| These photographs are of the Muir glacier in Alaska. |
The one on top was taken in 1899, the one on bottom is 2003.
These photographs were taken of McCarty Fjord.
The top photo was taken in 1909, the bottom in 2004.
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This is the blog of Brasten Sager, a software engineer, Mariners fan, guitarist, haphazard philosopher.
| These photographs are of the Muir glacier in Alaska. |
The one on top was taken in 1899, the one on bottom is 2003.
I just wanted to share some photos that I recently found…
Firstly, this photo has got to be one of my favorites. Both artistically, and because of the subtle humour of it. (The man in the photo of course is Steve Jobs).
Go check out my reformed friend’s latest post: Know thy Enemy.
The Story of Hobbes
And now, due to popular demand
- specifically DG’s request - I present the brief story of my cat, Hobbes.
Despite what the name may imply, Hobbes is a girl. I didn’t name her. In fact, she’s about 9 years old (don’t remember how old exactly), and I’ve only had her for about 2 years. She was in the care of Jessica’s father who could no longer care for her (they had two other cats besides and with constant traveling they wanted to get rid of one). So, she was basically on her way to the pound, which given her extreme weight problem, likely would have been the death of her.
Sooooo, I took her in! And I’m glad! She’s my baby… believe it or not, she’s actually lost a ton of weight (put her on a diet), and she’s totally quirky. Her favorite activities include trying to run around corners on my hardwood floor without sliding into the wall (and she’s rarely successful, she still has a lot of sideways inertia), and laying on her back… literally. I’ll get a picture of that someday. Anyway, here’s a picture of her:
Welp, as previously rumored, Apple released an almost entirely refreshed iPod lineup this morning. Strategically the updates are well implemented. However, two features rumored by not included in this update are color screens on the minis and bluetooth capabilities in the iPods. With these features being absent from today’s announcements, it’s safe to assume they are being saved for future revisions.
As for my opinions on the new models, I think this revision finally fills out the iPod story well. Apple now has very nice music players at $99, $149, $199, $249, $299, $349, and $449.
Where I Hang My Hat…
Figured I’d show you guys pictures of my condo. I think I’ve done this once before in my blog, but maybe not. Keep in mind I have nearly finished a two-year-long remodel of the place, so it’s not yet perfect. The bathroom is still a mess, so you don’t get to see that yet, at least on this page.
One more for Apple…
CJM has entered the fold of Apple Computer. It was a very exciting day for that segment of the population that are both Loafe readers and Mac users. Which is probably two people, including me. Maybe someday three, if The Squire ever caves. But he won’t. For the precise reason that him and I for some reason have to be on the opposite sides of practically everything. The funny thing is, most of the time it’s legitimate. But I’m willing to bet that 30% of the time one of us takes the opposite side of a debate just to keep the gig going.
Speaking of Apple, DellRumors.com traffic has substantially decreased after the initial popularity. Admittedly I don’t really update it all that much. But it’s hard to come up with realistic parodies so fast! Either way, if this trend continues, BrastenSager.com will pass DellRumors.com in web traffic sometime next month. THAT is actually fascinating to me.
Major League Baseball is Almost Here!
Anyone have any opinions on baseball? The Mariners first spring training game starts in 8 days, 17 hours… and I
- for one - can not wait. I’ve missed baseball! Something about having a Mariners game to listen to at work or go home to on TV just makes my life complete. :) As far as the Mariners chances? Well, there are people out there who probably know all the stats better than I do, but I don’t think anyone doubts they’ve made MASSIVE improvements from last season. Perhaps last season was a blessing in disguise, since it made management spend a lot of money this off season. I think it really comes down to the question marks in the rotation. If our pitchers are at the top of their game, I think we’ll be playoff contenders. If our pitching struggles, the Angels take the West, and with the Red Sox and Yankees slaughtering each other, whoever doesn’t win the AL East will capture the wild card, leaving no wild card for the Mariners. Either way I don’t expect a losing record, now that we have some decent thump in our lineup. If our pitching doesn’t hold together, look for an 81-81 record. Great pitching with our lineup should yield another 95-win season, but I’m expecting a 90-win season, with playoffs depending entirely on the Angels performance down the stretch.
Well, I didn’t hear anything from the company in Portland today. I realize it’s ridiculous to judge anything based on the first day after submitting a resume, but I’m still anxious. It would be so fun pick up a position in Portland, and this company seems great. And the location is perfect. Right in the middle of the Pearl District, which is where I would hopefully live. The Pearl District is very fun. Art galleries, little shops, restaurants, all intermingled with condo buildings. Check out this photo tour from ShopThePearl.com.
For what it’s worth, Portland is a great example of where ultra-Liberalism seems to have worked beautifully. I’m sure you all know that I’m not a liberal, BUT, every concept no matter how bad has it’s occasional successes, and Portland is liberalism’s success story. And I love it.
Well, I intentionally talked about pretty much everything on my mind. Now I can mark this post as belonging to every category on my blog! And it will likely be the only post ever to achieve that. (I don’t consider “Mobile” to be an official category since it’s more to designate an origination than it is a topic.) With all that said, I want to go home. So I’m going to. Catch you all later!
Well, being a holiday, I’m the only one actually here at work today. Which, BTW, I LOVE. I can get so much more work done here when I’m by myself. Which is one reason why I wish I could “work from home.” Although I likely wouldn’t actually work from home, when given the opportunity, I enjoy working from a coffee shop. With my cellphone and video conferencing through iChat A/V, I’m good to go. :)
Anyway, today’s checklist for work, which I’m not sure I’ll complete, is: – Resolve EDI-Import speed issues. – PortOrders screen throwing ClassCastException during processing. – Pay-By-Scan, new screen development. (ANOTHER NEW SCREEN!)
Task #1 should be someone entertaining, as I have to figure out a creative way to speed that process up… Task #2 should just take a few minutes… Task #3 is tedious, non-challenging, and epitomizes everything I’ve come to hate about work. So, over all, a well-rounded day.
Required Reading Note: You must read the latest post from RandsInRepose if you have a job where you have to interact with superiors/supervisors, or you manage others, or are expecting to do either in the future (aka: everyone). From what I can gather, Rands in a Project Manager in the IT field. His blog is invaluable for people like me because he’s probably 5-10 years ahead of me on the career path, and he’s also got an amazing sense about people and corporate social interactions, and likes to share them! I have had MANY “ah-ha” moments reading his blog and comparing it to interactions I have here at work. Another post worth mentioning from Rands, Incrementalists vs. Completionists.
Secondly, I noticed Squire hasn’t posted anything in six days, so this is my official notice that he’s on probation. No new posts soon and Squire will be removed from my “links” page! (Harsh, eh?)
Ugh, I’m tired. I should be going to bed, but instead I’ll post here and then play some Halo online.
I thought I should mention, thanks to a little team programming between myself and AJ, we’re getting some cool photo-blogging capabilities going! Most the magic is being performed by a piece AJ wrote that accepts emails from our mobiles and posts the photos to our blogs. (Hence, the photos of my haircut. Those were snapped and posted within a few seconds while I was still on the road!).
The little bar of photos across the top of this page is what I’m working on. It is showing the most recent photos submitted. Currently, clicking on a photo just shows you a larger version, but I’m working on having it display the message that was included with the photo originally, like you can see on the blog-posted photos.
Anyway, time to go play some Halo. :)
So much better!
I haven’t had a haircut in a few months.. :) i’ll snap an after shot too..
I’ve been meaning to link to this for a couple days, so before I forget: Fortune Magazine Cover Story: How Big Can Apple Get?
Well, I sent off my resume for a position in Portland. The company looks VERY cool. They build software applications which are basically designed to facilitate employee interaction and idea exchange. That’s what the software does. The company itself is attempting to encourage “sustainable practices” within corporations. Sustainability refers to a whole spectrum of things, of course. The most obvious is environmental equilibrium, but there are others.
And yet, I still feel guilty. I hate sending out resumes behind my employer’s back. It an okay thing to do, I realize. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen several employees come and go of their own choosing. But it still feels a bit weird. In the four-plus years I’ve been here I’ve only sent out a small handful of resumes, and only to companies where the opportunity really excited me. But every time I felt a little guilty about it. Anyway, I just need to get over it. I do the best job I can while I’m here, and it’s perfectly acceptable for me to be looking for a new position. Especially when I feel like I have absolutely NO growth potential where I’m at. As much as I bitch about my job, it’s not my JOB, necessarily. It’s that I feel like I’m trapped in a situation where I have no ability or possibility to grow. And I have no desire to get into another situation like that, of course. So, I’m very very picky about which positions I apply for.
Anyway, I’ve got to go pick Jess up tonight and take her to an MRI appointment. That should be TONS of fun. :) Actually, I’m excited to see one of the machines, they look cool.
Other than that, I’m just sitting here waiting for my other laptop to finish compiling something so I can go home….
Argh. Error. Compiling again…
BUILD SUCCESSFUL Total time: 8 minutes, 34 seconds
Today was a bit long. The good news I actually was enjoying what I was working on at work. That’s a rarity. For the most part it’s just build this screen, fix that button, blah blah blah. I hate doing that. I like to tinker and play with new technologies and try new things. I like to design, and refine, and architect systems. I hate… HATE… building another screen. Which is the single greatest reason I would consider jumping ship and picking up a new job somewhere else. I rarely feel like my abilities are being used to their fullest, they basically discourage learning and growing (by that I mean they offer no training funds, and I’m not paid for time I take to attend any training that I pay for myself), and my ideas are rarely listened to—even tho a significant number of times I’m later proven correct.
And I say all that to say that today was an anomaly. Today I really liked what I was doing. Because I was designing and implementing a significant new feature in our application. It was fun.
After that I swung by J’s apartment and helped her clean up a bit. She’s having some neck/back issues. Probably a pinched nerve. Anyway, she can’t really use one of her arms right now until they get her drugged up and better.
And now I’m home. And going to bed. Catch ya on the other side!
No, McDonalds has nothing to do with Social Security. Two separate topics.
Firstly, please make sure my McMuffin is put together correctly. Nothing is more irritating than getting my Sausage and Egg McMuffin unwrapped only to find the sausage hanging halfway out on one side and the top muffin barely on to the other side… It’s so hard to eat. So pay attention when you put the food together please.
Secondly, Social Security. Here’s my plan: We’ve GOT to go to personal accounts. That’s the ultimate solution here. But of course, the President has got to appease the obstructionists (aka: Democrats) somehow. But I agree we cannot raise the rate of payroll taxes. Considering Social Security started at 2% and is now effectively a 15% tax, raising taxes again won’t fix anything. Soooo? Implement the personal retirement accounts. And to offset the cost of the change, increase the level of income subject to social security taxes from $90,000 to $150,000. That should make everyone both a little happy and a little unhappy. But it’ll get the job done.
Converted to WordPress
I’ve completed the transition to WordPress. So far, it’s working fantastically! The theme itself is a little hard to read, but I’ll be working on that as time goes on. WordPress imported my MovableType entries – WITH COMMENTS – very nicely! It didn’t catch all the line-endings. I went back about a month or so and manually fixed those entries, but earlier ones will have to wait.
I’m also going to be working on getting some more general content up on the site about me, so watch for that! Pictures, information, etc.
How’d everyone do yesterday? Hopefully you guys remembered it was Valentine’s Day and all. As for myself, I just went out to dinner with a couple friends. The Macaroni Grill! REALLY. GOOD. FOOD. I would recommend it to anyone! Located at the Alderwood Mall near Cold Stone and the Apple Store. I took some pictures:
Programming, Fox News.:) life is good..
Wow, what happened to ME? Seems like the last week went by in a blur. Not that anything major happened, just little things. I’m still doing my deep spring-cleaning… the kind where you dump everything out of all your closets into a big pile on your floor (which merely hides the fact that you had already accumulated a pile of stuff on your floor). My front-room, kitchen, and dining room are basically done, as in my hallway closet (which was shoved full of stuff). Next I’m working on my master bedroom, which has proven to be a challenge. Perhaps I’ll post some pictures tonight.
Anyway, DellRumors.com traffic has leveled off… around 10,000 hits a day, which is still 9,900 hits a day more than I had been getting before all the excitement, but I was peaking at like 30,000 hits a day last week.
National ID Card
The Senate has just passed a bill requiring driver’s licenses to contain certain digital information about the person to which it was issued. Now, despite the relative bi-partisan support in Congress, no doubt the dems will start screaming about civil liberties and privacy and how we’re one step closer to a national ID card.
Which raises an interesting question. Why DON’T we just create a national ID card? It would seem to make a lot of sense to me. Every OTHER organization you become a member of sends you a membership card. I can’t get in to Costco without my Costco card, for example. And the benefits to having a national ID card are largely obvious.
But like I said before, people would scream about privacy and rights… But the way I see it, if you’re not doing anything illegal, why does it matter if the government can keep tabs on you? And of course, I’m addressing the worst fears of the ID opponents, in reality a national ID card won’t permit the government to keep tabs on you any more than they do now.
I was struck by a line in BSG on SciFi this week. Paraphrasing: "The purpose of the law is to protect the people, not prosecute them." So long as our government understands the purpose of the law
- which I believe both the Republicans AND Democrats do - then Patriot Acts and National ID Cards and laws that give the government more tools to protect us don’t scare me. Conversely, as soon as a government no longer believes in that purpose, then all the constitutions in the world won’t save us.
I don’t always agree with the people in government, or the way the government in being ran, but I don’t fear it. Because we all know that the government is of the people, by the poeple, and for the people. America knows it. Even the politicians. Even the judges. Even the Democrats, and yes, even the Republicans.
Well, this weekend was crazy. The website I was talking about last post, DellRumors.com, has attracted a decent amount of attention… primarily in Apple-fan circles, which was kind of the point. I was even called by a journalist from Wired Magazine. So there should be an article tomorrow or Wednesday on Wired about the site. The good news is, almost everyone’s getting the joke and finding it hilarious. No flame emails yet.
Other than that, I watched the Superbowl, though I’m not that interested in Football. 10 days left to Seattle Mariners’ Spring Training though! Woo!
Anyways, that’s it for now. :)
State of the Union
Alright, so here’s my rapid-review of the State of the Union. Firstly, I thought Bush did a great job just speaking. It’s no secret he’s not a fantastic speaker, but he did quite well. Now, on to the things he said, in no particular order:
That’s pretty much the extent of the major issues he discussed. For a VERY FUNNY spoof on last years State of the Union, check this out.
I keep forgetting to apply for a position that I would like to at least try for. The thought of attempting to get it is exciting, as it’s the first real position I’ll have applied for in Portland. I’ve applied to a couple places here in Seattle, and at least one of them seemed to be a great opportunity. But I had to tell them I couldn’t pursue the opportunity any further due to a conflict of interest. Basically, they were going to start developing cellphone games for Playboy, and I’m a worship leader at a church. I realize that most guys would probably kill to get paid $90,000/yr (which is what this job was going for, would have been a definite pay increase) to work on playboy products… and the technology itself sounded like a blast to work on, I – of course – couldn’t be in that position.
Anyway, back to the new position. We’ll call this place Company F. They are right in the heart of the Pearl District in Portland. Basically, EXACTLY where I want to work/live/exist. Of course, I don’t live in Portland. So assuming I’m even in the running for the position, I would definitely require some patience and/or understanding while I figure out how to move my life from here to there. I’ve never moved out of this area before.
But of course, I won’t even be remotely considered for the position unless I apply for the job! I’m hoping that blogging this tonight will prod me to write my cover letter and send in my resume tomorrow.
Anyway, I’m so tired, so I’m done with this post for tonight. :)
So I set up this website, called DellRumors.com in December. The thing is just a big joke, partially mocking Apple users like myself who spend time on Mac rumor websites waiting for the next big announcement. And partially mocking PC users who don’t have any companies doing anything work getting that exciting about. I was just trying to show what it might look like if there were a whole rumor community based around someone like Dell.
Apparently a few people have found it funny, because my hits
- which are WAY higher than I anticipated originally - are going up from December to January! A few hundred hits isn’t a LOT, but it’s about a few hundred more than I expected. Anyway, that’s it.
Oh, and I’ve made $3 from the Google ads on the site. haha. :)
You always learn something new when you listen to NPR in the morning.
For example, did you know that the town of Preston, Washington still has to pick up their mail at the postoffice? More importantly, that they shot down an attempt to add mail routes because they LIKE picking up their mail at the post office?
And that wasn’t even the most shocking revelation of the morning. NPR finally dived into the topic we’ve all been waiting for. The topic on the minds of millions. They’ve finally answered the question that nobody’s been able to answer. And what question is that, you ask? "Is my iPod’s shuffle feature REALLY random?"
We’ve probably all noticed that our iPod’s shuffle features tend to play some songs way more than others. My iPod tends to like Caedmon’s Call, even tho I only have one album in there from them. Anyway, so after interviewing many iPod owners, Steve Jobs (who says Apple even looked in to their randomization function to verify that it IS truely random after user complaints), and finally brought in a mathematician and cryptologist. And what did they conclude?
It’s the user, stupid. The human brain has a hard time grasping the concept of randomness. THerefor, it’s constantly attempting to build order out of the processes around it. It’s because of this that we tend to feel our iPod is prefering one thing over another. Their conclusion was, yes, the iPod’s random feature is REALLY random.
What am I working on…? Today I’m ripping into a screen to solve some performance problems. Over the last couple days we’ve actually made GREAT progress. Utilizing some code one of the other guys here wrote, and building a new transfer object, I was able to get a 4 minute process down to about 5 seconds. Impressive, yes? But this screen has two things going on, that was just step #1. Now I’m working on basically doing the same thing with the second bottleneck.
... which is what I’m working on today.