Archive for November, 2003

Date: November 30th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Hou2 – Throat

喉嚨 – Hou2 Long2 – Throat

喉嚨痛 – Hou2 Long2 Tong4 – Throat Ache — Sore Throat

Date: November 29th, 2003
Cate: Meta
6 msgs

Happy Birthday!

Messy-78 is one year old! Happy birthday!

Let’s review my plan for this weblog:

1) post stuff
2) ???
3) world domination

I’m pretty sure I’m still at step 1. But I think progress is being made.

I do feel really bad that I don’t have a present for Messy-78. I had meant to get it something really good, something every weblog wants: Bayesian comment spam filtering. But I ran out of time! I hope it will accept a belated present…

Date: November 29th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Shu3 – Potato

番薯 – Fan1 Shu3 – Sweet Potato

Date: November 28th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xian4 – Filling, Stuffing

火雞 – Huo3 Ji1 – Fire Chicken — Turkey

I can’t do turkey today because I’ve already done – Huo3 – Fire and – Ji1 – Chicken. But is really the best part of the meal anyway.

Date: November 27th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Gan3 – Feeling

感恩 – Gan3 En1 – Grateful, Thankful

感恩節 – Gan3 En1 Jie2 – Thankful Holiday — Thanksgiving

Date: November 26th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Shi1 – Lose

Movie titles are funny. Why don’t they just translate them directly? 失蹤 – Shi1 Zong1 – Lose Trace — Missing would have been perfect, but instead they call it 山窮水盡 – Shan1 Qiong2 Shui3 Jin4 – Mountain Poor Water Utmost. What? I guess it’s not as bad as it seems, Jenny tells me this is one of those four word proverbs, and it means a hopeless situation.

Date: November 26th, 2003
Cate: Regular

The Missing

We went to a top secret preview screening of The Missing tonight. It was a perfectly reasonably good movie. A good time was had by all.

By the way, we got to go because of our local video store, Tommy K’s, which totally rules. Everybody should go there instead of Blockbuster. If you live in the USA, that is. And in Connecticut. Ummm…. and they really only have stores near New Haven. OK, forget it.

Date: November 25th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Gou3 – Dog

I hate dogs, but some people like them.

What I like are – Mao1 – Cats. Or what Jenny calls them: 喵咪 – Miao1 Mi1 – Cat

Date: November 24th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Qian1 – Stick, Slip

抽籤 – Chou1 Qian1 – Draw Stick — Draw Lots, Lottery

We helped Yvonne play a special kind of Lottery today.

Date: November 23rd, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Feng1 – Crazy, Insane

瘋狂 – Feng1 Kuang2 – Also means crazy, but more of an enthusiastic, good kind of crazy.

Date: November 22nd, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Chao3 – Quarrel, Noisy

is the kind of house I came home to today. These two were here, causing all sorts of trouble.

Date: November 21st, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Niu3 – Knot, Bind

– Yue1 – Agree, Arrange, Approximately

紐約 – Niu3 Yue1 – New York

Date: November 20th, 2003
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

More boring leaf stuff

Jenny told me that they finally came around to pick up the leaves. I told her to quickly secretly take pictures!

It turns out it wasn’t as high tech as we thought. They just rake up the leaves…

And then use this thing to grab them up and dump them in the truck.

No Mr. Snuffleupagus after all.

Date: November 20th, 2003
Cate: Otherwhere

Antipixel has some competiton!

Here’s another cleanly designed and photography heavy weblog from Japan: jeansnow.net – Thrills, chills, and happy pills from the Tokyo front.

Date: November 20th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Le4 – Garbage

This is quite odd. For one thing, these two characters, as far as I can tell, are never used, except for with each other, to say Garbage.

垃圾 – Le4 Se4 – Garbage

The other thing is that this is only the pronounciation in Taiwan! In China, these are pronounced:

垃圾 – La1 Ji1 – Garbage

Anyway, the reason why I’m here, is to say this:

垃圾郵件 – Le4 Se4 You2 Jian4 – Garbage Mail Piece — Junk Mail, Spam

Date: November 19th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xian4 – Constitution

This is another of those words that doesn’t seem to mean anything by itself. But put it with – Fa3 – Law, and it means 憲法 – Xian4 Fa3 – Constitution. Some people are thinking that the American one needs changing now to clear up this whole confusing marriage issue. You can register your support for one possible amendment online.

Date: November 17th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Qiang2 – Wall

I was on Wall Street today, and I’ll be back on Friday.

Date: November 16th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Mian4 – Noodles

Today 胖叔 made us a really really good 炸醬麵 – Zha4 Jiang4 Mian4 – Fry Sauce Noodles — Noodles with Meat and Black Bean Sauce. Tomorrow he goes back to 加拿大 – Jia1 Na2 Da4 – Canada.

Date: November 15th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ken3 – Agree, Consent

I found that I’ve already done and so today I have to do:

肯塔基 – Ken3 Ta3 Ji1 – Kentucky

Date: November 14th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Pang4 – Fat, Plump

Jenny’s 胖叔 – Pang4 Shu1 – Fat Uncle is here! The funny thing about him is that he’s actually pretty – Shou4 – Skinny.

Date: November 14th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
4 msgs

– Wu3 – Martial, Military

武當 – Wu3 Tang4 – Wu Tang

The Wu Tang are the bad guys in like every kung fu movie, always the nemesis of the Shaolin. The one we saw tonight, 少林與武當 – Shao4 Lin2 Yu3 Wu3 Tang4 – Shaolin And Wu Tang (aka Two Champions of Shaolin) follows that same pattern. It also shows why Kung Fu movies are the best type of movies. I’ve mentioned before how sometimes in Kung Fu the bad guys actually win, and the good guys end up getting shot full of arrows. (although they usually do get to say cool stuff right before they die, like “We really made our names, and it was fun too, AUAUUAUUGUGHGHGH!!” or “I guess.. I shoulda picked scissors… AUAUHAHAHHHGHGHHGG!!!”) In this movie, neither side wins. They all die! Every single important character gets together for a big fight, and every single one gets killed, in various cool ways. Then it says “THE END”. Kung Fu always keeps you guessing like that.

Date: November 13th, 2003
Cate: Regular
4 msgs

Thou Shalt Not

Roy Moore, the crazy chief justice of Alabama’s supreme court who thought it would be a good idea to place a monument of the ten commandments in the state courthouse, has been fired! This is part of a recent series of surprising wins for the good guys.

Think we can make it three in a row?

Date: November 12th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Shui3 – Water

水銀 – Shui3 Yin2 – Water Silver — Quicksilver

I’m reading Quicksilver. So far it’s good, but not much is happening.

Date: November 12th, 2003
Cate: Regular
1 msg

Making of a Brick

Today from Mr. K’s Remainders: A totally cool isometric cartoony explanation of how Legos are made.

Exploring the same site (Pop & Company) a little more, I found this: Super Mini-Games! Justice Leage Super Cubes and Mashi-Mojo are my favorites.

Date: November 12th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
4 msgs

– Ji2 – Lucky

吉他 – Ji2 Ta1 – Guitar

A while back Walde posted something about Guitar Wolf, a Japanese rockabilly band who was coming to New York. At the time, I didn’t care. How foolish I was! I finally saw Wild Zero, Guitar Wolf’s movie tonight. It was great! If only I had known back then just how cool Guitar Wolf was, (Guitar Wolf members: Guitar Wolf. Bass Wolf. Drum Wolf. They’re THAT cool.) I probably still wouldn’t have gone to the show. But I would have been really excited about it.

Date: November 11th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Qi4 – Contract

契據 – Qi4 Ju4 – Contract Occupy — Deed

Date: November 9th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Zi5 – (suffix to turn word into noun)

is the word I’ve used countless times before to turn a word into a noun. Today I use it to turn – Bao1 – Cover, Wrap, Hold, Embrace, Package, Container, into 包子 – Bao1 Zi5 – Stuffed Bun.

Date: November 9th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Bing3 – Biscuit

餅乾 – Bing3 Gan1 – Biscuit Dry — Cookie

巧克力 – Qiao3 Ke4 Li4 – Chocolate

I’m making 巧克力餅乾 – Qiao3 Ke4 Li4 Bing3 Gan1 – Chocolate Chip Cookies, one of the few things I can make, tomorrow morning.

Date: November 8th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
2 msgs

Today on What Sucks More: Semantic Web vs. Longhorn

Let’s let Clay Shirky go first, on the Semantic Web:

Dodgson’s syllogisms actually demonstrate the limitations of the form, a pattern that could be called “proof of no concept”, where the absurdity of an illustrative example undermines the point being made. So it is with the Semantic Web. Consider the following, from the W3C’s own site:

Q: How do you buy a book over the Semantic Web?

A: You browse/query until you find a suitable offer to sell the book you want. You add information to the Semantic Web saying that you accept the offer and giving details (your name, shipping address, credit card information, etc). Of course you add it (1) with access control so only you and seller can see it, and (2) you store it in a place where the seller can easily get it, perhaps the seller’s own server, (3) you notify the seller about it. You wait or query for confirmation that the seller has received your acceptance, and perhaps (later) for shipping information, etc. [http://www.w3.org/2002/03/semweb/]

One doubts Jeff Bezos is losing sleep.

Ha! That’s a real zinger! Now, let’s hear from Joe Gregorio, on Longhorn:

Yet again another new set of interfaces to learn for the programmers, which this time we really really promise will make you more productive. And even if it doesn’t make you more productive, you’ll have to use it anyway since you won’t have a choice:

Longhorn will be the first operating system where ALL functionality is designed to be accessed through managed code. WIN32’s reign as the Windows API has ended, replaced by managed .NET APIs.

Such a move is unique in the industry. No one, including Sun Microsystems, has made Java THE API for programming a particular OS, much less declared that, going forward, all new features would be offered through Java. Microsoft’s decision to do that with .NET is an important advance, as it FORCES developers to write more secure code, simply because they can’t make some of the coding errors (such as buffer overruns) that form the lion’s share of security flaws.

Remember the last time we heard such breathless copy over a Microsoft technology? Maybe the same promises were made about COM? At the time they were already getting a little stale because they’d already been used in hyping MFC.

The last thing to ask when pondering Avalon is how many applications has Microsoft shipped that are pure .Net applications. After all, that’s what they’re telling their developers to do, and that’s all of what Avalon is built upon. Last I knew, that count was still sitting at zero.

Pretty good! That really sounds like it sucks! But I’m going to have to give the prize to The Semantic Web. Both Longhorn and the SemWeb are going to waste lots of smart (and even more not-very-smart) people’s time, and both make all sorts of promises that they can’t keep. But, you can rest assured that Longhorn, in some form, will someday actually appear. The Semantic Web won’t.

Next on What Sucks More: Local TV news vs. Blog Spammers.

Date: November 8th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ao4 – Deep Inlet

澳大利亞 – Ao4 Da4 Li4 Ya4 – Australia (country)

澳洲 – Ao4 Zhou1 – Australia (continent)

Date: November 7th, 2003
Cate: Geekism

Hello, World In XAML

Don Box shows the world how to write a program to print “Hello, World” in Microsoft’s new-new-new language, XAML. Simple and easy!

<?Mapping
    ClrNamespace="System" Assembly="mscorlib"
    XmlNamespace=" http://www.gotdotnet.com/team/dbox/mscorlib/System "
?>

<Object xmlns=" http://www.gotdotnet.com/team/dbox/mscorlib/System "
    xmlns:def="Definition"
    def:Class="MyApp.Hello"
>
  <def:Code><![CDATA[
     Shared Sub Main()
     '{
         System.Console.WriteLine("Hello, world")' ;
     '}
     End Sub
  ]]></def:Code>

</Object>
Date: November 6th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Shi4 – Show, Reveal

I’ve been doing a lot of 示範 – Shi4 Fan4 – Show Model — Demonstrations lately at work.

Date: November 6th, 2003
Cate: Regular
6 msgs

Nice raking

This post is in tribute to Jenny, who saw a challenge…

…and took it.

Against all advice and logic, she beat the leaves!

Now we wait for collection.

By the way: what’s more annoying? New homeowner posts, or new parent posts?

Date: November 6th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Xi1 – Suck, Inhale

Unfortunately, no one can be told how much Matrix Revolutions sucks. You have to see it for yourself.

(I have to mention that in Chinese when something sucks you don’t say that it ““. Instead you’d say that it is – Lan4 – Rotten.)

Date: November 4th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
1 msg

– Jiao3 – Dumpling

餃子 – Jiao3 Zi5 – Dumpling

Jenny calls dumplings 水餃 – Shui3 Jiao3 – Water Dumpling, which is apparently a synonym. I sometimes confuse 水餃 with 睡覺 – Shui4 Jiao4 – Sleep. The pronunciation is the same, only the tone is different.

Date: November 4th, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Ji3 – Spine

I’m supposed to do this one today because it looks like a spine. But I don’t see it.

Date: November 4th, 2003
Cate: Geekism
5 msgs

Upgradery

I got the new Panther thing, and did an upgrade install. This iBook originally shipped with 10.1, and was then upgraded to 10.2, and now to 10.3. On Windows machine, this would result in a badly broken system. But OS X handled it perfectly. However, with me being slighly obsessive, I wanted to do a full wipe and reinstall.

Between Jenny and I we have about 10 GB of data in the home directory. This was clearly too much to back up to CDs, and I don’t have an external HD to copy to. I was thinking about clearing some room on the old PC’s disk, and copying stuff back and forth over the network… but then realized I do have an external HD! Jenny’s iPod!

It worked perfect! [ed: perfectly] I just connected the iPod and dragged my entire home directory over. I did the install, repartitioning and reformatting the hard disk of the iBook. Hitting that big
button was kind of scary. But then on the other side of the install, I rehooked the iPod up and dragged everything back to where I found it. Even my iPhoto and iTunes libraries went back in with no problems.

So this ridiculous 20 GB iPod I got her, which only contains about 3 GB worth of MP3s, has finally proven its worth.

Date: November 2nd, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day
2 msgs

– Ye4 – Leaf

Forget what I said yesterday. We did nothing. The 葉子 – Ye4 Zi5 – Leaves are winning, big time. Right after we finished raking the front yard, our big tree decided to drop all of its leaves. The leaf piles we made yesterday are now barely even discernable amongst the vast carnage of newly fallen leaves.

Look at the size of it! It’s like quadruple the size of my entire house! How can we have any hope?

Date: November 2nd, 2003
Cate: Regular
3 msgs

Bush, Lord

OK, this is getting scary. Can somebody please find out who keeps taking these pictures, and why?

 

Date: November 2nd, 2003
Cate: Chinese Word of the Day

– Pa2 – Rake

We went and bought two 耙子 – Pa2 Zi5 – Rakes today, and raked for the first time. The town doesn’t really make it clear what we’re supposed to do with the leaves, but we observed some of our neighbors just making big piles by the curb, so we did the same. I’m imagining a giant mother-alien looking truck will come around and suck them all up.