zigdon: (Default)
Just signed the documents to make an offer on another place - West Oakland, really beautiful house.  Downside - not the best neighborhood, but I think it should be fine.

(click for the rest of the listing pictures)

Keep your fingers crossed - if all goes well, I'll have to figure out what to do with *8* bedrooms ;)
zigdon: (Default)
Talking the other night to WBR, we were playing around with the idea of a playlist with a song for every hour.  There are a few trivial answers, but some hours are hard to figure out.

I posted this to twitter/facebook, and got a few suggestions.  I'll compile this list (and update it as more come in).  And no, rock around the clock doesn't count.  Actually, I figure each song should appear at one slot only.

"Round Midnight." / Dexter Gordon

These don't quite count:

2 Minutes to Midnight / Iron Maiden
One Minute to Midnight / Justice
10 Seconds to Midnight / by The Divine Comedy
1am One O'Clock Jump - Count Basie
1 AM / The Subways
2am2 AM / Iron Maiden
3am3 AM / Matchbox 20
3 O'Clock in the Morning / Dexter Gordon
Wednesday morning, 3am / Simon & Garfunkel
4am"it's 4 in the morning, the end of December..." - Famous Blue Raincoat / Leonard Cohen
"Four a.m. in the morning, carried away by a moonlight shadow" - Moonlight Shadow / Mike Oldfield
"It's 4 O'Clock in the morning and eeeyts starting to get-ta light." - Promise Me / Beverley Craven
5am"it's 5am and your are lisssstening to Los Angeles" - Screenwriter's Blues / Soul Coughing
6am "Six o'clock already, I was just in the middle of a dream " - Manic Monday / The Bangles
 "saturday morning, baby / who's going to play with me? / 6 in the morning baby"
 "6 am, day after christmas...." / Ben Folds Five
7am 7 AM / Deep Blue Something
8am 8 AM / Tom Helsen and the Summer Obsession
9am 9 AM / ATB (Instrumental)
11amNot quite counting this:
 11:11 / Rufus Wainwright
noon "Look at that big hand movin' round Nearin' high noon" - Ballad of High Noon / Tex Ritter
3pm "Now it's three in the afternoon and I can't leave too soon, saying 'Thank you, I had a nice...time." - Cradle and All / Ani DiFranco
5pm Five in the Afternoon / Panic in the Disco
 Six O'Clock / Lovin' Spoonful
7pm "It’s seven o’clock and I want to rock
 Want to get a belly full of beer" - Saturday Night's Alright / Elton John
9pm "It's nine o'clock on a Saturday..." - Piano Man / Billy Joel
 Step Into My Office, Baby / Belle and Sebastian
10pm "Ten o'clock and I know I gotta hit the road" - Detroit Rock City / KISS
11pm Elevent O'Clock Tick Tock / U2

Fill in the blanks!

More guidelines:
- I'll write down close matches (2 minutes to midnight), but won't be too happy with them.
- Song titles are ok, but in the song lyrics is much better.  This applies to instrumentals too.  The idea is that you hear the song, and you should be able to hear the hour in question.
- No, I'm still not writing down "Rock around the Clock" for any or all of these.
- I think I'm not going to add more entries for hours with 2 or more entries.  Unless it's a really obvious one that more people (read "I") will know. ;)
zigdon: (Meme pic)
Peeron (one of my four cats) died this morning.  Didn't wake up. 

It didn't come as much of a surprise, he's been sick for almost 3 years now, and no one really expected him to live this long.  He would have been 13 in 3 weeks.

I'll miss him.
zigdon: (Meme pic)
An ok day ended up being weird, starting with me watching this: http://www.vimeo.com/1800647

Nothing there really new, but listening to it today it suddenly clicked in a way it hasn't before.  I suddenly understand what Bebe meant when he said a while back "I think I want to be poor".  At the time, both me and our mother had no idea what he was about.

I don't actually know what this means, if anything, as far as what I want to do with my self, both near and longer term.  But it got me thinking about it in a way I haven't in a while.
zigdon: (Meme pic)
I love how music and memory interact.  I was listening to music on random on the drive in, and Calypso started playing, and suddenly I found myself in my bedroom in high-school, DMing a game of Star Frontiers for my brother.  It was quite strong - came with the sounds from the highway, the feel of the sunlight through my window, the firmness of my bed's mattress.

I love these random triggers, but they still surprise me.
zigdon: (Default)
I know I haven't written anything about the climbing trip yet, but the pictures have been posted.

Not really going to post about it now either, but I wanted to share my experiments with photo stitching.  The first morning, I got up at a silly early hour, enough so that I was up and about to see the sunrise.  I walked up to the top of the hill near our camp, and just snapped a series of pictures of the mountains around - no tripod, not really even stopping for each picture, just letting the camera grab them as I was spinning.

The original 9 are posted with the rest of the pictures linked above.  Then, I sat with gimp, and just tried connecting them.  It worked kinda ok, but the picture boundaries were really obvious (click to see the whole thing):

Then, I tried (still with the gimp) to see if I can hide the boundary lines a bit - mostly smudging, a little bit with the stamp tool (click to see the whole thing):

Better, but the exposure still needed correcting.  Then, today, Xavier mentioned Hugin, and I figured I'll give it a shot.  I think it really worked quite well (click to see the whole thing):

I think next time I'll try it with a tripod though - you can certainly see the movement as I spin to the left.

Too slow!

Apr. 8th, 2009 05:28 pm
zigdon: (Default)
Remember that hobbit house?  Well, I finally decided to make an offer on it -- but I took too long to do it.  They apparently accepted an offer on Monday.  Oh well, I'll consider it a dry run for the house I'll actually get.  One thing I learned - making an offer is as simple as telling my agent "get it".

Good to know.
zigdon: (Default)
Went today to look at another house.  It's a tiny little thing in Fremont, but I actually really liked it.  It's cute, it has a really neat yard (not that THAT'LL keep), close to BART, close to the bridge I can ride my bike to work.  Not going to get a chance to do anything about it until after the climbing trip, but I suspect it will still be there. 

That's the listing picture - the ONLY listing picture.  I should go back with my camera to take more, of the indoors and yard.  But I really don't see anything wrong with it, I think the foreclosure people were just being lazy.

Of course, need to get it inspected, especially the roof.  But I'm cautiously optimistic. 

And if it turns out ok, it would be really neat - my monthly payment should be about the same as my current rent, leaving the extra I've been saving for taxes, improvements, etc.
zigdon: (RBR)
Back in the day, when I was in the "hiking club" in high school, we went on a few climbing trips.  I didn't really know what we were doing, but I really enjoyed it.

Fast forward about 20 years, and I discovered (through a girl on OKC) that climbing is now available, *indoors*!  No more needing to get a big group together, or have all the fancy equipment, or even know how to use it.  So of course I started climbing, and have been really enjoying it.

Completely by accident, a few weeks after I started climbing (again), I met a whole bunch of people who climb quite a bit.  Well, yay, I now have climbing partners!  Not only that, but they go on climbing trips, and know what they're doing, and can teach me stuff!

That brings us up to this past weekend.  See, we have a 4 day climbing trip next month.  This will be the first time I've gone outdoor climbing since the 80s.  It will also be one of the other girl's first time outdoors.  So just to make sure we know what we're getting into, we went to a local rock in Berkeley, just for a few hours to try it out.  Then, there was ropes, and harnesses, and some scrapes and blood and a general good time:

Allison on the rockDC making a tricky move
Stephanie climbing, I'm belaying far far below

Bottom line, it was awesome, and I can't wait for next month.  Only thing I'm worried about now is if I should get a new lens for the trip, since I think something with a little bit more zoom might be helpful.  Perhaps one of the 70-200mm lenses...  We'll see.
zigdon: (SF Pic)
In general, I love my bank (ING Direct). They're awesome in all sorts of ways, one of which is that they email me every time I have a large transaction posted on my debit/credit card.

For instance, I ordered a new tape deck for the car this morning, and promptly got an email about it. Great.

But I just got another email from them:

Dear Dan,
Customer Number: XXXXXXX
This is a notification that a large purchase was made using your Electric Orange Card that exceeds your designated amount. Here are the transaction details:
Date: 01/30/2009
$ Amount: $6.66

If you did authorize this transaction and are aware of it, then this is just a friendly reminder.

If you didn't authorize this transaction, please login to ingdirect.com and click on your Electric Orange to view all your account details. Then click on this transaction to review all the related information. This security email was sent because you elected to receive an Email Notification any time a large dollar transaction is processed using your Electric Orange card. This adds to the safety and security of your account. You can review and change your Email Notification settings at any time by logging into your account at ingdirect.com and clicking on the 'Preferences' tab.
Thanks for using Electric Orange.

It was good sushi, but I'm not sure I'd have gotten it if I knew it would have been a "Large Transaction"!
zigdon: (RBR)
Riding home last night, I noticed a rhythmic bump on the bike.  Took me a while to figure out if it was on the road, or on the bike.  By the time I decided it must be on the bike, I was losing air in my rear wheel.

"Oh great, a flat."

Pull over, get on the sidewalk, and replace the tube.  It's not too cold out, not a big deal.  But as I was checking the new tube is in place properly, I notice there's a problem with the tire itself...  Yes, that's a hole the size of my thumb.

Damn, guess I'm not going to be riding home.  Ended up walking about a mile to a bus stop, and taking that home - so pleased the buses here have bike racks on them!

Today, I went to the bike shop, got a new tire, and while I was there, had them replace my cassette, which I somehow managed to bend:

Now, all that's left is to see if I can get some of those bike-commuting tax money that was passed with the big bailout!
zigdon: (Default)
Went riding around today with Stephanie and DC in SF.  Given that I've lived here for over a year, there really isn't any excuse for barely ever making it up to the city.

So we went riding around, and even crossed the Golden Gate Bridge :)  Fun day, not too much to report.  Pictures are here.
zigdon: (Default)

This year is starting off fairly well. Instead of my usual "sit at home and kinda ignore new-year's eve", I was actually invited to a NYE party, up in Sacramento. The party was fun (thanks, Matthias!), but the real reason to go there was a grand scheme - DC, Stephanie and I were going to ride out bikes down from Sacramento back to the bay area, about 60 miles total.

And so it was. We took the train up (with Christina), had fun, drank lots of booze, played lots of Contact, and went to sleep. In the morning, had tasty tasty French Toast, and around 1pm started our ride.

The ride itself was a lot of fun - I wouldn't have complained if it was 5F warmer, or if we EVER saw the sun, but it was still a good time. I love group rides, and I like hanging with DC and Stephanie, so really, there wasn't anywhere I'd rather have been.

We got to ride on two ferries, have a tasty lunch (nothing tastes quite as good as WARM FOOD when you can't feel your toes), got lost a number of times (or at least miss our the turns we were looking for), but we did make it without any serious mishap.

All in all, it was about 70mi, and took about 6:30 hours (counting the stops for lunch, oranges, ferries, pictures, map lookups, etc). Activebody was impressed - when I entered the ride data last night, it proclaimed that at this rate, I'll do 27k miles or so for the entire year. I think it's being optimistic, but that's ok :)

I sat down today and plotted what I could of the route on Bikely (with Stephanie's help, that is), and posted some of the pictures.

A good start indeed, and I have no reason to expect the year won't get even better :)
zigdon: (Default)
List of questions )
zigdon: (Default)
The Rules:
1. Answer each of the questions below using the Flickr Search engine.
2. Choose a photo from the first three pages.
3. Copy the URL of your favorite photo into this site: http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/mosaic.php (I wonder if they started this meme?)
4. Save mosaic to some form of photo hosting thing and share w/world.

1. First Name
2. Favorite Food
3. Hometown
4. Favorite Color
5. Celebrity Crush
6. Favorite Drink
7. Dream Vacation
8. Favorite Dessert
9. What I Want To Be When I Grow Up
10. What I Love Most In The World
11. One Word That Describes Me
12. My LiveJournal Name
The result... )
zigdon: (Default)
Well, I kinda do.  Bugs me that I'm flushing rent money down the toilet.  Bugs me that my apt has wall-to-wall carpeting, but it's really too much of a bother to move to a new apt (assuming I'll just have to move again in a year or two).  Bugs me that I live about an hour south of my social life.

So the goal:  Get a house.  It must be within riding distance from work, (and not too close, ideally) - so let's say in the 10-20 mile range.  Has to not have a HOA - I do not play well with others.  Has to have hardwood floors.  Has to be in a reasonable area (crime-wise).  Has to be affordable.

Would be nice if it was on BART.  Would be nice if it was two stories (I suspect the cats would love that).  Would be nice to have a connected garage. 

Looking at the prices in the area, seems my best bet would be to look somewhere around Fremont - I can ride across the Dumbarton bridge, easily get to BART, and houses there are not as insanely priced as houses on the peninsula.

But, I just talked to my bank - seems I have two options.  FHA loans go up to $362k, and require at least 3% down;  I can do that, but that wouldn't buy much around here.  Conventional loans go up to $417k, but require 10% down;  I'm pretty sure I can found houses in that price range, but I can't quite afford the down payment yet.  Over $417k is considered a 'Jumbo loan', and we won't talk about those.

Seems the laws might change, that will raise both of those numbers, meaning I could get an FHA loan, afford the down payment, and be able to get a reasonable place.

Bottom line, I have to wait;  Save more, wait for house prices to drop more, and/or wait for the laws to change.

But hey, I will be getting the paperwork that I'll need to fill out, and I found out some information - so that's progress, right?
zigdon: (Default)
Damn it.  I was hoping my new lens would be here today, so I can use it to take cool pictures at HeroCon tomorrow.  I even paid for overnight shipping!  But no, my stupid apartment building had their office closed, so the UPS guy couldn't leave it there.  

No new lens for me until Monday.  BAH.  I really should get my own place already.

Meme form

Sep. 25th, 2008 07:51 am
zigdon: (Default)
Stoled from [livejournal.com profile] _falnfenix_

(My answers are here)

If you're on my friends list, I want to know 36 things about you. I don't care if we never talk, or if we already know everything about each other. Short and sweet is fine ... you're on my list, so i want to know you better!
Comment here and repost a blank one on your own journal.

01) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
02) What was your dream growing up?
03) What talent do you wish you had?
04) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
05) Favorite vegetable?
06) What was the last book you read?
07) What zodiac sign are you?
08) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.
09) Worst Habit?
10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
11) What is your favorite sport?
12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude?
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15) Tell me one weird fact about you.
16) Do you have any pets?
17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
18) What was your first impression of me?
19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
22) What color eyes do you have?
23) Ever been arrested?
24) Bottle or can soda?
25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
27) What's your favorite place to hang out?
28) Do you believe in ghosts?
29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
30) Do you swear a lot?
31) Biggest pet peeve?
32) In one word, how would you describe yourself?
33) Do you believe/appreciate romance?
34) Favourite and least favourite food?
35) Do you believe in God?
36) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?
zigdon: (Default)
- It has an expiration date about a month in the future, instead of a week.
- It doesn't matter, since it's tastier and therefor is consumed long before it expires.

In other news social Hot-tubbing is a lot more fun than just hot-tubbing for relaxation.  Not saying it wasn't relaxing too, though.
zigdon: (Default)

# Take a picture of yourself right now.
# Don’t change your clothes.
# Don’t fix your hair
# Just take a picture.
# Include these instructions.

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