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New word for you all. Zirked adj. - to be stunned, surprised, and happy. Mark was zirked to find that Konqueror can split windows into halves, a feature he almost wrote a Firefox plugin for.

Triathelete Mark

tags: Mark, triathlon

Yesterday Mark and i went out for lunch. It was a celebration of sorts. He completed his first triathalon in Centreville, VA and i completed a lap around the block. He doesn't have a blog (hint), so i'll explain a bit about his success.

He gave himself a range of times for his goal and completed the event closer towards the fast end.

The race started out with swimming 250 meters in very cold water. Racers were deployed every 15 seconds. He was passed a couple times, but also passed two people in front of him. As you leave the pool your RFID will record your time.

As he transitioned to his bike he noticed that his chain fell off. After quickly fixing that, he stopped to help another girl. It turns out she got herself going, and they were on their zippy way.

After 12 miles of biking, there were 5 kilometers of grueling running. Upon reaching the finish line his "heart sank" when he saw the clock read 2 hours. But then he realized that this clock started witht he first swimmer and he started 40 minutes latter.

Well done Mark.

Review of the Anime Marathon

I skipped the first two movies and watched Tree of Palme and Appleseed. Mark and Matt joined me for the first one, then took off. Celeste and Justin joined me for the second. I also had lunch at a great place, California Tortilla, and dinner at Dave and Busters.

Tree of Palme was.... weird, not bad, just weird. It's a movie you need to watch 3 times to understand. It's very surreal and symbolic. It's basically the story of Pinocchio mixed into a tribal feud with a little godly seasoning.

Appleseed on the other hand... now there's my type of movie. Similar to Tree of Palme it's about the blending of natural and artificial spirits. Instead of wooden characters, this movie has bioroids. They reminded me of replicants from Blade Runner, in the sense that, what they are doesn't really matter, when considering robots versus clones.

A couple scene featured the Matrix effect of slowing down the action while panning the camera. I don't care how trite this is, it still looked great.

I definitely want to watch this movie again.

parent post: Cherry Blossom Festival and Anime Marathon
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My parents let me take home their Panasonic SD-85 (yeah just try googling that one) stereo with phonograph. At first it didn't work; it just wouldn't spin. So i did what all men do: take it apart and hope that putting it back together would make it work. :)

I was fussing with it for some time now. While disassembled, i threw on an LP an spun the turn table with my finger. Amazing this produced a sound, albeit not at a steady speed. I listened to 3 entire albums this way.

Mark and the gang arrived as we were going to Tryst. While talking we were suddenly surprised to hear a clear Paul Simon. "Mark WHAT DID YOU DO??" to which he reply "I turned it on *shrug*".

With consensus, we agree the official diagnosis is, it was gunked up. Now i'm having fun cleaning my 200 email Inbox and listening to Neil Diamon - Shilo, Barry Manilow - Copacabana, Elvis - Jailhouse Rock, and Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues.

Eventually i'm gonna archive this music to my computer, but until then i'll have fun operating the SD-85. (I can play 8 LP sides using its built in loader!)

Alias Review

Mark and i did our Alias homework by reviewing last season's finale. It's tought to remember who's alive, who's dead, who's alive again. For those who don't remember this is how it ended.

  1. Lauren poses as Sydney and steals the Ramboldi formula.
  2. Sark gets caught. Vaughn goes after Lauren.
  3. Katya stabs Vaughn.
  4. Sydney goes after Lauren.
  5. Vaughn breaks out of the hospital and goes after Sydney.
  6. Vaughn kills Lauren. Lauren breaths out 1026.
  7. Sloane contacts Nadia. Nadia tells him she knows the true coordinates of the Rambaldi artifact.
  8. Sydney inspects papers in deposit box 1026.
  9. Jack appears and says, "You were never supposed to know about that." (project Christmas?)

was awesome!

Loved the Belgian beer tasting at Brickskeller.

Had a blast at this beer tasting! I actually love Duvel and thought it was yummy. Belgian wittes are my favorite and that Ommegang one hit the spot. Wittes are generally a summer beer and have a very light, refreshing taste as they're brewed with coriander and orange peel.

Really enjoyed meeting and hearing from the Duvel and Ommegang owners who shared with us their beer passion and lots of stories. As the evening went on, I forgot most of the stories but remember the frothy goodness of each beer we sampled.

Left my tasting sheet at the bar in my drunken stupor so my comments are lost forever but glad Mark's thoughts have been shared. Mmmm, beer! --Dana

parent post: Belgian Beer Tasting
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Belgian Beer Tasting

I went to my second Meet in DC event with Mark to a Belgian beer tasting at the Brickskeller.

The event was hosted by Duvel and Ommegang. Duvel owns Ommegang. The CEO of Duvel and president of Ommegang where there speaking about their beers.

I didn't like the Duvel. It was much too sweet and alcoholic. It reminded me of mead.

Ommegang brought several beers, including Rare Vos (sly fox), Witte, Hennepin, and the Three Philosophers. In addition they brought an Aged Hennepin, which is technically the same as Hennepin, but we all agreed it was better. The Rare Vos was medium dark. The Witte was wheaty, which i enjoy. The Hennepin smelled great. And the Three Philosophers was creamy with a small frothy head.

Mark, i have your tasting sheet. He doesn't have a web site yet, so i will convey what he wrote.

Do I have a buzzz or does this taste good; low tolerance; Ha Ha I forgot to write something for this one because I can't tell the difference; Dare I say pungent. I don't kow if it is, but I like the word pungent.

Thank you Mark for your insightful discourse on beer.

Volunteering at WAMU

Last night, Michael and Mark joined me for volunteering at WAMU. They're having their pledge drive. Our job was to answer phones. Michael won the award for best penmenship. Pictures were taken. They'll be up soon.

It was my second time and their first time there. Mark first call was from a cranky woman. Michael had fun talking to people.

I've been volunteering for years at WETA. Events like these are exciting. You get to meet people, like Annie, and get to know people like Bill, Christine, and Gary.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Mark, Matt and i went downtown to see Ghost in the Shell: Innocence.

Here are my thoughts on the human machine.

I don't rememeber the first movie, but i need to see it again.

Innocence is spoken in Japanese and has English subtitles. I prefer spoken in English so i can watch the action. Like Titan A.E. this movie had a fine blend of hand animation and computer generated graphics.

Plot-wise, the story is about an investigation to discovery why some robots are killing the owners. What makes the story interesting is cyborg Batou's reflection on human existence.

Batou has undergone such bodily enhancements to almost obviate the body. The most interesting of these is the shared memory. Unfortunately this permits a new method of attack for enemies. In one scene he is tricked into believing he's under fire and almost kills a grocery store clerk. In another he and Togusa are tricked by Kim into believe they're part of reality, when in fact they're not.

This movie reminded me about spirituality. The question as i see it is: Is there more to being human, than the body? Or, is there more to the mind than the brain? My answer is no. There is nothing more to the universe than the matter, energy, and forces we observe. (However, the amount of this universe we have observed is extremely little.)

I believe there is nothing special about being human. If humans have an external soul, then so do slugs and rocks. Then what why do i perceive there is something different about us? It's simply because the human brain is tremendous in complexity; so complex we call it the mind. And within the mind we see phenomena called thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc.

Do i think humans are just machines? Yes, we're natural machines.

A strong theme in the story are dolls. Why do children feel comforted by having them? The movie suggests it our effort to immortalize our image in dolls. I don't know about dolls, but i'd say it's true for children. Pets, being animated but not human, are a better alternative as companions than dolls.


Last night was a blast at the Film Fest. Mark joined me for Chicago. I give it 7 stars. Good suggestion Mom.

What a great movie. The plot was filled with desires for fame, affairs, and murders, in a circus like world. I loved the songs, especially "When You're Good to Mama" and "Cell Block Tango", and of course "He Had It Comin'".

I would say about 1,300 people showed up for the outdoor show. Both the rain and the bugs refrained from making an appearance.

After reading about Kim's raves about Baja Fresh, i decided to check them out. Not bad, but all i had were simple quesadillas.

The proceeds went to charity. Like a good philanthropist i entered the raffle.

Myers Brigg Personality Test

Ok Mark, i'll bite.

ESTJ - "Administrator". Much in touch with the external environment. Very responsible. Pillar of strength. 8.7% of total population.



Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test


In an effort to appease patrons, last night Mark selected Hidalgo, a "normal" movie. On a ten point scale i give it a 4.

I applaud Mark on selecting a movie i haven't seen, but wanted to. I think we all agreed that the movie was a typical action flick loaded with unlikely situations.[1] Michael and Matt couldn't stop themselves from constant heckling; some was justified; some was just annoying.

I try to extract the good parts of a movie.[2] On the good side the movie was about a person finding his identity.

  1. Air Force One was also this way, but it was still a great movie.
  2. Even Starship Troopers has its good parts.

Debian on G5, Sushi

I'm taking another stab at installing Debian GNU/Linux on my G5. The last attempt failed because SATA kernel modules weren't loaded. Even after loading them manually, the device files didn't exist.

Went out last night to downtown Bethesda with Mark. We got a late dinner at Raku. I'm finally learning the Japanese names for sushi. Nigiri are the ones with seafood over rice. Maki are the rolls. I had saba (mackeral) and Sake (salmon).

Minus Man

Mark picked The Minus Man last night, a rather odd selection. It's a movie about a serial killer and his relationship to the world around him.

There was very little explanation about why he kills, but that's probably not the point of the movie. Understanding that, i really don't see the point of the movie. I mean (Mark) what does it say about his relation to the world?

There was one thing about the movie i did like. Every time Ferrin (Janeane Garofalo) appeared i was delighted. She's got a great smile.

Spartan, Italian Job, TrickleUp

This weekend i saw two movies with Mark. First was Spartan. It had an ok plot, ok actors, but the production of the movie was terrible. Second was The Italian Job. It's plot was a variation of the typical heist. Overall it was ok.

I've continued to make internal modifications to this web site. It may not appear like i've made changes, but that's a good thing.

The TrickleUp Effect is a phenomena on this site where, when i add content to lower pages, summaries trickle up towards the top. It's not active yet; i'm still figuring out how to pull that one off.