take it easy. I'll clean next week."
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Fall 2006 PAASL Results [Jan. 7th, 2007|06:18 pm]
Druid Squirrel
A log of game results and goals I scored in my "soccer mom" league during the Fall 2006 season.

Read more...Collapse )
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That'll teach me to leave the office holiday party early... [Jan. 3rd, 2007|01:35 am]
Druid Squirrel
Today was my first day back at work after the winter break, so this is the first time I've seen anyone from my office since the holiday party. It turns out that they gave all the employees a fancy new 4GB iPod Nano. Except that I snuck out early -- there's nothing I hate more than parties -- so I didn't get mine until now.

On the bright side, this is the best Second-of-January present I ever got, and by a wide margin.

I was a bit worried that it wouldn't play nice with my Linux box, but it was recognized as a USB drive with no trouble, and there was software (gtkpod) that made copying files on/off a breeze.

The one thing that really pisses me off is that it does not support ogg vorbis. WTF? I've got easily over 100 Gig of ogg-encoded music, but of course none of it will play on the iPod. I'll have to either re-rip from cd to mp3 (a pain), or re-encode from the ogg to mp3 (slightly less of a pain, but a huge loss of quality). How hard would it be for Apple to support the most popular free codec?
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