Oh, sweeit bits!

Taking time to dust off this old blog. It’s amazing everything is still here. And that I remembered the basics around configuration and log-in and all that. Like my technical blog, I’m figuring out what it means to have this along with having something on Medium. Do you just blast the world like crazy with posts everywhere? One place being the master the rest the replicated… non-masters?

Anyway. <> (blows off bit swath of digital dust).

Fun! Russell’s Dining and Bar

Saturday night we had a wonderful rare occasion: a sweetie date out for dinner! Kendell went to bed early and Victoria came over to sit and ensure he stayed asleep.

I started up the Passport Mobile app on my Focus earlier in the day curious what was nearby and Russell’s came up as a match. I’ve been wanting to go to Russell’s for a while (B.K.).

So, two starting advantages for Russell’s:

  • They take the PrimeCard for two-for-one entrées (dinner only).
  • They have a wonderfully enlightened policy of no-corkage fee for Washington State wines. Wow.

We grabbed a bottle of wine and hit the road.

It is in an old converted barn that is, given the office park, surrounded by lots of businesses. So that’s a bit odd. We went to the bar for dirty martinis and the rest of the evening was a delight. Lara was our waitperson and was professional & fantastic. Great seared scallops, great duck, great filet mignon. Great desert, too (caramel + chocolate).

The only complaint (or warning) I have is: realize that the spacious upper part of the barn is typically for wedding receptions and if everyone up there gets in the groove and dancing enthusiastically, you’re going to feel like a herd of bovines is prancing above you.

One of these days, I’ll be sure to make their lunch, too.

Portal Fan Videos

I just finished Portal 2 recently. Portal’s end-song was a total surprise to me (Still Alive). I replayed the ending over and over again to enjoy it. I’m glad that they added a similar song to Portal 2 – and someone went and made a groovy fan music video for it.


Oh, and another recent fan video has to do with Chell after her escape. I love the back-rubbing part. Plus, there’s cake!

The Phoenix 50 Mile Wide Dust Storm–Video and Pictures

Now this is awesome in a scary biblical sense:

Watch a 50-Mile Wide Dust Storm Devour Phoenix – National – The Atlantic Wire

My Lawnmower Should Be In College

I just did a quick mow this fine afternoon and thought about how old my push-mower is. I bought it when I came out to the Pacific Northwest to work for Intel Supercomputers down in the Portland area.

Long. Long ago.

If I had a child as old as my lawnmower, they’d be on summer break from their sophomore year in college.


How Good is Windows Live Photo Gallery’s Face Recognition?

So I work on Windows Live Photo Gallery and I have thousands upon thousands of photos at home. The latest release of Photo Gallery, 2011, adds Face Recognition to help you tag people in your photos. As you tag someone, it builds up enough confidence to start suggesting that person is in other photos. You can go into Batch Face Tagging and quickly confirm the correct suggestions and then be able to quickly find those pictures later by the person’s name.

The previous version had Face Detection, which is an important foundation to being able to do Face Recognition (you can’t attempt to recognize a face if you can’t detect that there’s a face there). But in that previous version, you had to go and manually, photo by photo, say who the person was. I did this. Over and over again. Until I got tired.

When I installed the latest version of Photo Gallery at home back in 2010, it used all those manually tagged faces as the basis of finding more matches. Below are the initial results. Dude, it found faces of me from when I was three and up, including those pre-beard adult days. It did the same finding pictures of my father, mother, and brother.


How good is Windows Live Photo Gallery’s face recognition? Crazy scary good.

A post from my WP7… In Starbucks

I just installed the WordPress app for WP7 to make my first and perhaps last post via my Samsung Focus. As of late I’ve felt that posting to my old blog felt better than Facebook or Twitter. My Twitter usage has really dropped and I use it more now to save interesting notes or URLs for myself to snarf up via RSS.

Posted from WordPress for Windows Phone

Baby: Swaddle Time! The Miracle Blanket Swaddle.

If you read Dr. Harvey Karp’s "Happiest Baby on the Block" I expect that you’re going to try to swaddle your baby. It certainly makes sense. Supposedly there are babies out there that once swaddled are relieved and comforted and appreciate it so much that they’d never try to break out of the comfort of the swaddle.

Kendell was not one of those babies. Harry Houdini all the way. We’d crank down the swaddle but still he’d break his arms free: "Ta-Da!" I felt bad having read the book and it commented how great Dad’s are as swaddlers.

Then came the Miracle Blanket. If you’re going to swaddle your baby then you should just go buy one. Maybe have a back-up, too, should your swaddle get soiled in the night (or be like me, up with an infant late into the night waiting for it to dry).

It’s a great design. It comes with three wings attached to the main blanket for the arms and body: one wing goes over each arm and then under the body to anchor the wing, and then a large wing wraps round the body before the main long arm wraps around several times to lock everything in place. For smaller babies, there’s a pocket to slip their legs into. When the baby is older, their legs can just stick out.

Given the flailing arms of an infant, along with their Moro reflex, the swaddle helps keep everything under control and the Miracle Blanket just makes it easy. There were quite a few times I’d see that Kendell had slipped an arm out of his plain blanket swaddle and then that arm would flail and hit the side of his bassinette and then he’d wake up out of surprise. Or worse, his arm would smack himself right in the face, causing him to wake up crying and looking around, wondering, ‘Hey, who hit the baby?’

I’m a swaddle believer and thank goodness for the Miracle Blanket.

Cannibal Zombie

Getting ready for work this morning, I remembered an email story I wrote to my Dad that I titled Cannibal Hillbillies. I was thinking, ‘What’s worse than Cannibal Hillbillies? … Zombie Cannibal Hillbillies!’

Then I thought that Cannibal and Zombie was redundant.

But then I realized, no, it’s not!

A Cannibal Zombie not only eats the flesh of the living, it friggin’ also eats the rotted flesh of the zombie dead! That’s one bad ass zombie man. Probably a pretty lonely zombie, too.

Hmm. Maybe it’s a good band name, too.

The Woodinville Traffic Circle – Wow, It’s Wonderful

Driving home at the end of the day along the RedWood corridor used to be a long clutch exercise of stop-and-go traffic, thanks to the traffic back-up at the light at the Hollywood Schoolhouse.

As part of the Wine Village That Never Happened, funding was gathered to put in three traffic circles: one big two-laner and two small ones to serve as entrances to the Wine Village.

It took a while but now they are done and the effect on traffic is wonderful. That last mile-and-a-half back-up is totally gone and traffic flows as if there’s no traffic at all. Score one for traffic circles. I’ve always been dubious about them, but now I want more. The next one? A mega traffic circle at RedWood and 124th. When they started lane construction there I hoped that it was a traffic circle but no. Maybe one day.

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