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Thursday, April 19, 2001
It seems that many people have been unable to locate this journal as I had neglected to add its link to my main web page. My apologies to all for any inconvenience. I have since placed it there, but will be updating my web site shortly anyway.
I Will Believe a Man Can Fly
As mentioned in previous posts, I have been following the Superman the Movie re-release project from Warner Brothers, which includes digital remastering and previously deleted scenes. (The trailer is awesome and is available both in Hi-Res QuickTime and Low-Res MPEG formats.) The bad news is that despite the extremely positive reviews from its San Antonio test run last month, WB has apparently decided that it is more cost-effective to just release the DVD rather than have a nationwide theatrical re-release. The good news is that *I* will be getting to see the re-release at Star Theatres right here in Detroit! I am very much looking forward to this, as I have not seen Superman the Movie on the big screen since I was a teenager! This screening is not open to the public and was by invitation only, which has been extended to readers of the Superman Cinema web site (of which I am). As it is an invitation, this viewing is free, no charge to me, with free popcorn and soda as well. And I just moved here little more than a month ago. Cool or what?
I am still sorry that a nationwide theatrical release has been shelved, but the Director's Cut DVD will be available May 1st, and I will still be able to enjoy it on the big screen one final time in my life. (My only regret is that it couldn't be Tinseltown.)
Okay, so I'm a geek. Like you didn't know that already?
Wednesday, April 11, 2001
As per request, I will keep the both the current and previous posts on this page, so that there is no need to check the Archive page just in case you missed a post. Given that my post frequency been averaging about twice weekly, not everyone feels the urge to check up on me more than once a week. So hopefully, this will satisfy all who are concerned.
Signing up for my free @mac.com account from iTools, I now have two new email addresses: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org . They forward to whatever address I want, so that if I move again or change ISP's, I will be able to keep them. So whether you prefer to call me Jon or Jonathan, please update your email list with this address. i am hoping that it is easier to remember than either my AOL or my Gene Codes emails. I urge all the Macintosh faithful to get their free email account (either to be used as is, or forwarded somewhere else).
WWDC, and other conferences ...
Being generously called the "lead Mac API guy" at Gene Codes, my kind boss has found it within his heart (and budget) to send me to this year's WWDC, the Mecca for Macintosh developers. This is one benefit I probably would not have received had I stayed at Kodak, having attended 4 out of the last 5 WWDC's, making this year 5 out of the last 6. (The one year I missed, 1998, was also the only year Apple had live QuickTime broadcasts of the sessions.) I will also have the pleasure of meeting up with four of my co-workers: Marty Van Scoter, Joe Young, Michael Wu, and Mike Levine. Plus I hope to see other regulars from Kodak's roster there as well. With MacOS X being the big deal, my responsibility to pay attention all of a sudden becomes more critical.
Immediately prior to WWDC is a Recomb Conference in Los Angeles (at USC) which my boss also wants me to attend. When I say immediately prior, I mean I will be flying out of Los Angeles Sunday evening on the 20th to get into San Jose just in time for WWDC. And before all of this (assuming I have the energy), I am planning to attend the Michigan Section Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America the weekend of April 27-28. This last conference being of my own interest, not paid for by employer dollars (because as you know, I am pathetically a geek).
"Will that be Smoking or Second-Hand Smoking?"
Those who frequent restaurants as often as I do can understand how I miss Rochester when it comes to eating out. Ann Arbor's smoking laws with regard to eating establishments is not as advanced as Monroe County's, and I have become quite accustomed to the latter's progressive legislation. Although smoking was allowed in Rochester restaurants as recently as 1998, I have become so used to the current laws that I am now intolerant to even sharing airspace with smokers. Unfortunately, Ann Arbor government officials are still living under the delusion that air molecules do not travel across the artificial Smoking/Non-Smoking boundary. This is extremely annoying, especially if you are one of the unfortunate non-smokers on the perimeter between the two sections. In Monroe County, sharing airspace is not an issue: either the restaurant owner must have separate air ventilation systems for smoking and non-smoking, or the entire place must be completely non-smoking.
I was in TGI Friday's the other evening, deeply in non-smoking territory mind you, and this college student on the other side of me decides to light up in the wrong section. Most of you know me as fairly medium-tempered, not more easily provoked than the average guy. But light up next to me in a non-smoking section, and you see a whole new Jonathan Hoyle (not one you'll like, I'm sure). Suffice it to say, I made a little scene out of the situation. Words were exchanged, voices raised above conversational level (him louder than me). In the end, he and his cigarette left. I may have left smelling of smoke, but my consolation was that he was at least as pissed off as I was.
Second Hand Smoke kills 46,000 people per year, that's one every 11 minutes. This doesn't count the lung disease, asthma, and other respiratory ailments that affect the others. As a form of comparison, the fatality rate of second hand smoke is higher than that of traffic accidents. Many who hear these figures for the first time are often skeptical, until they look them up for themselves. If second-hand smoke has that high of a fatality rate, you may be wondering what it is for first-hand smokers? According to the World Resources Institute (and many others), tobacco kills 3 million smokers annually worldwide (one every 10 seconds).
This has been a public service message. The views expressed by the host of this web page are not necessarily those of the staff and management of the web server. But they should be.
Friday, April 6, 2001
Slide Show Update
My web site has been atrophying for some time now, and much of it was put together before I had become more familiar with various web programming techniques. So I have decided to put some time in to doing a major overhaul on it. The first area I have fixed up is the Slide Show Page, in particular, placing a vertical pane on the left to allow the user to select from the various slideshows. Please give it a look and give me your feedback as to how you like it or any changes you recommend. There are a number of them, and maybe a few of them will bring back some memories.
Michigoose and Michigander
If a driver's license is the "final" authority on residence, on Thursday I "officially" became a Michigander. Surprisingly (to me at least) is that I no longer am required to wear corrective lenses to drive, at least according to the state of Michigan. Those of you who may recall, I bought my first pair of glasses ever after moving to Rochester. I hadn't realized how my vision degraded with time (from being a bachelor for so long no doubt), and when I took my first eye test in New York, I was surprised that my vision was no longer 20/20. When I got my license in New York, I wore glasses to take the test, but in Michigan I decided to try it without. I passed! I had always thought that 20/20 vision was required to drive without glasses, but that is not so. Apparently, if your eye glass perscription is mild enough, you can get by without them.
I'm Not Just the President, I'm Also a Client
Should Rogaine have an informercial on Huh-tuh-puh Loss for Men? Well, apparently so, since Dan Kuchta's most recent email suggests that once you stop having me around, huh-tuh-puh's go away. H says that he has not heard a single huh-tuh-puh, let alone a huh-tuh-puh-tuh-puh, since I have left! For shame. How soon I am forgotten, having been gone only these past four weeks. Like Procepia though, huh-tuh-puh has probably had an adverse effect on my sex life.
Coinage a Trois
Dan also asked about Three Coin infiltration here in Michigan. Sad to say, I have had no opportunity to evangelize due to the lack of a cafeteria. I have resorted to T.J.'s former lunch habits of going home, since I live so close to work. Unfortunately, I have not been able to keep his schedule, as I have been at the office fairly late every night these past couple of weeks. In any case, my Three Coin Kit and software lie dormant, waiting for the day I can exercise them.
A Different Kind of Car, A Not-So-Different Kind of Waiting List
On Monday, I went to Saturn to order my car. I decided upon the SL/2 (better engine), Option package #2 containing power windows, power locks, keyless entry, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. I'd prefer to keep the same winter green color, but I could be talked into blackberry. Unfortunately, there is about a 6-8 week wait on SL/2's with ABS. This was very disheartening, as I was hoping to buy my new car right away.
That perky 1997 Saturn SL/1 I told you about last time is still waiting to be bought. Fortunately, you have a few more weeks to decide. Now don't you all crowd me with offers all at once!
Monday, April 2, 2001
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
I have received a great deal of generous feedback from the daffodils sent last week. Thank you all again for your kindnesses, but the real thanks should go to the American Cancer Society, as it is their promotion and for the good work they do. I am still catching up on my email responses, so please don't think I have forgotten about you all. And thank you again for remembering me.
As of Friday, "huh-tuh-puh" has officially become part of the Gene Codes venacular (as determined by its first use from someone other than myself). My cubicle-mate Lucy has a newborn child Jason which she takes in on Friday mornings as part of Gene Codes' progressive in-house day care. Dave told Lucy that she should be careful how long she leaves Jason in the office lest his first words be "huh-tuh-puh". Time: 3 weeks, 4 days, 3 hours, breaking my previous record at Kodak. Of course the true test is its longevity. I'll keep you updated.
Two Thumbs Down for That Reference
If you want to impress the waitress at TGI Friday's, I do not suggest cleverly bringing up the movie Office Space as the way to do it. For those of you who haven't seen it, Office Space is a movie about a software engineer who hates his job and falls in love with Jennifer Aniston, a waitress from a TGI Fridays-like restaurant, who hates her job as well. In particular, the movie pokes a lot of fun at the pieces of "flair" the restaraunt employees have to wear.
My waitress Susie gently explained to me that many customers have thought they were being original and humorous with such a reference. Apparently most of the employees at TGI Fridays find the movie to be a bit insulting. I hadn't considered this before making my remarks, just thinking it was benign fun. Although the movie made fun of software engineers (to a degree), it never really picks on any one particular software company. For example, how might I have felt if the movie portrayed a large film company called "Yellow Box" in a very unflattering way? Although I still love Office Space, I have learned to keep that opinion to myself at this restaurant. Suffice it to say Susie did not care too much for the movie. It seems she gets "Office Spaced" about once a week by a customer equally as clever as I.
I tipped her well for my faux pas. I had the Peppercorn Burger, Rice in place of Fries, and a Diet Coke with a Lemon. It was very good.
After two weeks of owning it, I finally tried my hand at making bread on Sunday. Most of you are aware that my cooking talents are infamous throughout western New York, which is why I usually go out to eat and insult waitresses. I bought three bread mixes: Italian, Sourdough and Apple Walnut. I figured to try the Apple Walnut first time out, as even if I wreck it completely, it is sweet enough to probably remain edible.
Sure enough it was edible, but I probably can't say much beyond that. When hot coming out of the machine, it was at its best. It was a little dry even when warm, and after it cooled down it has the consistency of toast. I am not sure what to do differently in the future, but at least I have started. By the way, how long does bread last?