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this song is written in c++.
everything is permissible.
Since I'm well-steeped in the kool-aid of my current work place, I can't help posting a link to this: http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/10/palms-new-ness-coming-to-ces
And Engadget's podcast: http://www.engadget.com/2008/12/12/engadget-podcast-121-12-12-2008

It'll be great.


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Czar Imperial Stout, Avery - lighter in color and taste than I expected for an imperial stout, tastes a bit alcoholic. kind of disappointing really... smells really good/interesting though!
Beatification, Russian River - smells and tastes incredibly sour but tasty. it does taste oaky.
Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island - definitely can taste the bourbon flavor. thick and smooth, sweet, malty, lots of aftertaste. best beer ever (among other best beer evers)
Double Bastard Ale, Stone - actually don't remember too much of this one other than it's quite hoppy since we drank a 3L of it, and it was the 3rd or 4th beer of the evening (1st is the Goose Island, 2nd and 3rd? are Xmas ales, ... then mulled wine, Delirium Tremens, and so on)
Big Worse, Mikkeller - a sweet and fruity barley wine. the aftertaste is mostly warm alcoholic.
Ten Fidy, Oskar Blues - a completely BLACK imperial stout. the taste matches the looks... at $2.50 it's really cheap for a pretty decent beer. (comes in cans!)

I had another imperial stout 2 weeks ago but I cannot remember what it is!

Also I'm needing an excuse to drink the Firestone XII. Probably will end up drinking it at the office...

In other news, I broke my elbow when bouldering a month ago, and got 4 screws to fix (literally) it. I also had an incredibly expensive and incredibly good meal at Manresa with my mother when she was in SF to take care of my invalid self. Last week I broke my many months long baking hiatus by baking a green tea chiffon cake, which turned out quite amazing to even my surprise (I thought I overworked the batter). Some co-workers played an awesome prank on the managers. But maybe more about these (with the exception of work of course :)) later...

Current Location: san francisco

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Kasteel Tripel, Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. - sweet, caramelly, light, noticeable alcoholic taste (but not unpleasant, like drinking brandy or scotch)


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(keeping track of beer from now)

Gouden Carolus Tripel, Brouwerij Het Anker - Pretty standard tripel... good but nothing special.
Reinaert Flemish Wild Ale, De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) - A lot of funky/musky tastes, a bit tart as expected. Good beer.
Petrus Aged Pale, Brouwerij Bavik, Harelbeke-Bavikhove - Oaky, fruity, and crisp. Not really my style though, especially not after drinking the last one.
Ommegang Grand Cru Rouge - Lots of cherries, really sweet/sour. Excellent beer. I forgot that I've tried it at City Beer before. (which is why I should start keeping track of beers)

I unintentionally had a Flemish ale night.

I thought the beer list at Monk's Kettle was OK. It's better than regular bars or restaurants but I don't see too many interesting ones. The waiter's beer recommendations are way off. The food is pretty good though. I would go back for an Ommegang Rouge (apparently only available on tap, so not common to find it at my favorite beer places) and fries...

Some recent beers:

Mikkeller Black - Thick, sticky, sweet/coffee/caramel/licorice taste that lingers. Amazingly not a lot of alcohol taste even though it's almost 18%. I like it a lot but make sure to share the bottle with at least 2 other people... I probably won't forget about this one even if I don't keep track of it.
Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout - Malts/coffee/chocolate. Tasty.
Brasserie Ellezelloise Saison - Pretty good saison. Sweeter than expected.

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Bicycling to Mt. Tam Bicycling to Mt. Tam

We climbed to the East Peak of Mt. Tam and back from SF on this fine Labor Day afternoon (about 50mi). I didn't think I was able to do it (it's a 2.4 kft hill), but we did it anyway. I don't know about the others but I had to push myself (although it might not look it!), lots of focus, just keep going, even strokes, etc.. The hardest part was actually the hill before the Golden Gate Bridge...

For some reason the scenery was more stunning in the photos than when I was there. Usually it's the other way around.

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Current Location: san francisco

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  • Napa cabbage kimchi (looks 1/8th of the cabbage)
  • Pan-fried fish
  • Sweet marinated dried anchovies
  • Cucumber pickles
  • Soy bean sprouts
  • White turnip kimchi

The rice is cooked in a stone pot with various legumes.

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Current Location: san francisco

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Sawyer Camp TrailSawyer Camp TrailSawyer Camp TrailSawyer Camp TrailSawyer Camp TrailCA-92 other direction
Crystal Spring ReservoirCañada RoadCañadaCañada RoadPage Mill/Foothill intersection

I should take some pictures of Bay Way next time. It's fairly interesting in a different way. (less scenic, but maybe more interesting)

2 from today's attempt to go to Marin County:

Foggy in the PresidioGolden Gate Bridge tourist area

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I started biking all the way to work once or twice a week, and since I was afraid of hills I've been taking the Bay Way, a completely flat route that roughly follows the 101 and contains sections of the Bay Trail.

I've been feeling confident lately (I can ride up an orange block on the bike map! For reference, white = 0-5%, yellow = 5-10%, orange = 10-15%, dark orange = 15+%). A co-worker was having an America Day shindig in Sunnyvale, so I thought it would be a perfect day to try the Skyline route, up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I was quite pleasantly surprised---the most difficult part was climbing up from Daly City, because it's steep (for me, feels like around 5% but I'm pretty wimpy), long (6.5km), foggy (can't see anything), and heavily trafficked (holiday). I went really slow and stopped for a particularly steep section. The CA-35/CA-1 interchange was really sketchy because of the dense fog. I'll try a detour next time but I hear that involves an extremely steep block. After that though was just rolling hills, a few minor climbs, and fast descents. The best of all was the scenery. The mountains and reservoirs were stunning. I've sat in a car on 280, which roughly parallels Skyline in San Mateo County, and thought it was nice near Cañada Road, but it doesn't compare to being outside, sun on my back, wind on my face, all that cheesy stuff. I even enjoyed the rural bits, compared to the suburbs of the Bay Way anyway. The fog in Daly City would be beautiful if not for the traffic and the sketchy interchange. The last section on Foothill was standard suburban biking on a quality road. I got passed by more than 7 people on the way and passed 0 people once I exited Sawyer Camp Trail (a multi-use trail, lots of families walking today due to the weekend). Meh!

The most scary thing were the motorcycles, especially towards Old La Honda. I hear you don't see them on weekday mornings though, which is when I'll ride Skyline from now on. My chain falling off when I was shifting down was interesting also.

Overall I really enjoyed the Skyline route. It's longer than Bay Way, but much more fun and scenic. I'll probably alternate the routes for variety. I'm unimpressed with myself on the Daly City climb so maybe I should bike up Twin Peaks regularly... Hey, my "weekly overhang" strategy seemed to work for rock climbing. (speaking of which I need to resume that strategy)

Then I'll go ride on Old La Honda.

I took a little under 4 hours which surprised me. I stopped a lot to admire the scenery or check directions, and I was probably going less than 5mph on the uphills :) But I felt like I was flying at 30mph on the big exhilarating downhills. That is a bit more than my average Bay Way time.

Pictures later. Be envious of my 45+mi/72+km commute!

Now I'm full of delicious beef and pork ribs and excellent aged Guatemalan rum, courtesy of my co-workers, and thinking of some Marin County biking tomorrow. Hmm!

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I never paid attention to the Morrissey song "America is not the world" before:

In America, The land of the free, they said, And of opportunity, In a just and a truthful way
But where the president, Is never black, female or gay, And until that day
You've got nothing to say to me, To help me believe

All signs point to...

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Current Location: san francisco

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I checked out Tabe Ramen on the weekend. I found out about the place from Yelp, and thought I would have to face waves of people like at all other places I found on Yelp but that was not the case. Yay!

Basic specs:
  • Broth: Light, soy sauce based, mostly chicken I think, not too salty
  • Noodles: Thin and wavy, yellowish color, quite firm and didn't get soggy
  • Toppings: Comes with green onion, menma, pork, half an egg, spinach, and bean sprouts by default
  • Pork: Quite salty and fatty. Seems to be grilled after slicing??
  • Egg: Yolk was barely cooked through and well marinated

Overall it was quite respectable for SF. This style isn't my favorite, but I take what I can get here... The pork resembles thick-cut bacon and is the highlight of the ramen. Two slices are not enough!! The egg can be greatly improved by a runny yolk. The final thing is I wish they give me more broth, for it is good and not hard on my digestive system. (I prefer tonkotsu style broth but I'm physically unable to consume too much of it)

Unfortunately it seems like they're on a hiatus.

I learnt about TIOCSTI today.

The sshd on my work Linux box has a habit of crashing (I don't know why I haven't looked into the cause other than laziness), and it's pretty annoying when I'm working at home and need something on that box. I was especially desperate today when I couldn't ssh to it since I needed to check out a repository there if I were to do any work. After copious swearing I decided that it wasn't helping.

Usually I ssh to the Linux box (call this box A) from my other box (call this box B) at work and I keep about 1 billion sessions open on box B. The ssh on box B was working, so I thought I'd ssh to box B, then restart box A's ssh from there. In other words I needed to run a command on a different tty. It seemed that simply writing to the tty wouldn't work---the string wasn't actually "sent" to the terminal. Then I found out about TIOCSTI.

int main(int argc, char **argv)
    char *cmd = "sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart";
    char nl = '\n';
    int fd, i;

    fd = open(some_tty, O_WRONLY);
    for (i = 0; cmd[i]; i++) {
        ioctl(fd, TIOCSTI, cmd+i);
    ioctl(fd, TIOCSTI, &nl);

    return 0;

Now I needed to send the root password for the sudo. Because this was a ghetto app, I just recompiled with cmd=root password. I am the win!

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Current Location: san francisco

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Yesterday a co-worker told me about his ride to work, where he met another cyclist who took a slightly different route (my co-worker didn't like to stop for lights) but repeatedly met each other where the routes converged, all the way from Skyline to Foothill to Middlefield to Maude. His excitement at meeting someone who lives near where he does, works near where he does, likes to get up at 5am to ride 40mi to work, and rides at the same pace he does, and his regret at not asking the other cyclist his name or contact info, is endearing.

I suggested that he post in Craigslist's missed connections...

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I'm actually a very sentimental person.

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Finally listened to the new Portishead (Third). It's really, really good.

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I really resisted liking Cut Copy for a while, but I'm now completely obsessed with the song "So Haunted". It's just so catchy, damn it. I also love the way the singer drags out the word "life".

I should also mention that the first time I noticed the song, I thought the singer was saying "I get so horny I fall in your dreams tonight".

I'll be saying that I like the Presets next. Please, don't let that day arrive.

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Current Location: san francisco

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I was unaware of Toshio Iwai's work until recently. (aside: it's interesting how things tend to happen together. First the Mutek mailing list told me about the Tenori-on launch event in Montréal, which I can't go to, then my "audio guy" co-worker showed me a video of it while we were looking at the Korg NDS synth, then another co-worker talked about not seeing it at Yuri's Night, and finally there's another launch event here in SF, where I found out that Iwai has worked with Ryuichi Sakamoto, whom I saw at Recombinant Media Labs some time ago. Whew! Also, I played Electroplankton a lot at one point although I was unaware it's another Iwai project. And apparently Iwai was artist-in-residence at the Exploratorium in SF before my time.)


(sorry about the terrible phone pictures)

Anyway, Iwai showed a few of his past projects that he thought led up to the Tenori-on at the SF event. My favorite was his collaboration with Sakamoto, Music Plays Images X Images Play Music. Sakamoto plays the piano, and the music (the actual key strokes too, not just the sound signal) is visualized on a big screen, and that in turn "plays" a second piano. If anyone has a video of the performance I would be very happy...

I played with the Tenori-on a bit and it's pretty cool. Keep in mind though, that I was just amazed at how awesome the visuals were at least 50% of the time (it lit up on the bottom too!), and my attempts at making music resulted in something that sounded slightly worse than a Logic n00b's efforts. For some reason the casing felt a bit cheap, although it was supposedly high-quality... Maybe the weight distribution wasn't right?


The other highlight was seeing Sutekh again. By the time he performed the event was almost completely empty. :shrug: I have no clue what he did to get those sounds/images out of the Tenori-on.

There was another indietronica performer called I Am Robot And Proud who played the Tenori-on like a keyboard. I actually liked his music despite labeling him "indietronica"... The contrast between his music and the performer before him (forgot his name. He did a noise thing which I liked a lot) was also amusing.

I'm really happy that I somehow got into electronic music. Listening to Aphex Twin back in the days when what became Audio Galaxy was just an FTP search did the trick, although it took some time before I really got into it :)

Every so often I'm reminded that electronic music is white boys' (and a few weird Japanese boys') playground though. Has Stuff White People Like done an article on it? (probably not; they're becoming lame now)

On a completely unrelated note, a pair of tickets from a year ago showed up in the mail today. I remember wondering where my Michael Mayer/Gui Boratto tickets went last year, and buying them again after bitching to TicketWeb. They're stuck in the frame of my mailbox by some incompetent postman.

Looking forward to the Caribou concert on Wednesday, and Ellen Allien in May (although her latest is lackluster, compared to Berlinette etc.). Anything else interesting?

I'm drawing a lot in the past couple weeks. Mostly bad stuff unfortunately...
It balances my other, C-coding life.

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I saw Samuel Beckett's 'Endgame' the other evening, and I've been thinking about it. I'm trying to find symbolism everywhere. Why is one window looking to the earth, and the other to the ocean? Why are they so high that a ladder is needed to look out of them? Why the insistence of the telescope? Why does Hamm insist on being in the exact center of the room? Why are his parents in trash bins and sitting in sand (not sawdust, but sand)? Why can't he stand, and his servant can't sit? Why the toy dog that's lacking a leg? What's the point of Hamm's story? Is it trying to say something about chess? Is it trying to say something about God? I've thought about it and anything I came up with seems bogus.

Now I've come to a happier conclusion, although not all the answers. The first realization is that everything should be taken literally. They are living in a small house somewhere remote, by the sea. It may or may not be the end of the world—it doesn't matter. The characters' world is the house. Nagg and Nell live in the trash bins. Nothing progressed in the play (other than Nell's death, death being the inevitable conclusion of life). The actions are gone through, and they will be gone through again the next day. Hamm and Clov probably know this, and they seek escape, but they can't/don't want to (it is important to make the distinction between unwillingness and inability, and define what 'escape' means). Everything that doesn't make sense is because the world doesn't make sense, and it is a failure of the audience to try to find meaning in it, just like Hamm and Clov warned. Recall 'The Myth of Sisyphus'. Hamm in the last scene is Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain.

Well, that took a while. It's been a while since I've read philosophy.

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Last Monday a few of us had a tasty meal at Jayakarta, an Indonesian/Singaporean restaurant near UC Berkeley. We ordered the following:

  • Otak-otak panggang - grilled fish cake - probably my least favorite of the night.
  • Roti prata - the roti was appropriately crispy and chewy at the same time, however not a big fan of the curry sauce. I prefer Layang Layang's sauce.
  • Gado-gado
  • Sayur asam - vegetarian sour soup - this was really tasty. It was pleasantly sour and spicy.
  • Beef rendang
  • Ikan bumbu bali - whole deep fried fish in spicy sauce - everybody agreed that it was the best dish of the night, even the ones who were initially skeptical due to its 2-star spiciness rating. The fish is cooked well—the skin and edges were crispy and the meat was moist. The sweet and spicy sauce (seems to contain tamarind, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chilis, and ketchup?) wasn't as spicy as I expected, but really tasty.
  • Mie tek-tek - stir-fried noodles
  • Jasmine rice and coconut rice

Meant to order the kangkung dish but I guess it's the wrong season for kangkung!

Total damage: ~$15/person.

The day before we had another tasty meal (but at 4x the cost) at Koo near Golden Gate Park. Now, I've been there once before and I really liked it; I thought the fish was fresh and the chef knew what he's doing, plus the service was attentive.

  • A spoonful of happiness - a spoonful of tobiko and whitefish, and a spoonful of ankimo and quail egg, in ponzu and truffle oil, served with a shot of sake - foodgasm
  • Miso-marinated black cod
  • Shrimp gyoza
  • Boston amaebi sashimi - I liked that they deep-fried the shrimp heads and served them together
  • Sushi: blue shrimp, aji, sanma, sayori, mirugai, flying fish (a favorite of the night), kona kanpachi, unagi, uni (foodgasm again. I love uni). I probably forgot a few others.
  • Rolls: Tokyo crunch, azteca, best roll, flying kamikaze - I like the lemon on top of the 'best roll'.

We also had a bottle of Hatsuhana Utatane sake—really smooth with clean flavor. It went really well with the sushi.

We went to Ti Couz for dessert afterwards, but for some reason it wasn't as good as I remembered it to be.

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Current Location: san francisco

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Made in Canada

A fine EP made in a fine place. (I'll actually be cursing Canada and freezing if I'm there right now)

Pinback kind of crept up on me. I think their songs sound much better in the studio than in a concert hall. They have many "okay" songs but when they get it, they're spot on. I think they hit their pinnacle with "Offcell"...

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Current Location: san francisco

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Fire! Fire! Fire!

Current Location: san francisco

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I didn't know that the MC building at Waterloo has an actual architectural style: Brutalist architecture. (scroll down for a pic of the MC!)

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