Calendars and Kidney Stones

General 1 Comment

I felt stupid just writing about how much kidney stones suck. Those of you who have had kidney stones, especially those who have had them get stuck, you know what I mean. I’m starting to fear that the one day’s reprise from pain is just foreshadowing of a bigger problem–that the stone is stuck. Pray for me. Seriously.

So not wanting to write another whole post about kidney stones I decided to talk about calendars. It’s coming up on Easter and Passover and last year I remembered thinking “why don’t Jews and Christians celebrate passover on the same day”? It couldn’t be something simple like Jews and Christians just don’t get along so I decided to dive in and see what day Easter and Passover are supposed to be on and how that is computed. Which leads me to…

Frequently Asked Questions about Calendars Version 2.8 by Claus Tøndering

Mr. Tøndering knows his calendars. And I found the reading of this FAQ to be informative and fun to read (keep in mind I read RFCs too). Maybe you will also enjoy it.

Konfabulator — Now With 100% More Yahoo!

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I might not have mentioned this free software package before but I use it every day. It was called Konfabulator. Then a couple of months or so ago Yahoo! bought them out. Luckily they didn’t screw it up (yeah, I’m looking at you AOL and what you did to Nullsoft) and the package is still free and still useful. Before Yahoo! seized ownership there used to be a cool history of the Konfabulator in the form of a comic book–alas, it is gone.

What’s a widget? I’m glad you asked. I don’t know of a specific definition but I would say it’s something that looks good visually and does something. Usually just one thing. Like a virtual button or stock ticker, or weather report, calendar, Wi-Fi signal strength meter, battery meter, world clock, sticky note… stuff like that. Wikipedia has a decent explination.

You can download the Konfabulator Yahoo! Widget engine at

Now for the real power. Let’s say that as a system administrator you are constantly needing to keep tabs on some process. Maybe you keep a terminal window open or have some cron job always looking at a message queue or something. Now you can just slap together an XML interface and create a widget that will display that information graphically right on your desktop. It looks good. It feels good. It is good.

Kidney Stones… Again

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With just the right amount of luck I’ve managed to create another kidney stone. As some of you recall, last Summer I had my first experiences with them and wound up being out of the office for a week. I’m hoping that won’t be the case this time.

So I went to the ER at LDS Hospital about 4 AM and was home again by 7. This time I was prescribed Lortab for my pain which works a lot better than the stuff they gave me last time.

Oddly enough, my friend Matt Scoville as sick today as well. It must have been a great day for being sick.

Computer Geek or Serial Killer

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By looking at a picture of a person can you decide if someone is a computer geek or a serial killer?

Oh yeah? Bring it on:

Sandwich Shops

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I’m a big fan of the sandwich, specifically the hoagie, grinder and submarine sandwich.

I classify sandwiches into two categories: those from individual stores who provide sandwich services and franchise / chain sandwich shops. Typically, I find the former to have better quality sandwiches because I think they just try harder.

Whenever I try a new sandwich shop I always go for the Italian or equivalent to establish a baseline for comparison. The Italian is probably my favorite so it makes comparison easy.

So here is my ranking from best to worst:

Individual Store Sandwiches
1. Granato’s (Frank Granato Importing Co.)
2. Tony Caputo’s Market and Deli
3. Grove’s Market (Grove Market and Deli)
4. Grinder’s 13

Chain Store Sandwiches
1. Quiznos
2. Blimpie
3. Schlotzsky’s Deli
4. Gandolfo’s Deli
Last. Subway

I list Subway last because even if there are other shops, Subway will probably maintain the prestigious last position in the list. Their bread is usually hard, their meats pre-processed, their cheeses are all of the American variety (even the provolone tastes like a space-age polymer) and they always put way too much lettuce on. It’s like eating a salad in a hard bun without dressing or anything else good. More surprising than me eating there is the fact that I forget just how bad it is and wind up trying it again.

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