…in the punchbowl


Hometown jail break

Filed under: Humor, punchbowl — Matt @ 8:09

Yup, an genuine jail break attempt in my hometown. Not surprisingly (because of association, not origin), these weren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. I didn’t recognize any full names, but I’m sure some of the perps are related to folks I know.



Passed the Defense

Filed under: punchbowl — Matt @ 12:10

Congratulations are in order for my kinsman, Bookman, on passing the defense of his thesis.

I wonder how many folks back home would’ve believed that he’d have two more degrees than I, both at a higher level?


Shared find clipboard on OS X

Filed under: hacks, productivity, punchbowl — Matt @ 20:56

So there’s a shared ‘find’ clipboard in OS X that doesn’t affect the “normal” clipboard.


Men prefer angst

Filed under: books, punchbowl — Matt @ 20:26

At least they do in their literatature according to this article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

One of the authors’ findings is that men in their “middle years” don’t read much fiction. I can say as I’ve (ahem) “matured”, I’ve moved away from fiction. Part of my reason for doing so is my belief in the old adage about the truth being stranger than fiction. I enjoy stories where seemingly inconsequential events have major impact and I think the large, shared context non-fiction often gets to build on gives the impact more heft.

Good luck!

Filed under: punchbowl — Matt @ 9:13

To Bookman over at Chronicle West as he prepares to defend his thesis next week.

How does one defend a thesis for a Masters of Fine Arts? Is it an oral defense?

Saving energy

Filed under: punchbowl, sustainability — Matt @ 9:04

Our office has a nasty habit of being too warm (office temps >75F with boatloads of computer equipment). In our search of ways to convince management (building and otherwise) that this is a problem, a co-worker came across this site: Flex Your Power, California’s energy efficiency campaign.

It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a start. And with electricity rates for Baltimore Gas and Electric users (not me, but lots of folks I know) about to pop by 72% this summer, every percentage point you can shave helps.


Unintentional Hiatus?

Filed under: punchbowl — Matt @ 20:34

Sure is a long one over at Blissful Entropy. I mean, Bookman is finding time to blog with his thesis defense coming up; what’s a little computerized charting rollout to an ED?

Wuss. 🙂


The Book Meme

Filed under: books, meme, punchbowl — Matt @ 7:05

It’s not complete yet, but I’ll update as I can…

This is the result of this post on Chronicle West, who was in turn led to this by Chazzbot. But, of course, I found the list incomplete, so I’ve added a few categories of my own (marked with a †).

A Book That Made You Cry

A Book That Scared You
Stephen King’s The Stand. I happened to be reading The Stand during the time period in which the outbreak was supposed to occur: same year, same month. On top of that, I was staying at my aunt and uncle’s farm house in Ohio, keeping more or less out of touch with the world around me. This isolation let me sink deep into the book. I can honestly say I was pretty freaked out.

A Book That Made You Laugh
Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. An account the life of Jesus (technically, Joshua, the book will tell you) that includes the “missing” years between his birth and his ministry. It has some great situations, and it really brings out the “man” part of the “fully Man, fully God” claim.

A Book That Disgusted You

A Book You Loved in Elementary School

A Book You Loved in Middle School

A Book You Loved in High School

A Book You Hated in High School
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. No question. A large part of the hatred stemmed from the rants of my English teacher, Ms. Twiss, regarding the symbolism of the novel. That and being subjected to the movie with Robert Redford on top of it all.

A Book You Loved in College
Emile Zola’s Germinal. Good, gritty stuff.

A Book That Challenged Your Identity
A People’s History of the United States of America: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn. It didn’t so much challenge my personal identity as my national identity. This is history meant to balance the way it is taught in our elementary, middle, and high schools, opening each and every closet and trotting out any and all skeletons to be found. A solid example of there being two sides to every story.

A Series That You Loved
The Sword of Shannara trilogy from . I cranked through these; if I remember correctly, this series helped hook “mi hermano” Anthony E. on reading.

Your Favorite Horror Book
A tough call. Both candidates are the products of Stephen King (surprised, aren’t you?): Misery and the previously mentioned The Stand. If pushed, I have to give the nod to The Stand. Not because it’s a better a book, mind you; just read the ‘Book that Scared You’ entry and you’ll understand why.

Your Favorite Science Fiction Book

Your Favorite Fantasy Book

Your Favorite Mystery Book

Your Favorite Biography

Your Favorite “Coming of Age Book”

†The “Best” Book You Never Finished
“Best” in the sense of acclaimed…Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. Overwhelmingly crushing and depressing. I hate to leave a book unfinished but I just could not get through it.

†Your Favorite Book Not on this List


Set my data free

Filed under: punchbowl — Matt @ 21:55

Jon Udel’s column sums it up. If it’s my data, give it to me as data if I want it that way, not nicely formatted documents that are fine to look at but so much crap if you want anything out of them.

CryptoKids™ America’s Future Codemakers & Codebreakers

Filed under: punchbowl, security — Matt @ 21:51

This ought to make Bookman stroke out.

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