Saturday, October 12, 2013

Last Mile

"These conduits that are located closer to the endpoint, or end-user, do not individually have as many users supporting them. Even though they are smaller, each has the overhead of an 'installation'; obtaining and maintaining a suitable path over which the resource can flow. The funding and resources supporting these smaller conduits tend to come from the immediate locale.

This can have the advantage of a 'small-government model.' That is, the management and resources for these conduits is provided by local entities and therefore can be optimized to achieve the best solutions in the immediate environment and also to make best use of local resources. However, the lower operating efficiencies and relatively greater installation expenses, compared with the transfer capacities, can cause these smaller conduits, as a whole, to be the most expensive and difficult part of the complete distribution system."

Relevant to my interests.
Friday, October 11, 2013
"Fagen possesses none of the swagger of the typical rock dude—those ambulatory ids who love to splash around inside the chaos of their own stardom. He’s far too self-conscious for that. 'The fact is,' he confesses in his introduction, 'until I got out of high school, I was pretty sure I’d end up in journalism or teaching English or working in a bookstore or something along those lines.' He is both blessed and cursed with the observer mentality."
Thursday, October 10, 2013


Kato Cat hard at work in the early fall sunshine.  Well-composed photo courtesy L.
"What a Shame About Me concerns a Strand book[store] clerk who’s gone nowhere in his life while his girlfriend has become a major movie star. 'He’s gotten a certain integrity,' Mr. Becker said. 'He’s having a moment of bleak epiphany and is in a state of grace.'"
Wednesday, October 09, 2013


"If you want to customize a Steely Dan setlist, contact Irving Azoff with a check for a mid-six figure sum and assuredly your setlist wishes can come true. Otherwise, it is critical to understand that the competitive classic rock concept marketplace will essentially be responsible for locking in a good 75-80% of Steely Dan's setlist."
US/CDN Pricing Program v.1 
by CJB

# Gets user input - CDN price & discount, US price & discount

can_prix = raw_input('Please enter the Canadian price: ')
can_disc = raw_input('Please enter the Canadian discount (If in doubt use 40%): ')
us_prix = raw_input('Please enter the US price: ')
us_disc = raw_input('Please enter the US discount (If in doubt use 40%): ')

# Converts user's strings to floats for calculating purposes, o/w error when math performed on text string

canadian_price = float(can_prix)
canadian_discount = float(can_disc)
us_price = float(us_prix)
us_discount = float(us_disc)

#performs price comparison & advises of results

adjusted_price = us_price * 1.2
if adjusted_price > canadian_price:
    print "Original CDN price is a better deal than adjusted US price"
    print "Charge", canadian_price * .7, "CDN for this title."

elif adjusted_price < canadian_price:
    print "Adjusted US price is a better deal than original Canadian price"
    print "Charge", adjusted_price * .7, "CDN for this title."

raw_input("Press [ENTER]  to continue")



ACT (Aesthetically Claimed Thing): Gordon Smith, our "last ongoing modernist," persisting.

"An artist isn’t someone who just draws and paints. An artist could be serving in a grocery store."  (GS)
"Programming as an intellectual activity is the only art form that allows you to create interactive art. You can create projects that other people can play with, and you can talk to them indirectly. No other art form is quite this interactive. Movies flow to the audience in one direction. Paintings do not move. Code goes both ways.

Programming as a profession is only moderately interesting. It can be a good job, but you could make about the same money and be happier running a fast food joint. You're much better off using code as your secret weapon in another profession.

People who can code in the world of technology companies are a dime a dozen and get no respect. People who can code in biology, medicine, government, sociology, physics, history, and mathematics are respected and can do amazing things to advance those disciplines.

Of course, all of this advice is pointless. If you liked learning to write software with this book, you should try to use it to improve your life any way you can. Go out and explore this weird, wonderful, new intellectual pursuit that barely anyone in the last 50 years has been able to explore. Might as well enjoy it while you can."

Manitou Incline

"The base of the Incline sits at 6,600 feet (2,000 m) and the trail climbs 2,000 feet (610 m) in just over 3⁄4 miles (1.2 km). Parts of the trail are extremely broken and steep and will require even the fittest of hikers or trail runners to scramble over the broken rocks and steep trail. Sections of the trail have exposed pipe from the days when the Incline was a hydroelectric utility system. Hiking the trail should not be undertaken by the physically unfit, as there is no vehicle access to the trail and anyone injured or suffering a medical emergency will have to walk or be carried down by other hikers."
Physical Conditioning for Mountaineering Expeditions

"To put it plainly, your goal in exercising outside and on the cardio machines should be to kick your butt - aerobically and anaerobically - for as long and as hard as you can, keeping in mind certain thresholds and your own personal safety of course. (Remember when I warned you that this wasn't going to be scientific? Well I wasn't kidding.) When you are first getting started, it probably won't take much time at a high level of activity to wear you out. As you get further into your training schedule and get into better shape, these thresholds will increase, and you will be able to go farther and harder before reaching a point of exhaustion.

It's no big secret that climbing is the best training for climbing. Once again considering reality, most of us don't have the opportunity to get into the mountains on a regular basis as part of a training program. The next best option is to try to simulate the physical challenges that you would encounter on such an adventure. Here is a list of activities that you can do outside to save yourself from the doldrums of indoor training:

Gordon Smith Vs. Dead Albatross

Via Dru:

"Your blog re: Gordon Smith painting:


Dead albatross on Midway Island, choked with plastic:

I thought #1 was #2."

Gordon Smith channeling Jack Shadbolt, even down to the quickly rendered, acidically painted sky and strangely angled driftwood / bone / "energy field" figurative element in the foreground.  But the colors are unmistakably Smith's -- especially that Colgate-gel blue and white squiggle just left of center -- and so too are the tiny, wrist-flicking gestures that animate the deep space inside the tangle.  Finest painting in the new Equinox show by about a million miles, and one of Smith's best, ever.  Funny, unlike about 99.5% of the "last ongoing modernist"'s lifetime production, and better for it, too.

(Smith conspicuously making a point of outlasting his critics, me included, & of doing his best work late, like Cezanne.  I don't love every Smith painting -- lots of his early- and mid-90s fake Monets have aged badly, and didn't look so hot at the time -- but I deeply admire his perseverance, relentless self-criticism, & willingness to change.  What does not change / Is the will to change, & etc.  Also his blues, instantly identifiable even at some distance, the color of cold November sky).

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