Sunday, April 29, 2007

Freeway Collapse

Ugh! The freeway collapse was about 1.3 miles from my house, and unfortunately between me and Sunnyvale... That means I'm liable to have some "interesting" commutes for the next few months. Fortunately, Brickhouse is open for business!

I could have just been my paranoia but the neighborhood already seemed congested today... I heard one TV announcer suggest that commuters trying to get to 880 from San Francisco could head north and exit at Ashby. This basically turns my neighborhood (Ashby, San Pablo, Hollis, etc.) into the detour.

There have been choppers overhead all day... I am surprised we didn't hear or smell anything last night/this morning.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Saved by the bark…

Last night at about 11:30pm, I'm sitting on the couch next to Rashi, who is curled up in a ball sleeping... I'm getting ready to pick up Krista from SFO... Outta nowhere we hear someone run up our front steps and knock on the door... and try the handle.

Rashi goes nuts, barking like crazy... Though she's just fifty pounds, she sounds ferocious when provoked like this... I head to the door and scream,

"Who is it?" already sensing trouble as we don't get many Sunday night, 11:30pm visitors.

"It's (garbled)..."


"It's (garbled)...", he says.

I run around to the bay window to try to get a visual, and at that point I see a cop car with the spotlight swinging from side to side on a search... I stand in the bay window, wave my arms and mouth and pantomime, "He's here!". Plus, Rashi is going ballistic and you could hear her a mile away. The cruiser stops, two cops get out... and for the next half hour proceed to arrest the dude in front of my house.

Rashi is going crazy. I've never seen her like this. She sounds like a wolf with bloodlust, and she's pacing back and forth... She's so amped up that i have to take her with me to pick up Krista.

I talk to a cop that explains that the dude just got out of prison, and he's been attempting breakins in the neighborhood. They'll take it from there... Thanks to the Emeryville cops, who actually went 50 ft. outside of their jurisdiction to deal with this BTW.

I'm still committed to this neighborhood. This is the first serious incident that touched us personally since Krista's car was stolen three years ago. Things are definitely getting better, and hopefully this was just random bad luck.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Upcoming 2.0 Launches!

I knew it was coming, but was blown away when I saw it... Upcoming 2.0 has launched.

Upcoming has been one of my favorite Yahoo sites for quite a while... I cannot believe that such a small team kicks so much ass. Congrats guys!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Why the famous get famouser…

Kottke points to a great article by Columbia's Duncan Watts...

The social context of content has everything to do with it's meaning. It's one of the reasons that I think that a purely pixel-based algorithmic approach to, say, image recognition is doomed. In optimistic moments, I've said that the computer vision community may produce a 98% reliable dog detector... But what we really want is a "funny" detector... or "cool" detector... that's gonna be a long-time coming... or maybe it's already here but involves analyzing people's actions around the pixels v. just the pixels in isolation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut… gone.

Moments ago I learned Kurt Vonnegut passed.

I don't read much fiction, but I loved Vonnegut. I even picked up his more recent stuff... Like Dylan, even when he was not at his peak, he was still worthwhile.

Sometime around 1986 he did a lecture at the University of Michigan. I somehow weaseled my way into the post-event reception. There was a receiving line to shake Vonnegut's hand. What was outta whack was how formal everyone was... the entire affair was stiff and from another century. But I knew that Vonnegut was insane. So I got in the receiving line, and when I got to him I took his hand and dramatically dropped to one knee... Looked him in the eye, and said something like "You're ideas have moved me profoundly..." It was silly, adolescent and absurd... but somehow true to what I was feeling. Without missing a beat he squeezed my hand and said, "I'm so glad." We had a moment.

Bye bye sir. Your peephole has closed.