Death of a shoe

Paul's Birkenstocks

Well, it finally came time to retire my trusty Birkenstocks. I do a lot more walking since I moved to San Francisco. This pair only lasted about a year. I used to get 2-3 years out of a pair. With this kind of wear pattern, is it any wonder I have back trouble? Both shoes end up like this.

One Sick Doggie

Emmit the Dog

We have one sick doggie on our hands. We’ve made eight nine emergency trips outside so far today (starting at 3:00am). We live on the 7th floor, so it’s not easy getting Emmitt (the dog) outside quickly. In addition, he’s had two four accidents on the patio, and thrown-up twice four times on the patio and twice three times in the living room. He’s pretty empty now. He won’t eat anything, not even his favorite treats.

He finds things on the street to eat when we go on walks. I’m hoping he just ate something bad, and will get over this today. If not, we’ll have to go to the vet tomorrow. We had to make a doggie emergency room visit at 1:00am. The brown goo turned to blood, and was coming very frequently. They examined him and gave him blood-work…. $387 later, the vet says he probably ate sometihng bad on the street. I knew that. I’m glad we went though. The vet did give him antibiotics, and they injected water under his skin to re-hydrate him, he was very dehydrated from losing all his fluids out one end or the other. I’ve never seen a vet do this. It made Emmitt look all puffy. He was actually leaking a bit of water out various parts of his skin. He seems to being doing OK now. The vomiting and diarrhea seem to have stopped. We have a regiment of pills to give him over the next week, and we have to gradually reintroduce him to food and water.

UPDATE: It’s been a few days, and Emmitt seems like he is back to normal. No more blood squirts, and he’s back on his regular food. I’d like to think this tought him a lesson about eating things he finds on the street, but I know that just isn’t true.

Open Studios

Open Studios

Over the weekend anne marie and I went out to Open Studios. It’s something they do every year. Each weekend for about a month, a different part of town is designated, and the studios in the area open up to the public. This weekend was the final weekend. It was out at Hunters Point. It’s nice because all the studios out there are in a cluster of buildings, making it easy to see a lot of work in a short amount of time.

Three artists stood out for me… Sandra Sunnyo Lee, Mary Proenza, and Toru Sugita

Email verification system

So in previous posts, I have talked about a comment spam problem that I was having. First I had to turn off commenting all together. I didn’t like that at all. Then I turned commenting back on, but I had to manually approve each comment before it would be posted. This solved the probelm, but was a bit inconvenient. Thanks to a great plugin for WordPress appropriately called “comment authorization”, I don’t have to monitor things quite as closely now. The plugin is made by Scott Merrill, over at It proviedes an email verification system for commenting. Commenting is now a two step process. A visitor must provide a valid email address to post a comment, because they will have to reply to an email that is sent to that address for verification.

The new system is now in place, although it isn’t quite as pretty as I would like yet. I need to further edit my css to format some of the text that is generated. I’ll take care of that soon.

Special thanks go out to Scott Merrill for creating the plugin, and helping me get things up and running.

The Final Cut

Robin Williams: The Final Cut

3.5 Stars

Over the weekend we saw The Final Cut, staring Robin Williams, Mira Sorvno, and Jim Caviezel. It was pretty good. I would actually recommend it. If you see it, you should be in the mood for a fairly slow movie though.

The premise:
“A Zoe Chip is placed in your brain at birth to record your entire life. When you die, the footage from you life is edited into a “Rememory” – A film shown at your funeral pieced together by an editor…” visit the site for the complete description

Overall I liked The Final Cut, but I think they could have done a few things better. I would have liked more information on how the Zoe implant program was started. And although I think I understand why they introduced Maira Sorvino’s character, I think maybe something may have been lost on the cutting room floor. She doesn’t really need to be in the film, at least not in the way it was edited. I would have liked to have seen more background there too.

The film did lose marks for visual quality. As we watched the movie, I could see digital artifacts, and slight compression. I started to assume that maybe this film had been shot on video. I found out later that the film is being presented digitally, using AMC’s proprietary Digital Theatre Distribution System (DTDS). The digital file of the movie is distributed to AMC theatre locations via satellite. Although I like the idea of this kind of distribution, I think the quality leaves a little to be desired.

Overall, I give The Final Cut a thumbs up.

iPod Photo is here

Apple iPod Photo

Rumors have been flying around about a 60 gig iPod, and a new version that would sync with iPhoto. Well, it’s here. Today Apple introduced the iPod Photo. It has a color screen, comes in 60GB and 40GB models, and will retail for $599 and $499. Apple says it has a 15 hour battery life, which is 25% better than previous iPods. It also comes with AV cables for displaying photos on a TV, or other monitor. It is estimated to start shippin in 1 – 2 weeks. Apple also introduced a U2 Special Edition iPod. It’s black, with a red scroll whell, and is autographed on the back by the band.

I want an iPod Photo! This may be just the excuse I need to upgrade. Of course, you know what’s coming next don’t you?… iPod Movie?

Little Snitch by object development

Little Snitch: OS X Software

So I came across this great piece of Software called Little Snitch. Hers’s the description from the site…

“Little Snitch is a tool designed to alert you on outgoing network connections. Little Snitch runs in the background and hooks into the operating system kernel while you are logged in. When an application tries to establish a network connection, Little Snitch intercepts the attempt and brings up an alert panel, telling you all the connection details including the name of the application which initiated the connection. You either choose to allow or deny the connection in the specific case, or to add a permanent rule for future connections initiated by the same application.”

I’ve played with it, and it seems to work pretty well. It notified me whenever any app tried to make a network connection, just like it said it would. In todays world, this seems like a nice bit of extra security.