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In what is really unusual and sure to make the heads of Bulldog fans
explode, UGA’s
basketball team pulls out of the post-season
. I can’t say I care
too much about them, but a key phrase jumps out at me every time I
hear it: “suspended with pay.” What I want to know is how I can get in
on this deal – screw up really badly, disgrace myself and my employer,
and then get a paid vacation. If I could think of an infraction that
would get me suspended with pay, I’d be getting right on that.

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In my entry last week, 30 minutes before I got The Phone Call, I had
written an entry that life seemed to be getting back to normal after a
bunch of uproar. I guess that showed me, huh? I did distract myself
from the stuff of recent days by finishing up my CRM114 news system. I
need to write a README doc explaining the idiosyncracies of
configuring this deal, and then I’ll tar it up and make it available
for download. I’ve been using it for a few days now and it seems to be
working pretty well. I wrote a training script in Perl that will take
two mbox files with “interesting” and “uninteresting” posts, and go
through the training cycle until everything in each file gets
classified correctly. If it gets classified the wrong way, it gets
trained again and it keeps doing that until there are zero
misclassified articles. I have about 45 in my interesting set and 100
in my uninteresting and that seems enough to be doing a really damn
good job of it. I was a little worried that if I had two articles with
mostly the same stuff (like for sale posts from the same person with the same footer and
most of the same text) in each of the training sets that it would
oscillate between the two and never arrive at a final training. Thus
far, that hasn’t happened. I’m now reclassifying around one article in
50, which unscientifically gives me a high 90s% accuracy without much
use or training. Later on I might add in something to have it mail me
the articles that exceed some threshold of “interestingness”. So far
so good on the AI learning, and it is really nice to be able to use
Mutt for my newsreader for this class of stuff (not general reading,
but things of interest to purchase.)

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I found out my dad died today. I’m driving to Augusta shortly to be
with my family. Fuck.

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Top of the 4th and my stomach is tied in knots. We’re down by two and
although the game is still young, I’m full of the familiar
dread. Millwood just struck out Sanders decisively, but gave up a home
run to Bonds this inning. Come on bats! Wake up, Sheffield! Dear god
it is tough work being a baseball fan. The games move slow enough that
you can be worked up for the maximum time. Yipes!

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It’s that familiar feeling for a Braves fan, the thought that despite
having a rock solid team, great pitching, great bats our team might
not advance. It’s hard to believe that Glavine has given up something
like 15 runs in 8 innings in the playoffs. I wish I could go, but
we’ll be packing up my wife’s stuff and getting her ready for 3 weeks
in Boulder.

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Unless we get some heroics, we will be having game 5 in the division
series. The boys have 2 more outs to make up a five run deficit. I was
wrong about the game day, which is tomorrow rather than Tuesday. I
can’t go to that, since my wife is leaving for a few weeks in
Colorado. They’ll have to do it without me, I’m afraid.

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This was an excellent baseball day in our household. First, my boys
rocked the Giants 10-2 with excellent pitching by Maddux and
Remlinger. Then, the Angels sent the Yankees home. Yeah! After the
Braves game was over, our Fox affiliate switched to the Angels-Yankees
game. It was 10 minutes until 8 and the top of the 9th innning so I
was hoping to see the game end before we switched over to Trading
Spaces. I was not disappointed. At three minutes till 8, the Angels
closed it out and started celebrating. I hadn’t quite gotten what I
was after, so we stuck on the channel until we saw some pictures of
some unhappy Yankees. Jeter and Torre and Williams with that look on
their face – priceless. I’m quite happy. I’d like to see the Braves
close it out tomorrow but if they don’t I’ll go to the game Tuesday.

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I didn’t write about my boys, the Atlanta Braves yesterday. The loss
yesterday was heartbreaking. Like all Braves fans, as excited as I am
to have them in the postseason for the eleventh straight time, I also
am dreading the thought of them going home early. It’s looking pretty
good tonight, a five run lead as I type this, with Smoltz taking
over. Smoltz has long been my favorite Braves pitcher, from back when
the rotation was Glavine, Smoltz, Kent Mercker and Steve Avery.

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Wow, I thought I was saying radical things about being burned out and
tired of the 9/11 nonstop violin concerto. Here is a whole article on
reactions kind of like this at Salon.com.

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I upgraded my spam fighting software today, upgrading to
Razor 2.0 and
SpamAssassin 2.41. I’ve liked
both over the last 4 or 5 months, and am happy to be getting the
gee-whizzier capabilities of the new Razor. This is the one with
ephemeral hashes, trust based reporting (less vulnerable to deliberate
misreporting of righteous mail as spam), and other cool things. Like
when I first installed all this stuff, I find myself kind of impatient
to get spam now. I want to get some, to verify it’s all working and is
better. According to the docs, SA is now reporting fewer false hits
and better tagging things. We shall see.

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My brother and sister-in-law were visiting Atlanta this weekend, with
my little neice Emily in tow. What a cutie, and she’s too little to do
anything even. Eat, sleep, cry, pee and poop. What a life.

I’m in WREK right now, digitizing some music and working a little
on the UI for the automation system. We’re down to less than 2 months
before I mostly cash out my chips and work on other stuff. I’m
organizing a media blitz for them over the end of October and
beginning of November, to announce their newfound wonderfulness, 24X7
operation, and other bits of fun radio goodness.

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This last week buzzed by. Has it already been a week since I was
plotting to inflict my wrestling tights on Dragon*Con? They are still
wadded up in a chair, in need of a wash. Where is the care tag on
wrestling tights? And do I need to polish the boots? I must learn how
to maintain all this crap now that I have it.

I had my first bad experience with OpenCOLA this week. When the
computer was down, I wasn’t online and logged in. After it all came
back up, all my data was gone. I thought the upgrade process had eaten
it, but when I mailed support they said that the data format changed
and everyone lost their data. Not good, replied I. If it happens
again, I’m cashing out of the beta. It’s a good and cool tool, but not
one I am inclinde to keep setting up over and over again.

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We watched More Tales of the City, Parts 5 and 6
tonight. We rented it a while ago, and our Blockbuster had 2
tapes. When the second tape ended on a cliffhanger, we realized that
it was actually a 3 tape set. We had waited about 8 months to finish
it off. It was a fluke, we were flipping channels and saw that it was on and
the parts we hadn’t already seen. It was a little weak, I thought, but
it was good to find out how it ended. I have many of the novels, which
I want to read in that mythical period when I have time.

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Music TopicWe now resume our band of the day festivities. This is yet
another musician I saw at that benefit last January. It is rocker Sonia Tetlow. I saw her at the
Ralph Nader rally earlier this summer (I was the only person in the
entire building who was there only to see Patti Smith and Sonia Tetlow
and had no interest in Nader) and I always enjoy seeing her. She
doesn’t have any downloads on her website but she’ll be at the New
Orleans Hurricane festival, and they have some high quality Real Audio
files on their
web site
. Sonia is a great musician and I really dig her. I asked
her to mail albums to WREK, which they programmed and I hear pretty
often. She has my stamp of approval.

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The Braves game was good and fun, if a little somber (for me at least)
because of the chance that a strike will eliminate the best shot my
boys have at taking it all since 1995. The tickets we had included
parking in a nearby lot. We navigated a surface street route that got
us there from the house in less than 15 minutes, so we were there
around 6:15. We went inside, and since the tickets also included
passes to the 755 club, we ate there. I was underimpressed, as it was
like eating at a not-so-good TGI Fridays, if that Fridays overlooked
Turner Field and cost $90 for dinner for four. The seats were good,
about 25 feet past first base and eight rows back. This is by far the
closest I’ve ever been at a Braves game.

The game itself was a good, not-so-flashy victory. I did enjoy when
Rafael Furcal stole a base and the PA played Pink Floyd’s “Run Like
Hell.” Late in the game we had some excitement when a bat flew into
the row behind us. Not a wooden one, a fruit bat carrying a baby. That
was exciting enough, but the jabberjaws people behind us (who had
carried on a constant stream of patter since the 2nd inning) did not
stop talking about this damn bat until they left in the 8th. Good
riddance. All in all, a good outing.

I did hear some old guys at the table next to us at dinner talk about
a fan strike. I think the few days before the 30th, people should
stop going to the games, return their tickets for cash, and walk a
picket line outside carrying signs with slogans like “You Strike, I’m
Out” or “We Won’t Come Back This Time” or “You all make millions from a
kids game, players or owners, millions that we stuff in your pockets
and if this is the way you want to repay us for 130 years of loyalty,
by destroying the second season in a decade, then we shall place those
millions elsewhere.” I wonder how one organizes a fan strike? I
suppose sports talk radio is a place to start.

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Bittersweet night tonight. We are going to our first Braves game this year, and its
on the day they declare a strike date. How wonderful. I really think
the week preceding August 30th, everyone should return their tickets
to the box office. Don’t go to the games, don’t even watch them on
TV. I have little sympathy for either side of this situation, and I’d
like them both to realize that they are now tap-dancing on some
seriously thin ice. Cal Ripken and the beating of Maris’ home run
record aren’t happening again, so there is no deus ex machina to save
them from the antipathy of bans. See what the MLB organization has to say about
it. This whole thing just makes me sick.

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Technology TopicSomething else this weblog-mode needs is a timestamper. Dear god, I
need to be learning better Lisp like I need a hole in the head! I
looked at Bill St. Clair’s page of other
Blog Max weblogs
. About half haven’t touched the template, leaving
it straight out of the box. Maybe I should just have the pages
reference a CSS style sheet, then I can edit that and have changes
happen immediately without having to do a lot of page regeneration.

I’m going to mail Bill. Maybe I can get on that list. I’m really happy
with BlogMax so far. I do think I want it to use scp rather than
ftp. Sigh, another to-do in a life full of them. The upload command
didn’t work for me anway, so I scp’d from the Cygwin bash shell.

Now that this log exists, I might as well link to it and include it in
my
MT-Newswatcher
rotating signatures.

Beginnings

Friends and neighbors, citizens of the cybersphere, I too am now a
blogger. I’ve been interested for some time in the phenomena but being
a selectively lazy man, I haven’t done it. Last week I listened to a
piece on
KPBS in San Diego
(via their audio stream) about blogging. Mitch
Wagner, who I know from online various places, was a guest and talked
about his blog, 24 hour
drive-thru
. I remained curious but yesterday found
Bill St. Clair’s
Emacs blog mode
BlogMax
and that was all it took. Barrier to entry now leaped.

In these first few days, I’ll tell you a little about me. I have been
doing something similar via my newsgroups on
SFF Net
and
Dueling Modems
with an itermittent diary. Perhaps once I get
rolling I’ll extend BlogMax to automatically post to those
groups. Wouldn’t that be something? This blog will probably be a
little less personal than those groups just because of the nature of
things. When you know you are addressing a crowd, things are
different.

Quick synopsis, and then we’ll call this entry good. I’m still working
with the key bindings right next to me – I haven’t entered the “Emacs
zen” of this mode yet. I am married to Darlene, a PhD student at
Georgia Tech. I’m a software engineer, working today for a
computer security firm in Atlanta. I got my BS in Chemistry at Georgia Tech and my MS in Computer
Science at The University of Louisiana
at Lafayette
(USL when I was there). I did a science fiction
interview program called
Reality Break
for many years. I’m currently collecting some of
those interviews into an
ebook series
for
Fictionwise
. I did a lot of work for
WREK 91.1 FM
, the Georgia Tech radio station. I’ll enumerate some
of it later (because it was very cool.) I did that work whilst
looking for a job after getting laid off by the evil bastards at
Intertrust
, even though we delivered them a Secure publishing system on time
and under budget. Oh well.

That’s enough for now. Can’t shoot the works with the first
entry. Maybe by the next entry I’ll edit the templates so this looks
not quite so identical to every other BlogMax site. L’chaim!