holyhippie: (Coffee)
I've been driving my awesome Model S for about 16 months now - and have talked with a lot of people about the tradeoffs around how much it costs to drive this car versus a gas. The fuel cost tradeoffs aren't exactly straightforward - while my experience is that the Tesla is much cheaper to drive than my previous car (a Mazda Miata), charging it isn't free (duh), and if the cost is better or worse depends.
Read my analysis here ... )

Separation

Jul. 18th, 2012 09:08 am
holyhippie: (Default)
Just a quick note for now.

As of last night, Kristen and I are separated. I'm starting the long, complex process of moving out, and setting up a place for me and the kids in the south bay.

There's a good chance that this will be my last posting in LiveJournal. Looking at the last few posts I've made, they mostly were the "Thanks for asking me to marry you" anniversary posts. Given that I can no longer honestly make that sort of post, and that most of my social interactions and status updates have moved elsewhere, I'm fairly sure that I won't have much more to say here.
holyhippie: (Alan Taj Mahal)
Eleven years ago today, Valkyrie and I dressed up in some really spiffy clothes, looked deep into each others eyes, and said "I Do."

Thanks for asking me to marry you, Valkyrie.

The tradition of posting something to my journal this year seems to be pretty firmly established: Here is what I had to say for all my anniversary posts.

What's above this line is a formula, what's below is my personal 'state of the marriage' thoughts. I should have posted this a week ago, on the anniversary itself - but It took until October 5th to finally sit down and write this.

There's a few reasons for that - one being that I'm very busy. Work is overall going well for me - the job is challenging and rewarding. But, I'm spending a lot more time in meetings than I used to, and I'm starting to get used to many rapid changes of topic.

Another reason for not posting about the state of the marriage before, is that this past year was a low point between Valkyrie and I. We've spent much of the year dealing with a legal issue - resolved in our favor, luckily. We've also been spending a lot of time trying to keep our relationship from falling apart. Right now, things seem to be going well - and that's about all I'm going to say on that.

To celebrate our anniversary, Valkyrie and I went to visit the Tesla factory in Fremont. We both enjoyed the tour, and are extremely excited about actually getting a Model S.

Ten Years!

Sep. 30th, 2010 06:29 pm
holyhippie: (Alan Taj Mahal)
Ten years ago today, Valkyrie and I dressed up in some really spiffy clothes, looked deep into each others eyes, and said "I Do."

Thanks for asking me to marry you, Valkyrie.

The tradition of posting something to my journal this year seems to be pretty firmly established: Here is what I had to say for all my anniversary posts.

This year, we seem to be too busy with life to do much for our anniversary. We have a 10 week old puppy at home that is absorbing a lot of time and energy. Corwin is in fourth grade, and needs lots of coaxing with homework. Kjersti is in first grade, and is getting used to the school schedule, and homework.

One very positive development - a few months ago, Valkyrie got an iPhone. This has helped communication between the two of us a lot - we are texting each other all the time. She's also joined facebook, and posted a picture of us at our wedding today.
holyhippie: (Default)

Cocoa takes a nap
Originally uploaded by capitanholyhippie
She took a nap while we were eating dinner, and I snapped this photo.

Puppy!

Sep. 10th, 2010 07:55 pm
holyhippie: (Default)

We now have an 8 week old Siberian Husky puppy. Kjersti has named her "Cocoa Puff".

Sad news

Jun. 22nd, 2010 01:27 pm
holyhippie: (Default)
My sister Arwen has posted this:
Zane Emerson Foster was born on June 20th at 4:27pm. He lived for about an hour and then went peacefully back to God. We are devastated and also blessed to have had this short time with him that taught us so much about Love. Please continue to send us Love, as it is what kept us going through this most challenging time, and celebrate the love you have in your life.


In talking with her, this unfortunate and painful tragedy was not unexpected. Modern technology has given us the ability to see how a baby is developing before they are born. This told them that the baby was not developing as it should. At birth, it was clear that the brain had not developed, and that the child never would have had a good life. The life was brief, but the child was loved by his parents, and the passing was painless.
holyhippie: (Default)
Last night, I read a story to my little girl Kjersti. She said that I could do that, but tonight I had to make up a story for her.

So I did. Here's the story, as best as I can remember. This won't be exactly as I told it to her, maybe cleaned up and told it a bit better.




Once upon a time, there was a princess named Kjersti. She lived in a blue castle, in the land of Cameron Park. In her room, there were many pink things.

One of her favorite pink things, was her tricycle. This wasn't just any ordinary tricycle, but a magic tricycle - it could fly! And the princess Kjersti loved to take the tricycle flying around the land of Cameron Park.

One day, while she was flying around, she spotted a dark patch of forest below her. Kjersti was a curious and adventurous princess, so she flew closer to the forest. Once she got close, she spotted something pink on the ground ... and since her favorite color was pink, she just had to land and check it out.

Once on the ground, she found just a pink uniform lying on the ground. This was quite curious, so she bent down and picked it up. This was the smallest uniform she had ever seen - it was for a mouse! She heard a little 'squeak' behind her, and turned around -- and was surprised by an army of mice between her and her tricycle! The mice said: "You are our prisoner and must come with us!"

The army of mice dragged Kjersti and her tricycle off to a cave, and locked her in a cell. There Kjersti sat, sadly hoping for someone to come and help her.

Kjersti didn't know it, but there also was a witch in this forest, who had an army of mice and pigs. This witch had been there for a long time, and had an ongoing feud with the kingdom next to Kjersti's. One brave prince from that kingdom, who was named Jack, was a great hunter. He had gone many times into the forest, and killed some of the pigs of the witch.

This upset the witch, so she laid a trap for Jack - and once she caught him, she turned him into a black and white cat. Jack didn't mind this too much - for he quickly escaped from the witch, and now had great fun roaming around the forest, hunting the mice.

The day Kjersti was captured, Jack was stalking a particularly brave and quick mouse - who took off his bright pink uniform to hide from Jack - and had just caught the mouse, when he heard a little girl crying for help.

Jack was quick on his feet, and followed the mouse army, as they took Kjersti off to the cave. Once they were there, Jack hid outside the cave, and waited patiently. Before long, most of the mice left - leaving only a small squad, with a mouse sergeant and some corporals behind, guarding Kjersti.

Jack carefully snuck into the cave, and hid behind some rocks, until he got into the perfect position. One great POUNCE! and the mouse sergeant is captured, pinned under Jack's paws.

Jack tells the mouse sergeant "Let your prisoner go, or I'll eat you!" the mouse sergeant squeaks "Never!"

While the rest of the squad squeaks in terror, Jack bites the head of the mouse sergeant off, and eats it up. Then Jack growls at the rest of the mice, saying "Let your prisoner go, or you will be next!"

One of the mouse corporals, not wanting to be eaten, opens up the cage and lets Kjersti out. Kjersti is so happy to be freed, that she runs to Jack, and plants a kiss right on the top of Jack's head.

Little did Kjersti know that Jack was really a prince - and that a kiss from a fair maiden was all it would take to break the spell! Jack was as surprised as Kjersti, to suddenly turn back into a human - he had no idea how to break his spell.

Jack and Kjersti realize that the witch must be close by, and now is their opportunity to escape. They grab Kjersti's tricycle, and run out of the cave ... only to find it surrounded by pigs!

Jack bravely says "Stand back, fair maiden, I will protect you!" But Kjersti just says "Grab on!" and jumps on her tricycle, pedaling furiously. A very surprised Jack sees the tricycle start to fly away from him, and makes a giant leap to grab the back axle, just before Kjersti flies away.

Kjersti flys back to her blue castle in Cameron Park, laughing at how scared the prince is below her. She brings him back home to her daddy, and says "Can Jack come play with me again?"




One final note - our neighbor's black and white cat is named Jack. Jack thinks we are his people, and that his favorite person is Kjersti. We tried to keep Jack out of the house, but after five years ... we've pretty much given up. Jack likes to sleep on Kjersti's bed, and was there next to Kjersti and I while I told the story.
holyhippie: (Coffee)
Nine years ago today, Valkyrie and I dressed up in some really spiffy clothes, looked deep into each others eyes, and said "I Do."

Thanks for asking me to marry you, Valkyrie.

The tradition of posting something to my journal this year seems to be pretty firmly established: Here is what I had to say for all my anniversary posts.

We seem to have done more for our anniversary this year than last year. I got Valkyrie a new coffee maker. Last weekend, we went up to Lake Tahoe. The kids and I played, while Valkyrie danced in a belly dance competition. Today, I took a couple hours off of work, and Valkyrie and I got massages.
holyhippie: (Default)

IMG_0310
Originally uploaded by capitanholyhippie
Somehow, I have been negligent. I should have posted this picture back on August 17, when the kids started school.

Kjersti is doing great in Kindergarten. She's learning to read, right on schedule. Corwin seems to be doing OK in third grade too.
holyhippie: (Default)

Kjersti's doll
Originally uploaded by capitanholyhippie
This last Christmas, the one present my little Kjersti truly wanted was a Little Mommy Gotta Go doll. Valkyrie and I, being the procrastinators we are, didn't get around to hunting for one (without Kjersti present) until just a few days before Christmas.

At the absolute last minute, I go to the local Toys-R-Us, and spend quite some time combing through the store looking for a couple of last minute items for the kids. I find a very nice stuffed dog for Corwin, and a few things for Kjersti, but I am having a very hard time finding the one doll my little girl absolutely wants.

Finally, I go over the shelf where this doll should be, very carefully. And I finally find one! Only, it's this one: Little Mommy Gotta Go Hispanic. I say to myself, "OK ... this only speaks Spanish, but it's marginally better than no doll at all." And I look a little more.

Then I find this: Little Mommy Gotta Go African American. I look at the two dolls ... and my choice is clear. It's better to get my little girl a doll that's close to what she's seen before and is expecting, and it's better to get her the one that speaks English.

So I go home, show Valkyrie the doll, and we wrap it up and put it under the tree. All along, my mind is buzzing, awash in the cultural stereotypes this country has shoved into my head - the white doll is for white girls, the black doll is for black girls, the brown doll for the hispanics ... and my little girl will reject the doll as not being like her.

I've tried to take a very light hand on the subject of race with my kids, and not make an issue of it. Also, I try to teach by example, in dealing with everyone around me with the same degree of respect and courtesy. I just hope this wears off on them somehow.

So we go into Christmas morning, and I'm fretting as to how Kjersti will react to the doll. She has some hint as to what this package is, and eagerly opens it. I tense in fear that she will reject the present.

I shouldn't have worried. The wrapping came off, and her gasp of joy, and squeals of delight were instant and unrestrained. This present was Exactly What She Wanted, and she was thrilled with it. I mean, just look at that picture there - what an expression of love and contentment. I felt relief and pride - my little girl got exactly the doll she wanted, and failed to make an issue out of the skin color being different from hers.

I've been mulling over this episode in my mind for most of this last year. This year seems to be a somewhat important point in the evolution of what race means to people in this country, and what being an American is. This episode says something about were all of us are - including the corporate machine that made three different dolls, targeted at different races; about me; and hopefully - a positive light about how our children will see race.
holyhippie: (Default)
Here's a snippet of code inspired by this page, on an minor technical feature of the email server I work with on a regular basis.

#!/usr/bin/perl

sub hashdir($) {
  my ($orig) = @_;
  my $hashval = 0;

  foreach my $char (split(//,$orig)) {
    use integer;
    $hashval = $hashval*31 + ord($char);
  }
  $char1 = $hashval & 0xf;
  $hashval = $hashval >> 4;
  $char2 = $hashval & 0x7;
  $hashval = $hashval >> 3;
  $char3 = $hashval & 0xf;
  $hashval = $hashval >> 4; 
  $char4 = $hashval & 0x7;
  return sprintf ("%x%x/%x%x/", $char1, $char2, $char3, $char4);
}

print hashdir($ARGV[0]), "\n";
holyhippie: (Default)
For my friends who are long term followers of this journal, you may remember a time almost four years ago where I had to raise a couple of computers from the dead. Well, the saga of one of these computers took a new turn today. Specifically, Bocana, which was running on my desk for just under four years, has been turned off.
Read the story of my computers behind the cut )
So, now there will be only two computers living in my office, and I have some computers I need to sell. Anyone need a MacBook Pro?
holyhippie: (Default)
Of all the "Social Networking" sites out there, three have really worked for me. LiveJournal, Twitter, and Facebook.

It seems like Facebook has been the place where more people have found me and tried to claim friendship with me, more than any other place. That is - real people, who really did meet me sometime in the past. I've got an account on Friendster, that one gets pure spam. The downside - Facebook is also the place where I have to look hard at the name and claim to friendship, and sometimes say "No, you aren't my friend".

It seems like everyone has a different level bar to for them to make a connection with someone else on a social network. LiveJournal is one place where my bar is real low, and has little to do with the real world. My criteria for following some body's journal are simple - am I interested in what you have to say? Well, then, I'll follow you. If I see you are following my journal, I'll ask myself - why is that person following me? If I can't come up with an answer to that, I'll likely ban you from my journal.

Facebook and LinkedIn are different, though. LinkedIn, in particular, the standard I use is along the lines of - do I know you, and do I know your work, and would I work with you again? If the answer to all that is yes, I'll make a connection with you there. Facebook, well, is a purely social site, and seems to be where some pretty random people have popped up.

The first test I use is to say - "Do I even remember who you are?" If I have a hard time with that, then you probably never were my friend. I've had a few people from my high school try to claim that we were friends, and I have to go digging through my old yearbooks to find out if they even really went to my school. My high school didn't have a lot of students - maybe 100 each year I was there. In theory, I could remember every other student who went there . . . but in practice, I find that I don't. So if you went to my school, and I can't even remember who you are - somehow I don't think that means we had any sort of strong connection when we were at school together.

My second test is - Did I like you? If the answer to that is no, well ... your friend request will be ignored.

My other thoughts on facebook ... there are too many applications that want you to join up and invite all your friends - and that seems to be their only purpose. Sorry, no thanks.
holyhippie: (Default)
This night, at dinner, Valkyrie and I were grumbling about what a mess the legislature in California is, an how destructive it was to the state that they didn't pass a budget for about three months. Valkyrie was recounting how various state employees were getting furloughed, or getting their pay cut, and she said "I bet the legislators aren't getting their pay cut." Also, we should hit them where it hurt - their wallets.

I a burst of insight, I said "Don't cut their pay - get them where it really counts - campaign contributions."

So here's a proposal for a state initiative:


For every day in the current fiscal year that the state is operating without a budget, every member of the state legislature must forfeit one percent of their gross campaign contributions for that fiscal year into the state general fund.


In other words - if the budget is 50 days late, that's 50% of the campaign contributions forfeited to the general fund.

What do you think?
holyhippie: (Default)
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The fall weather here in Cameron Park has been wonderful. This last weekend, we got to one of the typical fall chores - raking up leaves.

And then, playing in them.

I didn't let the kids play too long. However, once we had the big pile made, Corwin did the most amazing front flip right into the pile of leaves, and almost disappeared into it.

I wish that I had the video camera handy to capture that ... but oh well. These flips he did are pretty good too.
holyhippie: (Default)
There are two high tech companies that I follow the stock price for closely, because I have stock purchased through employee stock purchase plans. Both companies, at this point in time, are in essence, turning a profit. The one where I no longer work is just barely turning a profit, and it's stock price is down to about a third of what it was at the beginning of the year. The one where I work now, is getting great profits, and it's stock price is down to about half of what it was at the beginning of the year.

I get that stock markets follow rumor and emotion far more than logic and profit - but this is just plain gruesome.
holyhippie: (Coffee)
Eight years ago today, Valkyrie and I dressed up in some really spiffy clothes, looked deep into each others eyes, and said "I Do."

Thanks for asking me to marry you, Valkyrie.

The tradition of posting something to my journal this year seems to be pretty firmly established: Here is what I had to say for all my anniversary posts.

Today is a work day, although with lots of interruptions. We are planning on going out to dinner tonight, and leaving the kids at a drop-in daycare place. I took the Subaru to the dealership to get serviced, and got my teeth cleaned. Valkyrie had a yoga class.

About all I got for Valkyrie was a nice card. She seems happy with that. Somehow, we now seem to be more involved with living our lives, than giving showy displays of affection.
holyhippie: (Default)

Take your picture meme
Take your picture meme, at work

Original version.


Take a picture of yourself right now. Don’t change your clothes. Don’t fix your hair. Just take a picture. Post that picture with no editing. (Except maybe to get the image size down to something reasonable. Don’t go posting an eight megapixel image.) Include these instructions.


A few more picture variants )
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