Monday, January 31, 2005

Cinequest and the state of the union address

The San Jose Mercury News arts + entertainment section has an interesting article today about Cinequest, the San Jose film festival. That would be San Jose, California, not the film festival down in Costa Rica. The 15th edition takes place on March 2-13 and at $5-$9 for each screening, prices are reasonable by California standards.

What is especially nice about Cinequest is that they were the first festival to provide free DVD quality movie downloads from its website Yep, its free, they still do it, and it is legal so go ahead and check it out right now boys and girls.

For extra credit flok dekoke suggests watching your free movie while the state of the union speech is happening tomorrow night.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Derailed already

Yesterdays blog was dreadful, it was crap, fdk has hit a deep low and I should have known it when I typed the title before I wrote anything else. What a hopeless neophyte. Who cares about the weather around here!

To make matters worse, I screwed up my site counter while cleaning up some html code on the template. Not that fdk had much life to begin with but it was fun watching the numbers grow with each post.

Subject M travels east on Monday for a job interview. The thought of moving makes me nauseous. Starting over in another city yet again, this will be the 11th move in flok dekoke's sordid little life.

Thank goodness the options right now are all in blue states, fdk would go postal if we had to learn creationism side by side with evolution. No, no, no, noooo. Better divorced but sane in our beloved california republic than employed and surrounded by fundamentalists in some redhole state.

Moving means fdk may have to find something productive to do over there. No sense in stressing over this since Subject M has no offers at this point. We'll have to wait and see if the lab is still standing by the end of the summer. If so, in vivo human experiments may continue somewhere in the north east.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Rainbows and ants

It has rained for the past two days in that odd Pacific coast way. Dark gray clouds move in quickly from the ocean, with sunny patches of winter light and double rainbows in between.

The ants make themselves at home with each storm and there is not much one can or ought to do about it other than trying to keep the place clean. Pesticides are verbotten in this house but a few years ago I tried vacuuming the ants and sealing the holes with tape and that did the trick for a couple of days. Duct tape is part of our decor. In his memories, Richard Feinman, the CalTech physicist, talks about patiently spending hours one afternoon placing mounds of sugar in different spots around his house to gently lead the ants outside.

Subject M prefers chemical warfare and regularly deploys 409 All Purpose Cleaner when the ants mass around a crumb. And if she leaves behind a few cadavers the other ants take their bodies away. Sometimes they heroically carry the little bodies up vertical walls and through dangerous crossings where they might get crushed. Where do these tiny funeral processions end?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Don't give up Joe!

I've been thinking of Joe Gordon over the past couple of weeks. Joe Gordon, you might recall, is a blogger in Scotland who recently lost his job at a well known book chain because of some relatively mild comments he made on his blog the Woolamaloo Gazette. You can read all about it on his excellent blog at The Woolamaloo Gazette

His gazette, by the way, is one of flok dekokes favorite blogs and is one of the first I read every day. In any case, it turns out Mr. Gordon went to his appeal yesterday backed by the RBA, which is his trade union. I have no idea whether or not his appeal will prosper but I can imagine it must be a fairly stressful thing to go through. He ends today's entry hoping the company will be reasonable "since no-one wants to go down the route of an industrial tribunal".

I selfishly wonder if it might not be better for all of us if he takes the matter to the bitter end at the tribunal. I realize doing so may involve spending a pile of money on lawyers and a prolonged dispute which may affect his employment opportunities because of the publicity involved. But even if he looses, there is merit in defending freedom of speech and bloggers rights to rant. At the very least, the negative publicity ought to make corporations think twice before doocing an employee for a blog. Maybe next time your enlightened boss feels offended by your clever observations, she/he will have a quiet word with you rather than throwing your carcass out the door.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Please don't dooce me boss!

Three interesting articles on blogging in today's San Francisco Chronicle, here's a link to one on the fun things that can happen when your coworkers discover your blog: SF Gate

So boys and girls, it looks like we're going to have to be extra careful with the comments on brain tissue experiments, the boss' bad breath and his fondness for that new intern among other saucy topics.

It is still OK to buy girl scout cookies for his daughter's troop.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Good Time and Blown Gaskets

The boat ride last night went better than expected as we sailed around the bay under glorious weather. The food was great and the glass of scotch on the deck after dinner with the cold wind blowing on the face as we headed towards the Golden Gate reminded us how lucky we are to be alive, well and here. Subjects A and E danced the night away and enjoyed themselves inmensely and that was the icing on the cake.

FDK is still avoiding the news, the pundits, the papers and anything related to the coronation. I still can't view the stuff without blowing a gasket so it's best to think of other things for now. I did find myself laughing out loud while reading a somewhat mean spirited blog on Condoleezza Rice on the January 19th entry in I'm just not in a constructive mood yet.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Of Otters and Coronations

A busy day at the lab tending to administrative stuff and preparing for the next batch of experiments. One really good thing is that Subject A actually practiced violin today, an increasingly rare sight. I am jealous Subject A gets to go to Monterey next week to the Seymour Marine Institute to see the otters. Definitely cool!

The laboratory's patrons have leased a yatch of some sort tomorrow night for a cruise around the city and the bay. A suit & tie affair with families aboard. No resistance from Subject A for the moment.

Coronation ceremonies for George II were held in the capital today. We avoided all media by burying our heads in the sand and managed to get only minimal schrapnel from some religious wonk gloating on the radio over the moral mandate George II received from the people... blah, blah.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Invention

The laboratory's internet connection collapsed on Sunday and we've been struggling with our settings so I have missed a few days on the blog as a result.

We tested the latest invention on a living human being today. It was a nine hour procedure and the electrodes deployed nicely into the tissue. I used varying power levels which were tolerated well by the subject. Rest assured we strived to provide the most humane possible conditions for the subject. The only unusual side effect of note is a 2 degree rise in body temperature during the procedure but this should revert to normal by tomorrow. The invention does look like something out of Victor Frankenstein's laboratories but with a little luck and much perseverance we should see some clinical benefit soon enough.

On another topic, Subject A feels I should post more comments on other flogs. Duly noted.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Day 2

Spent the afternoon working at a fast food joint during a women's basketball game to benefit the local elementary school's 5th grade trip to Mexico. One doesn't really think of the hectic pace and hard work that goes on behind the scene at these places when you are there eating. We gained a lot of respect for the people that work hard at these joints earning minimum wages. Can't ever complain about havimg to wash dishes at home ever again. It was a good cause and flok dekoke's little world grew a little more yesterday.

FDK thanks Subject A for providing the new picture posted last night on flok dekokes world. Somehow it seems to capture the state of the realm these days and it is one of my favorite pictures. Subject A's advice and support on these postings are much appreciated.

Over the holidays we found a copy of a diary belonging to JM property of O describing (blogging?) his travels through Corsica, the south of France, and Paris from 1921 into the great depression and the return to the village to face bankruptcy. Reading through his notes is one reason flok de koke decided to try writing this blog. Of course, my world is a lot smaller than JM property of O's, so our hope is for these dull posts to be of interest in 85 years. I wonder if anyone will be able to access blogger then?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Day 1

This is a window into my little world. You may catch glimpses of my 2 dimensional life here. It is possible other inhabitants might bubble up and burp here on occasion but they are shy not often collaborative.

I suppose I should start with a little something about me, flok dekoke. My little life rarely takes place in my village any more. Flok dekoke's realm is in California, not far from San Francisco. Our little world changed 9 years ago when we left the mountain for the coast. That only lasted a couple of years and after an earthquake and much turmoil in the fields we packed our hammocks and moved our world to California. Our work is almost finished here and the time is coming for another move but who knows where?

This short entry has required much bravery and there is no time left for more words on this first day. El Molino's high energy fundraising mothers are waiting. It is quite an act of faith, or ignorance, to ask flok dekoke to volunteer for something that involves money and responsibility. More on that some other time.