Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Monday Surf Report - "Humbled"

I haven't posted to the blog in a while, since I've been extremely busy at work (getting ready for my vacation) and at home (getting ready for the holidays). Furthermore, a plague descended upon our family over the last week, infecting all but the strongest of our clan (my wife - mothers aren't allowed to get sick, I guess).

So feeling moderately better yesterday (Monday), which means I was spewing out a relatively smaller amount of chunky green phlegm balls, I decided to try and hit the water again and get a few waves under my wetsuit. Great idea - poor timing!

All this week we have some good sized swell coming to our coast, with some truly gargantuan waves forecasted for tomorrow (Wednesday). So, not being in the best paddling shape, I tried to paddle out through the crushing beach break. After 20 minutes of fighting against mother nature, my arms were spent. Humbled for the first time in I don't know how long, I paddled back into shore.

I'm getting ready to go and give it another shot today, before the monster swell arrives tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a picture day, I'm thinking...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Accessing Password Protected Remote Calendars with Evolution

You can access a password protected remote calendar from evolution by specifying a url in the following format:

webcal://username:password@servername.com/path to calendar/calendar.ics

Unfortunately, as of evolution 2.4, the remote calendars are still read-only. :<

Monday, November 28, 2005

Thanksgiving Day Play

We made it through another Thanksgiving at our house, which is always preceded by lots of cleaning up; and allows followed by another round of lots of cleaning up. In between those two bookends of frenzied sanitation goodness falls the cooking, the family, and the eating.

We didn't have as many people at our house this year, since two of my wife's siblings were out of town celebrating the holiday elsewhere this year. However, those who did come had a good time and enjoyed eachother's company - especially the kids.

After dinner, with a renewed source of energy, the kids went wild with a round of dodgeball in the kitchen, followed up with some wrestling (complete with Hulk Hands) in the living room.

It was exhausting, but well worth the effort (as these family gatherings always are). The day after Thanksgiving, we headed on over to my parents' house to celebrate Thanksgiving with them, as well as my brother's family (down from the bay area), my aunt, and my grandmother.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tour of (Jury) Duty Over

A month or so ago, I received the dreaded jury summons in the mail. Last Thursday, my time was up and I went in to the Vista courthouse to do my civic duty. Apparently, that consists mainly of sitting around for long periods of time, doing nada.

As luck would have it, there were two people I knew who also were summoned for the same day - a neighbor and a friend whom I hadn't seen in quite some time. We three talked for most of the morning, sharing stories of our life, catching up with what had happened recently, etc. All in all, it was the best experience I've had in a jury lounge so far.

Shortly before lunch, they informed all of us that they had one other trial that needed a pool of potential jurors for the day, and that if our name was not on the list, then we were excused for the day. As a lack of luck would have it, my name was on the list, as was my friend's. My neighbor, on the other had, got a free pass to head back home. Lucky bastige!

So we went to lunch, then came back and waited some more in the jury lounge. I had hoped that they would get started right after lunch (1:30), but we were not seated in the court room until 3:30. Ug! I was potential juror number 45 out of 47, so I just listened to the judge and attorney while they focused on the first 20 jurors.

If you have never gone through the process, I will tell you that it is somewhat interesting. The potential jurors are asked general questions by the judge (usually involving answering some kind of questionnaire), followed up by questions from both attorneys. In general, these questions are asked to see if any of the people should be dismissed for cause. That is, dismissed because the person would not be able to provide an equal footing for both the prosecution and defense. Since this case involved the alleged molestation of a child, you can imagine that there were several people who fell in this category.

Thursday ended with only the first 20 people questioned, so court was adjourned for the day and we were told to report back on Monday (the Vista courthouse is closed on Fridays) for further selection.

So I went back Monday, and the process continued. After dismissals for cause, the prosecution and defense also have a set number of dismissals that they can use at their own discretion, for any reason whatsoever. Perhaps it's a gut feeling, or it has something to do with the answers given to the questions posed previously.

By the time they arrived at the back row (where I was seated) which held potential jurors 41 through 47, the 12 seats had been filled with only the two alternated juror seats remaining open. Then, I was finally questioned (with the others), and as expected - I was not selected. Have a sister who is a DDA in superior court downtown probably has something to do with it, plus my uncle who is a city attorney for Anaheim, and an aunt who is an ex-probation officer. That, and the fact that I have three young children probably doesn't endear me to the defense in the least.

Perhaps someday I'll be able to sit on a jury and see what the process is like in one of those twelve seats. Until then, I'll just keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kung Fu F-U

Two post in one day? Preposterous! This one will be quick - a humorous link to amuse you when you have a spare minute or two. I give you...

Kung Fu F-U

That is all.

Soccer Tournament Results

Saturday saw us at the soccer field once again, as my daughter's team was scheduled to play in the semi-finals for her division (girls under 10). The first game was at 2:45, and everyone showed up ready to play.

After a bit of warming up, and a quick pep-talk by yours truly, the girls took the field and dominated the game from start to finish. The final score was 2 - nil, shutting out the opposition for the fourth time in five games. Not too shabby!

Winning the semifinal game entitled us to play for the championship, under the lights at 6:00 that evening. We knew the final game was going to be very tough, as it was against a team which had gone through the season undefeated. During the regular season, we lost to them 5 - 2, and during the tournament the previous weekend, we lost to them 1 - nil.

As it turns out, the fewest goals this team scored during the season was five, and the most goals scored against them were two - by us. So we prepared as best we could, and the game began.

The girls played their hearts out. At halftime, we were knotted up at a scoreless tie, thinking that the championship might come down to penalty kicks. Unfortunately, during the second half the other team managed to score a goal when our goalie didn't see the ball coming due to so many people being in front of the box. The game ended with a score of 1 - nil.

After the game, we had our team party, and all of us coaches congratulated the girls on an amazing final game, as well as stupendous play over the entire tournament. As a relatively young team (the champions had five girls older than our oldest player), they showed a lot of skill, determination and drive. They were awesome!

And to crow a bit about my daughter - let's just say that she was a bulldog on defense. A damn quick bulldog at that. Several times she rode the other team's best player to the sidelines, and then took the ball away from her. A few times she streaked back to save a goal from across the field, saving at least two goals. Way to go Jazzy!

So the regular season is over, and now we have two weeks of all-star practices and an all-star tournament on the 19th of November.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Weekly Wrap Up with Weekend Preview

I've been busy this week, and have been neglecting updates here due to business at work and home I ask you, my humble readers, for forgiveness and hope that this simple missive is counted as a small token of my affection. Blah, blah, blah...

So, what've I been up to as of late?

1. I am finally upgrading the PCs at work. Last week, I spec'd out a nice system to replace our old AMD Athlon 800 boxes: AMD Athlon-64 3200; nforce 4 motherboard with build in sound, networking, video, sata2; 1 gigabyte of ram; a 250 GB western digital sata2 hard drive; a DVD-+R/RW drive; and a nice compact Antec case and power supply. I ordered all the stuff from newegg.com (a very good on-line place to order computer stuff - the deliver quickly and are good with returns as well).

The systems went together extremely easily, and I had no problems except for with one motherboard (bad on-board network controller - put in a spare PCI NIC that I had, and all was well). The real pain in the arse is getting the systems set up for the users.
I installed Windows XP on them, with OpenOffice.org (a great, free office suite), Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird (web browser and email client), Picasa (picture viewer), plus a few other useful tools.

On the boxes that the development team uses, I also had to install our development platform, which is somewhat time consuming. Since it is a newer version that we were using, it also is a bit nerve wracking as you need to migrate your projects to the new platform, which can either being extremely easy or entirely frustrating.

2. At home, we are wrapping up the soccer season this Saturday with my daughter's team seeded number two as we head into the semi-finals. The girls are excited, and if they make it to the finals, then they get to play at 6:00 pm under the lights that evening. W00t!

3. I have also been tasked by my boss to take a look into the J2EE platform, as we have a client which would like us to give them a quote on some J2EE work. I have limited experience with Java, and J2EE is a voluminous subject, so I am trying to put all the pieces together. Between which application server to use, to enterprise java beans (EJBs), to Java server pages (JSPs) - I have a whole lot of ground to cover in a relatively short period of time. Yeah, me! :S

Anyhow, that should wrap it up for today. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Soccer Season

Well, I've certainly been busy as of late. Not that it totally excuses the lack of updates here, but it is certainly a factor. Soccer season is winding down, with this Saturday holding the final regular season games for both of my children that play. My oldest daughter's team (Shockwave) has a playoff tournament the following Saturday, so we are gearing up for those games in practice now.

Between the two of them, we have soccer practice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, with two games on Saturday. What's going to happen when my youngest wants to play? Ack!

Anyhow, hope you enjoyed these pictures from the season.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Recipe: Amazingly Good Steaks at Home

It has been quite a while since I last posted anything, so in an effort to make it up to any and all visitors, I thought I'd give you my recipe for cooking great steaks at home.

What you'll need:
  • A large skillet that can be placed in a very hot oven, as well as on the stove top. I prefer cast-iron as it holds heat incredibly well, and they are nigh indestructible. I have a few Lodge skillets, and use the big 12-inch one for most of my cooking.
  • Some good steaks. For this method, I'd recommend the following types of steaks: New York strip, rib eye, filet. If you don't know much about buying meat, take a look here. You'll have difficulty finding prime (the best) grades of meat at the grocery store, but they will usually carry choice (good) for a it more than select (ok) grades. Boneless cuts will cook a bit more evenly than those with the bone in.
  • Some kosher salt.
  • Olive oil.
  • Red wine (I usually use a cabernet).
  1. Remove steaks from their packaging one or two days ahead of time. Place them on a rack inside a dish with high sides, and cover with plastic wrap. Cut several holes in the plastic wrap to facilitate air flow. This will remove some of the excess water from the meat, concentrating the flavors a bit more. If you don't have the time (or just need a steak right now, you can skip this step).
  2. Take the steaks out of the fridge, and place them on the counter.
  3. Put your cast iron skillet in the over, and set the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Take the steaks and sprinkle kosher salt over both sides. Pat the salt into the meat using your hands.
  5. Rub some olive oil on both sides of each stake (not too much - maybe a teaspoon for each steak).
  6. After the oven and fan have reached the temperature of a small fusion reaction, remove the pan from the oven (keeping the oven on at 500) and place the pan on your stove. Crank up the burner to full.
  7. Carefully place your steaks in the pan, being careful to not move them once they have been placed in the pan. Set a time for two minutes.
  8. When the timer goes off, flip the steaks over and set the time for one minute and 30 seconds. If the steaks stick a bit when you flip them over, don't worry about it.
  9. After the timer goes off again, turn off the burner and slide the skillet with your steaks into the oven.
  10. Set the timer as appropriate to the desired "doneness" of the meat, which will probably vary a bit from oven to oven, the thickness of the steaks, as well as the type of pan used. I generally use six minutes for one inch steaks, which gets the meat to a nice medium.
  11. After the timer has gone off, turn the oven off and remove the pan from the oven, placing it back on the burner. Remove the steaks from the pan, and cover them lightly with aluminum foil.
  12. Turn the burner under the pan on medium, and deglaze the pan with the red wine (use about 1 cup or so). Scrape the bottom of the pan off using a spatula, to ensure all the good meat bits get incorporated. This will produce a strongly flavored sauce which complements the meat nicely, in moderation. It also cleans out the cast iron skillet quite nicely.
After that, you are ready to eat. Serve with some steamed green beans, a baked potato, or fresh bread. A glass of cabernet will complement the meal nicely as well. I have found that using the above recipe with good cuts of meat will produce a great steak. Perhaps not as good as Ruth's Chris steakhouse (the pinacle, IMHO), but very close and better than most places which will charge you $25+ for the same steak.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Two Great Days of Surf

What a way to wrap up the week! Thursday and Friday saw some of the best waves I've ridden in quite a while roll into North San Diego county. I took an extended lunch yesterday and today, and rode some of the longest, biggest, and fastest waves on my new quad fish.

The new board performed extremely well, and I never felt under-gunned in the bigger surf, even though the board is only six feet. Today, I am sore in a way that is sooooo good.

Up in Newport Beach (which faces to the South more than the beaches here in Encinitas do), the surf was bigger and meaner. I can't wait to see some of the shots from the Wedge, which will probably be completely crazy tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Worst Night's Sleep EVER!

About 11:30 pm last night, we had an unusual (for San Diego) display of mother nature's light and sound show, as thunder and lightning pounded us. Ace, our almost 10 year old black lab great dane mutt, was quite upsent with the racket and showed it by panting lightly, knocking over a bunch of stuff in the living room, etc.

The lightning came and went in about 3 waves, and I figure I may have gotten about three hours of sleep last night. Yippee-ki-yai-yai!

Hopefully I'll be able to sleep like a rock tonight, and that the thunder and lightning (while awesome), will only visit again during non-sleeping hours. Thanks you very much for you support and understanding...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Trip to Callaway Gardens

A few weeks ago, I went on a business trip down to Callaway Gardens, GA. I don't go on many business trips (thankfully), and this one was even more unusual as I was able to bring my wife along with me.

My wife and I haven't been away from our kids (together) for more than 12 hours, since our daughter was born about nine years ago. I knew it would be a great break for my wife, and we both thought they would have a good time being taken care of by my parents.

Walking off the plane into the air-condition free terminal (AC was broken), a wall of humid, sticky air nearly stopped us in our tracks. I haven't felt humidity like that since we were in the Florida keys after my college graduation.

The gardens themselves were gorgeous, with flora and fauna up the wazoo. Here in Southern California, we don't have many forests like the South and East does. Seeing the giant trees covered in kudzu vines, going on as far as the eye can see, is quite impressive. We also saw lots of beautiful butterflies (as the pictures illustrate), turtles, and even a doe grazing on the side of the freeway.

While it was beautiful down there, the extremely rural community next to the gardens was an eye opener as well. Downtown pine mountain consists mainly of a two block area. We went looking for a grocery store on Sunday, and were surprised to find the only one closed all day.

We had a nice time biking around the gardens, walking about downtown Pine Mountain, and just having time together. However, when our fourth and final day was up, we were more than ready to come back home. To see more of the pictures, please check out my Callaway Garden photo album.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

3 Days on My Fish

With swell scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, I took out my new 6' GH quad on Monday to get a feel for how she paddles, takes off, rides waves, etc. Went out on Tuesday and some of the swell was starting to show, but not too much (too steep for my location). Wednesday was damn fun, with some big waves and the first "outside!" moments I've had in quite some time.

Paddling my new board, I was immediately struck by the width. She's a good 2 inches wider than my thruster (19.5"), and it just felt a bit different. Even though my fish is 4" shorter, she paddled like a dream and I felt comfortable paddling quickly. Duck dives like a... duck, I guess. No problems there (easier than the 6'5" CI MSF, without a doubt).

Taking off and catching waves was comparable to my thruster. I didn't notice it beeing much easier, but I probably need a few more sessions to get dialed in on the board.

On my first wave, I tried a hard turn and dug my backside rail pretty damn deep. Lesson 1 - that thick tail will not respond the same as the thruster. Instead of stomping on the tail, I approached turns with a more "carving" approach, and things got much better. Yesterday I caught a nice left set wave and carved up and down the wave, connecting sections and looking a "drop-in foo" off the wave. I dunno if he didn't see me or if he didn't think I'd make the section, but at least he had the decency to get off the wave.

How about them turbo canard quads? I expected the board to feel a lot more skateboardy-flicky than it was. I never lost the back end on a hard bottom turn, and on steep wave faces she held like a dream.

The low entry rocker is throwing me a bit off, as I've had to "walk off the nose of the board" twice after late/steep takeoffs. Nothing major, it's just something I'll need to work on a bit.

Overall Impressions: Damn fun. I love the carving turns and speed, and didn't once feel like I had too little board. The turbo canards really seem to keep the board in line, and I've fleetingly glimpsed some of the speed of which this board is capable.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Mini-Vacation Day #2 - The Stoke Strikes Back

After a great Friday, I wasn't sure if Saturday could live up to the expectations of the following day, and thus slept in. We had plans to meet my uncle along with my cousin and his family down at the South Carlsbad State Beach campgrounds around 11:00, so we had a relaxing morning.

Then, it happened. Yes, it! Out of the blue, like a piano falling on your head while walking down the street (but in a good way), Sally from Moonlight Glassing called to let me know my new board was done and ready to be picked up. Woo-freaking-hoo!

We decided to leave a little bit early to swing by the moonbase on the way to the camp grounds. As we parked, I asked if the kids wanted to go in with me and see the new board. They all nodded in agreement, so we went inside to see who was there.

Mr. and Mrs. Pinliner were the only folks in the shop at this early-for-a-Saturday-morning glass shop hour (10:00 or so), and both stopped what they were doing to talk with my kids as I ogled and drooled over my new board and then wrote out a check for the balance.

The kids got a tour of the moon unit, and some Moonlight stickers as well! My kids were very impressed with it all, and many thanks go out to Peter and Sally for treating them so well! I oftentimes think that how a person treats children is a good way to see past their exterior and into their true nature. From silly questions about bubble wrap to boards heading off to Japan, they fielded them all. Again, thanks very much!

And now, onto the new board porn! As mentioned earlier, it turned out amazing. Pictures of it are scattered throughout this entry, so enjoy the views! This is probably my favorite picture of the tail end, as you can see the grass reflected in the gloss coat.

The fins are LokBox Turbo Canard Quads (aka "Speed dialers" for their reputation for some giddy-up). Here's another look at the tail end, showing all four fins.

The turbo canard quads are actually curved, and canted out at a pretty good angle. A view from the rear illustrates this better than anything else I could describe in prose.

One more shot of the tail, looking from above (including Moon froggy).

The boards was shaped by Gary Hanel (a local Encinitas shaper and calculus teacher), and looks like it will be the perfect small wave board. The dimensions on it are: 6'0" (length) x 16.5" (nose) x 21.5" (mid) x 17" (tail) x 2.75" (thickness). You can see the rocker in this profile view.

Ack! Ace (our dog) wanted to get into the action, it seems. One more try...

For now, I'm letting the board cure until such time that a decent wave is spotted here in SoCal. Hopefully that will happen sometime before the end of August!

After picking up my board, we headed down the beach to spend time with relatives (successfully avoiding the jellyfish), and later had a great BBQ dinner with friends. It just doesn't get much better than this...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Mini-Vacation, Day #1

Day 1 of my mini-vacation was Friday, and I was determined to get some surf generated stoke in my extended weekend one way or another. After going to the AM swimming lessons (see here), we went back home and loaded up the family bus to head to the beach.

With three kids, getting ready for any trip (no matter how mundane or short the duration) is an organizational task similar to that required to invade Europe on June 6, 1944. Factor in the additional stuff you need to bring to the beach (surf board, boogie boards, beach chairs, drinks, food, towels... and don't forget the munchkins!) and you can possibly understand what a herculean task this is.

We muddled through the supply and planning phase of the operation, and actually left our house. Our Destination? Oceanside Beach, near the South jetty:

I didn't bring my camera, as sand and expensive camera equipment generally don't go real well together, and I planned on doing stuff other than just shoot pictures. The picture above is from December of 2003, but the conditions weren't quite so nice.

In fact, the waves were miniscule, it was overcast with the sun in hiding and the water was extremely chilly for this time of the year. In short, it was a near perfect day for letting my two older kids try out surfing! I brought my old (from the 80s) 6 foot thruster for them to beat up. It is thick, and floats them both well.

I pushed both Alan and Jasmine into a dozen or more "waves", trying to teach them how to pop up in a somewhat smooth manner (and how to avoid going to the knees as well). Jasmine got up once or twice, and Alan seemed to nail it down extremely well.

In fact, Alan seems to have caught a mild case of the surfing bug, as he asked if we could watch one of my surf videos the day after. We sat down and watched through September Sessions, and he's ready to go charge. He's already talking about his first surfboard, and being able to turn and get in the tube. Too funny!

I think Jasmine had a great time as well, and I'm thinking she'll be a surf queen in a few years. We'll see if they both stay interested in surfing as time goes by. It is my hope that they can find the peace and solitude I enjoy while bobbing in the lineup, waiting for that next does of adrenaline delivered from 270 degrees at 14 seconds.

Thus, at the end of my mini-vacation day #1, I was already filled with surf stoke even though I didn't catch a single decent wave the entire time I was at the beach. Little did I expect it to be exceeded on Day #2...

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Summer Swim Lessons

We didn't take a family vacation this summer, instead taking a short a trip up to San Mateo for my nephew's baptism as well as a trip out to Phoenix to see my niece graduate from high school (talk about two ends of the childhood spectrum!). So, I have a few vacation days accrued, and decided to take Friday and Monday off to spend with the family before their summer ends on the 18th.

Friday morning we went to the local YMCA for swim lessons for our two youngest (Alan and Peter). Jasmine (our oldest) has completed all of the swimming courses and can pretty much swim like a fish in any pool. So I tagged along to try and get some pictures of our fish-in-training.

Alan is in the mid-level swimming class, and in fact advanced to the next level this very day. He likes his spring suit since it makes him a bit more buoyant, and hence he can actually almost float on his back! That it also prevents his lips from turning blue is an added bonus.

He's getting his back stroke down fairly well with the assistance of his teacher, and is very confident in the water.

Here he is, leaping in before his instructor is ready for him. Let's just say he is enthusiastic...

Peter is our youngest, and he breezed through the first level of swim class, and is now in the second level. He's not real thrilled about the backfloat, so we'll need to work on that a bit. Other than that, he's very comfortable in the water, and seems to enjoy it.

Here he is, warming up his synchronized swimming skills before his lesson:

And here he is with his swimming instructor, having a heck of a good time:

After an hour of enjoying the fresh water, we left the confines of the pool and headed out to the beach for some fun in the salt water. Too bad Fridays can't always be so relaxing, eh? More on my mini-vacation to follow, as time allows.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Happy Anniversary Babe!

Just a quick note to my beautiful bride of 13 years:

Thanks for everything! For your love, patience, support (through good times and bad - though we've been lucky enough to not have very many bad times) and for just being my best friend.

The first thirteen years have given us three wonderful kids, and I look forward to watching them grow with you by my side.


Friday, July 22, 2005

Friday's Encinitas Double Shot Surf Report

Just a quick post before I head home for the weekend. I went out this AM, and was rewarded with an extremely low tide, small waves, and inconsistent sets - ack! At least it was quiet and peaceful!

By lunch, the building southwest swell was showing, and the waves had picked up in size to the 4 ft. to 6ft. size during the sets. Unfortunately, the heat drove a majority of Californians, residents of Arizona and Nevada, and perhaps even parts of Utah to the beaches. To say it was crowded in the lineup would be a severe understatement.

If only the swell had arrived 6 hours earlier!!! ;>

Have a great weekend, and try and catch some of this soon to be fading swell. By Monday, it will probably have finished expending itself on our coast, so get it while you can!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wednesday Afternoon Encinitas Surf Report

The swell over last weekend has come and gone, and what remains after its passing is fairly small (but clean) surf. The water temperature has risen drastically in the last few days, to the point that I am quite comfortable trunking it. Today, the weather was perfect - sunny, very little wind, and small, peeling waves - now if only the crowd would vamoose! Fat chance, I know. When the weather gets gorgeous, people flock to the beach. Such is the curse of living in North San Diego County!

Monday, July 18, 2005

My New Board - The "Lemon Drop"

It has been almost one year since I last ordered my 6'4" Bulkley thruster, and I've enjoyed the heck out of it. It is maneuverable, fast, and paddles extremely well. However, during the spring and summer months here in North San Diego County, the waves get pretty crap-tacular and mushy.

Thus, I felt it was time to try out a new shape - one that can catch waves on autopilot, and zip through the mush sections so common this time of the year. In short, I was ready to try a fish-like board. I contacted a local shaper (Gary Hanel) and asked him if he could shape me a post-modern quad finned fish, similar to the twinzer shape he did for a friend of mine. We briefly talked over dimensions, my size and age, etc. Approximately five days later the blank was at Moonlight Glassing, waiting for me to come in and fill out an order card.

To make a long story short, I met up with Jp at Moonlight and he walked me through all of the glassing, color and fin options for my new board. I settled on a yellow resin tint, and for fins I decided to give the LokBox Turbo Canard Quads a try.

Moonlight is probably one of the most well known glass shops in San Diego, due to their attention to detail and the fine craftsmanship and artistic talent they posses. Thus, I knew it would be several weeks or months until I set my hands upon the new board.

A few days ago, Jp sent me a few images of my new board being laminated, in all of its glory. Looks beautiful to me, and if I get any more pictures of it I'll be sure to post them up so you can follow along with me.

If all goes well, I should have my new board in a few more weeks and get to try her out on during the last few weeks of summer!

Cleaning Up Your Debian Box

If you use Debian GNU/Linux, you know that it has a solid reputation of stability and durability. I just recently upgrade a file/print server here at work from the "Woody" distribution to the newest stable release - "Sarge". The upgrade proceeded without a hitch, and it was all done by editing a single file and then issuing one command from the bash shell. It doesn't get much better than that for the ever-stressed out network administrator! Furthermore, Debian provides extremely timely security updates which are likewise installed in the same painless manner as the distribution.

For those who would prefer to be more on the cutting edge of Debian development, there are also "testing" and "still in development" distributions which provide more recent packages. These meta-distributions are actually the workplaces for the next stable release, but are constantly upgraded as packages are improved, fixed, etc. These testing distributions are also pretty damn stable, but there is more package-churn here than in the stable branch, where packages are updated only for security issues.

The only downside to Debian's stability is that over the long period of time in one of the testing distros, you can get some unused packages left behind. Today, I found a useful package in Debian called deborphan. As you might guess, deborphan scans the list of installed packages, searching for orphaned libraries that are no longer needed. Using the list it prints out, you can then remove these orphaned packages and free up some disk space.

If you don't have deborphan installed yet, install it:

apt-get update
apt-get install deborphan

Of course, you could use aptitude as well - whatever you prefer. Next step, run deborphan and see what packages it thinks you no longer need:


Look through the list carefully, and make sure that nothing seems out of the ordinary. If you want to fully remove all of the listed packages, then try:

deborphan | xargs apt-get --purge remove -y

This command will purge all of the packages listed in the previous step from your system. I just did this a few minutes ago on my Debian sid workstation, and it freed up around 106 MB.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thursday Afternoon Encinitas Surf Report

The wave sizes have slowly risen throughout the week, almost as if they know about the southwest swell we are expecting today. On my lunch this afternoon, some of that swell showed up - the long period (but small) vanguard of what is to come.

I caught a couple nice sized waves, but they seemd few and far between. Those that I did ride, however, were nice and meaty. Waves of substance, if you will.

I expect that the swell will continue to fill in throughout the night and morning, so let's hope for some stacked up lines come dawn patrol time, Friday. I may even have to break out the camera and take some surf pictures, which I haven't done in quite a while.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Saturday Morning Oceanside Surf Report

Starting out the weekend doesn't get much better than sleeping in on Saturday, and then heading out for a two hour surf session. I paddled out about 1 and a half hours after low tide, and for the first hour some decent set waves rolled in every 5 minutes or so.

Oceanside Harbor

I caught a couple of the largest waves of the summer so far (which says a lot for the pathetic conditions we've had as of late, and not much for the waves themselves), and found a couple nice shoulders to carve up after the bigger drops.

The red tide we've been experiencing for the last three weeks or so seems to have started to clear out, which is nice. There is something about surfing in rust color water that smells slightly fetid which isn't as appealing as our normal sea-green and odor-free oceans.

I surfed until my body told me it was time to head back in. On my last wave, I popped up and both calf muscles seized up and cramped with amazing ferocity. Note to self: start eating more bananas!

This tail end of the approaching week looks very promising, as it looks like San Diego may get its first good sized south swell from a storm originally in the southern hemisphere. Time to get those paddling arms in shape!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Kindergarten Graduation

I've been slacking off as of late in regards to my blog, not updating pictures, surf reports, or anything. Well, now I'm going to try and do some catch-up with stuff that's happened over the last month or so.

To start things off, my middle son graduated from kindergarten in June, and it was a momentous occasion indeed. One worthy of family members taking the day off and viewing the ceremony, followed by a feast afterwards and then a leisurely stroll around Oceanside harbor.

The Graduate

Triple Trouble

After lunch, it was such a nice day out that we decided to take a walk around Oceanside harbor and enjoy the weather.

Gramms & Aunt Susie

Just Missing One!

Alan had a new camera, and was trying his hand at photography for the first time. We have not yet developed the film, so I'll have to let you know how his pictures turn out later.

A Boy and His Camera

Future Photographer?

A couple of picturesque, er.... pictures from the harbor:

Monterey Bay Canners restaurant

Tri-Fold Symmetry

Finally, it was time for us all to call it a day. Dropping off our relatives at the train station, we waited until the train left the station and made out way home to recover.

Oceanside Amtrak Station

Oh We're Moving On Up...

I've decided to move my blog to Blogger due to some of the very nice features it has, especially in regards to integrating with Picasa2 and my digital photo library. While Blogger does not have all of the features that pyBlosxom does (such as categories), it makes up for it in the convenience of day to day administration and ease of use.

The old Alan's Place will still stick around for archival purposes, but any and all new content will be posted to this site in the future.