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Aliza's Journal

May. 21st, 2010

11:55 am - The Brink of War

As I was walking out my door this morning I tripped over a copy of Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War. It lunged at my leg and clawed its way up my body; it's currently sitting on my shoulder whispering "play me! play me!" in my ear.


Jan. 27th, 2010

05:12 pm - Silicon Valley Dentist?

Can anyone recommend a dentist in Sunnyvale or surrounding areas (Mountain View, Santa Clara, Cupertino) who takes Delta Dental insurance?

Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

Sep. 16th, 2009

08:55 pm - I Propose we Disclose the Rose Nose

I was talking to a friend about avoiding added sugars in foods, and commented that he should just avoid any ingredient that ended in "-ose", except perhaps for cellulose... or Bose speakers.  Our subsequent conversation used the words rose, chose, hose, lachrymose, grandiose, suppose, lose, loose, goose, and verbose.  We missed working in nose, purpose, moose, comatose, expose, disclose, dispose, propose, those, dose, or lots of other possibilities.  

Somehow this reminds me of the time in elementary school that a classmate fulfilled the "use each of these 20 spelling words in a sentence" exercise with one convoluted sentence... 

Current Mood: amusedamused

Sep. 8th, 2009

01:04 pm - Road Rage

To the curly-haired woman driving the silver Accord, California license plate 5TVA439 eastbound on Mathilda in Sunnyvale this morning:

You are right, it was rude of me to honk my horn after I watched you throw the bottle out your window. Maybe next time I should just call 911 and report you as a suspected drunk driver?

I'm sure that your response, putting your car in park after the light changed and giving me the finger, set a wonderful example for the teenager in the passenger seat.

(And no, I wouldn't abuse 911 like that... but it would have been oh-so-gratifying...)

Current Mood: annoyedstill pissed off

Aug. 28th, 2009

06:55 pm - Updating the legend

A golden iPhone marked "for the coolest one".

(And yes, I already shared it with a few people on IM and posted it to Facebook. Gotta love social fragmentation.)

Current Mood: amusedamused

Aug. 26th, 2009

02:06 pm - For fighting Florentine against the zombies?

"[...] armed with a chainsaw and sword"
-- from a crime report in the SF Chronicle, 2009-08-26

Current Mood: amusedamused

12:05 pm - Cash for Clunkers -- Just Say No

I'm glad Cash for Clunkers is dying -- if you want to give a boost to the car industry, there's got to be a fairer way to do it than by handing $4500 to a semi-random group of people to buy new cars. Why not hand out transferrable vouchers by lottery? That would be fairer...

A friend was told his 10-year-old Honda with 200K miles on it was not eligible for the clunker bonus because it still got 35 MPG. So he's being punished for buying an efficient car to begin with. Wrong.

Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated

Aug. 21st, 2009

03:58 pm - Disclaimer


Aug. 17th, 2009

06:11 pm - QotD: Learning Styles

[...] Computer scientists talk about the difference between exploring and exploiting — a system will learn more if it explores many possibilities, but it will be more effective if it simply acts on the most likely one. Babies explore; adults exploit.

Each kind of intelligence has benefits and drawbacks. Focus and planning get you to your goal more quickly but may also lock in what you already know, closing you off to alternative possibilities. We need both blue-sky speculation and hard-nosed planning.

-- "Your Baby Is Smarter Than You Think", New York Times, 2009-08-15

Current Mood: curiouscurious

Aug. 12th, 2009

09:30 pm - Milky Way

Many many years ago, at Pennsic...

Yes, I know, a lot of stories start this way. No shit, there I was... but this isn't one of those stories.

Many years ago, at Pennsic, I drove up to the encampment, and disgorged a few people and their stuff out of my car, and then went off to park my car. Given the lateness of the hour, Karl G. chivalrously offered to go with me, and walk me back to Badger Camp afterwards.

So off we went, and parked my car, and walked back.

Halfway between the dusty parking lot and the commotion of the camps, Karl stopped me. "Look up!" he said. I looked up, and up, and up... a dark sky full of stars, stars you never see in the city. The Milky Way sprawled across the sky in all its glory, a familiar sight to our ancestors but not to us. Maybe the sky wasn't as clear and pure as I'd seen it from a mountain in the wilderness, but it was a beautiful sight just the same.

A different woman could have looked at that sight and simply taken it for what it was, enjoyed it for what it was. But not me, no.

I looked up at that sky full of stars and exclaimed, "but it's so much prettier in the infrared!"

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Current Mood: touchedwistful

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